Hawkins speaking on L’AmourReese Hawkins, friend and admirer of the late Louis L’Amour, will make a rare appearance Sunday afternoon to share his personal stories of the frontier author. Hawkins, 93, said he’s not getting out much anymore, although he still lives on his own. He said his presentation Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church is the result of encouragement by the one of the church’s pastors, the Rev. Harlan Kaden.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
Reese Hawkins, friend and admirer of the late Louis L’Amour, will make a rare appearance Sunday afternoon to share his personal stories of the frontier author.
Hawkins, 93, said he’s not getting out much anymore, although he still lives on his own. He said his presentation Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church is the result of encouragement by the one of the church’s pastors, the Rev. Harlan Kaden.
The presentation, “Reese and Louis L’Amour,” is at 3 p.m. in the church lounge and is open to the public.
Last summer was the first that Hawkins wasn’t to be seen visiting with tourists about L’Amour at the Writer’s Shack in Frontier Village. For the previous four summers, Hawkins spent several days a week at the village visiting with the author’s fans. Those fans come in all shapes and sizes, ages, walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, he has said.
Hawkins’ longtime friendship with L’Amour began with his wife, Margaret, who died in April 2008. He said the friendship started with Margaret returning from her book club bearing a L’Amour novel. Hawkins will share his memories of that beginning and his first face-to-face meeting with the author for lunch at the Polo Lounge in Los Angeles, Calif.
“I based my talk on the times I met with L’Amour,” Hawkins said.
He’ll talk about the first Christmas present he gave the author — newspaper items occurring in Jamestown around the time L’Amour was born. L’Amour was born in Jamestown and lived here until he was 15.
Hawkins’ second present was 20 prescriptions written by L’Amour’s father, who was a veterinarian here. Hawkins said he dug them out of a box in the basement of his pharmacy. What is now Walz Pharmacy was once Hawkins Pharmacy, but it was a pharmacy for many years before Hawkins purchased the business in the 1950s.
Most of his stories about the author focus on history and the depth of character L’Amour projected. L’Amour was very interested in history and used much of what he learned in his novels. L’Amour published 123 books with more than 330 million printed so far. His novels have been translated into 27 languages.
Hawkins will talk about shared trips with the author and his family in South Carolina, visits to Durango, Colo., and California. The presentation includes photos that go with the stories. He’ll share memories of his last lunch with L’Amour and his family in New York City. The author died within months of that lunch.
“I flew out to the memorial service for Louis,” he said.
Hawkins said he wants as much of the memories and personal information he has about L’Amour to become known. He knows at age 93 his time is limited.
“When I die, who in Jamestown will have any knowledge of Louis L’Amour?” he said.
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at email@example.com