I am proud to report that my western caper The Fleecing of Fort Griffin has received the Elmer Kelton Award for best creative work on West Texas from the West Texas Historical Association.
It is always an honor to see your work rewarded but this recognition is especially meaningful. First, it comes from an organization of people dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of West Texas, the land of my birth. The people and the land of West Texas shaped my life and my interests.
Second, it is named for Elmer Kelton, who was a mentor and friend to so many writers over the years. When I lived in Lubbock, I could claim—rightfully or wrongfully—to be the best western writer in town.
Then I moved to San Angelo. I could no longer make that claim. Elmer called San Angelo home for most of his lifetime, and he was voted by Western Writers of America as the greatest western writer of all time.
Elmer was a wonderful writer but an even better person, a true gentleman of life and of letters. I look forward to hanging on my wall an award with his name upon it. Thanks to WTHA for bestowing this honor on me.