I live in the northeastern part of Arizona in the White Mountains. The name of the town where I live is Show Low. How the name came about is a very interesting history.

To hear that story go to:


On this date back in 1919 western story novelist Max Brand published his first novel.  Max Brand was only one of 21 pen names that Frederick Faust wrote under.

He wrote under pen names because he was embarrassed about writing pulp fiction.

Frederick claimed to dislike the American West and spent most of his adult life in Europe.  And he made no pretense to writing historically accurate western novels.  He wrote about the west of his imagination and he could tell a great story.

During his life Frederick Faust wrote more than 500 western serials and short stories.

Do we, as fans of the Old West, require more authentic fiction than a century ago?  If Max Brand were an unpublished author today, do you think he could find a publisher?


I received news today from Bethany Braley, the Executive Director of the National Day of the Cowboy, that the Wyoming State Legislature has passed a resolution recognizing one day a year as “The Day of the Cowboy.”  This is the first year they’ve passed the resolution and they made it permanent.

This year’s designated day is July 28.  If you’re not familiar with the National Day of the Cowboy, do visit their web site:

It’s a cause in which anyone who’s interested in the Old West should be involved.


In searching some old files I came across the following information.  This is how it was at the end of the 1800’s.

  • The average life expectancy in the U.S. was forty-seven.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of homes had a telephone.
  • There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
  • The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
  • Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.  Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month!  When they did they used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • The five leading causes of death in the U. S. were:
  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke
  • One in ten U.S. adults couldn’t read or write.
  • Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.


I just finished putting together our weekly radio show that will be aired the week of March 19 – 25. As a part of Arizona’s centennial celebration, it included a conversation with Phyllis de la Garza about the Apache Kid. Phyllis has written a couple of books about him.

The Apache Kid, raised on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, became a sergeant of the Indian Scouts under Al Sieber. While Sieber was away, some Apache had a tiswin party. Unable to break up the party, Apache Kid joined in.

The Kid and some other scouts ended up going AWOL. When they returned, they were tried for being AWOL and sentenced to hang. Eventually, the sentence was changed to life. And after a year and a half, they were pardoned.

All of this took place in a military court. Next, Apache Kid was tried in civilian court for shooting Al Sieber in the leg…Although he was present at the shooting, there is no evidence he knew or had anything to do with the shooting.

On the way to Yuma Territorial Prison, with several other prisoners, the guards were overcome and everyone escaped. The Apache Kid was never captured. From that point, any atrocity that took place in the area was blamed on the Apache Kid.

I relate this story, not because I think the Apache Kid was a totally innocent person, but to show how events, rather than the person involved in the events can control so much of our lives.

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