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That's a tough choice, I read everything from the Bible to westerns to mysteries to history to... well, you get the picture. John Grishom is a favorite, so is Bill Pronzini, Wilbur Smith, Peter Bowen, Edgar Allen Poe, Skeeter Skelton, Jeff Cooper & Tony Hillerman. As Pliny The Elder said, "I've never read a book so bad I couldn't find some good in".
 
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c pierce said:
Who is your favorite writer? Mine is Robert Service, I learned to read reading his poems.
I know a number of his more fameous bu heart including spell of the yukon, Sam Mcgee, Dan Mcgrew etc.

Early favorite was Phillip Wyle
Later Doug Adams & Terry Prachett. Have all as audio books today.

Willie
 

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Interesting thread, Mr. Pierce - you and Willie have plumbed to the very depths of my childhood memories. :)

I can remember the old timers occasionally reciting Robert Service poems in the summer evenings when everyone sat on the screened-in porches of my southern youth! Most memorized them in their "spare time" while in the trenches in WWI.

Those porches would get so dark, all you could see was the burning tobacco embers in the pipes - but when it got that dark, the stories would begin to emerge. Youngsters could not fidget or speak - or be banished inside where it was oppressively hot. That's where we learned the family history and heard wonderful tales like these. We still do it - even when we don't have a porch to sit on. Anytime we have a gathering, we let the oldest ones "hold court" and talk about things they remember from their early years.

A search of Robert Service led me to the website of another keeper of oral tradition, the Masonic Grand Lodge of B.C. and Yukon. They have several of his works on the link. I hope those of you who've never heard of him enjoy the words penned by this nearly-forgotten writer. You've got to read 'em out loud to get the full effect. :)

http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/ser ... cgrew.html

(BTW, even Ronald Reagan loved "Dan McGrew" and could recite it by heart. :))

xtm
 

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I have become a huge fan of Stephen Hunter (see my signature below!). For anyone who likes guns (you're reading this forum so I bet you do!), Hunter is the best at incorporating guns almost as characters in his stories.

I read Point of Impact (the movie Shooter with Mark Walberg was based on this book, but like almost always, the book is much more complicated and much better) and really liked Bob Lee Swagger a whole lot.

Then I read Dirty White Boys which appeared to have absolutely nothing to do with Point of Impact.

Then I read the third book, Black Light, which tied these two books together in the most amazing way. I was stunned by the final chapter.

The Earl Swagger stories (Bob Lee's father) are just as intriguing and Pale Horse Coming is the greatest "gun" fantasy book ever in my opinion. It's a great story that asks, "What if...the greatest gun handlers of the past (Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, Charles Askins, Ed McGivern, even Audie Murphy) got together under a banner of righteousness and used their skills to shoot it out with the bad guys in one last gigantic, bullet flying scene?"

Hunter is my latest favorite.

His latest had Bob Lee shooting it out at the Bristol NASCAR night race with his .38 Super!
 
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Ok guys, Who wrote this???

The Ballad of Hairlip Lou


Listen guys and I’ll Put you wise,
To a tale untold before,
A tale of guts and pistol buts,
The last of the wild frontier.

No doubt you’ve head of that glorious bird,
The Dangerous Dan McGrew,Or Sam McGee from Tennessee, His story is not new,
But here’s a gink I hardly think you’ve had a chance to meet,
Old Hairlip Lou from Kalamazoo, a character hard to beat.

He was old and bent, and his life near spent,
But the fire of youth burned still,
And his iron nerve remained to serve,
The bidding of his will.

And oft’ at night ‘neath the lone star light,
In the dessert’s open sweep.
Where the winds howl and coyotes growl,
The old man would break and weep.

And clutch the sand with aching hand,
With ever the same old cry,
I’d gladly sell my soul to hell,
But “God, don’t let me die”.

I’m going to relate how he met his fate,
how he died in the heat of his lust,
And I’ll sweat that it’s so, and I ought to know,
I saw him bite the dust.

Bill Reilly’s den was filled with men,
And most couldn’t meet the turn,
Just heathen beaus in human clothes,
With souls of a slimy worm.

There was hophead Ike and lousy Mike,
And Hank the hawk was there,
And dressed in goose with squaw and papoose,
was Big Chief Roaring Bear.

And Filthy Sue and quite a few of her smirking crimson set,
Came down again, to bathe in sin, and take on something wet.

And the door opened wide and there stepped inside,
A stranger that no one knew,
And his roll of kale would have choked a whale,
And he smiled at filthy Sue.

And the music began with a bang and a din,
And each feller grabbed a girl,
And old Hairlip Lou grabbed filthy Sue,
And started in to whirl.

Then the music quit with a bang that would split,
The eardrums of the dead,
For old Hairlip had made a slip,
And fell on the back of his head.

The stranger, well,
you could see that he was mighty sore,
He said “Old man, dance if you can”,
“If you can’t, get off of the floor”.

Old Hairlip rose, and he blowed his nose,
And he coughed, and he spat, and he said,
“Another feller said that once”,
“And now , that feller ‘s dead!

Well slick as a whistle, they grabbed their pistols,
And their guns set up a roar,
That filled the air with hide and hair,
And guts all over the floor.

The stranger, well he was blowed to hell,
He was scattered all over the shack,
One frothy lung from a rafter hung,
And an eyeball stared from a crack.

Filthy sue was done up too,
Crushed like a toy Balloon
In a tawdry heap as if asleep,
With her mug in an old spittoon.

Hairlip Lou was a gob of goo,
And though I waited ‘round,
To search for more, only the core,
Of his Adams Apple Found.

I stepped on the head of a chief that was dead,
I’d known him as feather of goose,
And there by his side where it had squirmed and died,
Lay splattered the little papoose.

Ant there in the hush, and the gore and the slush,
And the slime and the grime and the ooze,
I thought What a Man old Hairlip had been,
And what a killer when tanked up on booze.

So now when you read of the great stampede,
Or Dangerous Dan McGrew,
Or Sam McGee from Tennessee,
Just remember Old Hairlip Lou.

Willie
 
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Funny how things jog the memory! Xtimberman writes of the stories being of childhood, but for me, I suppose, childhood never ended. The morality tales of childhood still touch me today. I get a bit choked up over tales of the outstanding bravery of which we are all capable, when in the defense of good. From the time I was 6 or so years old, my mother would gather all the kids in the farm community outside D.C. and read to us every day for several years. The tales of Zane Grey and Zanesville Ohio. Of Lew Whetzel the great Indian fighter, and all manner of frontier and railroad books.

In 1985, my daughter finished her masters, and I promised her a month in south Baja, fishing, hunting, diving and just plain playing. The reason that I could afford that was that I owned a charter boat there and there was money on account.

One day we were sitting @ the bar in the Los Arcos hotel, and above out head was a picture of Hemingway, Ruark, and several other old legendary sportsmen who had gathered there to fish in black marlin tournaments. I had read them all, and it was an honor to be there!

I have always loved barroom poetry, and have written a bit over the years, along with some stories of the Mexican adventures, but it is the childhood years that have never left me, and I constantly am asked by folks around me if I am ever going to grow up. Odd question to ask of someone who is 75 don’t you think?

Willie
 

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Corey Ford could write as well as anyone I can think of. Those that do not recoganize the name should look him up. "The Lower Forty" stories are classics and the more serious things he wrote are really well done.
 

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Wow, I like James Fenimore Cooper, have read all five of the Leatherstocking Tales, Matt Bracken is good, HG Wells, George Orwell, but mostly I read non-fiction, so I would have to say that it would be Elmer Keith or John Taffin since I read them the most.
 

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Ok guys, Who wrote this???

The Ballad of Hairlip Lou


Listen guys and I’ll Put you wise,
To a tale untold before,
A tale of guts and pistol buts,
The last of the wild frontier.

No doubt you’ve head of that glorious bird,
The Dangerous Dan McGrew,Or Sam McGee from Tennessee, His story is not new,
But here’s a gink I hardly think you’ve had a chance to meet,
Old Hairlip Lou from Kalamazoo, a character hard to beat.

He was old and bent, and his life near spent,
But the fire of youth burned still,
And his iron nerve remained to serve,
The bidding of his will.

And oft’ at night ‘neath the lone star light,
In the dessert’s open sweep.
Where the winds howl and coyotes growl,
The old man would break and weep.

And clutch the sand with aching hand,
With ever the same old cry,
I’d gladly sell my soul to hell,
But “God, don’t let me die”.

I’m going to relate how he met his fate,
how he died in the heat of his lust,
And I’ll sweat that it’s so, and I ought to know,
I saw him bite the dust.

Bill Reilly’s den was filled with men,
And most couldn’t meet the turn,
Just heathen beaus in human clothes,
With souls of a slimy worm.

There was hophead Ike and lousy Mike,
And Hank the hawk was there,
And dressed in goose with squaw and papoose,
was Big Chief Roaring Bear.

And Filthy Sue and quite a few of her smirking crimson set,
Came down again, to bathe in sin, and take on something wet.

And the door opened wide and there stepped inside,
A stranger that no one knew,
And his roll of kale would have choked a whale,
And he smiled at filthy Sue.

And the music began with a bang and a din,
And each feller grabbed a girl,
And old Hairlip Lou grabbed filthy Sue,
And started in to whirl.

Then the music quit with a bang that would split,
The eardrums of the dead,
For old Hairlip had made a slip,
And fell on the back of his head.

The stranger, well,
you could see that he was mighty sore,
He said “Old man, dance if you can”,
“If you can’t, get off of the floor”.

Old Hairlip rose, and he blowed his nose,
And he coughed, and he spat, and he said,
“Another feller said that once”,
“And now , that feller ‘s dead!

Well slick as a whistle, they grabbed their pistols,
And their guns set up a roar,
That filled the air with hide and hair,
And guts all over the floor.

The stranger, well he was blowed to hell,
He was scattered all over the shack,
One frothy lung from a rafter hung,
And an eyeball stared from a crack.

Filthy sue was done up too,
Crushed like a toy Balloon
In a tawdry heap as if asleep,
With her mug in an old spittoon.

Hairlip Lou was a gob of goo,
And though I waited ‘round,
To search for more, only the core,
Of his Adams Apple Found.

I stepped on the head of a chief that was dead,
I’d known him as feather of goose,
And there by his side where it had squirmed and died,
Lay splattered the little papoose.

Ant there in the hush, and the gore and the slush,
And the slime and the grime and the ooze,
I thought What a Man old Hairlip had been,
And what a killer when tanked up on booze.

So now when you read of the great stampede,
Or Dangerous Dan McGrew,
Or Sam McGee from Tennessee,
Just remember Old Hairlip Lou.

Willie
I would like to know who wrote this also.
 
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