What is the Corral about?

Well, simply, it is a place to round-up ideas, thoughts, comments and anything else you may like to hear about. My original intention was to have a forum but the time to manage such a gathering is really beyond me at this stage. But via email I can gather up your input and get it into the Corral.

So, would you like to make comment?

What is your favorite western story, either as a book or a movie?

Want to tell us why?

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to (regardless if it is a Western or not)?

What do you want to see in future Western stories (grit or romance, maybe both, gunplay or justice, grim reality or happy endings)?

Anything you would like to see in one of my stories?



March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011














What am I currently reading?

The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines by Peter Haining.

Maybe I’m just at that age, but I now find that I’m taking more and more notice of obituaries – and what becomes clear, is the high number of people who have lived an remarkable life with little fuss or bother, especially when it comes to ego or self-promotion.

Recently our local paper, The West Australian, published the obituary of Albert Brown who was born in Nebraska in 1905 and passed away in Illinois aged 105. Yep, that’s right 105, which in itself is pretty incredible. But Albert was also a survivor of the Batann death march of 1942.

‘Doc’ Brown, who was then an Army captain and dentist, was approaching 40 when he and 78,000 prisoners-of-war were forced to trek from Bataan province near Manila to a Japanese PoW camp. 11,000 were to die on the way from wounds, disease, hunger or brutality. When released in 1945 after three yeas of capture, Doc was to weigh just 90 pounds, although he was 6 feet tall. On return to the States, his family doctor was to tell him not to plan on living much past 50 as he was in such bad shape. But I guess Doc Brown always liked a challenge.

But if this story isn’t amazing enough, wait until you hear this. Albert Brown was a godson of Wild West folk hero William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody (1846–1917), who let young Albert sit on his lap and tug on his beard. That such a direct connection to that time was still so recently amongst us was a surprise to me.

Then a couple of days later I listing to a podcast from our national radio archives on the visit to Australia of that wonderful bass-baritone Paul Robeson. I really only knew of Robeson’s talent as a singer and his wonderful rendition of Ol’ Man River from the musical Show Boat. However, this big handsome man with the soft speaking voice was also an All-American football player and law graduate from Columbia. But it was his father William Robeson that also caught my interest, as he was born a slave on a plantation in North Carolina and managed to run away during the Civil War to enlist in the Union Army. But wait for this – Paul Robeson Jr, the only son of Paul Robeson is still alive. So we still have amongst us a man who can say, my grandfather was a slave who fought in the Civil War.

So maybe, just maybe, the degrees of separation to that time of the Old West are not as far removed as we may think.

And finally, for the rugby players, a chance to swing low with the great Paul Robeson at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSb273c9tm4&feature=fvwrel 
Just wonderful.



September 2011

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