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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What would Will James Do?

Some years ago (I was just out of college) I read an interview where a Canadian western singer talked about getting a job at a ranch and realizing he knew much less than he thought he did. He faked it by remembering Will James stories and when he got into a pinch he would think, "What would Will James do?"

 (I lifted this photo from this University of Nevada website but it is in the flyleaf of my 80 year-old-book so I doubt it is still copyrighted)
I found the book "Lone Cowboy" in a shabby old used book store in Columbus, Ohio and read it cover to cover a couple times. I took Will James for somewhat of a hero myself. Somewhat of a tragic and flowed hero so I don't really recommend it. I suppose that when most of your adventures occur in your head as you are driving a tractor in circles it doesn't really count as life experiences though...

Books by Will James 

I enjoyed "Home Ranch" and "Drifting Cowboy," but of course "Smoky" and "Lone Cowboy" are probably the best known.
Will James was quite the tortured soul. He had a huge battle with depression and alcohol. Sort of the Hank Williams of Western writing. I don't know how much to reveal about him as he is part myth himself. Just read the books and remember the old ways.

If anyone wants to buy Will James books please put the title into my Amazon search box at the top of the page. If you put the book in your shopping cart from there and buy it then I will get a kick-back! On my way to 1.2 million bucks!!!!

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