Author Elmer Kelton started writing The Good Old Boys while his father was still able to retell the stories from his former ranching and cowboy days. Those stories inspired Kelton to write The Good Old Boys. He created the character Hewey Calloway who epitomizes the wandering happy-go-lucky cowboy who’s out looking for the next round-up. Hewey owns nothing but his horse, Biscuit, and his saddle. He calls in at his brother Walter’s ranch, and as usual the welcome from his sister-in-law Eve is chilly. She thinks Hewey ought to be settling down and starting his own spread. Eve goes so far as to try to set him up with the local school teacher. Through an ill-timed accident Walter’s leg is broken. Hewey feels responsible, so he stays around to work Walter’s farming & ranching spread so that the bank can’t call in the mortgage in the fall. One of Walter’s sons adores Hewey and his tales; the other son doesn’t have much use for him, as he’s come to realize so many of Hewey’s stories are blown up `bull-oney.’ Well, I won’t tell you any more of the plot. I will tell you though there’s no murder, serious violence or gun battles. The Good Old Boys is the tale of cowboys feeling the cinch being tightened as the wild west Hewey & Walter knew it, has been roped & corralled. Through it all a passel of humor helps them through the trials.
There’s a movie version of The Good Old Boys staring Tommy Lee Jones as Hewey. You’ll also enjoy it if you’re lucky enough to find a copy on DVD or video. —Robin Moore http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Boys-Hewey-Calloway/
There are two more books about Hewey Calloway by Kelton including The Smiling Country http://www.amazon.com/The-Smiling-Country-Hewey-Calloway/
and Six Bits a Day: http://www.amazon.com/Six-Bits-Day-Hewey-Calloway-Kelton
Ashamed to say I’ve read very little of Kelton’s work BUT I met his favorite bookseller in San Angelo, Texas back in 2008..He was headed to the Kelton’s for dinner just as soon as the California tourista got outa his store! So near and yet so far….
What a funny coincidence! Thanks for sharing the story, Arletta!