Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mystery of The Matinee Murders

Mystery of the Matinee Murders is now available at in Kindle format.
In Matinee Murders, Republic Studio flack Curly Woods embarks on a public relations road trip that travels the length of California with western film heroes Hoot Gibson and Crash Corrigan, Radio drama thespians Orson Welles and Ray Collins, two lovely radio actresses, a voice impersonator, an announcer and a mute sound-effects specialist. The goal is to entertain at theater Saturday matinees and children’s hospital wards while promoting Republic’s latest serial, The Painted Stallion, and a potential radio mystery presentation, The Man of the Mist. Along the way, they encounter an unknown assassin who leaves a trail of victims killed by cobra venom, a doomed psychic medium who warns of death, and an underground base camp of Nazis who are attempting to build an army of the dead. Western film star Ken Maynard joins the entertainers in an attempt to save a theater full of young fans of the Three Mesquiteers from a fate worse than death. The Hollywood Cowboy Detectives know they must use all of their western skills to defeat an enemy so evil that the future of the life on Earth hangs in the balance - all the while, the unique entertainers must do everything possible to avoid their impulses to strangle each other.
Mystery of the Matinee Murders will soon be the third paperback in the series as (Vol. 1) Mystery at Movie Ranch and (Vol. 2) Mystery of the Arizona Dragon are currently available. Vol. 1 includes the short story Mystery of the Murdered Badman and Vol. 2 includes Mystery of the Stuntman’s Ghost.
The Hollywood Cowboy Detectives series honors the great western and adventure serial stars of silent and talking motion pictures. These stories are written and illustrated in the style of the classic pulps of the 1930s. 

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