For the past several years I have been slowly collecting the Walter J. Black editions of the Zane Grey books.
Every time I would see these books in used book stores they would bring back memories of growing up in ranch country in Kansas. I finally decided to start collecting them as I ran across them. However, I set myself a price limit as I found out that many places overprice them.
There are 75 books in this series and I now have a little more than 50 of them. Someday I plan to start reading them 🙂
The books are in my hallway and I pass them many times a day and when I notice them memories stream back.
In the past couple of months there have been more memories as my thoughts have often turned to Ashland, Kansas where many of my high school friends have been recovering from the large fire. See: Burning Kansas
The memories that come back the most are of my friend Monty who lost his home in the fires. I remember many times that we spent together while growing up and the collection of Zane Grey books that he had in his room. I know at that time Zane Grey was his favorite author. Of course many other memories come back as well of our friendship. I have some great memories of time spent in band as we both played the trombone.
Within the last hour I received news from my Mom that Monty has passed away. He recently was hospitalized for heart trouble and tonight went back to the hospital where he passed away. I am very sad tonight.
One of the books that I am looking forward to reading is Raiders of the Spanish Peaks. When I was in Boy Scouts I spent several summers at Spanish Peaks Scout Camp and also climbed one of the Spanish Peaks.
The only Zane Grey book that I have read is Riders of the Purple Sage. There is a sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage and it was the most recent one that I have found. Perhaps I should move it up on my to-read list.
I know that I will always associate these books with my friend Monty. They will always bring back wonderful memories.