My cousin Sharon McAmis and I live in the same city – Hempstead, Waller County, Texas -- and there the similarities end, for I am a City Mouse and Sharon is a Country Mouse, and our lives could not be any more different. Consider for just a moment a typical day in each of our lives, and see if you agree.

It is probably safe to say that all writers are readers. In my case, I am always mining for great works of art, and in particular, modern westerns with the potential of becoming classics. I had high hopes for Larry McMurtry’s new novel, The Last Kind Words Saloon, but alas, no. Surprisingly my two greatest finds of late are not in my preferred form, the literary novel, but are memoirs: The Boy Kings of Texas (2012) by Domingo Martinez and Breaking Clean (2002) by Judy Blunt.

Remembering that in the U.S. in the 1920’s and 1930’s there was a lot of lawlessness – there had been the criminal bi-products of Prohibition and the abject poverty of the Depression – then it is probably no surprise that many families had some kind of outlaw in their ancestry. There was Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bugsy Moran, Al Capone – and in our family, Tom Petty.