To The Duke

To The Duke

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ernest Borgnine, a Great Cowboy.

I've been corresponding with a cowboy about western movies and western actors. We pretty much both vote for John Wayne as our favorite, but this past week we wrote back and forth about Ernest Borgnine. I've met Mr. Borgnine a couple of times, once when he was touring the country in his big motor home and stopped by a shop I ran, then again a few years ago when he presented Dusty Richards with his Wrangler Award at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. That was a star-studded event and I'd been told that Tom Selleck would be there, that's why I supported my good friend, Dusty, by buying that $150 a plate dinner. Sorry Dusty, it was Tom drove me to lose those 20 pounds. But alas, the big thrill of my evening, besides seeing Dusty win the Wrangler, was seeing Ernest Borgnine again. His smile made the evening.

This blog is dedicated to all things western, and what's better than an Ernest Borgnine western movie. The Wild Bunch is one of my favorites because it also starred William Holden. The movie opens with a group of aging outlaw's final score, a bank robbery. It's a rip roaring good action movie. Kind of violent for its time, but pretty tame now.
A Bullet For Sandoval (1969)/Any Gun Can Play [DVD]

All in all, Ernest Borgnine didn't make a Searchers quality western, but actually there aren't too many of those. What Borgnine did in his career is have fun and keep working. And really, every western is worth watching. They show us another time and another culture and most of us baby boomers have at one time or another dreamed of being a cowboy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Max Evans is the real deal.

Western author Max Evans
Max Evans

I've recently been doing research on a western writer name of Max Evans. I'd heard the name of course, and knew he was one of the legends, but that was about all. After reading about him, I realized I knew more than I thought. He wrote books that I saw on the silver screen. Books that when they ended up as movies starred some of my favorite actors. And I'm sure you have caught on by now that movies are my thing, especially westerns. I'll do my John Wayne immitation for you if you ask. Please ask.

Anyway...back to Max Evans. Wow. What a writer. And he is truly one of those western wordsmiths that make you see the west up close and personal.  Some of Max's stories are set in more contemporary times, but they all deal with what the life of a cowboy is like. And through the eyes of a great writer, we can all be there.

There is a 1999 article about a movie called The Hi-Lo Country. It's made from a Max Evans book.
L.A. Times article about The Hi-Lo Country, 1999.
Watch this interview with Max.
The Rounders was one of my favorite movies. I loved Glen Ford in anything and Henry Fonda did some of his best work in westerns.

Max is also an artist. Here is one of his paintings. "Late For Supper."  Click on the link below to see more of his work.
Late For Supper
Ol Max Evans tells literary stories in paintings and drawings.

For the Love of a Horse
I ordered this book from Amazon today. I'll let you know how much I love it.
Long John Dunn of Taos: From Texas Outlaw to New Mexico HeroThe Hi Lo CountryBluefeather FelliniBluefeather Fellini in the Sac...

Max Evans (1990)
        Cowboy, rancher, trapper, prospector, artist, and for over forty years an eminent figure in Southwestern letters, Max Evans was born in Ropes, Texas, in 1925. He served in the infantry in Europe in WWII and published his first book, Long John Dunn of Taos, in 1959. Evans’s The Rounders (1965) and the film made from it, introduced him to Hollywood and associations with such directors as Sam Peckinpah, about whom Evans has written two seminal books. The author’s The Hi-Lo Country, 1961, also became a beautifully rendered movie in 1998.
        Evans is also author of The Mountain of Gold (1965), Bobby Jack Smith, You Dirty Coward! (1974), Bluefeather Fellini (1993), Faraway Blue (1999), and most recently Madam Millie (2002), a no-holds-barred biography of a Silver City, New Mexico, bordello keeper. He is co-editor of a book of short stories written by ranchwomen and cowboys, Hot Biscuits, (2002) that he worked for twenty years to collect.
        Max Evans lives with his wife Pat in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And if you want to meet this great artist and writer, he'll be at the WWA convention in June of 2012 held in Albuquerque this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Cactus Country Books Released

Cactus Country has been working overtime to get both these books out. Dusty Richards just released the first novel in his new Frank Brothers Series with Outlaw Queen. This is a neat little story about a woman caught up in small town gossip, and the cowboy who lost everything to a greedy first wife. See how they both learn to love again while building a cattle empire.
$15.95 on Amazon
$13.95 direct from the Cactus Country Bookstore.
Cactus Country Bookstore

Brett Cogburn's short story collection, The Devil's Hoofprints. These western tales will keep you turning the page and dreaming about the old west.
$16.95 on Amazon
$15.95 direct from the Cactus Country Bookstore
Cactus Country Bookstore

And remember. When you purchase directly from Cactus Country, you pay no shipping. Please visit our bookstore page today.
Watch for the release of Cactus Country Volume II!