What History Taught Me

Rick Wallner

RICK-WALLNER_CHIEF-RANGER.The best book on Bent’s Fort is David Lavender’s Bent’s Fort, although Mark Lee Gardner wrote a great Historic Resource Study for the park about 10 years ago; it sure would be nice to see that published.

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ELizabeth Fenn

Elizabeth-Fenn_Pulitzer-Prize-Winning-HistorianIf I had been a member of the Corps of Discovery, I would have brought my own vial of smallpox vaccine. Meriwether Lewis’s supply lost its potency and was therefore useless. Had this not happened, he might have protected some native peoples against the epidemic of 1837-38.

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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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John Read

John-Read_Park-ManagerOur most curious Mexican Revolution artifact is the Jeffery Quad armored car. This vehicle was not sent to Columbus, New Mexico, for the Punitive Expedition, although Jeffery Quad trucks were. Yet after the expedition ended in 1917, the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss used the armored car in 1919, when soldiers crossed into Mexico to chase Pancho Villa during the Battle of Ciudad Juárez.

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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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Win Blevins

Win-and-Meredith-BlevinsGrowing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, grounded me. In college, a professor pointed out to me, “You’ve written this poem for people who know who Agamemnon was.” I went into shock. I didn’t want to write stuff my own family (or common people) wouldn’t read. After being racked by stress, I saw the answer. Use Mark Twain as a model—serious subjects, approached in language anyone can read.

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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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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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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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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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True Westerners

Rick Wallner

Rick Wallner

The best book on Bent’s Fort is David Lavender’s Bent’s Fort , although Mark Lee G...

Justice for Jack

Justice for Jack

Pioneer Jack Swilling should be remembered for his many contributions to Arizona...

Liberty, Not Death

Liberty, Not Death

Children soothed their thirst by scraping their fingernails on barrack windows t...

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Mission

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.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!
 

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