Writers: Ever Heard of Lou Blonger?

Not referring to spectacles, as I am wearing now, to see clearly, as in “I can see clearly now the rain has gone …” (Credence Clearwater Revival / John Fogerty).   No, I am referring to readers: books, articles, blogs.  Not only writers, but readers.  Stephen King, in his book on writing, said:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Most of us are reading different things, these days.  I am oddly reminded of the importance of reading today.  I am visiting a little town two hours west of Denver, an hour outside Rocky Mountain National Park.  And I’ve always … always … always … been intrigued by the legends and stories of Mountain Men, Mountain Men Outlaws, and Mountain Men eccentrics. Front Cover One particular volume I’d like to throw out on the small table to the side of your infamous reading chair (maybe you have more than one reading chair): Outlaw Tales of Colorado by Jan Elizabeth Murphy.   Murphy covers one character in particular, who intrigues me: Lou Blonger, who came to Colorado in 1879.  

Lou Blonger was raising a great deal of hell, running con-rackets, a saloon, a gambling house.   What Murphy tells you about this ruffian is really wild.  Another “player” in the con-games in Denver, Soapy Smith, ” …was running the underworld (at the time) …  and his brother Bascomb were charged with the attempted murder of a saloon manager. Realizing he had lost control of the situation, Soapy left for the mining boomtown of Skagway, Alaska in 1897, relinquishing control of Denver’s underworld to Lou Blonger.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Blonger

From that point on, when Soapy Smith left Denver (1897) Blonger ran the underworld in Denver.  Lou Blonger was known as: “The Fixer“; “The King of the Con Artists“; “The Overlord of the Underworld“.  All of that came to an end in 1923, when he went on trial, was found guilty, sentenced for 7 years, but died in 1924 at the age of 74.

See what you miss out on if you are not a reader? Be a better writer.  Be a reader.

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