I love good stories. I love to hear stories, read stories, and tell stories. Stories connect us with others: they can instruct us, intrigue our curiosity, and inspire. The American West has provided an exceptional backdrop for stories; arguably it has provided our national story. No region of the country has more successfully capitalized on these stories and images: from the Western dime store novel to the ubiquitous Western movie, from Western themed amusement parks and bars with mechanical bulls to cowboy boots, hats, and on and on. It seems appropriate then to use short stories to write about my formative experience growing up and living in the West. The following vignettes elucidate what frequently happens with stories: they capture the in-between of ideal and real; they contain facts and created notions often equally meaningful. These personal and professional stories demonstrate the exceptional sense of meaning that the West has imbued in our world, the power of the Western narrative to shape values, and the tension that arises when narratives clash. The first occurred very far away from the West but represented one of my first understandings of it.
Bieter, John. (2015). "Americano, Americano". Journal of the West, 54(3), 51-60.