The Politics of the Western (CFP)


The Politics of the Western (9/30/09; NeMLA 2010, Montreal, Quebec; 04/7-11/10)

41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec – Hilton Bonaventure
Despite its continued popularity as a genre, the western has not drawn much attention from scholars of American literature. Indeed, many of the genre’s key players—writers like Owen Wister, Zane Grey, Dorothy M. Johnson, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Jack Schaefer, A.B. Guthrie, Jr., and others—are conspicuously absent from the Norton Anthology of American Literature. Is this because the Western, with its masculine bias, its individualist heroes, and its Anglo-European monopolization of history, is inherently conservative? In view of answering this question, this panel invites papers that explore the political investments of the classic western. Of particular interest are papers that explore the ways in which the western may be seen to criticize, subvert, and oppose its own apparent generic tendency towards conservatism.
Please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words to Darren Millar (John Abbott College) at
Deadline: September 30, 2009
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)
The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2010 Convention will be posted in June:
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.
Travel to Canada now requires a passport for U.S. citizens. Please get your passport application in early.


Ronald Takaki

Below are excerpts from Beleza Chan’s obituary of Ronald Takaki, from AsiaWeek.

Professor Emeritus Ronald Takaki passed away on the evening of May 26th, 2009. Ron Takaki was one of the most preeminent scholars of our nation’s diversity, and considered “the father” of multicultural studies. As an academic, historian, ethnographer and author, his work helped dispel stereotypes of Asian Americans. In his study of multicultural people’s history in America, Takaki seeked to unite Americans, today and in the future, with each other and with the rest of the world.

Born in 1939, Professor Takaki was the grandson of immigrant Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii. He graduated from the College of Wooster, Ohio, in 1961. Six years later, after receiving his Ph.D. in American history from UC Berkeley, Takaki went to UCLA to teach its first Black history course.

In 1972, Professor Takaki returned to Berkeley to teach in the newly instituted Department of Ethnic Studies. His comparative approach to the study of race and ethnicity provided the conceptual framework for the B.A. program and the Ph.D. program in Comparative Ethnic Studies as well as for the university’s multicultural requirement for graduation, known as the American Cultures Requirement. The Berkeley faculty has honored Professor Takaki with a Distinguished Teaching Award.

Professor Takaki wrote 12 books. Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th Century America has been critically acclaimed. Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans has been selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best 100 non-fiction books of the 20th century, and A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America is read on college campuses across the country and has over half a million copies in print.

“Darius Goes West” as Western Narrative

Darius Goes West is an award winning documentary that follows fifteen-year-old Darius Weems on a cross-country journey from Athens, Georgia, to Los Angeles, California, where he hopes to have his wheelchair tricked out on MTV’s Pimp Your Ride. At least, that’s the immediate goal of his journey in the film, although the larger goal is to raise awareness about the illness he suffers from, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Among the many things this film is (uplifting, touching, hilariously funny), it is also a story of western adventure, of figuratively heading out for the territories, as Darius heads “out west without a seatbelt strap” in his “raggely wheelchair” with his crew, eleven of his friends.

In a rap that Darius performs at the beginning of the film, he gives us his his history: “Athens, Georgia, I grew up in public housing. / I’ve never seen a state line, beach, or a mountain.” The film begins with Darius observing, “For the first time in my life, I was going west.” What follows is a mythic and heroic journey, which we certainly would expect in a film about going west, but as Darius states, “I”m a new hero. I’m proof, I’m livin’ .” What’s new about Darius Goes West is the film’s wheelchair-bound African American protagonist, the gregarious “junk talking” Darius, whose personality and enthusiasm fill the screen.  If Pimp My Ride is the practical goal of the journey, the more idealistic goal is to demonstrate, as Darius says, “I might go places that people think I might not go.”

Darius blazes a western trail, and the documentary shows again and again how Darius and his crew quite literally have to create a trail to get him access to the some of America’s iconic western landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, where his friends lay down 2 x 4’s to create makeshift rails to guide his wheelchair up to an overlook. Other places, such as Carlsbad Caverns, where Darius and crew join the park service in celebrating the “birthday” (or 15th anniversary) of the Americans With Disabilities Act, have been made quite accessible. Ironically, the least accessible place they encounter is the St. Louis Arch, where a flight of fifty stairs blocks access to “The Gateway to the West.”  They can look at the arch, but because of the stairs, they aren’t able to go up into the Arch to enjoy the view.

The filmmakers are also aware of the iconography of western cinema, as suggested particularly by the framing of one shot: Darius in his wheelchair silhouetted against the sunset at the Grand Canyon.

The DVD of Darius Goes West is self-distributed by the the group that produced it, with a portion of the proceeds going toward DMD research, and it is available through the Darius Goes West website. Several versions of the film are available, including one that has been edited for showing in schools. I recommend the unedited version, which includes a scene of Darius telling a “campfire tale” (not to be missed), a (mildly) bawdy story of a “ball-less man.”

Darius Goes West is one of the most original and most interesting “westerns” that I’ve seen in awhile–I hope you’ll check it out.

CFP: Mary Rowlandson Writes a Western

Proposed Panel: “Mary Rowlandson Writes a Western”: 2009 WLA Conference, Sept 30-Oct 3, Spearfish,SD

As part of a continuing project to explore Early American writings as Western writing, we are soliciting paper proposals for a panel entitled, “Mary Rowlandson Writes a Western.” We are looking for papers that analyze Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, in particular those that posit the narrative as a western text.

Please send a 250 word paper abstract to Tom Hillard
( and Amy Hamilton ( by Monday, June 8.

Amy T. Hamilton
Assistant Professor
English Department
Northern Michigan University

Spearfish Area Attractions (Continued)

From David Cremean (things to do in and around Spearfish, site of 2009 Western Literature Association Conference):

See earlier post for attractions within and closer to Spearfish.

One hour:

Devil’s Tower—Sans E.T., the large spaceship, and those “organ” notes, but still impressive, it includes trails and more. [Editor’s Note: see the end of the post for organ music and UFO]


Montana’s southeast corner and the strange little town of Alzada—All on Route 212, which, if one takes a couple of more hours, leads to Little Bighorn Battle Field.

Two hours:
Wall Drug and The South Dakota Badlands.
Custer State Park—For my money, probably the finest state park in the nation. The Needles, Sylvan Lake, a Wildlife Loop, and much more.

Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, the town of Buffalo, Johnson County. I particularly recommend anyone ever passing through Buffalo to see—and stay, if possible—at the truly Historic Occidental Hotel and dine at The Virginian Restaurant. Both are exceptional. (Add on another half-hour or so and you can be in Sheridan).
Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse—They can be done on the way to Custer State Park.
Pine Ridge Reservation. The Rosebud Sioux Reservation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation are within reachable distances.
The Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
Jewel Cave National Park (reservations for tours recommended).

Three Hours:
Wind Cave National Park (reservations for tours recommended).
Little Bighorn Battle Field.
Pine Ridge, the town, with the infamous White Clay, NB, just across the way.
Wounded Knee, site of both Wounded Knees, both still shrouded in controversy. There really isn’t anything there in the way of offerings, which is probably as it should be for most of our venerated parks and the like, but isn’t.
Medora, ND—Teddy Roosevelt and the Marquis de More Country, with the North Dakota Badlands and Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

From Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The UFO arrives at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming.

Spearfish Area Attractions

From David Cremean (things to do in and around Spearfish, site of 2009 Western Literature Association Conference)

Spearfish Area Attractions

This supplement could be voluminous, and some of you may think it is. But I’ve left out, among other venues, everything from Cosmos to Wonderland Cave to Reptile Gardens and Bear Country, USA (the famous picture of Custer, as always in the forefront, along with scout Bloody Knife and company with a kilt Grizzly was just the beginning of bear extermination in the Hills, where now we are rumored to get an occasional walk through bear and have left, yes, this drive-through zoo with many bears and other animals both exotic and exterminated from the area). Please keep in mind the Western sense of time and space when you note that I take you as far as three hours out—and that you want to carry good supplies of water, as this area is semi-arid. Our altitude in Spearfish proper runs between 3,000 and 3,500 feet above sea level, and it heightens in the Hills.

Again, I encourage anyone who can to come early and/or stay late and take in some of the area and its many natural and historic offerings. Both the Great Plains and the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) themselves are right here, with Spearfish really a cupped valley town in the ecotone between the two. The Spearfish Passion Play has ceased doing business, by the way. I will list a number of nearby and further-out possibilities by travel time-frame one-way; this list is highly selective:

30 minutes or less:
Western Heritage Center—Roughly a half-mile walk from the Holiday Inn, a museum that includes live bison on its grounds.
Spearfish Canyon—At its peak for color, and wonderful for driving or bicycling (rentals available in town), plus some trails. Spearfish Creek offers fine trout fishing, including in town; low in the canyon and to the edge of town, there is a 2-3-mile “damn stretch” that is dry because water is tunneled through the Hills. About 20 miles up and essentially marking canyon’s end is Cheyenne Crossing, a fine and rustic (and historical) place to eat with a good gift shop.
The DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish—Trout are not native to the Hills, and this facility began their advent here. Many ducks and other water fowl, some huge rainbow and brown trout in the pond (with underwater viewing), and a nice little gift shop, plus the grounds themselves, adjacent to City Park.
Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, a few miles out of town on Forest Service Road 134. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My.
Deadwood—Mount Moriah (burial site of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane Canary, Seth Bullock (much higher up, and others). Another trivia item: Bullock was a bodyguard for his friend Teddy Roosevelt. In addition, some of you, particularly if coming early and/or staying late, may be interested in engaging in research through Deadwood’s Adams House and Museum; if so, go to the following Web page for contact information (it links easily to their other Web pages):
Mahto Paha (Bear Butte State Park)—Just outside of Sturgis.
Sturgis—Much ado about (motorcycle) biker culture, from Sonny Barger to lawyers in love; Fort Meade.

(To Be Continued—more area attractions to be posted later)

WLA Conference in Spearfish, South Dakota

From David Cremean

Dear WLA Members and Friends,

Warm greetings from a still spring cool, green, and moist Spearfish, SD, regarding this coming fall’s 44th Annual Western Literature Association Conference, to be held from Wednesday, September 30, through Saturday, October 3, 2009. Our conference title and theme is “High Plains Drifting: Which Way(s) West?” You are welcome to come early and stay late.

As several of you know, I’ve intentionally pushed this letter to about a month before the deadline for abstracts. My thinking is that a large number of us are just now wrapping up our spring semesters, with many more of us naturally inclined to wait until school ends to submit them. This letter is long, but I’ve tried to include just about everything I can within reason, and I’ve attempted to make it as user-friendly (or lively), as practical, and as logical as possible. Nevertheless, do not hesitate whatsoever to write me with further questions or the like.

A reminder: as was the case last year, only those we lack edresses for will receive hard copies of this correspondence by regular mail, so please make hard copies of this letter. Limiting our postage will save the organization a great deal of money that we can use for other conference matters. However, I may opt to send some updates later on via email, and the Web site will be altered to a degree as we forge on, so I recommend you check it periodically: simply go to the main WLA site and click “Conferences” on the top menu, then “WLA Conference 2009.” And if you misplace or inadvertently delete this letter, just let me know and I’ll resend it. Feel free to pass on this letter and the attached flier to anyone else.

As well, in large part because I will be out of state and pretty much busy working on AP Exams for ETS from June 10-18, I am pushing the deadline for the abstracts back to June 20, 2009. Submissions and inquiries so far have been very encouraging and have picked up the last few days, but the vast bulk of them will be soaring in over the next 30 days or so. I will remain available by email during this time, but will probably only be accessing it in the evenings.

Abstracts: please be sure to follow these guidelines (unless I already have yours):

  1. Send abstracts and panel proposals as attachments, not emails;
  2. Include the name you want to be listed under, your present title for the presentation, and a 150-250-word abstract, as I need these for organizing and for the program;
  3. Presenters must be current members at the time of the conference (attendees not required to be, but we’d love to have you join, too).
  4. I am making the effort to respond personally to each abstract submitted, in part because as a sort of neo-Luddite, I distrust technology. If I do not reply to you within several days of your sending the proposal, please call me on my phone at 605-645-8478 to check. If you have already submitted a proposal but wish to double-check, that is advisable, particularly if you have not yet heard back from me. Black Hills State has had some strange email problems on occasion this year.

Registration: $80.00 per person for regular members and non-member attendees; $70.00 for retired members and graduate and undergraduate students; $90.00 for non-members; $40.00 for guests of WLA members.  All late registrations—after September 1—will be $100.00.

Transportation: Please note that I have had to make some changes below and in other categories from previously posted details:

Airfare: Obviously, this will vary. There are few direct flights to Rapid City, though I know from experience Minneapolis, Denver, and Salt Lake offer them. It’s an hour’s drive from the airport to the hotel here, but a lovely one overall for an interstate (though I recommend any number of Hills routes if during the day), and most city airports end up being 45 minutes to an hour away from the conferences anyway.

Ground: I recommend car rental if possible, to free you up for a day trip or three; I strongly encourage you to book these ahead. The only car rental in Spearfish itself is Enterprise, but others are available through Rapid City and its regional airport. Shuttles are available, and as I’ve learned the ropes, I’ve had to change my plans. You will need to book those. The best price I have found is through Airport Express Shuttle at $90.00 a round trip, $45.00 one way per person, and it is about a 60-mile drive each way; their number is 1-800-357-9998. Be sure to mention that you are coming for the WLA Conference when making reservations.

We will be able to offer regular transportation from the hotel to downtown Spearfish; details are forthcoming. Spearfish offers a wonderful bike path system along Spearfish Creek and its riparian zone that ends roughly a half mile from the Holiday Inn and leads back into town and ultimately to several city parks, including the main one near the Booth Fish Hatchery.

Driving: The key is to get on Interstate 90 from wherever you are coming. The official WLA Conference Exit is Exit 14 (those 14 miles are about the farthest the town gets from Wyoming), and you want to head North toward the Holiday Inn and Applebee’s.

Hotel: We have been able to negotiate a noticeably lower rate on rooms than the past few WLAs: $94.00 per night for singles and doubles (with tax, plus a $2.00 occupancy tax per night, $103.52), $114.00 for suites (with tax and the $2.00 fee nightly, $125.12, barring any tax increases). The Spearfish Holiday Inn and Conference Center, while not a luxury hotel, is one of the nicest in the region. The lower hotel rates and a few other charges I’ve been able to reduce should help offset or even cancel out or exceed the higher transportation costs. Conference rates will run from Monday night through Sunday night following.

Holiday Inn Convention Center Information:

This is our conference facility, and though we have no minimum commitment on our blocked rooms, we do hope to say thank you to them for the fine deals they are giving us by asking they be your hotel of first choice at least until they are full. Again, specify that you are reserving for the WLA Conference, though we have the entire facility set aside for our use Wednesday through Friday, smaller blocks of rooms set aside for Tuesday and Saturday. The Holiday Inn accepts pets for a one-time fee of $25.00 and a refundable (unless your pet goes Guns and Roses or Nick Cage and trashes the room) $100.00 deposit.

Our reservation holds and rates run through September 8, but after that, any left-over rooms will be released. Check-ins begin at 4:00 p.m., check-out is noon. Group rates apply within two days prior to or after the conference:

Reservations: 800-999-3541

Hotel Phone number: 605-642-4683

Fax 605-642-0203

Web page

Three other hotels are within easy walking distance but across the street (a main artery to the nearby WalMart Supercenter), and Spearfish has a number of other hotels that are roughly a half mile up to three miles distant. The other three nearby hotels follow below:

Comfort Suites—(605) 642-3003

Fairfield Inn—(605) 642-3500

Quality Inn—(605) 642-2337.

Special Meals: Our Friday night Banquet prices will be $40.00 (I’ve tried to go lower, but just can’t). The main entrée will be, I believe, a WLA first: grass-reared pte (bison—Costner’s “tatanka” is not the word for both sexes, pte is, and thus the more famous term is actually inaccurate) roast from writer Dan O’Brien’s Wild Idea Buffalo Ranch and wojape, which is fry bread with a fruit sauce, for dessert. A vegetarian option will also be available.

The Past Presidents’ Address and Luncheon, on Thursday, is, as always, open to all and will cost $25.00.

The Past Presidents’ Breakfast, on Friday, will cost $20.00, and is for Past Presidents only.

The Graduate Students’ Luncheon will run $20.00, and it will once more include a special session, which Graduate Executive-Council representative Kelly Fine and I are still discussing.

Awards: We will be presenting or observing our customary slate of awards, most of which either outgoing (double-entendre, naturally, intended) Secretary-Treasurer Bob Thacker and I will be or already are proceeding with.

However, I wish to emphasize the following three awards and encourage applications for them:

  1. The Frederick Manfred Award for the best Creative Writing Submission. Please include your full and completed selection as a separate attachment with your title and “abstract.” As always, the creative writing itself should be your presentation.
  2. The Louis Owens Award for the Graduate Student presenter(s) “contributing most to cultural diversity in the WLA.” Please see the information available on this award and applying for it at the WLA Web site.
  3. The Willa Pilla Award. Though scorned by a few, this stands alone among the most-coveted awards for humor in the world. The Willa Pilla is intended to honor the most humorous presentation of the conference and to highlight the role of humor in western literature. In the spirit of the Pilla, a soon-to-be legendary story about the actual Pilla’s early arrival in South Dakota last fall will be coming to a WLA Conference near you. Please note to me in your cover note for your abstract if you would like to be considered for this much-underrated fashion statement of an award.

Speakers and Special Events: My colleague and good friend, Black Hills State’s Writer-in-Residence, Kent Meyers will be taking part in the conference as “Mine Host,” for those of you who remember the journey of Chaucer’s pilgrims and that Tabard Inn. Other speakers I have commitments from include Chuck Bowden (our Keynote), Terri Jentz, Doug and Andrea Peacock, Gary Ferguson, Linda Hasselstrom, Dan O’Brien, Susan Powers (via the SD Humanities Council), Jim Stiles, Alison Hedge Coke, M. John Fayhee, several others, and likely a few surprises. Kent Meyers’s new novel, Twisted Tree (Harcourt), is being released to correspond with the conference. Numerous of these guest authors (and several WLA members) are slated to have new releases close to the time of our conference. We almost certainly will be hosting a South Dakota Humanities Council Event on “Writing Deadwood [and/or South Dakota]” with Pete Dexter and Tom Griffith.

We will have a special panel on Indingenous Women of the Northern Plains, emphasizing the diversity of Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Women, from Traditional to Modernized, etc. We  will be featuring The Porcupine Singers from Pine Ridge for traditional music and hope to have  group of Lakota dancers along with them. My former department chair, Ronnie Theisz, a Lakota musicologist, will provide contextual and interpretive background about Lakota musicology and dance. Our emphasis for this part of our program will be “True Black Hills Gold.”

The South Dakota Festival of the Book will be held in Deadwood on Friday afternoon through Sunday morning, and I am working together with them on sharing a few speakers and on hosting at least one of their sessions at our conference. WLAers are welcome to attend any of the Festival’s functions in Deadwood on Friday through Sunday morning; I will include their program in your registration packets.

We are eagerly anticipating David Fenimore’s several-faceted homage to the late and lamented Deadwood, entitled something like “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Audience”(sorry, David, I had to crib and invent that) and preformed (another regionalism) by the disclaimed Deadwood Deadend Players (ibid., David). We will be screening one or two films, observing the 20th Anniversary of Edward Abbey’s death with a special session, providing a special emphasis on South Dakota’s “own” author and director Oscar Micheaux, giving another special emphasis to the 40th anniversary of the publication of N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, honoring Cormac McCarthy with our Distinguished Achievement Award, and by yiminy and golly, so much more. It appears most likely this will be in absentia, his attendance, in his own words from The Crossing, likely a “doomed enterprise,” in contrast to rumors that keep reaching me regularly from WLA members, though I’m still trying.

Food and Miscellaneous Events/Details: Our food/restaurant costs around here tend to be average but mostly lower than in the cities where we’ve been in recent years. Spearfish and nearby locations offer everything from solid Italian and Mexican to a couple of fine steakhouses to the best Indian Tacos I’ve yet to have anywhere—and as a loyal culinary follower of Jim Harrison (though he’s assuredly wrong in his disdain for rosemary) and Chuck Bowden, I know my food. The Holiday Inn’s in-house restaurant, Amelia’s, offers very good breakfasts (which I can vouch for), and I hear their other meals are above the average hotel fare. Applebee’s is just a short walk in front of the hotel. Otherwise, the only places within easy walking distance are fast food: Culver’s, Subway, and Papa John’s Pizza (in WalMart), though within about 3/8th of a mile are a Perkins, KFC/Long John Silver’s Combo, and another pizza place. Most of the best eateries are at least two miles away in or just outside of one end of town or the other. I will be including a list of places and my food critic evaluation in your registration packets.

Thursday Night will involve a new feature for the WLA: “A Night on the Town.” How I will pull it off logistically remains a mystery, but I will try. Everyone will be encouraged to go into or near Spearfish for dinner, then meet back at an off-conference grounds location for the Reader’s Theater and two more special events that evening, including Sturgis musician Hank Harris’s (and possible special guests) performance of selected numbers from his two volumes of “The Deadwood Songbook,” along with a special speaking session. I am hoping we can hold that event in Spearfish’s Historic Matthews Opera House, and I am supposed to receive final word on that early next week. If that doesn’t pan out with gold, we’ll move our special location.

For those who imbibe of spirits, the hotel has the pro-forma full service bar, and the city offers everything from a cowboy/redneck bar to a biker bar to a fine Irish Pub in town (guess where I hoist a pint now and then). There are other Falstaffian facilities in this long-ago cow town, even an ex-English pub now sea-themed establishment called Riptides, though why, I don’t know. And for those lovers of New Belgium’s Fat Tire, NB began distribution in South Dakota just this week.

Outing(s): Leaving at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, we will ride up Spearfish Canyon, stopping a couple of times and including a late lunch at Cheyenne Crossing at the top of the canyon. The canyon itself is typically at peak (mostly the gossamer golds of aspen, scrub oak, ash, and paper birch against the evergreens of Ponderosa Pine and Englemann Spruce). We will then wrap around Terry Peak and swing down through Lead to Deadwood (or, as is conventional here, Lead/Deadwood), with a shorter route back that evening.

“Must-Know” Trivia: Lead is pronounced “Leed,” much as nearby Belle Fourche is pronounced “Bell Foosh,” and our state capitol Pierre is pronounced “Peer.” You are likely in store for other regionalisms both in pronunciation and terminology—for example, here in the Mount Rushmore state, much is “taken for granite”—along with both myth debunking and grand lies perpetuating those debunked and other myths.

I will attempt to arrange transportation back from Deadwood in two waves, one earlier (leaving around 8 p.m) and one later (around 10 or 11 p.m., though the logistics and costs for two separate transits may prove impractical). The outing charge will be $40.00 per person, which will include the transportation there and back and your lunch at the wonderful Cheyenne Crossing; you will be on your own for evening meals. I recommend Jake’s (Costner’s joint atop his Midnight Star Casino, which includes movie memorabilia) and The Deadwood Social Club for evening meals, though you’ll want reservations and should make them early. Various other eateries are available.

Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to Black Hills State University, the South Dakota Humanities Council, and the Charles Redd Center for significant financial support.  My special thanks to our Organization’s Treasure, Sabine Barcatta at Utah State University, for all her help and guidance both future and past, the latter which included catching a couple of unclear allusions, incorrect details, misplaced possessives, and superfluous transitions in this letter.

To mingle our 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Cormac McCarthy with good old F. Scott Fitz: So we ride on, Western pilgrims against the Current. I look forward to hosting and serving you as we seek the many green lights of existence.

Windswept regards of the highest order,

David Cremean, your 2009 WLA President