Looking for a book that will be a unique Christmas gift that is “just right” for that special someone? Check out these possibilities…!

blog promo Cowboy Heroes

A perfect stocking-stuffer gift for the one who enjoys puzzle books: Cowboy Heroes Puzzle and Activity Book has dozens of western-themed puzzles and activities, and is only $4.95 now on!



blog promo CreedsCodesCowboy heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger were known for their high moral standards in their shows and characters, but did you know that each of them also had a 10-point “code of the west” for their young fans to live by? Creeds, Codes and Cowboy Commandments: TV’s B-Western Heroes Rules to Live By reveals how the cowboy creeds and codes of these heroes translated into their on-screen actions and tie-in merchandising. Perfect gift for anyone who recalls when these cowboy heroes rode the TV range for law and order in the Old West!

The first four volumes of Matt’s Wild West Discovery Series are now available for purchase on Amazon. Each volume highlights a different aspect of the West and is packed with puzzle and activity pages, reprints of vintage comic book stories starring famous western heroes, a Paul Bunyan story, and more! Fun, colorful books for the young and the young at heart!blog promo WWDS_all4

Roy Rogers Memories Live On in Portsmouth, Ohio

Fans attending the Roy Rogers Festival in Portsmouth, Ohio last week remember Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for many things, including their many western films and great music. The iconic couple is also remembered for their love of children and devotion to family. As a little girl, my wife, Amy, met Roy at his California museum in the early 1980s when he posed for a picture with her and her sister! While I never had the pleasure to personally meet Roy or Dale, I have experienced the joy of meeting some of their children and their spouses. Several years ago in Branson, Missouri, Amy and I had a chance to meet Dusty Rogers and snap a photo of him posing with our own children. Last week, we had the pleasure to again meet and speak with Roy and Dale’s daughter, Dodie, who was a guest at the Festival along with her husband, Jon. We also had the opportunity to meet Roy and Dale’s granddaughter, Julie Fox Pomilia, and her husband. In my experiences, Roy and Dale would certainly be able to be proud of the way their children now represent their family legacy.

RR Fest 2019 Dodie, Matt, Julie
With Dodie Rogers (left) and Julie Fox Pomilia (right).

In some respects, the entire Festival had a bit of a “family reunion” atmosphere. The special guests from Little House on the Prairie (Alison Arngrim and Rachel Lindsay Greenbush) seemed like old friends, even though we were meeting them for the first time. Paul Petersen (from The Donna Reed Show) was a familiar face who took time to converse with anyone who wanted to chat. Familiar faces in the dealer room – both among vendors and attendees – added to the feeling of a family gathering. (I especially enjoyed watching a two-year-old boy who for two straight days would swing by to stare lovingly and longingly at the western toys on the dealer table adjacent to my table.) The evenings were filled with casual gatherings for music, food, and relaxed fellowship with fellow fans of Roy and Dale, further adding to the extended-family-gathering atmosphere.

Amy and LHOP gals
My wife Amy, with Alison “Nellie Oleson” Arngrim (left) and Rachel “Carrie Ingalls”Lindsay Greenbush (right).

MRR Fest 2019

If the only legacy left by Roy and Dale was that of the emphasis on family and family values, it would be worthy of celebration. Roy’s legacy includes many aspects of his remarkable career, and his place in Portsmouth history is noted in various ways in Portsmouth. We are fortunate to have so very much of Roy and Dale’s work preserved in recorded music, films, and books, as well as countless merchandise items. But on a personal level, there is also that part of Roy’s legacy that lives in the hearts and minds of those attending each year, and the stories from those who met or knew him.

A legacy worth celebrating, stories worth remembering.

RoyR with Amy and Tracy, early 80s, in CA
Roy Rogers, with Amy and her sister Tracy, in the early 1980s, at Roy’s museum in California.

Squad 51, Zuzu, Gunsmoke, and More at the 2019 Memphis Film Festival

We recently had a great time attending the 2019 Memphis Film Festival, held during the first weekend of June at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica, Mississippi. Fans were able to meet and chat with Hollywood actors, including Emergency’s “Doctor Kelly Brackett” (Robert Fuller) and firefighter/paramedic “Johnny Gage” (Randolph Mantooth); Darby Hinton (“Israel” on Daniel Boone); actress Angie Dickinson (star of Police Woman); and Gunsmoke actor Buck Taylor. Also, Hollywood stuntman Diamond Farnsworth signed photos and told stories of his work in films and TV shows like NCIS. Other special guests included “Zuzu” from the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

The large vendor hall offered opportunities to purchase books and incredible vintage items of memorabilia from 20th Century American pop culture, especially related to western stars and films. As an added bonus, most vendors are subject matter experts who love to chat with attendees.

Robert Fuller co-starred in the classic westerns Laramie and Wagon Train, however, I first became aware of him when he co-starred in TV’s Emergency as an ER doctor who championed the development of paramedic units within the Fire Department. (My wife and I appreciated that Mr. Fuller also made it a point to greet the vendors each morning of the Festival!) Randolph Mantooth co-starred as one of the two heroic paramedics in the series, inspiring many young viewers to choose a career path as part of an emergency response team. It was great to see these two guys meeting fans and sharing stories.

It was also a thrill to enjoy a close-up look at a replica Squad 51 truck on site! A man who is a big fan of Emergency built this incredible replica vehicle, and brought it to the Festival for attendees to see and take pictures. I happily posed for a photo, holding a replica Station 51 fireman’s helmet.

Squad 51 wMatt 08jun19
Matt is seen posing with a Squad 51 replica at Memphis Film Festival (“Squad 51 available”).

As always, we enjoyed seeing familiar faces of vendors and fans that we have met at previous events. The weekend went by swiftly, and my wife and I also enjoyed the chance to speak with so many wonderful attendees at our dealer table. If you were there, thanks for coming by! We are now looking forward to our next event, which will be the Roy Rogers Festival, in August, in Portsmouth, Ohio.


New Book Series!

We are excited to announce the release of a new book series entitled “Matt’s Wild West Discovery Series.”  Like his previous book, “Creeds, Codes and Cowboy Commandments,” Matt highlights the moral codes of the Western Heroes throughout this entire series. Each full color volume features a western star and their code, and includes puzzles, illustrated stories, and pages to color.  Fun and entertaining for people of all ages, each volume also includes at least one geography puzzle to help stretch your knowledge of the western states.  
The first volume, “Codes of the West,” is an introduction to the B Western Heroes and the codes they lived by.  “TV Westerns” is the second volume in this set and explores the westerns that were shown on television in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It even includes a word find of the horses of these television heroes!  In volume three, “At the Rodeo,” the reader will encounter rodeo events, types of rodeo horses, and much more.   “Parks and Preservation” (volume four) focuses on our national and state parks and the importance of preserving those areas along with their history – and the way the western heroes encouraged their fans to make this a priority.  
More volumes will be coming, but these first four volumes were released on Amazon this spring and will also be available at the events where we will have a vendor table.  If you will be at any of these events, please come by and say “Hello!”