All posts by Eric F. James

Meet Eric James - a Broadway & TV has-been, living in the Kentucky Bluegrass. A former law journalist turned politico, blogger, publisher, author, historian, archivist, & lecturer, Eric continues to build upon the success he earned during his 16 years in show business & 35 years as a pioneer in international real estate brokerage. Presently, Eric is writing Volume II of his five-volume history of the family of Frank & Jesse James- Jesse James Soul Liberty. He also publishes & writes their official web site Stray Leaves, and blog Leaves of Gas.

Time Vault Opened in Oklahoma

The discovery of historical artifacts always is thrilling. My exhumation of the twin children of Jesse James was clearly more poignant than the authentication we conducted of the Zee James Collection, the trunk packed after Jesse’s assassination that was sent to his mother’s family in Stamping Ground, Kentucky for safekeeping, but became a lost treasure itself as 130 years of history passed until the trunk and its contents were rediscovered.

As I periodically return to the original family documents, memoirs, and writings that I draw upon for writing the five volumes of Jesse James Soul Liberty, the tie between my readers with the family of Jesse James, I know, will be authentic and true, and as much a discovery as if they stumbled upon the material artifacts of history themselves.

Because of this, I can relish and enjoy the discovery of others.

This week I learned of a 100 year old time vault that the First English Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, just opened. From 1913 to 2013 the vault laid air tight and water tight beneath the church floor. When finally opened this year in April, the dead long gone again were able to speak. And because of new gramophone technology in the era past, they are heard decades past their time. See the mark at 1:06.00 for the unveiling of the vault and its contents.

Many of us pray to the dead. But fewer of us speak, or sing, or leave gifts for those yet to come. Shouldn’t we be doing a lot more of that?

Selling Off History

Last week, I responded to a question put to historical archivists about Chicago’s Field Museum selling off its rare book collections. I responded, using the recent experience of the Jesse James family:

James Family Trunk from the Zee James Collection - Put Up For Auction

Many think archives and institutions are forever. The fact is, they are subject to failure like anything else. This sad realization hit home in recent years for the family of America’s iconic outlaws, Frank & Jesse James. Their experience prompts the question, is there any reliable custodian for history’s meaningful remainders?

Over the years, the James family had made donations of their property, homes, artifacts and relics. Their trust was placed with Clay County, Missouri and its governing commissioners. As the economic climate fluctuated across decades like the weather, the enthusiasm of the politicians and governing body for preserving the James family’s donation grew stormy. Donations that were made became lost, never to be retrieved.

Claybrook – Former Home of Jesse James’ Daughter

When the historic home of Jesse James’ daughter burned down, and   it was proved the county was responsible and negligent, the county took the insurance money and ran. Instead of restoring the burned hulk, or replicating it, the county announced it intended to use the land for an animal shelter.

What lessons has the James family learned? History is best preserved by those best able to respect and maintain it. Reliance upon government or political bodies is tenuous. Time itself is preservation’s enemy. Money for continual preservation will always be a factor. If at all possible, it is best to self-insulate by self-insurance or underwriting. A specific endowment also may not last or endure forever, but it’s the foundation that gives history improved prospects for survival.

"Sue" the Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Field Museum in Chicago

 

Book Review – Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I

In its book review of Jesse James Soul Liberty, appearing in the James-Younger Gang Journal, March, 2013, reviewer Nancy Samuelson offers considerable praise for the book. Below is her review in its entirety, or DOWNLOAD THE REVIEW.

Book Review: Jesse James Soul Liberty Vol. 1: Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence
By Eric F. James (Cashel Cadence House 2012) 411 pp. hard cover, $36.95

Most longtime outlaw-lawman aficionados have probably read a number of books about Jesse and Frank James. Those books probably included Background of a Bandit by Joan M. Beamis and William E. Pullen and Jesse and Frank James: The Family History by Phillip W. Steele. Chances are you think you know a lot about the family of America’s most famous bandits. However, if you think this– think again– you have seen only the tip of the iceberg. Jesse James fanatics are going to be delighted with all the new material and serious historians are going to wonder how they have missed so much for so long.

The author points out that there is a paradox for the family of Jesse James. America celebrates the out- laws yet has stigmatized the outlaw’s family. This has led to a wall of silence within the family. The author goes on to say that the James family lived lives that are ordinary and the abundance of their accomplishments is more than enough to mitigate any stigma. In fact, the accomplishments of this James family are very impressive. Members of this family have built churches, schools, businesses and communities. They have achieved high professional standards and they have frequently taken a stand for religious, social and personal tolerance.

Early members of the James Family in America left Virginia to avoid religious persecution. In Kentucky they founded churches and helped build communities. Members of the family moved on to Missouri, California, Texas and a number of other states.

Drury Woodson James went to California. He was active in local civic activities and in California politics. Among his descendants were Joan Beamis who battled deaf- ness and helped improve education for the deaf. She also researched family history and compiled extensive family archives. Another descendant of Drury Woodson James was Rev. James Burns Malley. He graduated from Dartmouth, served in the U. S. Navy then graduated from Harvard Law School. Later he became a Jesuit Priest and worked among the poor in Brazil for six years.

Thomas Martin James settled in the Kansas City, Missouri area and he became a very wealthy business- man. He assisted in founding a number of churches in the area. His descendants continued to con- tribute to the educational and business life of the Kansas City community. Vassie James was named for Vassar College. Her mother graduated from the first class of that school. Vassie also attended Vassar. She went on to found two schools in Kansas City. She also managed extensive financial holdings and was an early supporter of what became Planned Parenthood. Her second husband served as the President of the University of Missouri.

Another descendant of Thomas Martin James was Daniel Lewis James Jr. He graduated from Yale University, helped organize labor unions in Oklahoma then went to California and became a well-known writer. He worked with Charlie Chaplin on the script of The Great Dictator. He wrote the plays Bloomer Girl and Winter Soldiers. Bloomer Girl played on Broadway for eighteen months. Daniel Lewis James ran afoul of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. He was blacklisted and suffered a severe professional set back as a result of this.

There is considerable material in this book about Jesse Edward James, the son of Jesse James, and his family. There is also a chapter devoted to Judge James R. Ross. Many of us in the outlaw-lawmen community were acquainted with Judge Ross. However, few of us have known about his stand for civil rights for gays. Judge Ross made the ruling that Disneyland was violating the civil rights of a gay couple when they were expelled from the park for dancing together.

There are a few tidbits of new information in the book about Frank James. There is some mention of the Dalton gang. One member of the James family settled in Coffeyville, Kansas and his son was in one of the banks when the Daltons attempted their dual bank robbery. There is a family story or two about Belle Starr. There is Burton Allen James the Indian Agent and Missouri legislator. There is also John James of Alvarado, Texas who ran a school for Choctaw Indians and numerous other interesting members of the extended James family.

In addition to the individual stories of a number of the James family the book is liberally illustrated with family photos, pictures of family homes and buildings, copies of book jackets, playbills and items from family art collections. There is an appendix which contains a detailed genealogy chart. There are extensive notes and a bibliography. The book is very well written, has an outstanding dust jacket and is
very pleasing in overall presentation.

There are a few editorial glitches such as, the mix up of a couple of names and confusion of relationships between some of the family members. These are very minor and do not detract from the overall content of the book.

In summary, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I did not want to put the book down. It reads a lot like the family sagas written by Howard Fast and John Jakes. However, this is all fact, not fiction. If you have any interest in the James gang and their history this book is a “must read”. And do not skip the notes; there is a wealth of material to be found in the notes and the bibliography is a gold mine. Four more volumes of James family history are to follow this book. I eagerly anticipate all of them.

~ Nancy B. Samuelson

 

Attention James Family…Send me your ears

How can you tell a blood relative of Jesse James? Just look at the ears.

Every few weeks I receive photographic images that are claimed to be of Jesse James, or Frank James, or of the two together. More often, they are pictures of some claimed relative to the James. Most every image can be promptly dismissed. But sometimes, when the physical resemblance appears close, the first thing I look at are the ears.

Zee Mimms, wife of Jesse Woodson James

This is one of my most favorite James family pictures, because it shows very clearly the physical ear definition common to the Jesse James family.

This is Zee Mimms-James, Jesse James’ first cousin & wife. Zee is the granddaughter of John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor, who are the same grandparents to her husband Jesse.

The giveaway in the ear formation of the James is the flattened portion of the ear’s perimeter, and the deep peninsula canal at the bottom inside the ear.

Young Zee Mimms

Evident in this image of a young Zee Mimms is the same ear formation, which will last a lifetime. This formation rarely appears in both ears, but only in one.

This singular ear formation would have been familiar to Jesse James. While no image of Jesse shows he possessed the same ear formation, it is easy from viewing the images of his children that he possessed the formation, too. His children Jesse Edwards James Jr. and Mary Susan Jamesm definitely did.

Jesse Edwards James Jr.
Mary Susan James

Among the Jesse James family, this ear formation appears to be genetic. Generations of the James display the identical ear formation through time to present day.

Robert Franklin James

Frank James, son, Robert Franklin James had one. So did Jesse’s cousin Susan Prudence James-Smith.

Susan Prudence James-Smith

Living members of the Jesse James family display the same ear formation today, even among family who are not directly descended from Jesse James.

Finally, this is J. Mark Beamis. Mark is the son of Joan Malley-Beamis, author of Background of a Bandit, the first genealogy assembled by a James family member. Furthermore, Mark is a second great grandson of Drury Woodson James, Frank and Jesse’s uncle; and he is a third great grandson of John M. James and Mary “Polly” Poor.

J. Mark Beamis

Recently, when these images were presented to living descendants among the James family, some ran quickly to the mirror to check their own ears. What they viewed in the mirror was their James family genetic heritage in full and irrefutable display.

To other James family members, only now becoming aware of this genetic characteristic, I’ll ask you to SEND ME YOUR EARS.

Violence – The American Way

If the overused and undervalued word “awesome” is applicable today, it is regarding the people of Boston. In their cradle of America’s democracy, we witnessed in them the self-reliance patriots dreamed of.

Faced with terror and death, there were no calls to arm each and every person with guns. No citizens grabbed for the weapons of war. There were no trumpets to hate government. There was no fomenting of distrust in leadership. All that was the terrorists’ do.

What the people of Boston seized upon was their self-reliance in government, their self-support for enlightened leadership, and their own militia-style spirit of organized cooperation, that didn’t require their personal guns. In victory’s end, the people of Boston cheered their champions, welcoming them with ever more dedication and support, as they now reassemble in the welling pride of their community.

Boston shows us the American way.

Cartoon by John Cole

Bombers Family Reacts Now as the Jesse James Family Did Then

Watching the uncle of the Boston Marathon bombers defend his family’s honor in the face of the heinous acts of two of his family’s own represents to me a 21st century recreation of what the Jesse James family was faced with 150 years ago. As my book Jesse James Soul Liberty depicts, such stigma can last ad infinitum beyond a century, no matter how good the outlaw’s comprehensive family may be. As the uncle states, “It’s barbarian.”

 

Making (up) History Every Day

It appears the cable channel formerly known as the History Channel is not about to give up manufacturing bogus Jesse James history.

This week I was contacted by a production company seeking to associate Jesse James with the Knights of the Golden Circle. My response was, “Good luck in finding something that doesn’t exist.” I then directed the production company to the numerous posting links below from our blog, Leaves of Gas, for details on my terse response.

A final email to me from the production company stated, “I will go ahead and advise my team not to pursue this myth.” While the production may have given up, I expect to hear from History again no doubt in the future. After all they’re “Making (up) History Every Day.”

RELATED:

Jesse James, Lost Treasure, & the Golden Circle – Where’s the Beef?

The Latest Fake Jesse James History From Ron Pastore

James-Younger Gang Journal Pans Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Bogus History & Fantasy from The History Channel

Jesse James Hidden Treasure: Laughable “science”

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter One

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter Two

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter Three

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Chapter 4 deconstructed

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Chapter 5 Deconstructed

Newman University Promotes Bogus Jesse James Historian Ron Pastore

Jesse James Family Challenges Newman University’s Presentation of Bogus History

Wichita Man Tries to Change History of Jesse James

Wichita’s Jesse James Museum Challenges Jesse James History as We Know It

Area Historian Takes a Fresh Look at Jesse James

Techniques of Jesse James Con Artists

 

 

Why the acclaim for Jesse James?

Yesterday the Neosho Daily News, south the Kansas City in Missouri, ran a blog on its web site asking, “Why the acclaim for Jesse James?” The blog had some nice things to say about the James family’s web site Stray Leaves. But I felt the blog missed the point in answering the question. So I posted a rather lengthy response, that as of today has earned a couple of Likes. You may want to post a response with your ideas yourself.

Jesse James…Meet Pope Francis I

The book jacket for Jesse James Soul Liberty asks, “Think you know Jesse James? Wait until you meet his family.” Readers of this book easily can grasp why the Jesse James family is excited about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, who now is Pope Francis I.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio S. J. - Pope Francis I

 

Jesuits teach and practice a street-savvy concern for the disadvantaged and the poor. That not only is evident in the biography of Jesse James’ cousin, Fr. James Burns Malley S.J., as Chapter 10 tells his life’s story as a Jesuit, it also is evident throughout the book among the stories of others in the James family.

While encouraging education, Jesuits foster critical thinking, the kind that not only is necessary to challenge, address, and remedy the ills of society, but also the kind to move society forward as a result.

From the Enlightenment of the American Revolution, through each James pioneer who sought to establish his own “Athens of the West,” to Thomas Martin James who aspired to “the highest mental culture” – as he spiffed loans to Frank James behind his store –  the James family has demonstrated a solid record of cultivating education, intelligence, and mental acuity in service to those of lesser means.

The family of Frank and Jesse James knows that the ills of the world cannot be cured without being in the street. Like Jesse James, they have been there, and they always will be there. If not specifically like Jesse James, then in their own way. Among the James family, Jesse James’ soul liberty always will be self-defined.

Like the Jesuit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who rode the subways of Argentina to the Papacy of the Vatican where the real work begins, of the James can be expected the unexpected.

Obituary – John J. “Jack” Koblas

 

John J. “Jack” Koblas died on March 8, 2013 in Minneapolis at age 70. He was a native of Minnesota and spent most of his life in that state. He is survived by children Stacy, Stephanie, John and Sarah; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild and close friend, Janet Goodman. Jack suffered for some years from Parkinson’s Disease. His death followed a recent stroke and a heart attack.

Jack was one of the most dynamic and prolific writers of our time. He was a noted authority on the James-Younger Gang and the Northfield, Minnesota Bank Robbery and had written eight books on those subjects. In addition to the James-Younger Gang, he also wrote about a several other outlaws, including the train robbing Sontag Brothers, Ma Barker and her boys, John Dillinger, and lifelong criminal Pat Crowe. These books have all been received with high acclaim and earned Jack several awards. He won three Perry awards, an award given annually by the national James-Younger Gang organization for excellence in research and writing. He also received the John Newman Edwards award and the Charlie Pitts award.

In addition to outlaw-lawman history Jack was very well versed in Minnesota, Civil War and Indian War history. He had written six books on the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis.  His book, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: Toward the Summit, was a Minnesota Book award nominee in 1966. His credits for Civil War and Indian War history include, J. J. Dickison: Swamp Fox of the Confederacy and a trilogy about the Sioux Uprising during the Civil War, Let Them Eat Grass. Titles of those volumes are: Smoke, Fire, and Ashes. Among his other works there is a series of historical mysteries for young adults. These books featured Doc & Tweed, two fourteen-year-olds who solve mysteries and in the process learn a lot about history.

Jack was the author of 70 books, several screenplays, and over 500 short stories, articles and a vast amount of poetry. He was well-known for his tireless research. He often said that history is full of myths and only by doing in-depth research can you get to the heart of the matter. His philosophy about research on historical topics was to throw out everything you have been taught and look for yourself.

In addition to his writing skills Jack was also an accomplished musician and lecturer. He trained for years as a concert pianist before converting to Rock and Roll. He played in a band in high school and later performed with a professional band, “The Magpies”. This band was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Jack was an outstanding lecturer and appeared, usually in period costume, before outlaw-lawman groups, civic clubs, libraries, etc. all over the country. He conducted bus and walking tours for various groups about F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Jesse James, Ma Barker and other famous or infamous people. He appeared on national television programs such as “Good Morning America” and “CBS Sunday Morning”. He served as a consultant and scriptwriter for a number of television documentaries on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, PBS American Experience and independent film companies.

Frank Younger, John Koblas, Eric James – Northfield (MN) Historical Society

Jack was active in a number of historical and outlaw-lawman organizations. He was president of the national James-Younger Gang for four years and served as a board member and co-editor for that organization for a number of years. He was also a longtime member of the National Outlaw-Lawman History Association (NOLA).

Jack was a highly respected and well-liked author and historian. His contributions will be appreciated by the historical and literary community for many years to come.

A memorial was held on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm in the Washburn-McReavy Hillside Chapel in Minneapolis. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jack Koblas Memorial Fund. These should be sent to Janet Goodman, 5320 47th Ave. S, Minneapolis MN 55417-2314

 

James-Younger Gang Journal Raves About the Book, Jesse James Soul Liberty

I got a sneak preview of the book review for Jesse James Soul Liberty back on January 7, but had to wait patiently until it was published in the James Younger Gang Journal. Now that it’s been published in the Journal, as our James cousin Jacqueline Simmonds, who is also an author & publisher, would say…  SQUEEE!

Jesse James Soul Liberty Vol. 1: Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence By Eric F. James (Cashel Cadence House 2012) 411 pp. hard cover, $36.95

Most longtime outlaw-lawman aficionados have probably read a number of books about Jesse and Frank James. Those books probably included Background of a Bandit by Joan M. Beamis and William E. Pullen and Jesse and Frank James: The Family History by Phillip W. Steele. Chances are you think you know a lot about the family of America’s most famous bandits. However, if you think this– think again– you have seen only the tip of the iceberg. Jesse James fanatics are going to be delighted with all the new material and serious historians are going to wonder how they have missed so much for so long.

The author points out that there is a paradox for the family of Jesse James. America celebrates the outlaws yet has stigmatized the outlaw’s family. This has led to a wall of silence within the family. The author goes on to say that the James family lived lives that are ordinary and the abundance of their accomplishments is more than enough to mitigate any stigma. In fact, the accomplishments of this James family are very impressive. Members of this family have built churches, schools, businesses and communities. They have achieved high professional standards and they have frequently taken a stand for religious, social and personal tolerance.

Early members of the James Family in America left Virginia to avoid religious persecution. In Kentucky they founded churches and helped build communities. Members of the family moved on to Missouri, California, Texas and a number of other states.

Drury Woodson James went to California. He was active in local civic activities and in California politics. Among his descendants were Joan Beamis who battled deafness and helped improve education for the deaf. She also researched family history and compiled extensive family archives. Another descendant of Drury Woodson James was Rev. James Burns Malley. He graduated from Dartmouth, served in the U. S. Navy then graduated from Harvard Law School. Later he became a Jesuit Priest and worked among the poor in Brazil for six years.

Thomas Martin James settled in the Kansas City, Missouri area and he became a very wealthy business- man. He assisted in founding a number of churches in the area. His descendants continued to con- tribute to the educational and business life of the Kansas City community. Vassie James was named for Vassar College. Her mother graduated from the first class of that school. Vassie also attended Vassar. She went on to found two schools in Kansas City. She also managed extensive financial holdings and was an early supporter of what became Planned Parenthood. Her second husband served as the President of the University of Missouri. Another descendant of Thomas Martin James was Daniel Lewis James Jr. He graduated from Yale University, helped organize labor unions in Oklahoma then went to California and became a well-known writer. He worked with Charlie Chaplin on the script of The Great Dictator. He wrote the plays Bloomer Girl and Winter Soldiers. Bloomer Girl played on Broadway for eighteen months. Daniel Lewis James ran afoul of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. He was blacklisted and suffered a severe professional set back as a result of this.

There is considerable material in this book about Jesse Edward James, the son of Jesse James, and his family. There is also a chapter devoted to Judge James R. Ross. Many of us in the outlaw-lawmen community were acquainted with Judge Ross. However, few of us have known about his stand for civ- il rights for gays. Judge Ross made the ruling that Disneyland was violating the civil rights of a gay couple when they were expelled from the park for dancing together.

There are a few tidbits of new information in the book about Frank James. There is some mention of the Dalton gang. One member of the James family settled in Coffeyville, Kansas and his son was in one of the banks when the Daltons attempted their dual bank robbery. There is a family story or two about Belle Starr. There is Burton Allen James the Indian Agent and Missouri legislator. There is also John James of Alvarado, Texas who ran a school for Choctaw Indians and numerous other interesting members of the extended James family.

In addition to the individual stories of a number of the James family the book is liberally illustrated with family photos, pictures of family homes and buildings, copies of book jackets, playbills and items from family art collections. There is an appendix which contains a detailed genealogy chart. There are extensive notes and a bibliography. The book is very well written, has an outstanding dust jacket and is very pleasing in overall presentation.

There are a few editorial glitches such as, the mix up of a couple of names and confusion of relation ships between some of the family members. These are very minor and do not detract from the overall con tent of the book.

In summary, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I did not want to put the book down. It reads a lot like the family sagas written by Howard Fast and John Jakes. However, this is all fact, not fiction. If you have any interest in the James gang and their history this book is a “must read”. And do not skip the notes; there is a wealth of material to be found in the notes and the bibliography is a gold mine. Four more volumes of James family history are to follow this book. I eagerly anticipate all of them.

~ Nancy B. Samuelson

Remembering Jesse James Author John Koblas

Two days ago on my blog at True West magazine, I wrote about the passing of my good friend Jack Koblas, who finally succumbed to his three year battle with Parkinsons. Jack did not go without a fight.

Most people who know Jack’s books about Jesse James don’t know he was a prodigious author outside the Jess James genre. In the past year, Jack published a book of poetry. Our joke was, he was gathering together all the lovely women he had wooed with his poems, hoping that if his time came one might write a poem for him.

As recently as six weeks ago, Jack was still working to produce another Jesse James book, about Frank’s James and Col. Jack Chinn. Jack had found material that led him to believe that some in Jack Chinn’s Kentucky family had been working out of Jack’s home state of Minnesota through the ruse of a business. I was highly skeptical. Jack sent me his entire research file. I would have liked nothing better than for Jack to make a final “discovery” before he left. Painfully, I had to tell him I saw nothing familiar in his research. I knew Jack was disappointed, but I also knew Jack wasn’t about to quit. I heard he was shopping his research among others who might be able to confirm it.

I first met Jack about 15 years ago. He was in San Diego, writing one of his books. Thurston James, publisher at the time of the James-Younger Gang Journal, and I went to spend the day with him. Jack kept us waiting almost two hours.  When he appeared he said he had been in discussion with his publisher, North Star Press, about his forthcoming book.

During the day, I asked Jack how he wrote. He said, he sat at his computer in the morning, and kept researching and writing from there, until he could do it no longer. As I learned later, that was pretty much how Jack lived, and now died, too.

If you’re ever in Minnesota, check out the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. You’ll find Jack there, too. For many years, Jack was a musician. His doo-wop group The Magpies earned their award over many years. Jack could be counted on for music at any meeting of the James-Younger Gang.

Anyone who heard Jack speak about Jesse James or about Jack’s books always came away knowing there was nothing sham about him, about what he stated, or about his favorite topic. Jack was married to facts and the truths as he found them, even the most inconvenient of truths, like the girl friend who tried to murder Jack. Facts were facts, and facts alone, for dear Jack.

About a year ago when we last visited together here in Kentucky, we discussed his precarious hold on life. He had no illusions. He talked at length about his daughters warmly. Their love had sustained him through every trial of his life.  And we talked about his “other children,” his books. His daughters were his favorite among his family. His Jesse James books were his favorite among his “other children.” Anything and everyone else fell far behind.

I asked Jack, “When you finally know all the Jesse James secrets, will you let me know somehow?” “Are you kidding?” he shouted. “You’re on your own,” he said. He shrugged, and  then concluded, “That’s life!”

 

 

 

Second Book Award Nomination for Jesse James Soul Liberty

MORE GOOD NEWS…Jesse James Soul Liberty has received its second book award nomination.

Previously, the book was nominated for the Spur Award, given by the Western Writers of America. See the previous announcement.

This nomination  is for the best non-fiction biography, given by the Wild West History Association.

Television viewers are well acquainted with WWHA’s members. Many of them are sought-after authorities by cable TV channels such as History and Discovery.  Look forward to the final announcement of winners this summer.