I'm now in the second day of a trip to Austin, Texas, for the annual Order of the Indian Wars Assembly. The OIW is a great organization for the kind of writing that I do, and this year's conference was particularly appealing for a number of reasons:
1) I finally get to meet probably the top Old West historian in the country, Robert Utley. Bob did a "jacket blurb" for my book, but I'd never met him before.
2) One of the tours included a visit to the Custer headquarters in Austin. This is the only Custer military post on the Great Plains that I hadn't visited yet; as my next book will cover Custer on the plains, it's a "must see"!
3) I finally get to visit the Alamo - I've been a nut about that site for more than 20 years, but have never been.
4) It's also a chance to visit a number of Texas forts that I hadn't visited yet. I might get in as many as five on this trip, so knock wood.
The first day of the assembly included some great talks on Texas, Fort Parker, the lead-up to the Alamo, and the Kiowa chief Satanta. In between talks, I had the chance to do book sales and also see some familiar faces from my last trip with the OIW. And finally, got to meet Bob Utley! Great guy, happy to see me and he signed one of his books (there's been more than 50 I think) for me. I'll post a photo as soon as the blog lets me - some kind of glitch this morning.
Visited the state capitol after the conference - very cool. Today it's off to Waco and a visit to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Fort Parker.