About Gary L Stuart

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So far Gary L Stuart has created 20 blog entries.

Watch Yer Mouth

watch_your_mouth literally“Watch yer mouth” was good advice, back in the 1880s. But what did they mean by “watch?” “Watch your mouth,” “mind your manners,” “inch along,” “don’t baby it,” and other irksome sayings are culture survivors. Think of ‘em as behavioral guides to what someone thinks […]

None of Yours

opinion nonse of your businessIn the American west of the 1880s, men like Angus and women like Jill lived mostly unexamined lives.

Sure, there was the Old West version of social media: men jawboning at standup bars—women exchanging opinions over the pickle barrel at the general store—people […]

Deed I Do

Deed I do “Deed I do” is a quaint musical phrase and not something Angus would have ever said. Not that he didn’t do deeds; he surely did. But admitting he’d done a deed, in present tense, wasn’t his way of talking or thinking. “Deed I […]

The Greatest Spectacle in Sports

Old Indy 500 racecar My son, Tosh, and I went to Indianapolis over the Memorial Day weekend this year to see the so-called “greatest spectacle in sports,” the Indy 500. It was aptly named; it was a great spectacle and featured a new sport for […]


FoxNewsPerspectiveWriting about law and order today is pretty much the same as it was in the 1880s. Except today, more people get their news from TV than from newspapers. The narrative differs greatly depending on whether it’s written by Fox news or MSNBC.

Fox News might write […]

Mass Shootings

Angus, a federal marshal in 1880s New Mexico, knew something mass shootings. Had you been around in those days and asked him, he might have one or two mass shootings. It happened mostly when the U.S. Army came into close contact with Indians. The worst one happened on December 29, 1890 at a place called […]


BlackJackStandingStill JFKUp high on a ridge line at 10,000 feet, stillness humbles a man. At least, that’s what it did to Angus in the 1880s. Could be those hard to reach places are just as still now as they were back then. I don’t mean quiet. […]


YouCantHandleTheTruthTruthiness is a word that didn’t exist in the 1880s. It hardly exists now, except in the political and entertainment worlds. A funny guy named Stephen Colbert invented it to carry a TV show about fake truth. It was made up stuff, what Angus would have […]

Detailed Descriptions

Details 1Rule Number 8 in Elmore Leonard’s book on writing says, “Avoid Detailed Descriptions of Characters.” I agree. Angus apparently did too because he rarely told us much about how other Ten Shoes Up characters looked.

Hemingway once described a central character this way. “She had taken […]


Angus bandit maskIn the American West, masks were worn by lots of people.

Outlaws tied bandannas around their necks, snugged up over their noses to keep folks from recognizing them during a stage coach holdup. Angus saw his share of those masks.

Indian tribes wore masks as part […]