J.P.S. Brown writes books about the true life of the cowboy, not the saloon and
bodice tales that so enthrall other practitioners of the genre. His latest, Cowboys Fly: Book One, is a collection of eight stories telling of events he has lived and people he has known, many of them in Mexico and along the border near Nogales, Arizona, where he began cowboying as a boy.
In “One Gillette,” a cow hand talks to an eight-year-old about joining a trail crew: “I’ll say one thing, if you’re with us for the rest of today, you’ll have to be darned tough, because you’ll do it barefoot, bareheaded, and on one can of tomatoes and six saltines. But then, to be a cowboy, you’ll learn that sometimes you might have to work a whole season, from winter to fall, on one Gillette.”
He meant one razor. That’s the kind of detail readers get from Brown, who, at 86, still “can’t get over the music my spurs make on both sides of a horse.” Readers will hear the music, too.
—Leo W. Banks, author of Double Cross: Treachery in the Apache Wars