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The Features, Season 1 - Louis & Beau L'Amour - Ep 3

HISTORY WORTH SAVING - He's the most powerful man in the west! Listen in as Louis L'Amour's son Beau L'Amour talks about his father's impact on American culture and the release of his first and (for now) last book No Traveler Returns.


Slide show for this episode below. Images courtesy of Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures



Podcast Download: Louis & Beau L'Amour - Episode 3


Podcast Transcript

History Worth Saving - Episode 3 - Louis & Beau L'Amour


MJ VO 1:

HE’S THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WEST, ALTHOUGH HE WAS NEVER IN A GUN FIGHT, NEVER WORE A BADGE OR PUNCHED CATTLE, HE DID SOMETHING MUCH GREATER - HE CREATED THE CULTURE - THE CULTURE OF THE AMERICAN WILD WEST.

TODAY’S COWBOY CULTURE WAS IN LARGE PART CREATED BY ONE MAN - AN AUTHOR NONE THE LESS - PERHAPS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN AUTHOR EVER TO PICK UP A PEN.

NOW I DON’T CARE WHAT LITERARY CRITICS AND SCHOLARS HAVE TO SAY, WHEN FOREIGNERS THINK OF AMERICAns THEY OFTEN THINK OF THE COWBOY - RUGGED , JUST A PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY. THESE QUALITIES WERE MADE FAMOUS TO THE MODERN WORLD THROUGH THE CHARACTERS OF THIS AUTHOR.

I CAUGHT UP WITH HIS SON WHO IS ALSO AN ACCOMPLISHED WRITER, FILMMAKER, PUBLISHER AND PRODUCER AND NOW SELF DESCRIBED CARETAKER OF HIS FATHER’S LITERARY EMPIRE. BEAU HAS TAKEN THE PROVERBIALLY REIGNS AND IS DOING HIS BEST TO INSURE THE SUNSETS ARE STILL RIDEABLE AND THE DUSTY TRAILS OF HIS FATHER’S MASTERPIECES REMAIN RELEVANT.

SURE, BEAU IS WATCHING OVER HIS FATHER’S LITERARY LEGACY BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE’S BECOME THE GUARDIAN OF THE CULTURE, THE CULTURE HIS FATHER CREATED, AND IN MANY WAYS A CULTURE THAT HAS NO IDEA THE IMPACT HIS FATHER HAS HAD UPON IT.

AND THAT MAKES LOUISE L’AMOUR HISTORY WORTH SAVING.



Father and son. Beau & Louis L'Amour

BL SOT 1:

“I'm not necessarily somebody who's got much of an opinion on the genre or the meaning of things. I'm more of the mechanic and the historian of Western literature.”

BL SOT 2:

“Dad's magic wasn't that he was a writer in the classic years of the Western, which a lot of people would think were maybe the 1950s, although he was writing at that time. His popularity took the Western from kind of square or establishment culture and into counterculture. So he kind of transitioned the Western into a place where it was maybe-- I don't know, just acceptable and interesting to nearly everybody. He's important to me because he's my dad [laughter]. I don't necessarily know why other people would think that. As long as you enjoy-- as long as you enjoy what he wrote.”

MJ VO 2:


IT WASN’T UNTIL THE NINETEEN SIXTIES WHEN THE HIPPY MET THE COWBOY AND REALIZED THEY WERE FRIENDS THAT LOUISE LA’MOUR’S CAREER REACHED A FULL GALLOP.


HIS SUCCESS AS A POWERHOUSE WRITER DIDN’T HAPPEN EARLY ON LIKE MOST PEOPLE imagine. BUT THATS WHAT MAKES LOUIS LAMOUR SO INTERESTING, HE DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT STRANGERS - HE WAS A LIVING BRIDGE BETWEEN THE MODERN WORLD AND THE AMERICAN WEST.

HE WENT OUT OF HIS WAY EARLY ON TO GET TO KNOW THE OLD TIMERS, THE OUTLAWS, IN-LAWS AND COWPOKES HE WROTE ABOUT - HE KNeW. HE KNEW THE LIFE ABOARD THE TRAMP STEAMERS OF ASIA, BECAUSE HE’D BEEN A CREW MEMBER AND HE KNEW THE HOBO’S BECAUSE HE’D ONCE RIDDEN THE RAILS HIMSELF LOOKING FOR WORK. ALONG THE WAY, HE’D LIVED ALONE WATCHING OVER GOLD MINES, EVEN TOOK A TURN IN THE RING AS A PRIZE FIGHTER - BUT MOST OF ALL HE WANTED TO WRITE.


AND WRITE HE DID - ESPECIALLY BEFORE WORLD WAR TWO. HIS FIRST ATTEMPT AT A NOVEL IS BOOK CALLED “NO TRAVELLER RETURNS”. IT DEBUTED IN NOVEMBER OF 2018 SOME EIGHTY ONE YEARS AFTER HE STARTED IT AND TELLS THE STORY OF A CREW SAILING THE HIGH SEAS IN THE EARLY 1900’S, HAULING A SHIP FULL OF VOLATILE CHEMICALS ACROSS THE PACIFIC TO THE REMOTE AREAS OF ASIA.


BEAU BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO HIS DAD’S FIRST PROJECT AND COMPLETED THE MANUSCRIPT - MAKING THIS LOST TREASURE NOW A FINISHED WORK AND IT’S LIKE NOTHING ELSE LOUIS LAMOUR EVER WROTE. IT’S INCREDIBLY COMPLEX, AN AMBITIOUS BOOK, EVEN BY TODAY’S STANDARDS. IT MAKES YOU WONDER WHAT IF. IF WORLD WAR TWO HADN’T COME, LOUIS LAMOUR’S WRITING CAREER MIGHT HAVE TAKEN A DIFFERENT TURN.


BL SOT 3:


BL: But the amazing thing was the vision that he had of it. I mean he wrote this novel between 1937 and 1942. So he wrote it in pieces with a lot of short stories written in between because he could make money off of the short stories. He did not write another novel until 1949 and then he didn't make —


MJ: Because he was winning a world war at that point.


BL: There was a world war in there but then after that there was a very hard kind of slog through the late days of the pulp magazine business. And then there was definitely a period of kind of picking himself up by his bootstraps writing Westerns in a very competitive marketplace.



Beau L'Amour with some of his father's favorite typewriters.

MJ VO 3:


BUT BACK TO NO TRAVELER RETURNS - HIS FIRST BOOK, AND FOR NOW, THE LAST, IT’S SO STRIKINGLY DIFFERENT EVERY LAMOUR FAN SHOULD READ IT, IT’S A WINDOW INTO THE SOUL OF THE MAN WHO’S GIVEN US SO MUCH OF OUR CULTURE. IT’S THE PREQUEL OF THE SACKETS, OR HONDO, IT’S A LOOK INTO HIS LIFE BEFORE HE WON THE WEST.


BL SOT 4:


It's a very, very different book, so I found it really challenging in that way. But I think the things that I like about it the most are it's a serious window into my dad's past, okay? So there's a lot of autobiographical details in it whether they're actual details from his life or just the sense of what he was thinking about at the time, and the sense of who he was at the time. So I find that interesting because it's an interesting personal view of him. The thing that's in there for the real serious fan is a lot of information on Louie and his thoughts and his feelings at the time in the early days of his career. It's obviously not a western and a western fan may not like it and that's fine. I mean, dad enjoyed the idea of writing in multiple genres. He had a great time writing in all kinds of different genres during his pulp magazine days, and then he felt a little trapped in the western genre after he had done it well for a while. I think he always wanted to keep writing westerns but he definitely wanted to do other things, too, and so if some of those other things have to come out, well, 30 years after his career, then that's fine. This one is a very different book, and it's just a whole other side of him.


BL SOT 4A: THE THING THAT’S IN THERE FOR THE REAL FAN...OTHER SIDE OF HIM.


MJ VO 4:


SO AFTER WORLD WAR TWO LOUIS LAMOUR’S WRITING CAREER WAS ALL BUT OVER. HE WAS STARTING AGAIN FROM SCRATCH. THE COMPANIES HE WROTE FOR WERE NEARLY OUT OF BUSINESS. THE PULP MARKET HAD DRIED UP AND THE PEOPLE HE’D KNOWN IN THE PUBLISHING GAME WERE OUT OF IT.


BL SOT 5:


Dad was in a lot of ways the quintessential American man. He was a very masculine guy and he was a very gentle, kind of wonderful father. He was definitely a self-made man in many ways, and he was a guy who was just focused like a laser on what he wanted to do and the vision he had for himself. And if you look carefully at his career, one of the things that's important for people to recognize is he really-- I mean people project the things they know about him -- best selling writing, all this kind of stuff -- on his entire career. And that couldn't be further from the truth. He only really became a serious success in the last decade of his life.


MJ VO 5:


BUT THAT LASER FOCUS PAID OFF WHEN THE DISCOVERY OF A TINY STRIP OF GLUE WAS MADE. YEP, IN MANY WAYS THE WEST WASN’T WON BY WINCHESTER, IT WAS WON WHEN AN EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT WAY WAS DEVELOPED TO BIND PAPERBACK BOOKS.


BL SOT 6:


MJ: Just holding it in my hand here, this little line of glue saved your dad's life, did it not? The invention of the paperback. I mean it changed everything for your family.


BL: You’re very astute about the glue. That's a huge part of paperback.


MJ: It was the mystery of how to print an affordable book that didn't need to be professionally bound. That's the secret.


BL: There were actually experiments to try and make that work with the glue and the binding and everything else for a couple of decades prior to the time when they actually got something that worked. But yeah. Paperbacks were a mixed blessing in my dad's life. I mean he definitely made his fortune off of them. And if you want to talk about the quintessential something, my dad was the quintessential paperback writer. He was the guy that-- paperbacks made his career and he may have contributed enormously to the paperback format but to a great extent, they put the pulp magazines out of business. And the coming of the paperback forced my dad to evolve, whether he liked it or not. From a guy who could knock out a bunch of pulp stories and have just enough money to feed himself because of that, into a guy that finally started making serious money writing paperbacks. But you know, he had to switch because the pulps went out of business. It's also a true thing that in the late part of his pulp magazine career, he got paid between 1 and 2 cents a word for a pulp magazine story. When he started writing paperbacks, he made 1 to 2 cents a book. So, obviously a lot less—


MJ: Right. A big difference.


BL: —but no upper limit. As many books as-- when he had finished writing that, let's say, 10,000 word pulp magazine story, that's all he's going to get paid for. But with a book, he could write a book-- books he wrote in the early 1950s are still selling and thank god we're making more than 2 cents a book. But in the early days, there wasn't an awful lot of money in paperbacks.


MJ VO 6:


TO SAY THE PAPERBACK INDUSTRY MADE LOUIS LAMOUR MIGHT BE BETTER STATED - LOUIS LAMOUR MADE THE PAPERBACK INDUSTRY. PUBLISHERS DIDN’T THINK MIDDLE CLASS AMERICAN’S WOULD READ - AND THE UPPER CLASS CERTAINLY WOULDN’T READ CHEAPLY BOUND PAPERBACKS - BUT THEY DID. THEY REALLY DID - AND LOUISE NEVER STOPPED ANSWERING THE CALL OF HIS READERS. HE BECAME A MACHINE - A STORY MACHINE.


BL SOT 7:


MJ: He has written enough for two lifetimes, both his own and now yours. I want to talk about this a little bit because I'm sure that it was tough-- a young man wanting to set the world on fire. How did you become okay with being beau l’Amour and being an author alongside your dad?


BL: I kind of grew into it. I'm not sure I ever really planned it. I started out working in the motion picture business. And I did that on and off, doing all kinds of stuff from driving trucks and conforming soundtracks in the middle of the night. I won't go into the technical description of what that is, but it's basically one of the completely mindless jobs that has to be done to get a movie ready to go. And after kind of starting and stopping and things like that, I ended up-- the last thing I did was a cable movie, and I wrote the script and produced it. So I sort of—


MJ: Which one was that? That was The Diamond of Jeru?


BL: The Diamond of Jeru. Yeah. And so—


MJ: Which, by the way, I tried to download so I'd have it in my arsenal of tricks here. And it was only available on the airline in Hindi or something else. And it was converted from YouTube. So you need to look into that because they're stealing it, somehow.


BL: It’s very popular in India—


MJ: Well, apparently so. [laughter]


BL: No. It's true. It's very popular in India, and it's very popular in Turkey and Spain.


MJ: Well, there you know.


BL: I mean, we're seventeen years later. So you know who likes it by who's still playing it at that point. Yeah. It's funny. I get about $170 dollars a year from those markets. But, so anyway, I started working in film. And probably midway through my film career-- I had been working for a production company, and we just-- in the year that I worked there, I think we did something like 16 or 17 movies. And I was just-- I'm not really credited on any of them. I was just production company staff, so I did everything on all those films. I mean, I just worked on one, I worked on another. I did different kinds of jobs. And I got done with that, with that job, and I kind of came home, and I went face first into bed, and I slept for a week. Because this typical movie business is 14, 16 hours a day. And I didn't really know how to get myself energized to restart and find another job. And a couple weeks later, my dad said that he had some technical issues that he wanted me look into in the Louis l’amour audio drama. So back in those, we were doing-- our audio publishing program was an awful lot like old time radio shows, and—


MJ: And the Foley Artist and everything. And the stuff that I heard, it's excellent.


BL: Yes. And so, he wanted me to get in there and supervise that. And he said, "You're the guy that knows acting and directing and the technical side of these things." Because I'd been a production mixer on a couple of-- location mixer on a couple of movies. And so, I started doing that, and then that led to adapting and supervising other writers adapting the scripts to those things. So it's a lot like doing a movie script. People look at it and kind of go, "Oh. It's the same thing as the short story, but no, it's not. Those stories are completely adapted, just like a film would be. And so, I started sneaking into working with his work in ways that were kind of painless and in ways where I didn't even recognize that I was sort of training up to eventually do this kind of thing. And then, eventually, my dad passed away and I, in looking at what my mom and I were confronted with when that happened, so she runs the financial side of the business and I kind of aesthetic side of the business, or the artistic side of the business. And I just had to figure out what the future was.


Without my dad to write a new book every year, or several new books every year, one of the things that I wanted to do was kind of revamp the entire program and, you know, new covers, new copy, new ways of thinking about Louis L'Amour and presenting Louis L'Amour to the public. And so I did a tremendous amount of work with Bantam Books, now Random House. And I was in New York six or eight times a year for many years, working with them. And so, I don't necessarily consider myself to be a writer. I kind of think of myself as just somebody who's in the publishing business and does what's necessary. Well, and this comes back to a line that the-- so the motion picture production company that I got so exhausted working for, the gentleman that ran that company, when I first came to work there, and he said, "You're going to be an assistant producer, assistant to the producer, eventually producer." And I said, "Well, tell me exactly what does a producer do?" And he kind of looked at me for a second and he said, "Whatever it takes." Okay [laughter]?


MJ: Which is so true and people don't realize it. I mean, this is not a glamorous business. It's a business where you do what you have to do.


BL: Right, and that can be literally anything. I mean, in the motion picture business, the producer is the one guy who can kind of invade the space of every [yin-yin?] on the set and get away with it. The producer does whatever is necessary. And that's the attitude that I have taken in managing my dad's career and managing my dad's estate and materials, is whatever has to be done, I'll do it. I'll do audios, I'll do movies, I'll do a graphic novel, I'll rewrite an old novel. This work that I did on "No Traveller Returns" is not new to me. I started editing, revising, rewriting, again, whatever it takes, depending on the requirements of the story. Back in the days, not very long after my dad passed away when we were releasing books of short stories, many of which had never been published, and so I worked on quite a few of those short stories, sometimes doing more, sometimes doing less. It's a strange thing that my goal was always to allow the story to become everything that I think he would have wanted it to be. Sometimes you hit a short story that's no so great and that it's kind of clear he didn't really have incredible goals for. And in those cases, it's often pretty simple but when you hit a story that he obviously was lavishing kind of ambitious thoughts on, it's like those stories are the ones where you really got to go crazy and I did everything I could to make the story live up to all of the expectations that he obviously had for it. And so, I don't know, what I'm doing is something that has been sneaking up on me very slowly for a very long time.

MJ: I like the way that you described it too. You do whatever it takes. Did you ever see yourself as an author? Was that something you aspired to be, an old man with a pipe and a [laughter] wing-back leather chair somewhere? I mean, is that the life that you wanted?


BL: I have no idea, I have not had that sort of laser vision of what I want to do and what I want to be with my life. But I guess I am what I am. I mean, I'm 57 years old so I'm well into my life and I'm just the guy that makes it work and when I'm done making Louis L'Amour work, yeah, I definitely might write some things and there may be some other things that I would like to do. So we'll see what happens?


MJ: Not like pruning juniper trees and bonsai or anything like that? No crazy—


BL: No.


MJ VO 7:


WHEN YOU WRITE ENOUGH FOR TWO LIFETIMES, THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR FILLS UP FAST. BEAU L'AMOUR HAS COMPILED SOME OF THESE LOST TREASURE IN A SERIES OF WHAT “MIGHT HAVE BEEN” - AND IT’S APPROPRIATELY TITLED LOUIS L’AMOUR’S LOST TREASURES.


BL SOT 8:


So Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures is a series of materials that has three different pieces to it. So the first piece is the Lost Treasures postscripts to existing novels, material that my dad wrote throughout his career and things that have long been loved by fans and have been published for a very long time. And in those, I go in and I write an afterward, or a postscript, to those stories that kind of tells the story behind the story, the travails of attempting to write it. Sometimes it will be about Dad doing the research on a story. Sometimes it'll be the interesting story of the movie that was made by the story. Just whatever I know about that story, I will put in a Lost Treasures postscript. And I think about 40 of the books will probably have that. Then there is Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures volumes 1 and 2. And this is, to a great extent, unfinished material, and it's probably about-- probably a fifth of it is finished in that there are movie treatments. So a treatment is a description of a story without being the story itself. But there's a lot of unfinished material there, and with each one of those unfinished things, I try to let the reader know how it would be finished, what my dad was trying to accomplish, just basically what was going on with that particular story and how it might have concluded and what role it played in his career. The third kind of and final element of that is a novel or two that were unfinished during Dad's life that I will finish. Unlike the unfinished stuff that I comment on in Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures volumes 1 and 2, this would be stuff that I would choose to finish and do as close to the sort of job that I think he had in mind as I possibly can. And no Traveler Returns is one of those.



BL SOT 9:


MJ: You told me on the way over here that you're in the business of fiction which I think is great. You don't really care where the story comes from as long as it's a good story. Your dad wrote some stuff, some of his early stuff, about aviation I mean, and whether it was tramp steamers or airplanes, he seemed to be fascinated by where we were in the world and at that point, everything was new and exciting. And some of that's in Lost Treasures but what do you see for yourself down the road? What is new and exciting for Beau L’Amour?


BL: I hope to do one more Lost Treasures book, another novel, and we'll have to see what the publisher thinks of that. And after that, I have some things that I'd like to write. But I don't really like to get into it too much because my dad's fans then tend to say, "Well, you said you were going to do this and you haven't done it. It's been 12 years.”


MJ: But this wouldn't be your dad's stuff, this would be your stuff. And here we are in a world now where you and I are experiencing space exploration in a level and at a personal level that they could only imagine back then. I mean, there's so many new things with science and everything else that's coming out that I would think your dad would be fascinated with right now. I mean, the world of digital publishing along would have been probably enough to give him another 50 years had his body held out. But here you are, you're the only guy for the job, Beau. I mean, you are our Jack Ryan of the day when it comes to [laughter] this stuff. So what are you thinking right now?


BL: I’m going to not say and not commit myself to that.


MJ: Nothing on the red carpet here?


BL: No. I have plenty of things on the red carpet but nothing I want to cop to because then people start saying, "Ah, but you said you were going to do this.”


MJ: When it's all said and done, what do you want folks to remember about Beau L’Amour?


BL: Oh, I have no idea. I did a good job. I mean, my dad was a guy who wanted to be a celebrity. He wanted his name to be front and center, I couldn't care less about that kind of thing. Basically, what I want to do is I want to make sure that the things that I work on are as tight and professional all and buttoned up a set of projects as I can possibly make them.



Louis L'Amour's favorite typewriter. This is the one that wrote the hits!


MJ VO 8:


ONE OF BEAU’S RULES - PERHAPS THE BIGGEST - IS THAT HE WON’T FINISH ANYTHING HIS FATHER STARTED WHERE THE TRAJECTORY OF THE STORY ISN’T CLEAR. BUT IF YOU’RE A LONG TIME LOUISE LAMOUR FAN, YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING, LIKE ME, HOW TO TELL WHERE LOUISE LEFT OFF AND BEAU BEGINS.

AND IN FULL DISCLOSURE, MY GRANDMOTHER WAS THE LOUISE LAMOUR FAN IN THE FAMILY, SHE’D READ EVERYTHING. IT WASN’T UNTIL SEVERAL YEARS BACK THAT I STARTED PICKING UP HIS STORIES. SEVERAL FRIENDS AND I HAVE BEEN READING THEM AND REALLY ENJOYING THEM BUT AFTER MEETING BEAU I WENT BACK AND NOTICED THAT MOST OF MY FAVORITE WORKS - MONUMENT ROCK - EDUCATION OF A WANDERING MAN - WERE WORKS THAT BEAU HAD A HAND IN FINISHING.

WHICH MADE ME WONDER - AM I A BEAU FAN OR LOUISE FAN? FOR NOW, I THINK I’LL JUST STICK WITH L’AMOUR FAN.


BL SOT 10:


MJ: And so you said it was something that everybody asks, in the car when we were-- I want to touch just briefly on this that-- I told you, it's really hard to tell where you pick up and where your dad leaves off, and I think that you've figured that. And you said you're really good at embodying and writing in several of his voices, but there was one, in particular, you haven't figured out yet.


BL: Right. So my dad had several writing styles. And the final style in his life, the style that he wrote in probably starting in the late 70s and then throughout the 1980s is-- I could probably do it to a certain extent, but it's the most difficult for me, and it's a little more kind of flowery and verbose style. I mean, I think, actually, the best style that my dad every wrote in was his early to mid-1960s prose style. I mean, he didn't make decisions like, I'm going to write like this. He just….


MJ: It just happened?


BL: It just happened. His style just changed. But in the early to mid 60's, he wrote in a very simple, just beautifully clear manner. And I like that more than any of them, but I can channel most of them. When it comes to what I did, and what my dad did, in No Traveler Returns, I worked on every page, probably every paragraph. To a great extent, we work like most writing teams that I know of-- I mean, where both people are living. My dad and I have worked like that on No Traveler Returns, because most writing teams, one writer will write a draft, and then they give it to the other writer. And that writer will write a draft. And they pass it back and forth until they have it perfected. And that's indeed what happened here. And there are probably a couple of peculiarities where you can tell my style.


Not in a sentence, but in the kind of ideas that go into something. If a section of a story has to deal with something that is particularly technical, I have seen that I tend to get into that kind of stuff, where my dad kind of wrote his way around it. So he didn't like to get particularly technical about things. In No Traveler Returns, I'm the guy that went and did all of the research to learn about—


MJ: The flash point of the gas is 60-something centigrade or whatever it was.


BL: Exactly. Exactly. No, you have it precisely. And then I'm also the guy who basically would go in and understand exactly what all of the guys on the black end or the engineering crew in the ship-- my dad never did one of those jobs. He was a deck crewman. And I went in and learned a lot about their lives and about the machinery that they worked with and things like that, to get those details correct. There's a character in the story who drove in the Indy 500 in the early 1920’s.


MJ: Whose car has a terrible accident, right?


BL: Who has a terrible accident. And that was my dad's idea, but my dad never even had a driver's license, okay. Not ever in his life. And so cars were not his speciality.


MJ: That seems outrageous to me. Here's this grand adventurer and yet-- who drove a Model T, apparently at one point, out of the desert and then hit a pothole—


BL: Poorly. Poorly.


MJ: Poorly.


BL: He wrecked it.


MJ: Right. And almost died out of thirst. But I mean, he never had a driver's license. And that's just so fascinating to me.


BL: Well, there are a number of writers like that. My dad was—


MJ: Ray Bradbury comes to mind.


BL: Right. Well, my dad was actually friends with Ray. And one of the reasons they—


MJ: But friends? Or friends of convenience?


BL: Well, friends of convenience in that they didn't drive. And they would meet-- they would run into one another at various places in Los Angeles. A bookstore, wandering around Beverly Hills, or something like that. And then they would spend a good deal of time walking together because they both walked. And occasionally, they would stop at a pay phone or something and go, "Okay. We got to get home." So they would call a cab. But yeah they were kind of guys that-- I mean, they met professionally a number of times and they met socially a few times, but they met accidentally quite often, actually.


MJ: Just because they didn't drive.


BL: Right.


MJ: Was that because he couldn't be bothered with it? Or he had other important things to do? Or what was that do you think? What did that come from?


BL: He couldn't afford a car until he was well into his fifties. And I think at that point, he was kind of embarrassed about driving and my mother-- he got married to my mom very soon after that and she was a very good driver.


MJ: Because we don't even think about that today. I mean the poorest of poor today in America have a car. They've figured it out. You know what I mean? And we don't realize, I think some of what you just said is completely lost on modern culture.


BL: Today.

I have a house that was built in 1940, and in what would be the hall closet of that house, there is a little annex that had a little chair in it and a desk and a telephone and that was the phone room for the one phone.


MJ: It was the gossip bench. Right.


BL: Yeah. It was the phone room for the one telephone instrument that you were expected to have in a house in 1940. And this is not an extravagant house but it was a firmly middle-class home for that time period. So this is a time period where nobody had two television sets. Nobody had two telephones. Things were, life was, a lot more modest than it is today, and so I'm sure that my dad was also relatively sure that if he got-- some of this may be an excuse, but he was relatively sure that if he got a car, he'd just be out exploring all the time and he'd never get any work done. And so not having a car was also just enforced discipline. But he had my mom. She was very happy to drive him. And then he had me and I was very happy to drive him. And in reality, what he really needed to do, what every writer needs to do, is put their butt in the chair and type and so it worked out.


MJ VO 9:


LOUIS L’AMOUR - THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WEST - A FITTING DESCRIPTION AND THE BEST PART IS - EVEN DEATH HASN’T SLOWN HIM DOWN. BEAU POINTED OUT THAT EVERY NOVEL AND EVERY SHORT STORY COLLECTION IS STILL IN PRINT.

THAT ALONE IS A WORTHY CLAIM FOR ANY WRITER - BUT L’AMOUR’S LEGACY RUNS SO MUCH DEEPER - HIS CREATIONS CAN BE FOUND IN THE VERY FABRIC OF THE COWBOY CULTURE AND ONE CAN EVEN SAY THE MODERN AMERICAN CULTURE - AND THAT MAKES LOUIS AND BEAU L’AMOUR - HISTORY WORTH SAVING.


Quick Link: Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures


Quick Link: Beau L'Amour


END

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