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Is the West leaving Arizona ?

                                            "There wasn't anything here I'd read about, I wanted to do something about it. People come here looking for the old west. They don't find it." This is a quote from Frank James Outcalt from an interview in the Arizona Republic. We can relate to this by just looking around us today. But would you believe this quote was printed in the Arizona Republic in August 1970. Frank had just formed a western reenactment group in Scottsdale, AZ. Entertaining small parties at first but getting more well known and doing larger groups of people, and finally becoming "Guns For Hire Inc." in 1968. " Guns For Hire Inc." did a good business for over 30 years. Performing western skits for local resorts, adding t.v. commercials, and movies along the way.
                                           The most popular place to see Guns For Hire shows was at Pinnacle Peak Patio on weekends. This was years before Rawhide western town was built on north Scottsdale road. Guns For Hire was the first group to perform on Rawhide's main street before they formed their own reenactors group. The original crew of Guns For Hire, was Frank James Outlaw, Bill Krol, as  <Paco>, Ken McConnell, Randy Hill, and well known stuntman Spanky Spangler.
                                           Many more would come onboard over the years. Myself included, Bob Roloff, < now the Arizona Duuude>, in 1969. I have many good memories of those times, working with Frank, Bill, Ken, Spanky,  then Skip Dillon, &  Don Burger. Also working with Walt Ryerson who would go on to become the first "Old Prospecter", at Pinnacle Peak Patio. His son Kevin would go on to become a spiritual guide for the Holywood actress Shirley McLane. Those were good times leaving me with good memories. 
                                          So my hats off to everyone of you out there reenacting the history of the old west. To anyone that promotes that Spirit of the old west, Thank You. Tourists still come here from all over the world, looking for the American old west, and some will find it because of you. As I traveled around Arizona this last year for the Wild West Gazette I met many reenactment groups and people from all walks of life, promoting the old west. So my answer to, Is the old west leaving Arizona? , is No, there are more western reenactors groups now than ever. Not much on t v except the Westerns channel, but many on radio, 200 stations nation wide carry "The Chronicle of the Old West", by Sunny & Dakota Livesay. Magazines like True West by Bob Boz Bell, American Cowboy , Cowboys & Indians, just to mention my three favorites. Festivals like the annual Festival of the West, hosted by Mary Brown and her loyal volenteers, being held March 19-22, at Westworld in Scottsdale, AZ. So after this last year of looking for the old west, I can say its still out there, you just can't see it from the road.
                                         So thanks again to you all from the tourists that came looking for the American West, and then smile as someone snaps a picture to take back home as proof that they found it. There are far too many people and places I would like to list here. But there is a newcomer I would like to introduce that is honoring people who promote the old west. "The Spirit of the Old West Alive", was founded by LeeAnn Sharpe with the purpose of collecting oral histories. Her program honors people who have impacted our western experience. This program is currently being held at the Bison Western Museum in Scottsdale, AZ. the first and thied wedsnday of the month. The first three Honoree's were, Marshall Trimball, AZ. state historian, Bob Boz Bell, publisher f True West Mag., & Wyatt Earp.
                                        And finally I would like to say, enjoy life to the fullest you can. My old friend Frank James Outlaw has had a life long passion for racing stock cars. He still races, recently he showed me a trophy he won for 1st place at a north valley raceway. He won the race 20 days after his 67th birthday. Way to go Frank.    So remember keep "The Spirit of the Old West Alive".  


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