The Spirit of the Old West Alive Award

Spirit of the West AwardOne of the perks of being an author is that from time to time people give you awards. And contrary to what you might think, it’s really a humbling experience.

Two of my Luke and Jenny books have won awards. That’s always something because book awards, like any other artistic award, are so very subjective. One judging panel may simply love your book, and another panel may not. This is why I encourage you to keep entering book competitions. You never know when your work will hit the right chord with the right judge, and try not to get too discouraged when you don’t win.

A few months ago I received word that I had been selected for a very special honor — The Spirit of the Old West Alive Award. This was not a competition I had entered, rather I was being honored for my overall work in keeping the history and the culture of the American West alive and well. Talk about an “awe shucks” kind of moment. Then to discover that other recipients of this award included Bob Boze Bell, publisher of True West Magazine, Marshall Trimble, the Official Arizona State Historian, and actors Peter Brown, Hugh O’Brian, and Bruce Dern. Well, that really took my breath away.

I received my award this past August, and my co-recipient was a man by the name of Joe Bethancourt. Joe is a musician and entertainer here in Arizona, and he’s best known for his appearances on the old Wallace & Ladmo television show. Wallace and Ladmo had the longest running local TV show in Arizona history — 35 years.  So to be honored with Joe was a big deal.  And did I mention I’d met Joe once or twice before, and he’s a heck of a nice guy.

So the evening was fun, and humbling, at the same time.  Here I thought of myself as doing my thing, and I didn’t think anyone had really noticed.

So the lesson here today is to do the things that you are passionate about.  Whether it’s cooking, writing, art or music. If you stay at it long enough someone just may take notice.

My thought for the day.