My father started the research for this book many years ago. He gathered and saved articles, photos, letters and maps relating to the story of his grandfather, John Ward. I found them in these old briefcases, after he died.
John’s flat-topped wooden trunk sat for nearly 130 years gathering dust on a closet floor, till finally I decided to write his story. Beneath the dusty lid I found John’s personal papers, all carefully bound with string, two pairs of spurs, and a set of magnificent photos of Big Bend. On each photo, John had written a caption in rough pencil. His appreciation for detail and sense of humor are as clear and crisp as the images themselves.
High on a closet shelf, I found John’s legendary three-dollar German fiddle. His relics inspire me. I keep them close as I write his story.