Things got western for me around the time when most people have an affair, quit a job, or pick up and move. Instead, I started reading and watching westerns. Didn’t matter what kind: lurid pulps or supermarket romances, celluloid classics or far-out frontier flicks. As much as I knew the tragic history of western expansion, I got lost in the West as a place of epic possibility.
And thus a modern buckaroo was born. Several years on, I’ve traveled extensively throughout the West, enough to know the difference between a real cowboy and a poser, and to appreciate them both. I’ve devoted myself to studying the western in all its forms and permutations, as geeky as that sounds. I have more western kitsch than is legal, a library covering historical commentary to cowboy porn, and, at last count, 29 pairs of cowboy boots and 342 paperback westerns (most of which I’ve read). Can there be such a thing as a degree in western mythology?
In between collecting, I’m a writer and artist whose themes dip into the genre’s style, and there are some published stories out there in the cyberspace frontier and some coming soon to bookstores near you. You might catch me at a reading in NYC, where I’ve featured with many fine writers. But you won’t recognize me. On the streets of NYC, I’m just me, an adopted Brooklynite who long ago swore off riding wild horses in favor of the milder pursuits of teaching and copyediting. “Bucko” is the blogger, the drifter through the Wild Western Web, the mysterious masked stranger whose gimlet gaze sees all, whose buckskinned frame rides his (or her) steed with lithe power, whose…OK, OK, over-the-top, sorry.
Until we meet in person, happy virtual trails to you.