Reading the West 7-5-10 |

Reading the West 7-5-10

Join me and several of my writing friends at the Grand Encampment Museum in Encampment, Wyo., on July 17, for a joint book signing from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., held as part of the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering and Museum Living History Weekend.

Spur Award winners John Nesbitt and Johnny D. Boggs will be on hand along with Starley Talbott, author of pictorial histories of Platte County, Wyoming, and Fort Laramie, plus “Lasso the World,” and Dick Perue, who has reproduced many old photographs and vintage publications in his books about the history of the upper Platte River Valley.

Nesbitt won two Spur Awards this year from Western Writers of America, one for a short story, “At the End of the Orchard,” which was published by Hardboiled magazine, and the other for his Western novel, “Stranger in Thunder Basin.” This Torrington resident also won a Spur in 2009 for his novel, “Trouble at the Redstone.” He has just completed a term on the board of Western Writers of America.

Johnny D. Boggs of Santa Fe, who just completed his term as President of Western Writers of America, won a Spur award this year for his juvenile novel, “Hard Winter.” He has previously won Spur recognition for short fiction for his stories, “A Piano at Dead Man’s Crossing,”and “The Cody War” (Finalist), and Spurs for his novels “Camp Ford,” and “Doubtful Canon” while gaining finalist recognition for his novels “The Hart Brand,” “Northfield,” and “Killstraight.” He also won a Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for “Killstraight.”

I will be on hand with my newest book, “Forts, Fights and Frontier Sites: Wyoming Historic Places,” a statewide guide to some of the interesting places including trail-era stations and trading posts, information about Indian battles ranging from the Dull Knife Battle to altercations between Indian tribesmen and travelers/soldiers along the Overland Trail. I will also have on hand my Spur Award winning biography, “Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People” plus other books I have written including “The Grand Encampment: Settling the High Country,” “Roadside History of Wyoming,” “Roadside History of Colorado,” “Wagon Wheels: A Contemporary Journey on the Oregon Trail,” and “Hot Biscuits: Stories of Women and Men in the Ranching West.”

The book signing is just one of the activities being held in Encampment July 16-18. The Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering begins Friday evening with an open mic session to be hosted by Laurie and Cora Wood at Grandview Park. Anyone who plays cowboy music or recites cowboy poetry is invited to join in the event, which will be followed by Campfire, a round-robin sharing for more music and poetry.

On July 17, the Cowboy Gathering has a stick horse rodeo, dutch oven cookoff, afternoon of music and poetry, and a concert featuring Juni Fisher, John Nelson, Washtub Jerry, Al “Doc” Mehl, and Chuck Larsen. The evening will be topped off with another Campfire at the park.

On July 18 the Grand Encampment Museum hosts living history and all of the museum’s historic buildings will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some of the authors will be on hand that day to sign books as well. A pancake breakfast gets underway earlier in the morning and cowboy church is slated for 11 a.m. at Grand View Park.

Please join me in Grand Encampment for these fun events. Admission to the museum is by donation. The Cowboy Gathering events at the park are all free; there is a fee to attend the Saturday evening concert with tickets available at the door.

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