The Last of the Wild West Characters?

Feb 7, 2022 | 0 comments

He had a foul mouth.  Elizabeth, our Bookvendor employee extraordinaire, found busy-work in the backroom when he came through the front door.  He was a biker, rode with the Hell’s Angels, was their PR man.  He was an Army Ranger in Vietnam, was a Hollywood screenwriter, and moved here in ’93. He got his meat at Reed & Hertig’s, lived in Chinook and then in Ilwaco, wrote more than 30 books, was nominated for a Pulitzer, and shot the man who killed his cat.  Chris Bunch.  (He was exonerated.)

I recently ran across the interview Ed Hunt did with Chris and his writing partner, Allan Cole.  I don’t really remember Allan but Chris was in the Bookvendor often in the nineties.  Maybe it was just to give Elizabeth (wonderfully proper and married to an Episcopal priest) a hard time.  He was flirty and dirty and rough around the edges — everyone’s bad boy.  The last of the Wild West characters.

If he knew you were a writer, he had nothing but praise and encouragement.  If he knew you cringed at his language, he poured it on.  His lady friend worked at the Seaview flower shop and sometimes he’d stop in to bring me a bouquet.  He was funny, outrageous, memorable, and a man of strong principals.  He died July 4, 2005 after a long battle with a lung ailment. He was 61.

 I was glad to re-read that news clipping and to “visit” with Chris once more.  He was the closest I’ll ever get to knowing a throwback to the days of the frontier.  Thanks, Ed Hunt, for the great interview with him — but I’m sorry you had to clean up his language!  It was one of his most colorful attributes!

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