Author, Cowboy, US Army Airborne Ranger (RET)
“A faint heart never filled a straight flush.”
“Learn this well, the last ride
Is never the last ride.
And the end is not the end.” Bob Wills
THERE IS NO LAST RIDE…. Bob Wills is the owner of the Big Corral in Wickenburg. Arizona. He is flat in the middle of the old west and the new west. Real-estate brokers were like vultures, picking on a carcass. The Easterners were out to shut down the Big Corral. Wills remains at odds with the City Council but the real estate bandits were the least of his worries.
It had been a year since he and Marta had been in Mexico to meet her father, the Patron of the Valenzuela family. Jose Lewis, a Tohono O’odham (too’ha: na ‘atom) leader of the Desert People has asked for a meeting, through Marta who arranges for the two men to meet. Wills agreement means going all in and would be a test of Will’s skills, abilities and good luck to stop the disappearance of the Desert People.
Wills deals with his own mortality. He has beaten the odds more than once. Along the border as a tracker for the Texas Rangers, two tours in Vietnam, bringing a herd of corriente cattle across the Mexican U.S. border through bandit country. The vaqueros believe he was the Anglo Vaquero, the one who walks with Saint Martin the patron saint of all vaqueros, so the story goes. Wills and Marta found and stayed for months at the Rancho Los Banos, the Ranch of Many Springs a place lost in time in the Sonoran Desert. Wills gained the trust of the Patron of the Valenzuela family and proves his love for Patrons the daughter Marta.
Bob Wills is a man, who like the Rancho Los Banos seems to be caught in a time of change in the west.
The HASSAYAMPA, the upside down river, flows through the town of Wickenburg, Arizona, along with snow birds, cowboys, dudes, wranglers, artists and ne'er-do-wells.
Bob Wills is a little bit of all these folks. He is the owner of the Big Corral, Feed Store and Livery Stable at the edge of town next to the river. Sooner or later everyone and their horses end up at the Corral. The sign on the road tells all, “WE BOARD AND RENT HORSES, WE DO NOT RENT PIGS OR SHEEP”
The Upside Down River is a story filled with humor, good luck, bad luck and no luck at all. Bob Wills is a former Army Ranger, Vietnam Veteran, rodeo cowboy, top hand in any outfit and a cowboy businessman. Everything is not milk and honey for Wills. He lost his wife to cancer and his best friend and partner decides he wanted to split their company down the middle leaving Wills with the Big Corral. As Will’s would say “Half of something is better than half of nothing.”
Bob Wills’ insight into the town of Wickenburg, western life and the cowboy code are straight forward. There are characters he likes and takes at face value. There are those who make the mistake of crossing him or bossing him. They’ll regret their miscalculation of Bob Willis’s good nature.
A soldier's story, RA's US's NG's ... The PFC's, Speedy Fours, Shit Can burners, KP and Dining Room Orderlies who waited on tables one day and were asked to die the next. Sing no sad songs, there were no pup tent poets, just be there and square and when you are done your own Mama won't want you back. "Mado, Mado where you've been ... up snake hill and back again: your left, your left, right, left. Two old ladies were lying in bed; one rolled over to the other and said: GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, AIRBORNE, ALL THE WAY. Call cadence count … AIRBORNE, ALL THE WAY.”
Bob Stave’s remarkable story begins on the University of Minnesota campus and the West Bank, otherwise known as Seven Corners. That’s where a druggie was murdered by an undercover narc named Captain America. It was a center of disillusionment and unrest, with culture clash cultivated like germs in a Petri dish. When downtrodden lawyer Peter Hill is hired to find a missing girl, he calls on photography professor Smith Kearns for assistance. Their search pits them against Captain America and leads them to the jungles of Mexico where they encounter Amazon drug dealers, deadly Federales, a revolutionary bandito, and a one-eyed CIA agent. Peter is forced to wrestle with his legal ethics, while Smith must face the demons that have followed him since two harrowing tours as a war photographer in Vietnam. Their journey culminates in a final showdown that will leave your heart racing and mind reeling. As Country Joe and the Fish raved: “Put down your books and pick up a gun we are gunna have a whole lot of fun … one, two, three, four … what are we fighting for?”
“A thoughtful, humorous, character-driven story of the American west in the style reminiscent of ‘Lonesome Dove.’ Ten Good Horses is like a string of pearls. When it comes to the people, animals, or the land Bob Wills is at his very best, achieving affectionate amusement and memorable observations on the past, present, and what is ahead and what maybe a new life.” – A.L. Hart
When Bob Wills rides a colt to a standstill, it is not a victory. It is an understanding that he and the colt were both better off for the experience. Like Bob Wills would say “You can talk a horse to death but sooner or later you just have to climb aboard the hurricane deck and see where you end up.”
Bill Roedock thought he’d found “Jai Wen”, the middle way. He and his son Mike are living on his forty-eight-foot trawler Lobo Sonriente in Key West. This is as close as he will come to mainstream America. On a November morning, Roedock receives a call from an old friend, Julian Jackson, a former M16 operative turned London solicitor. Thus begins a wave of events that will challenge all of Roedock’s skills and resources. Roedock is hired to find a woman and young child who have disappeared in Thailand. A simple “find and fetch” turns into a quagmire of intrigue, violence and deception. Sonya Merill is the most beautiful woman Roedock has ever seen; however, the life she leads in Thailand stinks of corruption. The fact that her current paramour is an ex-colonel who helped implement the Cambodian holocaust tells Roedock he should let go. It is in the old soul eyes of Sonya’s young daughter that he finds reason to finish the job. With the help of his nephew, Ike Wu, and contacts from the old days, the mission is undertaken in a land of secrets, shadows and memories of soldiers past.