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GUNS Magazine December 2011 Digital Edition - Page 98
I of sixgunners everywhere. Skeeter was more than just a gunwriter as he had a natural talent for entertaining stories, whether they were about his childhood days with his t is hard to believe Skeeter Skelton has been gone from friend in the “Me And Joe” tales or his fictional accounts of the adventures of us for nearly a quarter of a century. There have been Dobe Grant. The imaginary Dobe was many excellent gunwriters over the past 100 years or made up using a compilation of the so, and I have looked up articles by them written before attributes of several real characters in WWI. Beginning in the late 1920s, elmer Keith caught Skeeter’s life such as Bill Jordan and the attention of shooters and held it for over 50 years; Evan Quiros. With “Me And Joe,” many of us were able to relive parts I believe I’ve read everything he ever wrote, especially of our childhood and dream of years pertaining to sixguns. Keith wrote about sixguns, gone by that we shall never see again; shotguns, rifles and hunting with nearly a dozen books with Dobe Grant there was always an to his credit. adventure and a good definition of what real friendship is. Skeeter on the other hand, wrote Plainclothesmen,” “The New I first met Skeeter in 1978. The mostly, almost exclusively, about Varminters,” “Rigging Up For NRA Show was held in Salt Lake handguns. His writing career lasted Sixgunning” and “Belt Guns Along City that year, so Diamond Dot and I less than 30 years and he never wrote Rio Grande.” I’m not a betting man, drove down to attend it as well as The a book, however many of his articles but if I was, I would be willing to wager Outstanding American Handgunner were compiled into a pair of Awards Foundation Banquet. I books after his passing and had high hopes Skeeter would his influence and appeal are win that year, which he did, and everlasting. Those two books I still have the banquet program which demand high dollar he autographed for me. I caught prices these days are Hipshots, his attention on the show floor by Hoglegs, and Jalapenos and walking up to him and handing Good Friends, Good Guns, him a picture. It was a picture Good Whiskey. Just as with of a 1st Generation Colt Single Elmer Keith, today Skeeter’s Action I owned and the closearticles seem somewhat dated, up of the barrel revealed an nevertheless, just as with Keith, inscription: “Russian and S&W they are also highly relevant in Special 44.” Skeeter grabbed me many ways to shooters today. by the arm and said, “Let’s go Skeeter joined the Border find a place to talk.” He loved Patrol in the early 1950s at Colt Single Actions, especially a time when it was still a the .44 Special. horseback outfit, and also was Over the years, Skeeter’s actually allowed to enforce physical condition suffered federal law concerning illegals. Skeeter Skelton was directly responsible for the resurrection of greatly because of several fights He went on to become sheriff the S&W .44 Specials in the early 1980s. he experienced as a law officer, of Deaf Smith County, Texas, car accidents and especially a and while serving as sheriff wrote many of those reading this have done botched operation. He was 60 years many of his early articles. His first the same thing. Skeeter also freelanced old when everything finally caught freelance efforts appeared in this very for Gun World and GunSport, then up with him. While Skeeter was in magazine under his given name of became handgun editor for Shooting the hospital I sent him many of my Charles A. Skelton. Times in the mid-1960s. For more manuscripts, hoping with them he Some articles I recall (in fact than 20 years in that position, Skeeter saved in my file) are “Pistols For caught the imagination and attention continued on page 97 REMEMBERING SkEETER and sixguns. 98 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2011