Jay West

But that didn't dim the vision that had been put in the little boy's head. I kept on craving Johnny West toys, and that's what we kept on getting for Christmas-and birthdays. My fourth birthday I was introduced to the fairly new "Jay" West, Johnny's blond son. Daddy had carved me a little wooden pistol, and it fit just right in his hand, so he became a "two-gun-kid."

Well, I could go on and on about Johnny West. I can name dozens of different stories we "acted out" as children, some of which became Western novels when I started writing years down the road. Little Jay took a fall off the top of our staircase a couple of years later when we lived in Virginia, snapping off both of his legs at the knee. Luckily, Daddy was a trained doctor by then, and Jay wore permanent splints from that day forth.