June 18-21, 2012


June 6, 2012

Consider this to be a personal invitation to join us in the 30th annual Circling of the Wagons of the Zane Grey’s West Society.  Site: Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center, Spearfish, South Dakota.  (Phone: 800-999-3541).

* * * * *

            They say that when each of us comes to the end of our life journey, one thing we won’t regret will be the money we spent to make memories with.  I’ve met lots of people whose major regret late in life was that they never really lived.  Never really enjoyed life, explored life, traveled, ventured outside the box.  Always they were going to do these things someday, someday when they had lots of spare time and spare money—but they never did.  Then when one life-partner or the other was crippled physically or mentally, that was the end of their travel dreams.

If you love the West—especially the Old West; appreciate, love, or would like to learn more about the works of frontier writer Zane Grey (the #1 writer in the world during the first half of the 20th century), we urge you to drop everything and join our extended family get-together in Spearfish, SD, beginning this June 18.

We are not a formal organization, but rather just a group of people who love the West, the books Zane Grey wrote, and who genuinely revel in getting together with cherished friends in places worth traveling to: places like Glacier National Park; Catalina Island; Zanesville, Ohio; Payson, Arizona; North Rim of the Grand Canyon; Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, Virginia; Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania; Flagstaff, Arizona, Grants Pass and Gold Beach, Oregon, and so on. This will be our first convention set in South Dakota.

We are a frugal organization; so much so that we’ve only raised dues once in 30 years!  We have no paid-anybody; we all serve pro-bono.  The only thing that enables us to keep our beautiful and professional magazines coming is our auctions of Zane Grey books and memorabilia during our annual convention.

Let me walk you through a typical convention.  Knowing that many of our members are on fixed-incomes, we tend to stay in lodging that is attractive yet not priced out of range for our members.

We usually meet during the third week of June (sometimes the second), Monday eve through Thursday eve.  Having said that, so anxious is everyone to see their friends again that about a third get there early.  The Monday evening barbeque is our first event.  Tuesday is our heaviest day: annual keynote address, other special events or presentations, annual breakfast or lunch when we remember those we no longer have with us, the annual auction (a great place and time to build your library), etc.  This year, my keynote address will be telling the story of what is almost universally considered to be the greatest western novel ever written, Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage. 2012 is its 100th anniversary!  Later, several of the top executives of the Crazy Horse Memorial Park will tell us about what is happening at what will one day be the largest carved statuary in the world (many times larger than Mount Rushmore).  On Wednesday, we will visit Mount Rushmore in the morning and Crazy Horse in the afternoon—they’ll let us get up close!  Thursday is part business (electing officers, special speakers or presentations, and voting on future convention sites).  Afternoon provides welcome free time, and evening the annual banquet (no specified dress code).  At the end, we all cry, knowing that never in this life will we all be together again.

Once you experience it, you’ll want to meet with us every year. Our normal attendance averages a hundred or more.

We’d love to have you with us on June 18.

For specifics, make reservations at special society convention rate at the Spearfish Holiday Inn.  And be sure and contact our genial Secretary/Treasurer for further details:


c/o Sheryle Hodapp, Secretary/Treasurer

15 Deer Oaks Drive

Pleasanton, CA 94588



See you there!