In this memoir installment, Jim has a new story to tell, a story about which most of us are probably unfamiliar — the connection between those who wrote "The Hallelujah Trail," "Onionhead," "Hondo," and "Bend of the River" (to name a few), and Oklahoma ... more particularly, the University of Oklahoma. Jim tells about those who taught the authors, particularly Walter Stanley Campbell aka Stanley Vestal and his assistant William Foster Harris aka Foster-Harris. Additionally, Jim describes his experience with them at the University of Oklahoma and describes his own professional writings during his long career.
In this article, Jim takes as his title part of a famous quotation by the stuffy-looking Englishman Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) shown at left — I'll leave it to Jim to say why, below. Although Jim Kyle may or may not take issue Johnson's definition of a "blockhead" and whether he is one, you will certainly conclude just as I have that it just ain't so. Samuel Johnson, as skilled and wise a writer and critic as he may have been, knew nothing of the Internet.
Click a link below for other Jim Kyle's Memoirs
Memoirs & Thoughts of a 1950s Oklahoma Reporter — Part 1 (Okc Newspapers)
Memoirs & Thoughts of a 1950s Oklahoman Reporter — Part 2
How 2 Men Ended The 50-Year Drought
An Oklahoma Citian Remembers The Korean War — We Didn't Use Billy Clubs
Editor's Closing Notes. So, right now, having read this, put your hand up if you think that it was Samuel Johnson who was the blockhead and not our man Jim Kyle — I'm looking ... ahhh, it's good to see that we all agree!
Additional References. For a few additional references about Jim's topic, see:
- Dianna Everett, "Vestal, Stanley (1887-1957)" (OHS Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History & Culture)
- Carol J. Burr, "Postscript ... a.k.a. Stanley Vestal" (Sooner Magazine Winter 2012)
- Goldie Capers Smith, "Parsley On The Dish" (Oklahoma Today Winter 1964-65) — about Foster-Harris
- Stan Paregien, "Bill Gulick" (Cowboy Directory.com) — shows Campbell's grave site
- University of Oklahoma, Studies in Professional Writing
- Jim Kyle's Website, www.jimkyle.com