He’d probably blush, hearing that such a distinguished title had been tossed his direction. But as an historical fiction writer currently focused on Nevada in the 1880s, I want to give this distinguished Nevada historian a “full salute,” as some say.
Howard Hickson’s work has benefited me each time I’ve researched a novel. He’s deepened my understanding of Nevada’s people and places. Director Emeritus of the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko, he’s been long retired. In a brief e-mail exchange this evening–thank you, Howard, you were kind to respond–he told me he was no longer involved in research.
All the more reason for the rest of us to get busy I suppose. I’m currently most fond of Mint Mark: CC – A History of the U.S. Mint in Carson City. I just received a copy of the 1972 paperback in Oregon this morning. I finished it before breakfast and later found myself bragging to friends about things I’d been hoping to find out for a long time.
Some of what I learned from Howard’s life-long involvement in Nevada history will no doubt be included in my seventh narrative in the W. W. Ronin series of Westerns, Bathhouse Row. For example, his 2002 book, Elko, One of the Last Frontiers of the Old West, was an extraordinary boost to my research for books three and four, The Pinkerton Years and True Believer.
A resident of an assisted care facility in Elko, Nevada, you can find some of what Howard has written here. Savor it.
I’ve bumped into a few of Nevada’s best over the years. In the late 80s and early 90s, the late Vic Goodwin and I used to have lunch together at the Ormsby House Rotary meeting. Also gone, Willa Oldham and I sat more than a few times in her living room discussing books and writing. Both of these dear saints were members of the First Presbyterian Church in Carson City, where I was pastor. Hell, even Ron James sold me a trumpet once. Now there’s a saint for sure, and he keeps on giving.
Howard, and the rest of you for that matter, I don’t use this language often–my character, the former reverend W. W. Ronin even less so. But you and your writing have blessed me. A profound thank you.