GENE FOWLER, noted New York journalist, writes as follows of Jack Bell, author of the Air Mail series now running exclusively in the Oakland TRIBUNE Magazine.
By Gene Fowler
"Know Jack Bell?"
"Which I reckon I do."
That used to be the test-word [xx]
welcome, hospitality and anything you needed at the moment.
Anywhere, any time - if you knew Jack Bell you could come in.
If you didn't they might take you in, but it wasn't quite the same.
It has been nearly eight years since I saw Jack.
But I know just how he looks and just how he is.
He is one of those genuinely he-men that seems to have the secret of youth.
I know that Jack, peering from under the broad brim of his Stetson, hasn't changed a bit.
When I was a young squirt, I remember meeting Bell.
I had read many of his real, honest-to-God stories of the actual (not movie) West.
Later Jack became a warm friend.
He is never halfway.
Either he likes you or you can go to the devil.
I thought then that Jack could write the best Western stories that were to be written.
I am of that [xx] "Mister Burro" in script, and I regarded it then, as I do now, a masterpiece.
It is a sketch that experts on Western lore, including those who have mucked, busted and shot their way through the land of Sunset Trails, regard as a beautiful picture from the hand of an artist.
Stranger, maybe you have heard of Jack Bell.
Now I am asking you to meet him.
Lucky, indeed, if you could sit down with him about a fire at night - out in the open, I mean, and not in any drawing room - and hear him tell of his travels and adventures.
The next best thing to that, however, is to meet him on the printed page.
He has a faculty of talking to you that way.
You can't go wrong on Jack Bell.
He is aces in any deck.