What History Taught Me

Dan Piraro

Dan-Piraro-CartoonistArt was my first and most consistent love. I realized that because I was an incurable smart aleck, I’d likely make more money in cartooning than fine art.

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Cord McCoy

cord-mccoyRiding a bull requires practice, practice practice! Hard to hit a 90 mph fast ball ’til you have swung a million times.

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Mark Lee Gardner, Spur Winner

Mark-Lee-Gardner-and-son-Vance-in-ferrotype-by-Quinn-JacobsonI know someone is into Billy the Kid as soon as they ask me what he was really like, as if I knew him personally.

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Andy Thomas

Andy-Thomas_western-artistCharlie Russell is special because he combined artwork with authentic cowboys, Indians, history and a drink or two. Good man, that Charlie.

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Victoria Wilcox, Author

Victoria-Wilcox_Author_trilogy_Southern-SonWhat most don’t know about Doc Holliday is that he didn’t go west for his health. Some report he left Georgia because of a wandering spirit, or, as Bat Masterson wrote in Human Life magazine, because of a quick trigger finger.

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Gordon Snidow

Gordon-Snidow-Western-ArtistWhat I have seen, lived and painted is only a chapter in the saga called the West. What we used to call the future is now the past.

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Thomas Brent Smith, Director of Petrie Institute at DAM

Thomas-Brent-SmithWhat most folks don’t know about Maynard Dixon is he spent most of his life and career in the metropolitan art center of San Francisco.

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Dr. Jeremy Rowe

dr-jeremy-roweI started collecting because I caught the bug—first reacting to the images, then to their context and history, and finally to the process of extracting the embedded stories that they contain.

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Dave Stamey, Musician

Dave-stamey_western-musicianThe problem with most people today is they are not connected in any real way with their geography. They don’t appreciate where they live; they don’t look up to see the mountains around them, or the plains, or desert.  They have been consumed by the great stripmalling of America.

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Jim Rodgers

Jim-RogersArizona and Western history are synonymous since Arizona was basically the last frontier. The state’s history is rich in Western lore—rich mineral deposits, boomtowns, famous gunfights, ranching, cowboys and the final years of the Indian Wars.

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Kelo Henderson, Actor From 26 Men

Kelo-Henderson_26-menHistory has taught me, via the war, that I am lucky to be alive, and freedom is not free.

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Clu Gulager

Clu-Gulager-as-Billy-The-KidWhen I shot my first episode of The Tall Man, Universal Studios found a wonderful pasture by the freeway, which had dozens and dozens of cars going back and forth, back and forth. They spent a lot of money on cattle. We lost the whole scene—they couldn’t hear one  word that we said. So we lost a big production value with the cattle.

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Robert G. McCubbin, World’s Foremost Old west Photo Collector

bob mccubbinI started collecting because I liked to read and wanted to keep every book and not have to return it to a library. My first book collection was Hardy Boys.

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L.Q. Jones

L-Q-JonesThe Western is a good genre if reasonably done. It’s a morality play, and it went along that way for 100 years. I contributed to its downfall when I made The Wild Bunch. But notice, since we made it, almost all Westerns have gone to ultra-violent.

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Christopher Price, Director of Honey Springs Battlefield

christpher-price_battle-of-honey-springsThe largest Civil War engagement within Indian Territory was the battle at Honey Springs, an important stopping point on the Texas Road, a major route between Kansas and Texas. Indian men fought as members of national regiments (Union and Confederate),

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Brian Lebel, Founder of Old West Show & Auction

WHHTM_Brian-and-Melissa-LebelI collect art because it surprises me. The same painting can look different every day. It’s always changing.

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John Goodwin, Galaxy Press President

john-goodwin-galaxy-press-president_ron-l-hubbardNobody knows that an average of 14,500 Boy Scouts used to earn the Reading Merit Badge every year for the first 100 years of Boy Scouts.  By 2011, it was under 5,900 and dropping. I’m working on a project to improve literacy by getting Boy Scouts to earn the Reading Merit Badge.

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Al Harper, Railroad Owner

Al-Harper-waving-by-Durango-and-Silverton-trainI fell in love with trains when my dad gave my brothers and me a Lionel train set when I was eight.

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Dean Smith, Stuntman

dean-smith-stuntman-john-wayneMy most memorable stunt was jumping over a horse, taking off the rider and slitting his throat.

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Bill O’Neal, Texas State Historian

WHHTM_Bill-O-neal_gunfighterologyGunfighters intrigue me because nothing is more dramatic than life and death conflict, especially when that conflict is carried out by men in big hats and boots, armed with six-shooters and Winchesters.

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Stephen Harrigan, Author

steve-harrigan-writerMy favorite research memory is a tie between waking up in an igloo and being alone in the Alamo at night.

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True Westerners

Dan Piraro

Dan Piraro

Art was my first and most consistent love. I realized that because I was an incu...

Death in the Mississippi

Death in the Mississippi

The end of wars does not always mean the end of death and destruction. The Sultan...

Cement Cowboy Nearly Dies

Cement Cowboy Nearly Dies

On the Ashes of My Campfire, This City is Built.”

That inscription has graced a 2,...


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True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

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