New Novel is Based on The Good Old Days
Steve Lodge was a gunfighter. That’s right – a two-fisted, six-gun totin’, professional gunfighter. And he’s still around today to talk about it. “That was way back in ’59,” says Lodge reminiscing, “1959 not 1859. I was all of 16 years old and I wanted to be a movie cowboy, just like the Western heroes I’d been watching all my life on the silver screen and TV.” Lodge lived in the San Fernando Valley. It was just a short ride over the hill to the Simi Valley where Corriganville was located. “Corriganville, owned by former B-Western cowboy star, Ray ‘Crash’ Corrigan, was the Universal Tour of its day,” Lodge continues, “the only place in the greater Los Angeles area where the public
could visit an actual Western movie ranch. One of the many sets at Corriganville was a genuine Western Street, complete with cowboy shoot-‘em-ups and knock-down-drag-out saloon brawls.” That was where Lodge worked as a teenage-cowboy-stuntman-gunfighter every Saturday and Sunday, all while attending his high school classes during the week. “It was one hell of an introduction to adult life,” chuckles Lodge, “shooting people, getting shot myself, fist-fighting several times a day, falling off buildings, then riding out of town on horseback with a sheriff’s posse on my tail; all those things an audience of delighted movie fans expected from a group of Hollywood cowboy gunfighter-stuntmen.”
“Nickel-Plated Dream” is the title of Lodge’s new novel, an enjoyable, coming-of-age, action-packed adventure yarn, based on that special time he spent working at Corriganville. “Nickel-Plated Dream” is all about ‘The Kid’—a 20th Century lad with a stubborn wish that he’d been born a 19th Century gunfighter, and his faithful companion—an eccentric Indian called “Indian,” who embark on a heart-stirring odyssey that takes them from John Wayne’s set of The Alamo in Texas to Opening Day at the Old Tucson Western Movie-Set Amusement Park in Arizona. Their rowdy escapades eventually lead them to the Corriganville Movie Ranch in California. It is there The Kid quickly learns the ropes by testing both his love and his courage. Acting out famous historical gunfights for the throngs of paying tourists
brings The Kid closer to his dreams—and to death.
“Nickel-Plated Dream,” published by Behler Publications of Lake Forest, California, has a May 2006 release date.