Dime Novel

I spotted this man walking around in front of the old Post Office in Luckenbach Texas a while back. He would stop from time to time to strike a pose for the rest of the tourists. It seemed amusing at the time, given that everyone in Luckenbach is projecting some sort of image. He fit right in. The crowd is always a diverse bunch, from well heeled wannabe bikers to outlaw country music enthusiasts and of course tourists.

The dime novel narrative surrounding my subject was already there, all I had to do was make it visible. The text is a combination of sentences I wrote myself and a paragraph from an actual dime novel, The Untamed by Max Brand, published around 1919. Max Brand is surely one of the great marketing names of the twentieth century. Of course given the context of his work it may well have been a reference to a permanent tattoo on a horse. No matter, it is a wonderful name for a western novelist.

The West we know from popular entertainment is a wild exaggeration of larger than life characters and their dastardly or heroic deeds. My subject personified many of those stereotypes at least in my mind. He made a turn of the century dime novel impression of rugged individualism with impeccable style cues.


Author: Ken

Avid photographer and old guy technologist.