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356 | David A Bowles -  A Well-Known Novelist

November 11, 2022

356 | David A Bowles - A Well-Known Novelist
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David A. Bowles has published five novels and written more short stories than he can count. He says, “I was telling stories long before I could write them.” The professional storyteller is a member of the Tejas Storytelling Association and the National Storytelling Network. He honed his storytelling skills in Jonesborough, Tennessee the storytelling capital of the World. The well-known humorist entertains the audience with stories about the real-life characters David has met and the author has created.

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Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas, one conversation at a time. So stay with us. And right now, we present we have a wonderful guest today that we're going to share with you. He is somebody I've been wanting to talk to for a little while now, because he is a Western author in the vein of Louis L'Amour. And if you don't know who that is, you can pretty much and I think the same thing applies to David, you can probably go to any bookstore in the country, and you will find some of his work there in Paperback or hardback, and certainly in any airport in the country, if you want to, if you want to, if you're going to fly from where David is, which is in Texas, to Seattle, that's about a four hour flight, and then you can pick up one of his books, and you can enjoy reading all the way from there to here and have a good time. David, how are you today?

Doing great. Good to be here, Kevin with you.

It's good to be it's good to have you here. Because, you know, I fell in love with Louis L'Amour way back in the day, because he was prolific in his writing just like you are. And it was a lot of old western stuff. And, and some of them John Wayne acted in movies and all that sort of thing. And it was there was great fun to pay attention to it. And you are in that vein, and I want to welcome to the show is great to have you here.

Good to be here.

And let's let's talk about you. How did you get into the idea of writing, especially writing historical fiction and about the Oh West,

my aunt, I was sitting on the front porch with my family, listen to my grandparents and my dad and uncles talk about the early days of Austin, and when it was founded, and I kept hearing the story and especially the story of Little Boy, that would have been my cousin that five times removed. Getting captured Right, right there on what we call Lamar Street and downtown Austin now at that time, Shoal Creek ran through there and he was captured by the Indian father was, was murdered during the during the rampage. And a little boy, nine years old, who made it all the way to Santa Fe New the Santa Fe area, not necessarily sign of the village of Santa Fe, but was then traded to the common churros. And they went to auction them off at the Pueblo, which I found out later. My parents were not aware of that, that thing, but he was ransom for 60 $60 in silver. And I thought that little boy, nine years old in a time I heard the story I was about 10. I thought, man to walk all away, that has to be one hell of a story and it needs to be told. And it just something I worked on. From the time I was a young boy thinking that the story needed to be told. And that's when I actually I'll tell you, Kevin, I tried to find someone or ghost writer to write the story of I didn't didn't go through journalism or anything like that done a newsletter or two. And they written a few articles op eds more heavy. But I didn't know the first thing about it. And it was quite some time ago. And I belong to the Writers Guild of Austin writers league they Texas writers league now they've changed the name several times since I've been a member. But everyone I talked to said I needed to write the book myself. Because I had the characters in my mind. I could describe saying that I could describe his father. I can describe his great great grandfather who happened to be the same. They also my great, great grandfather. And I had that all down from my research of 20 to 30 years. And I was able to when they could write it they told me correct and that's what I did. And now I'm into my my fifth book has just been finished it should be on the market but due due February the first to be launched. And I just got a message here and my battery's running low. I hope I didn't freeze up on you know, okay. Maybe the plug up here is not working. I apologize for that. But that's how I got started. already done it and been doing it now for a little over 20 years?

Well, it's the end the the saga is called the westward saga. Correct?

Plural westward sagas. And that's, I have that trademarked I've noticed some people are kind of infringing on that, that I guess I'll have to let the attorneys take care of that. But it's a red with the westward sagas is a registered trademark of mine.

Well, it's really cool. By the way, would I be betraying a book if if I asked you what happened to the nine year old boy,

I don't know. Oh,

well, by the way, we're talking with David Bowles. He is the author of the westward sagas, he, I think, had a problem with his

with his battery.

So we're just going to kind of hang out here for a couple of moments. And while I got a moment, I'd like to tell you a few things if I could, one of which is that positive talk. is where we house all of our videos. We're also on YouTube positive talk radio. And if you go to positive talk, though, we've got a store where you can pick up some swag, and it's, I guess, that's the new way of calling it and that sort of thing. And, and you can enjoy all of the things and he's gone now. So we're hoping, hoping that he's going to be able to migrate his way back, we'll see in just a moment. But I do want to tell you that we've we've got like 360 shows on positive talk radio dotnet. And we're also on YouTube in three different channels and Facebook. And if you are interested in working with us, we also have a media production company called cam media dot Pro. And you can go there and there's a little store and you can if you want us to help you to do design a logo, if you want us to help you create audio and video and and we even have done a trailer for a book. And then we've got a great team of people that put together some great stuff for you. So if you're interested in doing that, we can put that all together for you. And that's camedia dot Pro, you can go there and find out all the information you need. And, and by the way, we are talking with what we were talking with David Bowles. And I'm hoping that he is going to be coming back as soon as he replaces his battery, or asked me hope anyway, so we're just going to hang out here for a couple of moments. And see, like I said, we do these shows live. And so this kind of thing kind of happens from time to time. And I hope that you will stay with us and enjoy what we're doing here on positive talk radio. And it's like I said his if you if you're tuning in now and then you'd like to enter comments and just so that I can talk to you instead of instead of David until he comes back and hopefully he will be back here in just a couple of moments or two. I seem to be having some problems with my lighting as well. So I hope hope it's not me that has got a problem but it's great fun and I'm enjoying it by the way. Give you that is really weird. Why am I losing power? I don't know. It's the weirdest thing. But again, positive talk radio has been around now for a couple years. I started way back in 2003 with a radio show on K can w 1150. And there he comes back. We've got him we got him right we got him back there you are dies. That's okay. That's okay. But those things happen.

Yeah, it's a lighting bar and we're gonna have to do without it Kevin.

That's perfectly okay. You look fabulous. Look like a Western icon.

I've encountered a lot of things but I con wasn't one of them.

Well, that you you should be called an icon because you are a prolific writer. I was looking at all of your events that you've been to and it's like you had scroll.

Yes, and it's amazing. That one time we had kind of a head count on how many places with data And then to where I put all of miles on with, with Becca, my dog, I take her with me over where I go. And they seem to like or I thought about having her come down with me today. But I thought she had not taken over the show and I didn't want to let her over do me she does that sometimes.

Well, let's talk a little bit about your travels. You got into a motorhome. And you went all over the country. Where did you go?

Well, let me tell you how story happened. I wanted to go. I always wanted to go to Alaska. I wanted to go to Canada. And of course, I'd been on RVM for quite a few years before that. But in 2014, I decided I'd sell my home on goat Creek and I would sell my furniture, my Western art everything I had and pack up by protocol class a motorcoach authority to footer and we had it off traveling. And we made it to Alaska, Canada, all around, been to the east coast in the West Coast, and done a lot of traveling. As you can see, some of the places that I've been there and spent a lot of time up in Jonesborough, Tennessee, because that's the story telling capital world. They have the national storytelling competition. They were the first weekend in October of every year. So I made it there a couple of about three years. So yes, I've been around. And I loved it, quite frankly. I sold that class I just recently in the last few months, and bought me a what's called a Class B, which is a scaled down version of that. And we still travel we just don't stay out as long. But when I was living full time, and that RV was my house, and Becca was five years old before she'd ever been in a home. I didn't have wheels.

I imagined I had a wonderful time with you. Yeah, we had a great time. And what motivated you to do that was it just as your

as a as a as a young boy, I had an aunt and uncle bought one of those air streams or bullet looking type things and they would come and stay with us and, and just camp in our backyard. I went out kid and I thought that was a way to live. And I had I wanted to do that for a long time. And the opportunity came up that I could do it. I'm single got it's just me and the dog and we could go anywhere we wanted to go and we were able to sell books and tell stories.

Sure is a great way to to live your life and you get to do exactly what you want to do. And nobody's telling you where to go or, or to move. You don't have a honey do list and you can create your own list and do what you want.

That's exactly right. I love it. We're we're not doing it full time. But we're gonna do some traveling now special when the new book comes out this year for Starr County. We're going to introduce that right after the holidays are probably for presale here in the next few weeks. And I'll start traveling, promoting that book, mostly around Texas. And what that that book is about the shirt that that book was about the Texas Rangers true story about the Texas Ranger Will Smith, who went after failure to find him and bring him back to Texas. And he didn't find him. But he laid the groundwork, the word he was found he notified the people up there to be looking for him. And they did. They did find him but we all ended up. He fought in the Mexican War and was a Texas Ranger and he ended up being appointed the first year for Starr County. And Stark county didn't exist at 1850. And it makes a great story and he's involved in a lot of things.

Now, where Stark County,

Starr county is down. If you watch TV you'll see it pretty regular. It's that county seat is Rio Grande City. And it's right on the Mexican border right across from Camargo, and right now fake a Falcon Lake is just just west of there. So it's only in the Rio Grande Valley. And I say that because that is a lot of illegals coming across there. So it gets a lot of gunk a lot of press a lot of attention. Yeah, yeah. And it's great place for, for the what they call getaways, a lot of getaways hundreds of 1000s of getaways go through there all the time. And so it's not just a real safe place to be right now. But we're gonna go anyhow

where you're gonna go have some fun. That's right. That's right. Now I wanted to ask you because you're a historian and you have worked with with writing all the way back starting in like 1836 or 37, I believe, right?

Well, actually, my story, my first book springhouse starts starts in 17, about 1760. And of course, I have a little backstory back to even 1750. And that was, you know, considerably before the American Revolution. The family had been in America 99 years before the American Revolution. So they were pretty well established in in in North Carolina, which was the West and people say, you read my first book, and they sort of what's this about the West? It's an it takes place in North Carolina. Well, North Carolina was the West. Yeah, 7076.

Well, people gotta remember. The Louisiana Purchase didn't happen yet. That's right. And so it was the 13 colonies and, and west of the 13 colonies was the West.

That's right. And that was Tennessee. And that's where after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place on their farm. They, they like couldn't live there were all those bodies were buried on their farm. And they moved over to Jonesborough, Tennessee. And little town was founded around him, which became the oldest town in in Tennessee, and it's Jonesborough, North Carolina and a great place to visit. That's a pretty nice little town eight, it's just like it was back when it was when it was established, I believe in 1797 was running, it was established and it was part of that part of the State of Franklin, which is a little they had their own little government there for a while. And that's jomsberg just real close to Green Bay or limestone, Tennessee where Davy Crockett was born. We talked about that the other day. So we only spent three summers up there, and Davy Crockett birthplace National Park in our RV, when I as I wrote that second book, which was Adams daughters, which about was about the family and the daughters, and my great great great grandmother that came to Austin. So it just it's the same story going, going on and on and on. And until they got to Texas.

Now that's

Tennessee was right around the place where Daniel Boone was wandering around at 1.1. They,

well Kentucky more or less, but, you know, you know, the states weren't even established then. So you know, they, they were close. But the woods of Kentucky mostly was was Daniel Boone that Davy Crockett, he was he was born in limestone, Tennessee. He was not born on a mountaintop. He was born on the creek limestone, but it makes a good song. It wouldn't sound too good. It's barn. barn on the lime Creek.

Yeah, and I remember growing up and Davy Crockett who and when I was a kid, you know, this coonskin cap that he's famous for was a was a big deal. If you ever got one of those you are you are like a hot kid in the neighborhood.

Yes, I had one. And let me tell you about that. David Crockett birthday is August the 17th. And every year we have a big shindig down at the Crockett hotel here in San Antonio which is about 15 minutes from where I'm sitting right now. And it's pretty good story are we we lost one of our one of our good you could really sing that sound Davy Davy Crockett, and, and I am loud 22. You got a minute for just a little short story. Of course. Well when I got when I got my coonskin hat and all in As my dad took me to the Alamo for the first time, I guess it probably but 1011 years old, and I got pretty hooked up on it. I even had an old long course it was touring rifle guy like Davy Crockett head. All right, I had to, I had to mock spins, I had everything I look for had to look just like old Davy Crockett and curse. My name is David. And by the way, David didn't like being called David he, he liked his name was David, he would let you know that. But I, I got I had a chance to go down and go to the local drugstore not too far from my house. And when I get a chance to go in there and I'd take a roll of nickels. And I'd start at start playing that jukebox song Davy Davy struck it. And I went in there I put put it on Play for about, you know, dollars worth of nickels. And that's 20 plays and waitress came over and I was I was sipping on it on shake, right? They used to make an old drugstore, you know with it with a fat soda fountain. Yeah. How many did you? How many did you put in there? And Jesus? I said, I put in our nickels I had. And she says you got to be kidding me. She, she she shook her head walked off. And they were best ever felt that they you after you've heard it about 20 times. It's kind of like my favorite old song for about two grounds is Is grandma got ran over by a reindeer. And it's kind of funny to hear once or twice, but about the time Yeah. But those righteous says oh, man, he's got to unplug the jukebox.

You know, David, there are I really like to talk to people that have been on the planet for a while. Because your life experience is so different than when we're talking about as an example the shakes the way that they used to make them they actually used their I say it real ice cream bag. And they and they would put it into the mixer. And in and the person that would do that would be called a soda jerk. That's right. And that that was those days are long gone. But I kind of you know, that was a little bit before my time, but I kind of miss those days. They seem to be you know, a lot of

Yeah. Ever drugstore had a soda fan? Yeah. And you know, that's how Dr. Pepper and Coca Cola came about. They were they were medicine products. You know, Dr. Pepper happened was in I guess it was my get my towns mixed up. I believe it was Waco, Texas, where it where it got its start. And it was that's why it was named Dr. Pepper. And they they would make it if the fountain the drugstore would you know, they knew what the recipe was? Somebody was Aylan they had that drink and Dr. Pepper and Coca Cola, because we know where Coco Coco got its name from. And so it was it was considered it comes from center dot mathematic magazine or purposes.

Well, you know, the interesting thing about that is for those of you that think in terms of going to the convenience store and buying a bottle of Coke or a can of Coke. In those days, there was no such thing. What they did is it came in a liquid, and they would mix a certain amount of the coke in with soda water. And that became the mixture that they would use. And but you couldn't buy it in a bottle. Or can none of that existed at the time. There was no distribution at that time.

Again, it came about I guess about that time I was nine or 10 years old coke came out a little shark model, the nickel, and that was a price that was ever worth it didn't matter where you went, it was a nickel at a pop, you know pop that cap on it. And they were really good. They fizzled in and they were made made with real they were made with real sugar cane sugar that end the day those products were made with beet sugar, which is not the same. So it's a totally different product now. Yes.

Either way, your kid and you go to the gas station. Do you remember what the price of gas was?

29 Since

you're you're absolutely right and

let me tell you something my house. Not only was it 29 cents But they gave you green stamps. If you've not, once you bought a certain amount of gallons that gave you a set of glasses or some kind of low, they did your windshield checked, you're all in all four tires.

I remember I remember those days, we went to a place called Marty's lakes anyway in Seattle and, and you'd go there and if you filled up, you got a quart ice cream. And that was the only ice cream that I had growing up for the longest time, because we were not very wealthy. And then so if we would get that ice cream, and that's the ice cream that we had,

and that it failed car you can get to Yeah, and all of them had different things to entice you to come in. And there were lots of there was lots of competition.

There was all privately owned and owned or operated for the most part.

Well, we had one close by the house that it I saw it on one. When I was young lady, it was called humble. And then it became so and you know what happened to so don't you know, how humble all company decided that they wanted to go national? And they just said, well, we'll change our name to humble. You know, some will get something exciting. Now this was back. You know, many years ago, a lot of you listeners won't know about that chain. But they changed the name to SL and E S S O. And I couldn't ever figure it out as it suddenly suddenly it came back. And they changed it. Gosh, what is it now it's what is humble now the guy that can't even think what it is. But so in Japanese meant stalled car, because it didn't go. So you're too good. Having your gasoline under the brand name of so. And I believe now it's not Exxon? I'm sorry. Yeah, they changed it from S or Exxon. Yeah, so a lot of things change.

Well, you remember back in the early 60s and and television had was black and white. I grew up with black and white TV on land. And there were like four or five channels depending upon where you lived. And then there were the rabbit ears. If you use the term rabbit ears, now they have no earthly idea.

And you'd have to get up and turn them put a little tin foil on them. If you didn't, they're real good reception. You'd get little strips of tin foil and timer around the top and curse you know, we're I lived in Austin, Texas, we and we didn't have it one channel. It was Katie BC, instead, followed by the name of Lyndon Johnson on that station. And it was pretty difficult for anybody else to get into for any other station. I'm thinking can't remember what network they were with that it was either CBS or NBC. And it took many years before the other station came in. But we only had one station so at a change in the sham or wasn't a big deal. On Channel Seven, that's all we had. Well no, it didn't need to have a remote control. It was gets pretty snowy sometimes, you know, and one of my favorite shows after school was how the duty and I'd get home to watch how the duty and by me one of them nickel Cokes, and moon pie. And watch out and watch out.

It's amazing. Did you get you grew up in the 50s is that right?

Yeah. Well, I was born in 43. And so you know, I'm 53 You know, I was about 10 coming. I could walk skills go what when too far away. I'd be too far away today for today's people that I kind of enjoyed the wall. And you know back in those days, we didn't have to worry about anything and we didn't have any crossing guard take us across the street we kind of figured out car was coming in do you didn't cross the street?

Pretty easy to figure out when you aren't that many cars at that time either. Exactly. Right? Yes.

That's exactly right.

And so what was your favorite music growing up and who was your favorite artist?

Well, you know I both kinds I like country and West. Jim, and I liked Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. I could sing that old song whiskey River, I could sing the Red River songs and I had an old guitar, I tried to play it. No one ever taught me how to play it. I just streamed it. And I thought I was a real cowboy back in those days. And, but I did like that music and now growing up and getting older I I grew up in Austin and Willie Nelson was playing into little local places. And then I had a friend named wellsky, where he ran around with Waylon Jennings, and some of those guys and and I kind of got to lots of new new western swing, as they called it, and then got into terrible Willie. Oh, well, he still, you know, he's exactly 10 years older than I am. And he's still my goal is just just keep on strumming with him. But without all the the the hip

Well, goodness knows how MCA you know that marijuana is going to be legal in this country and

well, it's not here in Texas yet. So I don't know. But it's they've made it where it's not a criminal offense anymore to use it but but it's pretty popular. Our especially in Austin, I live in San Antonio, it's a little bit different down here. Austin's a very metropolitan city. And it's nothing like I left in 1968. It's it's totally, it's totally a new world over there. They don't even talk my language.

When in the late 50s, when Elvis Presley came along, were you a fan of him? Yes,

ma'am. Let me tell you, my mother was and my mother met him in Lubbock, Texas. And she was a single woman that my mom, dad and Mother divorced in and she was a single woman up there dating a guy and they went to the Cotton Club in Lubbock, Texas. And she actually met Elvis Presley and he was flirting with her. My mother was a good looking lady. And he was flirting with her. And my stepfather. He got really upset and it was almost a brawl over in there. They didn't like that guy's flattening his hips and coming up to Lubbock in the first place. It was a little bit far out for them. See that guy, right? On the stage? Well,

in the history as history would tell us now he Elvis loved the ladies. He really

he did in the ladies love the undertaker. And I'll tell you what, I listened to some of his music. Now. That guy that voice and you know, nobody could. Nobody could, you know, have all these impersonators, but there's nobody that could sing those songs. Right? The Elvis great. He was great.

It's amazing. And then of course, the 60s came along. When the 60s came along. What do you think of the Beatles when they showed up?

Well, first time I saw him on TV, I thought they were a circus act the way they were bouncing around. I didn't know they played music. You know that TV was? TV was Sabana told you best. But yeah, I just thought it was a bunch of clowns jumping up and down. And then suddenly, I realized it was a band musical. I think they were great. But it was, you know, they really brought a new type of entertainment to to the United States when they came over. And I can't think of the guys Ed Sullivan had him on his show, first show and I saw that, and it was pretty blurry. But I guess they were bouncing around and I didn't ever, you know, I was used to seeing entertainers step up to the mic. And, and they stayed there and they played their musical instrument and they sang their song, you know, and you start seeing people bouncing around like you think they're on something and they may have been

highly likely highly likely

if they had great music than they did. Well.

You know, one of the bands that they were very taken with was from your neck of the woods and that would be Holly oh, what's what's his name?

Hi. How are you? If he got killed any airplane crash? Yes. And I'll tell you why. He his first interest and I have family, you know, both sides of my family coming here, you know, in the early 1830s. I'm talking about my mother's side of the family and my father's side. I have family all over Texas and then a lot but I had an aunt there that owned the skating rink in Lubbock. One time and when I was skating there, roller skating retirement. When I was living there, she would grant the only rink in town. And the first paid gig that Buddy Holly ever did. He did it in her roller rink, and it was called a sock hop. And it was the first Sock Opera I'd ever heard of. And after those kids got through skating, I think it was on a Friday or Saturday night. I was just a youngster. Maybe I'd be early teens, I guess. And Buddy Holly and his little band. They were high school kids. Yeah. And they came in and they set up in the corner in the skating rink. And the kids put under the deal was, most floors in those days were really, there were expensive. They're made out of maple rot not not a lot of maple trees in Texas. And they made sure ever all kids wore socks. And I don't know if the word sock hop where it started. But that's first time I ever heard it. And I guess it would have been in RAM 5057 Maybe 58. Something like that. I think he died in the 60s. He died in a plane crash in the 60s. But he started there in the lobby. And there's a big statue there in Lubbock, and in a museum and he is buried in a lot.

You know? It makes perfect sense that it was that's what was there. And if and they will take their shoes off to keep the the the the floor from getting scratched up and stuff. So a sock hop would be that I'd never heard anybody put that the sock hop to an actual reason for the sock up. That's really cool. That's, that's absolutely true.

Yeah. And it you know, I think she paid him $25 hammock Oban?

Yeah, Buddy Holly and the Crickets. That's right. Well, I

at that time, they weren't the cricket. I was just a little high school band. He was not. He had not really gotten, you know, professional.

Well, they probably had a dried small drum kit. And they had these fiddle, which is the stand up bass, fiddle and guitar. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, you know, it was fun to talk to someone like you as you. You're full of so much history. That goes back for a long time that, gosh, when you were growing up there, there weren't really any airports even. It probably wasn't even an airport in Dallas. Oh, yeah.

There was always an airport pretty well. I mean, you know, in my lifetime, but you didn't, you know, my first things were different. Back in the, in the day, as I say, when I went off to boot camp and the Navy, I guess that would have been 61 December of 61. My first flight you know, flew out actually kind of crazy the way things were Austin in San Antonio only 75 miles apart. But we flew from Austin to San Antonio and landed I thought we were there but we weren't some other people got on the plane it you know, it was a regular fight. It was Brandon and Brandon who was a big big plane and but they had props man. They did. A little different, a little different flying and a little bit slower. But yeah. The major cities did have airports. Dallas had love field and Houston had hobby. And Austin had, I guess, just Municipal Airport which today is right downtown. It's long gone. They've moved out. Yeah, flying by plane that's why I have an RV. I don't fly anymore and not because I'm afraid of flying. I don't have a thing. I just flew many many miles back in the day. When one you were treated. You know that was a place that people wanted to travel first class. You could do it. Today. Airlines Travelers peasant travel, I really mean that they treat you like peasants, you know, getting down to your luggage and that sort of thing. That's why that RV so good. And I have a rule if I can't get that drive there in my RV, I don't need to go there.

When are you driving a 42 foot RV? Did you have any trouble with NAV? You didn't get a special license to do that.

No, sir. Not in Texas. You know, that might be some states that I quite frankly think that everybody should because we got some people out there driving 42 foot vehicles with and get this I had to pull my jeep behind there so that when I got where I was going, I could you know, go to town or wherever I needed to go. You just can't take a 42 foot and then you're pulling the Jeep behind there you're looking at 60 foot and I stopped to see a friend of mine that owns a bookstore and cat named Cat Cat cactus bookstore in San Angelo, Texas. And a guy that Felton Cochran I've known for many years. Matter of fact, he he's the largest retailer, Elmer keratins books, I guess in the world. Elmer Kelton live there and in San Angelo, where he is and I told him I'd come by and have lunch with him. But I said, you're gonna have to find me a place to park my RV. Oh, no, there's no problem. I got three parking places out there. In front of my store. I said I need 10 parking places. But nobody, nobody in in those spaces. And by golly, when I pulled up there, he he had managed to get some cones and stuff and put out there. Left park right in front of his right in front of his thing where I guess you notice we're having some power shots, here here with yours. But I'll tell you what, if I wave my arm I'm inside them. I'm in front of the library here. There comes conserving energy you see. And if there's no movement, enough room after certain I have to reach if you see me. I'm trying to get the lights off.

But by the way, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking to David April's, and he is the author of the westward sagas, among other books, and he has, and I'm really hopeful that one of them is going to get or new and we talked about it last time, I would love to see them all turn into a mini series of because it really is a exposition of the Old West and what it was like, wanted to ask you, I've traveled in the south, and it's hot. Sometimes it's really hot. Sometimes it's muggy, and it's hot. How did they survive it way back when without air conditioning,

they didn't know anything else. My parents didn't have air conditioning. Until about, I'm trying to think about 1965 Something like that. And I don't think they would ever have gotten their condition except my dad had had a heart attack. And they knew that if they took him out of the hospital and took him home, you know, it'd be too hot for him. So we got wind up unit in his home back back then that was easy way to fix it stick one in the window and, and especially the bedroom where he has been. But air conditioning is kinda I don't think the Austin would be 1.4 million people. And I think San Antonio is about the same population now. I don't think your people coming to Texas. And I'll tell you, if I'm a good example you asked about why I started RVing and I really didn't tell you the real reason my team about 1997 I had I started leaving Texas in the summertime and first time I left for two weeks and next thing you know I had my own business. Next thing you know I was going for a month and then I finally just said The heck with it and I just I started to do a lot of left Texas when the last blue brown it lost its blue. And that's usually that's usually my just about Memorial Day time. And I didn't come back to Labor Day. And I've got it now and next year when I leave. I'm not coming back to Thanksgiving. I don't like the heat at all. And so what Are people like me? That can they get out of here in the summer just plan your travel and get get away. And I spent like, I spent 2017. Back then I stayed the whole waistline. About mid September. In Alaska. We stayed about to LA, two weeks too long. We got no rain these trees. But that's that's, you know, back in the day, though, if you stop and think Holmes did it? Do you really want to know the answer homes back in the day that I'm writing about 1836 1840. They didn't have windows. I mean, I mean, they had windows, they had portals or whatever you want to call them. And these homes would be mostly made out of Adobe Caveny. And Adobe. Didn't let the heat in it kept it cool inside. And they had the windows. But an editor I had I wrote a story about a Samuel Maverick. The last book, getting up and shutting shutting his window. Or actually, I didn't use the word window in the book. I wrote I used it but I can't. Can you think what they call it the wooden shutters wooden shutters, he closed the wooden shutters. And she changed that the pole of when to death and lowered the shade. I said, Lady, they didn't have glass windows, a shirt in shades. But she was about 30 She had no idea that but back in the day, thanks for might a little bit different and they were cooler and the thatched roofs. They made the jackal site calm. You probably saw some of them, if you got down on the border, they still have those jackals where they will make them with dirt and sod. And stuff you'll actually see a cactus sometimes growing out of a roof. And that's how they lived. That's how they looked here was totally different. Well,

it didn't. For us. In the northwest, we have big forests where you can, you know, chop down trees and, and everything's made of timber, but you didn't have that there. And so you had to do use Adobe and, and the bricks, but it also was good for protection from people that were you know, like Indians and that sort of thing as well. Right.

Exactly. That everything had to be fortified, you know, especially in Austin. And it's pretty hard for people to, you know, understand that. But you're talking about this heat. Again, if I might add something I'm not an expert on these things, but it stands to reason to me. You know, things were, like we say if I could go back the skyline from where I lived, I used to, we could set out on the front yard and look at the state capitol. And there were it was, it was the only big building that you would see. Downtown Austin may had some buildings that might be six storeys or something like that. But nothing like the cap Capitol was a taller site. If you look at Austin, now it's nothing but glass and metal and seeing that that whole downtown area 640 acres, the original land set aside for the city of Austin. And that's one square mile but one square mile is is a section I said an acre, I think what I meant by section and all add glass can you imagine? And then it hit natural gas and the sun bouncing off. It's just like being in the water. You know, when you're on a boat in the water, it seems so hot. And you said you know you laying there and you can't figure out why it's so hot that you're getting that reflection and it's got to have a big effect on on the temperature these days not to get not to get any politics about it. But But these big towns when they get that much grass concrete, they'll kind of produce a heat

bounce off the glass and radiate elsewhere throughout. You've been around a long time in Texas. years, years and well in the end being the interesting thing is is that you were there when it was a lot smaller. Do you think we've lost something with the size of the towns that we have and and having 1.2 million people in a place and have we have we lost something through all that you think?

Well? I have and probably you've lost something that the people living there now I think it's just great. And the tragedy there you They've got I'm gonna tell you I drove through, they're going to say my daughter last weekend. And as I drove through around often I try and avoid going through Austin if I can, because the traffic is so bad and there was a loop around there. It was three o'clock in the morning, I drive different times. That's a wonderful thing about an RV, you can work it that way. And I wanted to get in before a storm was coming. And, and I drove around that loop. I think they call it 135 and got around where it's called Hornsby been, where it used to be, aren't we then it was nothing but grassland and this man. And I look out and he was kind of foggy. And I see all these lights and stuff. I see a team who joins back in and pulling them and cars. And I thought man, I must be by the airport. And I suddenly realized and I'd been before buy it before in the daylight, but it was a Tesla plan. I looked at my speedometer. There's a little over two miles. That building is two miles one way and it's about half that size. The only way you know the rectangle I researched it afterwards. I was so impressed with it or dis impressed with it whichever way you want to look at it. And it's 22 acres under roof. Take 75 You could put 75 football fields inside it I looked it up it was my story written in Texas Monthly Magazine and that's where I found the information on it and there's a creek runs through it. I mean you know

there's there's a creek building

Yes sir. And they made that cardio this article listen, I haven't seen that. I just I've seen it from the road. But when you come up on this thing you think it's an airport there I mean it's parking it's got enough parking for the DFW didn't have as much parking is that guys got their DFW airport I'm talking about

right. Beautiful, beautiful airport by the way, that's one of my favorite airports to wander through. And it has beautiful people and and and all that John Wayne and in LA as the other one that I that I really Yeah.

I'm gonna be going through anymore, I decided I'm not flying.

Now how big is the RV that you have now I had it's

just 24 foot. So it's, it's, it's about half of the size that I had, and it doesn't ever slide out. So it's more of a it's a look, it's Well, I'll tell you, I'll tell you what it's like if you've ever seen one of the winners, a sprinter and Mercedes Sprinter van 24 foot and you've seen a lot of them are made for cargo This one's made for motorhome and has everything I need in it, including solar. And if I don't have to carry a Jeep behind me because it's small enough that I can park it just about anywhere you can park or park that van, it's not any wider, you know, I don't have slide apps to worry about or anything like that. So I can drive it just about anywhere and not have to worry about renting your car put a toe in a jeep. I want That's exactly it got to you know, it's I just couldn't go everywhere. And the bad thing about when you get one that's 40 You can't even get into the national parks, you know, they they pretty well limit you to about 24 foot and that's what I have is 24 foot. You can't get any longer than 24 foot towing. And that's a good that's a good reason. Because you get a bunch of 42 footers, some of the national parks now we'll let you but most most of the older parts won't

vary. I can say to you for hours, because of the history that you know and, and the living living through such trauma, such tremendous, tremendous change in our times. As an example, when you were a boy going to elementary school, I'll bet you you didn't even have any computers.

No, no, I'll tell you what I had. I had a big chief Big Chief notebook. And I had some number two pencils. And my dad gave me a pocket knife so I could sharpen my pencil. And you know what? You can't carry a pocket knife to school anymore. As he gave me when I was 12 years old, he says, You need to always have a bandana in your pocket. You know, a red bandana. And I, that's kind of my trademark. If I stood up, I could show you my red bandana. But I don't do this thing working here and I don't want it to go out on me. Yeah. But that think about this, I went to school. My dad gave me a real nice, I forget the name of but he told me never lose it. I think he paid five hours for it. That's a lot of money back in those days. And the brand name I can't think of right now. But I carried that for many, many years. And in FFA and stuff I won't tell you what I did was that knife sometimes but had to do with neutering animals. But I had that knife carried into school, the day I got out of school. And nobody ever said a word about it. And I carried that bread ban down on my my left hip pocket. Well, that night team, I guess it was about 9095 I was asked to go to our high school and talk to a high school. And I went in there, talk to him a little bit about Texas history. And Grantsville had gone to the principal's office and register and all that sort of thing to do even have security back then. And he looked at me and we have a pretty big gang problem here in San Antonio at that time. And he says, I'd appreciate it if you took that red bandana in your pocket. I said well protected, and I can't pull it out. When I needed I might need to blow my nose. And he said, Well, you know, that's a signal for them. That's a sign of blood membership. And so we've got some gang members in this. And I wouldn't want you to start any trouble over a bandana and I said you got to be kidding me. And I mean, I always was told, you know, we as egg boys, I grew up in kind of a agrarian society. We had cows and that sort of thing. And cattle and horses and, and there was a edmore isn't, you know how was FFA. And I couldn't believe that I I couldn't wear a bandana, you know, and carry a pocket knife into a public school. But today it's changed. You know, I just how things have changed. You never heard about anything. And I gotta tell you that deer and deer season when I'd go into a school parking lot, I had my 3030 Hanging in there were reviewed in the back of my pickup cat bloated and nobody ever thought a thing about it. And we never had any problem and kind of to think about it you know, as I was driving around that pickup truck that loaded 3030 In the back hanging out world it nobody ever bothered me

all by yourself

but it yes, it's changed. I'll tell you it kids can't you know, things that they can't do, you know, nearly ever father gave their son it was kind of a ride a passion. A not a knife to but I got a knife in the first grade so that I could sharpen my pencil. And my dad didn't realize that they he was really old school. He didn't know about those things that Ukraine

Yeah, that's easy. Go to school. That's right. Exactly. Exactly.

So So now your name the the book that you have coming out. That's what's the name of that book again,

if the sheriff sheriff or Starr County we don't have it pre sale. It'd be available pre sale on Amazon in a few weeks.

Now the Comanche book, how long has that been? I've managed to

trace came out. Right? To 19. Just I mean, we had the intro set for this book, Comanche trace. We had the intro set for this book. The week that President Trump came on and says we need to shut her down for to what was supposed to be two weeks. I had bookstores and things lined up and curse. I'm not the only author that said For from this, but the book won, won the North Texas Book Award for the Best fiction book. And I'm real proud of that book. And I'm kind of trying to reintroduce that along with the sheriff Starr County, because they're both about Will Smith is Texas Ranger who helped bring it bring his nephew back to Austin.

I just love the Western sagas of like the Texas Rangers and, and the cowboys and the guys that that he had so much. You know, there's so much you don't see, when you're when you're talking about guys going all over, you know, there's no, there's no bathrooms, there's no little water is hard to find. They have to know whether it's a real art form to be able to get around so that you can get the water that you need and, and places places that are safe to sleep and that kind of thing.

Well, yeah, and, you know, it's, it was a different world and, and they, they had to be tough to survive. And a lot of it didn't surprise survive.

I was gonna ask you, the average lifespan was back then.

I've heard that it was around 50 You know, when the person got up to 60 they was really old back in those days, and curves my my great four great grandfather that was killed by the Indians in Austin. In August of 1841. He was about 60. And I was pretty old, you know, for that for the time. And his son that was killed also but in separate incidents. Seven months earlier, he was he was you know, in his 30s So yeah, that 5060 year old man that you know, there's so many things to get them you know, they there was rattlesnakes. rattlesnakes were a big thing. I've got a family cemetery sound like Travis and I go up they're the ones who are all check on it. Make sure everything okay. And there's only about 10 graves in that family cemetery. That most of them are killed the Rattlesnakes really rock that that rocky land up there around what's now like Travis which didn't exist them and their grave, their graves are right there on all overlooking like drivers. And several of them play a kill by rattlesnake. You know, that's what they had engraved on the song. And so yeah, rattlesnake. My dad was rattlesnake bit. He was bit by Copperhead when he was young boy. And they didn't even take him into the doctor. And one one he got rattlesnake bit years later, they did take him into to the doctor. And, you know, it was eight hours before they you know, live way out in the country. And to get him into town. That was a weekend and find in medical, you know, he ended up going to the hospital, but eight hours had passed from the time and the doctors couldn't believe that he you know, he lived through it because I remember I was just little talk. But I remember his arm looked like a leg and it just swollen up so bad and turn turned blue. But he survived to two snake bites. So yeah. Yeah, he kept his arm and he lived to be 91 years old. He raised cattle and took care of him. Right after we had I mean, I pretty well had to take over with the cattle about 10 years before he passed, but then I I'm not handling those cows anymore. I got out of the cattle business when I started writing books.

Well, you know, it's it's interesting that I really think that in the pioneer days and in the 1800s and stuff if you were not fit, if you if you could not handle a lot of stress on your body and and the things that you had to deal with. And you died young and you didn't have children or whatever, only this fit survive. And so that's that's how we became even more hearty isn't isn't that kind of true?

I I'm a big believer in that and that and you know, today we have such a date, lifestyle. You know, sitting around playing with the phone your phone now as you play Tori you know, we're computer that all of media and stuff that takes you away I'm from physical movement, that's really destroying our, our country. Well, in our world, people don't stop to think about it, so many are not getting enough exercise. And I know so many people that, you know, their, their health has to do with the lifestyle, you know, they're not getting the exercise or, you know, behind the computer and that sort of thing. And, you know, we had no choice. I had a military man, tell me this, and I know he's right. He says, we had to start taking we we had to start taking women into the cert, you know, make it where they could fight. I mean, we've been taking women into the service, you know, for many years, but only a few years ago, did they start allowing women into combat? And this retired Colonel told me, he says, you know, the reason that it had to do that they can't, you know, they can't get enough qualified men. And, you know, it kind of makes sense. But I, you know, we had to raise an army right now, it'd be in our best shape. If we did we got into one big war. But fortunately, we're not in that yet. That that's something to think about, because getting fit is, you know, when you join, when you join the service, like I did, they said, they sent me out to basic training in those days was in San Diego. And I'm gonna tell you, if they got you in shape.

Yes, they did. And then that's the other problem that the military has, my son is in the Air Force. And he's telling me that they have trouble getting recruits that can that can pass a physical of the weight and weight height ratio and, and be able to physically move like they used like we used to,

well in and police and fire departments are having the same problem. You know, they got to have somebody that can, you know, can move and carry their buddies and that sort of thing. And so, excuse me waving my head here. turning the lights off

is the coolest thing. So, but David, it's been a pleasure talking to you, sir. pleasure talking to you. We get to we get to talk more in a couple of weeks. So I'm really looking forward to

okay, I look forward to that. Kevin, thanks for thanks for letting me on your show.

And if somebody wants to buy your book, they can go to the westward. Right. Yes. westward. With an S on the end. Yeah, plural. Our David a bold author. Yes, in deeds and if you want to talk to him, usually you can email him from there and tell her how you like his books and, and talk about, you know, talk about anything. You're you're very well read very versatile, man. Thank you.

Thank you.

It's been awesome. And I want to thank everybody for tuning in. And if David if you wait right there, I'll be right back. Okay. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode. All the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk radio dotnet for more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin McDonald, and I'm proud of these shows, and I truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because each other's all we got to do


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Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company

David A BowlesProfile Photo

David A Bowles


David A. Bowles has published five novels and written more short stories than he can count. He says, “I was telling stories long before I could write them.” The professional storyteller is a member of the Tejas Storytelling Association and the National Storytelling Network. He honed his storytelling skills in Jonesborough, Tennessee the storytelling capital of the World. The well-known humorist entertains the audience with stories about the real-life characters David has met and the author has created.