- Cowboy actor inspires local Western writer
- From the Idaho State Journal - December 2003
POCATELLO - Clint Walker. Cheyenne Bodie. Anyone 4 years old
in 1958 who had a television in his/her house might not have
known him by name, but probably saw him plenty.
Cowboy actor Clint Walker stood 6-6 and weighed 245 pounds, and
he was the owner of what many claim was the broadest pair of
shoulders in Hollywood. His chest measured 48 inches, his waist
32. This physique, coupled with black hair and eyes of azure
blue, and a voice that could stop a wolf in its tracks, made
Walker the quintessential tough, lone-riding cowboy, the man
every kid wanted to grow up to be. And Clint Walker took the
world of television by storm.
Walker was the star of Warner Brothers' television series, "Cheyenne,"
about a lone gunman who wandered the west righting wrongs. No,
it wasn't a takeoff of Lone Ranger. Cheyenne Bodie, played by
Walker, was a much deeper, more mature character, and partially
because of Walker's careful restructuring of the scripts to make
them as perfect as could be, the show was a raging success not
just with the young crowd, but with the older one as well.
"Cheyenne" was off the air before Pocatello Western
author Kirby Jonas of Pocatello was even born. In fact, Jonas
never saw the show until recent years. But he grew up watching
Walker on many of his Western movies such as "Fort Dobbs"
and "Night of the Grizzly," and Jonas, too, caught
Clint Walker fever. There was, and still is, an undeniable star
quality about the man that touched everyone who worked with him
or knew him. Under the Clint Walker spell, Jonas wrote his first
published novel, "Season of the Vigilante," with Walker
in mind portraying the part of the hero, Tappan Kittery. That
was in 1994, and back then Jonas would not have dared dream of
the events that were to follow.
When Jonas had the chance to meet one of his other childhood
heroes, cowboy actor James Drury, who played television's "The
Virginian," the two became fast and close friends, and Drury
was so impressed by Jonas' work that he spent thousands of dollars
and several weeks narrating four of Jonas' unabridged novels
onto audiotape. The audio books are now available through Jonas
and through the audio producer, Books in Motion.
Drury, a longtime friend of Clint Walker, sent him the audios
as a gift, and Walker's impression was very favorable as well.
After two phone conversations, Walker told Jonas of a plot he
dreamed up, a story involving gold and the Yaqui Indians of Sonora,
Mexico. He asked if Jonas would be interested in such a project.
In truth, as it was Clint Walker he would be working with, Jonas
would have taken on any project, bad or good. But in this case
there was a bonus; Walker's plot idea was fresh and original
Two years later, the product of the union between Clint Walker
and Kirby Jonas is a reality in their newly released novel, "Yaqui
Gold." In short, it is a powerful novel celebrating the
human spirit and will to survive. It is a story about how even
sworn enemies can grow to respect each other, and how easy it
can be to turn from foe to friend, given the right circumstances.
Jonas did huge amounts of research in preparation for putting
this book on the printed page. He delved into desert survival,
of which he has been a student for years; into the natural science
of Mexico; and into the fiercely independent Indian people of
Mexico known as the Yaquis. The Yaquis are famous for being the
last tribe to surrender to the government of their country. Arizona's
Chiricahua Apaches, led last by Geronimo, surrendered in 1886.
But it was not until 1910, that Yaqui rebellion in Sonora, Mexico,
officially ended. Jonas, enthralled by these facts and by the
real characters who led the rebellion, used two of the most well-known
Yaqui leaders as characters in the book.
For anyone who has ever been a fan of novels set in the west
or of any well-written fiction about the struggles for survival,
pick up "Yaqui Gold." It is far from the typical tales
of the old west, which were built in good part on the myth rather
than the reality of the west. Jonas and Walker managed to create
in "Yaqui Gold" a real, vivid world full of the kind
of tough people who really existed in that troubled time and
part of the world.
Sam Coffey and Tom Vanse, the protagonists of the book, are full
of human foibles, yet their strength and courage is what prevails
and that, in the final analysis, is what spawned the myth of
the west. It was not the fearful who came to live in the harsh
environs of the west of the Mississippi. It was real men and
women with strong backbones and the will to survive against all
odds. As in the book, the intruders often clashed with indigenous
people, but as the astute reader will find throughout history,
tough men often gained vast respect for one another, even while
involved in war.
- The exciting new novel from actor
Clint Walker and western author Kirby Jonas is now available.
- Cost: $16.95 plus $3.00
shipping and handling, total $19.95
If you would like
your book to be autographed by the authors, please send
a total of $27.95 plus
$3.00 shipping and
handling, total $30.95.
- To read the first two chapters of
the book, click below: Yaqui
To order Yaqui Gold, include the following
1. A name(names), if you want it personalized
2. How many books you're ordering
2. Your address AND phone number
Yaqui Gold will cost: $16.95 plus $3.00 shipping and handling, total $19.95
If you would like your
book to be autographed by the authors, please send a total
of $27.95 plus
$3.00 shipping and
handling, total $30.95.
To order Yaqui Gold send requests to:
- Howling Wolf Publishing
P.O. Box 1045
Pocatello, ID 83204
- Phone:(208) 233-2708
- Fax: (208) 478-4716
(Business hours 9am-5pm MST)
Book orders ship
out within 2 to 3 business days from the date that the orders