Old West Shootouts

Good reads …

Old West Tales

My parents encouraged reading, and I attended schools where there was always a well-stocked library of the things I was interested in — explorers, adventurers, and frontiersmen. They were primarily biographies of such men as William Penn, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone, and others.

Of course, the stories were for young people, so the one thing that stood out about the biographies (although not evident to a fifth-grade reader) was that they were all full of fluff. The writers told the story of a young Washington, who cut down his father’s cherry tree and then later, for no apparent reason, threw a dollar across the Potomac. They wrote about young Ben Franklin, who authored Poor Richard’s Almanac — and the rough-cut John Fremont, who saved California. Missing from these stories was that when Washington was a young man, there weren’t any “dollars” in the American colonies, Franklin plagiarized Shakespeare…

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