Thursday, June 9, 2011
This book was given to me by a friend while I was recuperating from having three impacted wisdom teeth removed in the spring of 1983 during a brief time at Cape May, New Jersey. I probably wasn’t the only one amused by the fact that each of those three wisdom teeth were, in some way, retarded. I was on the ward with three other guys who had the same type of oral surgery. For a couple of days we all looked like chipmunks. I was glad to finally wake up on the third day not having a bloody pillow stuck to my face.
Anyway, I was quite captivated by LEATHERHAND when I first read it. Mike Wales was a new name to me in the field of Westerns and as it turned out, we became good friends via mail and the telephone. We never did personally meet.
LEATHERHAND lasted only 8 books, before Mike’s untimely death. The last book, DARK NEMESIS, signaled a change in packaging and presentation and left me with an idea of where the series would have gone had Mike lived to continue it.
One day, out of the blue, I got a call from Mike’s adult son, Kenny Dalton, informing me of Mike’s death. Apparently Mike had my number somewhere in his personal effects and Kenny called not only to tell me what had happened but to thank me for befriending his dad.
I can’t imagine that any of the LEATHERHAND books will be easy for you to find, even in used book emporiums, because they were so good that people probably are holding on to them. It would be a trip to see them find new life through another publisher, though.