The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention was this weekend in Lombard, IL. I'm hoping that some of my readers who attended will be able to fill us in on how the weekend went. Until then, the blog will probably be dark - too much work.
Here, as I promised, is one of the Paul Powers stories that appears in RIDING THE PULP TRAIL. This is "To Steal a Ranch," and before it appeared in RIDING THE PULP TRAIL, it had never been published.
But before you start reading, I have some explaining and instructions. I originally was going to post this in a Microsoft Word document, but Blogger, in their infinite wisdom, has made it impossible for me to break paragraphs with their new design. It didn't matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to format. Some things I tried even made it worse. (Has anyone else had this problem and been able to fix it? Because if this keeps up, I'm going to ditch Blogger.) But this is good for you, because, after trying several things and not succeeding, I gave up and decided to go another route. Instead of reading the story in plain text, you get to read jpgs of the original manuscript! The only problem with this is that you'll need to click on each page to read it, and hopefully you'll be able to get the print big enough to read. It's going to be a pain because the story is 18 pages.
But it's still pretty cool to read it this way.
Now one final thing: a favor to ask. If you like what you read, tell other people to come over and read it. And if you haven't gotten your copy of RIDING THE PULP TRAIL, you can buy it via softcover here at amazon, and the Kindle version is available here. And if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can get the e-book for your device here.And NOW, without further ado and immediately after you read this sentence because there are no paragraph breaks, is "To Steal a Ranch"!!
TO STEAL A RANCH
BY PAUL S. POWERS
COPYRIGHT 2011, ESTATE OF PAUL S. POWERS
None of this material may be reproduced or printed without permission.
How many readers out there really know what kind of Westerns were published in the old pulp magazines? A few years ago, if you couldn't get a hold of the old pulp magazines, it was difficult to find the vintage stories, unless you like to read a lot of Max Brand, which continually are being reprinted. If you went to an used book store, sometimes you were lucky enough to find some of the old paperbacks that consisted of reprinted stories that originally appeared in the magazines like WESTERN STORY and DIME WESTERN. Once in a while an anthology would show up, but not very often.
But the tide is turning - there are more and more of the old pulp stories being reprinted now so 21st century readers can enjoy them. And what makes it even better is that you can get them in e-book form if you're so inclined.
A good example is my grandfather's new collection, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL. Ten years ago, the likelihood of these stories being reprinted was remote at best. But now, with the new explosion of reprinting and the ability to design your own books, these stories that were once hidden in the long lost issues of RIO KID WESTERN, THRILLING RANCH STORIES, TEXAS RANGERS and others can now be enjoyed by everyone. Plus now you can read stories that were never published before, stored away in my closet for years.
To give some of you an idea of what these stories were like, in the next few days, you're all in for a treat, as we are going to post one of the stories from RIDING THE PULP TRAIL, complete and unabridged, here on Laurie's Wild West. No strings attached. (well, you can also go and buy the softcover or the e-book from the link we'll provide, if you like what you read and you'd like to read more.) But the idea is to give more people an idea of how great these Westerns were. They're not antiquated, stilted narratives with flowery language (Zane Grey comes to mind). These are quick, hard hitting, and fast moving stories.
So stay tuned! A rip roaring adventure is on the way!
Whatever happened to the "Wild West" in Laurie's Wild West? Believe me, the west and the western is a big part of the blog. Celebrating my grandfather's work as a western writer has not gone by the wayside. In fact, I plan on posting more on his writings later on this week.
But I've also got another project now, researching the life of Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY, in hopes of writing her biography. I really couldn't tell you why I picked Daisy, other than the obvious: that she was a female editor in a male-dominated field. There was just something about her that just drew me to her.
I've been lucky enough to be granted custodian of her personal papers while I do my research. And it's been a surprising journey. "Yes, her life and career were interesting. She was the highest-paid editor in New York City of her time, male or female. She was considered one of the best dressed women in the country. She continually made the social pages, the "Who's Who" columns and rubbed elbows with celebrities, writers and politicians alike. Yet while her business and public life seemed to be picture perfect, her personal life was very complex and not as "put together" as the feature articles, like the one below, liked to portray her.
(Sorry about the quality of the article: if you click on it, you can open it into a wider screen to read it.)
Writing someone's biography, especially someone who was in the public eye and who has not been written about before, can be overwhelming at times. I hope I can do her justice. I hope that eventually I can bring her back to the public eye so she can have a place along with all the other writers and editors who have been resurrected in the ongoing renaissance of pulp fiction study.
So I think you can understand the difficulty between keeping up the western posts while I'm working on something related to the romance genre. I've never been good at multi-tasking. As for my grandfather, I think he'd be glad to see me branching out.
Pardon my disappearance for the past week - my mother has been visiting and I've been doing double duty as a hostess and still doing my day job. It's been a wonderful visit but I'm exhausted and I still have the dreaded drive to the airport tomorrow.
Just wanted to mention that the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is this weekend. It should be a fantastic event and the weather looks to cooperate fully. I'm not sure if I'll make it this year, but I'm going to try.
There's some fun auxiliary events going on too. Tomorrow night (Thursday night) there is a downtown party in Newhall. Part of the "Senses" program, a monthly city festival, this one of course celebrates the cowboy festival. This year they are going to be inducting two stars onto the Walk of Western Stars: Glenn Ford, posthumously, and Joel Cox.
Glenn Ford's movie career spanned seven decades starring in such western classics as The Fastest Gun Alive, 3:10 to Yuma, and Cimarron. Joel Cox is an Academy Award winning editor for the film Unforgiven, and has edited notable western films such as The Wild Bunch, Pale Rider, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Mr. Cox will be present for the unveiling, and Mr. Ford will be represented by his son, Peter.
Senses is free and runs from 7 PM to 11 PM on Main Street in Newhall.
Another cool event is the "Glenn Ford – His life and Movies with Peter Ford" event, at the Repertory East Playhouse 24266 Main St. in Old Town Newhall. Peter Ford, son Glenn Ford will host a viewing of Glenn's movie, "The Rounders" and a discussion afterwards of his father's life and movie career. It's a 3:00 p.m. on Friday and tickets are $15.
There are a bunch of other activities going on: just go to the schedule page at the Cowboy Festival web site.
I was browsing through eBay tonight and was pleasantly surprised to see that Girasol Collectibles has published a reprint of the June 1925 WEIRD TALES, which features one of my grandfather's first published stories, "Monsters of the Pit," on the cover.
This story has been reprinted quite a bit in anthologies, but all of them are out of print. Now, not only can you read the story but you can also read the entire magazine. Girasol does a fantastic job with their reprints and the price, $35.00, is a heck of a lot more reasonable than the several hundred dollars, or more, that you'd pay for the original.
Most of you know of the great love I have for German Shepherd Dogs. Today I want to share an incredible story about a police K9 named Jynx and his partner Kyle Pagerly, who was killed in the line of duty.
On 6/29/11 Berks County Deputy Sheriff K-9 Handler Kyle Pagerly was shot and killed while attempting to execute a warrant.
Upon arrival the suspect’s girlfriend did not inform the officers that he possessed a high-powered rifle and was prepared to die. As they ascended the mountain, Pagerly and his K-9 partner Jynx, came upon an elevation in the terrain. The suspect, who was dressed in full camouflage with multiple weapons, lay prone on the ridge. Jynx alerted to the suspects position and ran up the hill forcing the suspect to abandon his cover. As he stood, his rifle was pointed at Pagerly. He ignored an order from Pagerly to drop his weapon. Gunfire was exchanged and Pagerly was struck.
Pagerly’s K-9 partner Jynx, attempted to pull Pagerly down the mountain and out of harm’s way. Jynx also attempted to pull another officer to safety that was rendering assistance to Pagerly. If it would not have been for the actions of Jynx, many other officers would have lost their lives that day.
Jynx and Kyle performed several hundred demos throughout the county. They had a very special bond that will never be forgotten by the citizens. Jynx continues to carry on that legacy making appearances and warming the hearts of many.
Jynx is now retired and continues to live with Kyle’s wife and their new born baby girl. Kyle’s wife was only a few weeks pregnant with their first child when he died. Kyle was only 28 years old.
If you'd like to vote for Jynx to win the 2012 Hero Dog Award, go to the website and vote - you can go back and vote for your choice every day.
The following poem was written by Cheryl Goede, who is co-founder of The German Shepherd Dog Community on Facebook which, last time I checked, had 70,000 followers. Cheryl, who is also a Law Enforcement Officer, and her husband and family have several German Shepherds and a Belgian Malinois.
Twice the Hero ~By Cheryl Goede
A bond like theirs is forever, something people don’t often see, but if you were ever in their presence, you would absolutely agree.
That the relationship? They were partners, the motivation wasn’t due, to any calculated obligation, it was just something that they knew.
That if there was any trouble, together goodness they would guide, as long as they both worked as one, evil intentions would be denied.
This was something they believed in both day in and day out, it was something that was needed, they couldn’t harbor any doubts.
For two heroes working together they always kept the crooks in line, they knew that they must keep working and never stop deterring crime.
But it wasn’t always about work, afterwards they headed home, to a life outside of the J.O.B, they were family, that was known.
Theirs was truly a happy home and all anticipated expectantly, the coming of a new addition, a new member of their family.
Both were content with the living of their everyday fulfilling existence, there was nothing more they wished for than to push themselves to daily go the distance.
Until the day they got that call, to respond they were duty bound, never knowing that the life they loved was about to come unwound.
They suited up, they met their comrades, they began to infiltrate, the lair of a sleeping monster whose life was twisted up with hate.
As they approached their last battleground, as one together they both trod, never knowing soon that one of them would see the face of God.
The brave K9 officer sensed that there was something that lie in wait, and he began to sound the warning hoping his proclamation was not too late.
The team realized that something was wrong and they all stopped and paused as one, but despite his valiant efforts the murderer’s catastrophic plan had begun.
As all began to watch in horror a haze of gunfire began to fly, and the brave K9 could not believe his master fell before his very eyes.
His pain was the dog’s pain, and brave Jynx somehow knew, that even though there was little hope, still there was something he must do.
He refused to leave his master’s side even though the bullets continued to fly, they were simply a mere annoyance to him because with every fiber of his being he had to try.
He grabbed ahold of his fallen master’s clothes and pulled valiantly, and tried to drag his partner away, into the arms of safety.
And then when the gunfire ceased and the quiet stillness fell, he felt the sorrow in the air and a wave of grief began to swell.
For in losing his friend and partner, he had lost his very life, and had lost his sense of purpose the whole meaning drowned in strife.
But soon there was a spark of hope, because the good people decided to give, the faithful K9 back to his human mother where he had always lived.
He held tight to the sense of comfort and the all encompassing feelings of love, that she had always bestowed and he knew were sent down from above.
His heart began to heal from the tragic events that happened that night, he had found a new purpose, and a new meaning to his life.
He knew he must watch out for his mistress to her his heart must be true, to honor his master’s memory, such actions were certainly due.
In time he knew that peace would come as he would faithfully stand in guard, of those his partner left behind it would show his infinite regard.
But there will still always be a part of him that wishes it had been him who had sacrificed, he would rather have been the one to go he would have readily paid that price.
But because the choice wasn’t his to make, there was nothing he could do, he knew he had to forge a new path and start a life anew.
For his mistress and the baby child to be he will with every second of his life guide, and would only act in such a way that would inspire his partner’s pride.
And when this faithful dog’s time on earth has run its course a hero’s welcome he will get, as he will be able to tell his partner that he had paid up any debts.
Because a bond like theirs is forever, something people don’t often see, and as part of God’s heavenly guard, eternal partners they will be.
You can find The German Shepherd Dog Community on Facebook here.
In my continuing spring cleaning efforts (see previous post on "What am I doing with all this stuff"?), I posted a few items last night on eBay that may be of interest to Western enthusiasts.
I may post more items in the future - it all depends on how ruthless I get. I hate selling these, but my life has been fairly transient over the past five years and there's always a chance that I may have to move again. The last time I packed these books, I looked at many of them and saw that the only time I've pulled them out of the bookcase is to put them in a moving box. That was a big wake-up call.
Of course there are many books that I will never get rid of, such as those that belonged to my grandfather or that were gifts. But these have served their purpose.
"Brands from the famous and the infamous, from the Duke of Windsor to Pancho Villa, are described and illustrated, as are brands used exclusively by the United States Government - the almost-lost grands and systems used by the horse cavalry and the Department of Indian Affairs-- and the California Mission Brands." With an introduction by the renowned western historian and author Ramon Adams.
This is a hard-to-find edition of MY LIFE - EAST AND WEST by William S. Hart, This is the edition sold at Hart's Historical House and Park. The portrait on the cover is a painting by Charles Russell; the original painting is at the house. This was my personal copy, read only once.
A lot of the following titles: LOST STAGE VALLEY, by Frank Bonham; TEXAS TRIGGERS by Eugene Cunningham; HIGH POCKETS, by Herbert Shappiro; THE COVERED WAGON, by Emerson Hough; and THE ABILENE SAMSON by W.R. Burnett.
This is a first edition, published in 2000, with stories by the following: Wallace Stegner, Dave Hickey, Dao Strom, Dagoberto Gilb, William Hauptman, Jack Kerouac, Ron Hansen, Dianna Ossana, Robert Boswell, Tom McGuane, Louise Erdrich, Max Apple, Mark Jue Poirier, Rick Bass, Jon Billman, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Annie Proulx, Leslie Marmom Silko, and William H. Gass.
I'm now buying pulps in bulk. I just completed a purchase of 39 issues of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE.
I now have 78 issues which, considering that the magazine ran every week for oh, around thirty years from 1921 to 1954, is really a drop in the bucket.
I do have valid reasons for buying all of these. I'm researching the life of Daisy Bacon, the longtime editor of the magazine, and I'm fascinated by the fact that this magazine was so spectacularly popular - in the early 1930s its circulation was 600,000 - every WEEK. Another reason I bought these is because, like a lot of fiction magazines from that era, one of LOVE STORY's practices was to run longer novels broken up in installments over 5 to 6 issues. So I've been wanting to build up uninterrupted runs so I could read these serials. It's not that easy when you're buying them piecemeal through places like eBay. I did buy quite a few last year at PulpFest - more on that in a minute.
A few months ago I contacted a dealer who I knew had a big inventory of LOVE STORYs. Believe it or not, this dealer has even MORE issues, but I had to have SOME restraint.
This purchase does illuminate the fact that the best way to buy pulps is to go to the conventions, like Windy City and Pulp Fest. There you meet these great dealers and you can buy in bulk, or whatever way you want to buy, because there are thousands of pulp magazines for sale in one place. It really beats trying to build a collection through eBay - that could take you centuries.
So, excuse me but I have to go. I've got some reading to do.
One of the magazines that my grandfather sold many stories to was EXCITING WESTERN. This publication was one of a stable (pardon the pun) of Standard Magazines pulps put out by Better Publications, and most of them came on late in the game, starting in the early 1940s, and some not being launched until the late 1940s.
Beginning with one of the EXCITING WESTERN issues that contains a Paul Powers story, here are covers that represent almost all, if not all, of the EXCITING publications.
This is the November 1947 issue of EXCITING WESTERN. The Paul Powers story in here, "Buzzards Hate Bullets," is one of the stories included in the anthology we published last year, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL.
EXCITING SPORTS ran from the Winter of 1941 to the Summer of 1950.
EXCITING NAVY STORIES ran for possibly 3 issues, from Fall 1942 to Spring 1943.
EXCITING MYSTERY was another short-lived title, running only 3 issues in 1942-43.
EXCITING LOVE ran for 78 issues, from the Spring of 1941 to the Spring of 1958. It was the longest running of all the EXCITING titles, but not by much: the EXCITING WESTERN title ran for 76 issues.
EXCITING FOOTBALL sporadically ran for 7 issues between 1941 and 1949.
EXCITING DETECTIVE surprisingly ran for only 15 issues. According to the Galactic Central site, it succumbed to the paper shortage during WWII. Too bad - they had some great covers like this one.
EXCITING BASEBALL ran for only 5 issues, from 1949 through 1953. Question: are these considered a hard to find pulp? Being a baseball fan, I would love to get a hold of a couple of the issues.
Now that I've put this post up, maybe someone could enlighten me on the relationship between the THRILLING titles and the EXCITING ones. For some reason I can't get it straight in my head.
For those of you interested in reading some of the later Westerns that appeared in magazines like EXCITING WESTERN, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL is available in softcover and in ebook.
...for a post related to pulp fiction, some posts are categorized according to the genre. So look under "pulp fiction," but also look under "pulp fiction - westerns" or "pulp fiction - detective," for example. Topics under "pulp covers" also have abbreviated historical information as well.