B.B. Palmer brings American West to Troy with collection of books by Will James

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2021

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For about as long as B.B. Palmer of Troy can remember, he has had a keen interest in the Western culture, “of the cowboy way of life.”

Since his boyhood, Palmer has been a fan of Will James’ writings.

James was a French Canadian who was so fascinated with the American West that he left his native home and came to America to experience the Old West and promote it through his artwork and his writing.

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Palmer is a member of the Will James Society, which promotes the legacy, literature and art of Will James.

The Will James Society encourages the gifting of his inspirational books to schools, public libraries, hospitals and military units throughout the world.

On Friday, Palmer presented a selection of Will James’ books to the Colley Senior Complex in Troy and New Life Christian Academy.

“Hopes are that adults and children who enjoy reading and reading about the Old West, about cowboys and horses, are inspired by what they read, will learn from the stories and be encouraged to share their enjoyment of reading and their interest in the Old West, cowboys and horses with others,” Palmer said.

Elizabeth Radford, resource teacher, and Annette Siler, early elementary teacher, at New Life said they wanted to thank Palmer for “sharing the gift of literacy through schools and libraries. New Life Christian Academy is so grateful to be a recipient of these published works. We are excited to unfold the adventures with each one.

“Our students will benefit from the wonderful opportunity to learn of the phenomenal cowboy, author and artist, Will James. Furthermore, we commend the great work of the Will James Society promoting the legacy of Will James, a true cowboy, while encouraging our youth to read.”

The eight books that were donated to each the Colley Senor Center and New Life Christian include “Smoky the Cowhorse,” for which Will James won the 1927 Newbery Medal and other cowboys stories for both children and adults.