Spring of 2014
Will James died over seven decades ago, in 1942.
During his brief life he arguably influenced and inspired the imagination of more young cowboys and cowgirls, western artists and writers, horsemen, ranchers, and even eastern city slickers, than any western artist or writer then or now.
How did Will James do that? James was a great western artist, but so were his contemporaries, Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington, who had many admiring fans.
Will James took his influence further, however, because he combined his outstanding artistic talent with his natural story telling skills. He paired this unique ability in more than 20 books he wrote and illustrated between 1920 and his death in 1942.
Each of his books, most of which were best sellers in their day, were richly illustrated with dozens of action drawings depicting ranch life and his favorite subject, horses. He wrote about a book a year, and thousands of young readers across the country eagerly waited for each new book to be published and added to their collections. Remington and Russell were great artists, but not prolific authors as Will James grew to be. It's hard to meet a big range cowboy, rancher, or western artist who wasn't influenced by Will James and his great talent through reading his beloved books as a youngster.
Why am I telling you this?
The Will James Society is dedicated to promoting the legacy of Will James so that he can continue to influence the western life style. Will James gave us the tools to do this through his great books.
Your Society is embarking on our most ambitious effort thus far, with a goal of "gifting" some 5,000 Will James books to schools and libraries in the next couple of years. Charlie Nightengale, hook gifting chairman, describes this project in more detail in this publication.
Even with our favorable pricing, this project will cost some $29,000.00. We have a good fund-raising start with donations ranging from $100 to $2,000 from some of our members and Will James fans.
We need the financial support of all Will James fans to complete this fundraising. Please send your tax deductible contribution with the form found in this Cowboys
North & South. With your help, young and older
readers in greater numbers than ever will soon
be reading and enjoying Will James books just as
his fans did during his life time.
PS. If you have any fund raising ideas, or wish
to help with our mission of gifting his books,
I would love to visit with you.
Call me at 913-244-2142.
Thank you for your support, Gary Verhaeghe