On the heels of the news about Bill Knott’s death comes belated word that award-winning Western author Fred Grove passed away in September. He began writing for the Western pulps in the Fifties and went on to produce numerous novels in the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties, often for Doubleday and often concerning horses and horse racing in the Old West. I don’t believe I’ve ever read any of his novels, but I have read some of his short stories (many of which have been reprinted in paperback collections from Leisure Books in recent years) and enjoyed them.
Fred is another author I met once at a Western Writers of America convention. In this case it was San Angelo in 1990. I sat next to him at a barbecue dinner that was held on a ranch west of town. I tell you, there are a lot worse ways to spend a few hours than sitting at a picnic table under some trees next to a creek, eating good barbecue and talking to Fred Grove. I had a fine time, and I’m sorry that he’s gone.