Wednesday, June 1, 2011
WILL HENRY'S WEST
If you speak the name of Will Henry amongst a group of Western Writers, you will very possibly notice a hushed respect fall over the crowd for the man.
Although Mr. Henry is no longer with us, he is still very much revered as being top of the line. In fact, just the mention of his book on Tom Horn prompted one writer to remark, “I think Will Henry really is Tom Horn”.
The University of Texas at El Paso Press, released “Will Henry’s West” in time to be on the sale tables for the 1984 Western Writers of America convention, which I had the great privilege to attend.
A man who would become a dear friend, Dale Walker, packaged and edited “Will Henry’s West” which must have been no small feat. Mr. Henry (real name: Henry “Heck” Allen) used some of the most beautiful, effective, authentic Western prose you will ever read. No wonder that he - like Richard Matheson - is legend.
I never got to meet Mr. Allen, but I was briefly in touch with him and he was kind enough to sign FROM WHERE THE SUN NOW STANDS for me via the postal service. He related an interesting story about how he kept getting Louis L’Amour’s royalty checks by mistake because someone in the Bantam Books office kept confusing the two for each other.
If you can find this book, it really is an essential addition to your collection of Western fiction. You might contact UTEP to see if they still have any copies still for sale. I’ve proudly displayed my own copy of “Will Henry’s West” on a bookshelf for every one of those 27 years. It looks right at home there.