My Audio On The Western Formula Story
In the early nineties I became interested in story grammar, partly in
cognitive psychology, which deals a little with this topic. In the period of about 1993 to 1994 I wrote three essays on formula stories, on the Western, the science fiction story and the detective formula story. I found that the formula Western story grammar was most interesting, while the science fiction story does not tend to have the structured grammar that the Western and the detective genre have. .
The Western formula story harks back to American roots in the late
19th century, and to the West itself, and it features the often
eccentric cowboy, the little bow legged man in the huge hat and boots,
who got his outfit, spurs, chaps, hat, horse, roping rope and some of
his lingo from the Texas vaquero down in the brush country. This
eccentric cowboy spread his myth for a hundred years into American
life and fiction.
Walter Prescott Webb in his book, The Great Plains, said that the 98th
meridian is the dividing line between the wet and dry parts of Texas,
and divides the East from the West. San Antonio is 98.493W, which
means it is west of the 98th meridian. So I was born and raised in the
West. There were, of course, other influences upon the northern part
of the brush country SW of San Antonio where I lived as a boy. There
was still some influence from the South, since many people in the area
had Southern roots. And – there was an influence from Mexico and the
Hispanic people living in the brush country.
I said in this audio that the well known cowboy of the early rodeo,
Clay McGonagill, was the nephew of my grandfather, A.M. Pyron, and son
of his sister Annie. Some family members who are grandchildren of
A.M. Pyron thought our grandfather was Clay’s uncle. But three or
four years ago I found out that was not true.
Information dug up from http://www.ancestry. com shows that great aunt
Annie Pyron married William
Washington McGonagill in Lavaca county, Texas in 1870. They later
moved to the northern part of the Texas hill county. She is buried in
The father of Clay McGonagill was George Monroe McGonagill, the uncle
of William Washington McGonagill that great aunt Annie married. So
Clay was the first cousin of the husband of Great Aunt Annie Pyron
McGonagill. There are some Facebook Friends who are descended from
Annie and William W. McGonagill.
Clay McGonagill was born in the Sweet Home area of Lavaca county to
George M. McGonagill and Narcissa J. Payne McGonagill in 1879. The
article on Clay
by Eve Ball, “Clay McGonagill: A Colorful Cowboy,” Persimmon Hill 9
(Winter 1979) says “Clay McGonagill was born at old Sweet Home,
Texas, September 24,1879. In 1883 his father, George, moved his
family to West Texas, where he was sheriff of Ector county while
running cattle on his homestead a few miles out of Odessa, the county
So grandfather A.M. Pyron, who Billy Kinney said had Clay McGonagill
stay with him and grandmother when Clay was in San Antonio for a
rodeo, might well have known Clay’s father, Clay as a child and other
McGonagills in the Sweet Home area of Lavaca county, Texas.
Grandfather lived in that area along Mustang creek before moving to
SW Bexar county. Grandfather lived in the Sweet Home area until 1882.
Here are the links to Westerns now on supload:
Westerns Part One
Westerns Part Two