many people know that Zane Grey, the famous early-day Western writer, was born
Pearl Zane Gray in Zanesville, Ohio, and attained a degree to practice dentistry.|
His first novel, “Betty Zane,” was self-published in 1903 and took place back
east. After taking a trip out west to Arizona in 1907, he became so impressed
with the scenery and the Western people he began writing Western novels altogether.
He became the favorite Western writer of his time.
Why the last name of
Gray was changed to Grey, we do not know. Contributing greatly to his success,
his wife, Lina, was trained in English at Hunter College and proofread all his
manuscripts before submission. His publishers loved his work as initial submissions
contained no errors.
Grey, who spent many vacations and later years in
his beloved West stayed with the tried and true theme of the Old West where the
good guys always won, the hero got the girl and the bad guys paid the price.
was always present but bad profanity and steamy love scenes were not allowed.
Family and relatives, pride in owning the range land, remaining loyal to the brand
and family roots were proclaimed whenever possible. No matter their beginnings
in life each character had the opportunity to reform and do better in life.
love and appreciation of the beautiful natural scenery in the West showed with
glowing descriptions of the area in almost every chapter.
they were riding alongside the characters as they rode across the ranges. The
wilderness and the deserts were always beautiful in spite of whatever problems
they incurred. Eventually, his writings were featured in 108 films, a record no
other writer has achieved to date.
love for reading can be traced back to grade school and my introduction to Zane
Grey Westerns brought home from the public library by my mother for my father
to read. The first book, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” hooked me good. I venture
I have reread the book a dozen times.|
While my classmates and friends
were reading children’s books I was riding the ranges with Zane Grey. Later, when
they were reading “The Hardy Boys” and “Nancy Drew,” I was already into “Old Yeller,”
“Shane” and “The Virginian.”
I found myself
in trouble once when I listed such books on my classroom reading list. The teacher
did not believe I could read or comprehend these titles. My mother got hot under
the collar, made an appointment with the teacher and insisted she question me
about the books. I passed with flying colors, the teacher apologized and all turned
Still today, after all the years since the first readings of
Zane Grey novels, as I venture over the ranch, terms about the purple sage, grasses
waving in the winds and the white plumes of yucca come to mind, retained from
Zane Grey novels after all this time.
I offer this column in a salute
to a great Western writer who has provided me with countless hours of enjoyment
in my lifetime.
God bless this great talent.
Trew - September
11, 2012 column
"It's All Trew"
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at trewblue@centramedia .net.
For books see delberttrew .com.
Texas | Texas
Ranching | Columns | Texas
|Book Hotels Here