RARA-AVIS: Southwest Month

From: Bill Crider ( bcrider@houston.rr.com)
Date: 04 Apr 2004

Here's a little story of three Southwest writers to kick of Southwest Month a little late. Back in the late 1970s there was a mystery fanzine called The Mystery FANcier published by a fellow named Guy Townsend. Somehow, James Reasoner, Joe Lansdale, and I all became subscribers. (I don't remember now how I heard about the zine, much less how the other two guys heard about it.)

I saw Joe's name attached to several letters in the zine, and when I went to the AggieCon for the first time in 1979, I saw him sitting on a bench with his wife, Karen. (I knew it was him because he had on his name tag.) I introduced myself, told him I'd seen his letters, and we started a conversation that's lasted for 25 years now, off and on. In fact, we were at this year's AggieCon just last weekend and probably sitting on that same couch. We used to stay up with a bunch of others and talk until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now it's a struggle to make it until midnight, but we still have a lot of fun.

James Reasoner (and he can correct me if I'm wrong about this) saw my name and address in The Mystery FANcier and noticed that I was living at that time in Brownwood. He had relatives in Brown County, and it wasn't long before we were exchanging letters. Before too long we'd met in person, and I still have a photograph of James, me, and my kids standing at the grave of Robert E. Howard in Brownwood's Greenleaf Cemetery. James's father sold TVs and VCRs, and I bought my first VCR from him. James delivered it and installed it. James and I, like Joe and I, have been friends ever since those days.

I paid for the VCR with my half of the advance from THE COYOTE CONNECTION, a Nick Carter book I wrote with a friend (Jack Davis). It was my first novel, and it came out in January 1981, at about the same time Joe's ACT OF LOVE and James's TEXAS WIND hit the stands. (Note for our younger readers: in those days a top-of-the-line VCR with a wired remote ran about $1000.)

Having rambled on for longer than I'd intended, I'll shut this down and sit back to see what Southwestern books turn up for discussion this month.

Bill Crider

# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Apr 2004 EDT