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Mr. Myers, who has turned out a number of yarns and studies of the old west, has tape-recorded and edited with a light rein some twenty-four reminiscences of oldsters who grew up in the days of gunslinging and saddle galluses. Fortunately Mr. Myers seems to have enjoyed the listening as much as the old timers enjoyed the telling for he allows them to ramble away on all sorts of personalities they have known; brag a little about hardship and hard work; recite cherished beefs and remembered coups de grace in saloons, along with snappy sallies. The less literate are generously ceded their ""I seed's"" and ""I knowed's."" Although the professions vary--there are ranchers, newsmen, cowpunchers, lawyers, teachers, rodeo riders--the general impression of the Old West is of a piece: extravagant, brutal, hard driving, with a careful code of its own. More than one interviewee stresses that in them days you didn't ask a man his name, and many still retain nicknames. Wily-to-ingenuous, these recitals have the ring of authenticity in spirit if not always, probably, in faultless fact, and a strong personal flavor. Fine for all Western buffs and students of the period.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1969
Publisher: Prentice-Hall