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Thursday, October 20, 2011


Meeting Gordon D. Shirreffs at the 1984 Western Writers of America Convention in Branson, Missouri, was a highlight in my young, then 23 year-old life. 

Gordon, along with several Western Writing Old-Timers (I call them that with only the greatest respect and admiration), appeared to have gotten a kick from some fresh-faced kid asking them to regale him with stories about their books and stories. 

It was at the book signing sale table that I found Gordon had two novels in a single volume (Signet books did a lot of those “doubles” back in that time period), one of the stories being “Last Train From Gun Hill”.  He saw my eyes light up as I spotted the book and started to explain that the movie was not based on his book, but rather the opposite.  Didn’t really matter – I was fascinated anyway because I was a fan of the Kirk Douglas/Anthony Quinn movie. 

I, of course, got the book, had it signed, and will one day post the cover here so that you can see it.

Other great things about Gordon: his lovely wife, Alice and his son, Brian.  Oh, and the fact that he told me that he lived near enough to Clint Eastwood that they occasionally played tennis together. 

Gordon’s not with us any longer, but he certainly made several wonderful memories for this now-not-so-young kid. 

Rest easy, Gordy.   

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