What History Taught Me

John Wilder, Writer/Producer

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I fell in love with the West when I first heard the story of my maternal ancestors crossing the Oregon Trail in 1851 to settle the territory that would become Seattle, Washington.

For my money, the best Western ever is Jack Schaefer’s Shane. Close second: A.B. Guthrie Jr.’s The Big Sky.

The problem with many people today is that they are being swept away by technology. Being plugged in is good, but being unplugged is important, too, so that the “still, small voice” inside each of us can be heard. I’m looking right now at a couple of Wrangler statuettes I received from the Cowboy Hall of Fame for Centennial and Return to Lonesome Dove, and thinking that old nighthawk’s lonely job looks pretty good sometimes.

When it comes to Western writers, nobody can touch Elmer Kelton.

My daddy always told me, “Keep your eye on the ball that’s coming to the plate.”

History has taught me to look at the past as the road to the future.

I started collecting baseball autographs in the 1940s and 1950s because it was a time when heroes were heroes.

My mother...

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