Barbed Wire, Windmills, & Sixguns

A Book of Trivia, Fact, and Folklore About Westerns and The American West

By Donald K. Kirk

Welcome to

About The Author
“If we fail to remember our beginnings—the Frontier West—we fail to be
the men we could be; we will fail to be the great America we once were.”—Don Kirk

Donald K. Kirk

DON KIRK grew up watching westerns on a small black-and-white television set, but it wasn’t until he was asked to be the cinematographer on an 8mm movie at college (he had the only movie camera), did he realize he was hooked on the Old West. The next year, he wrote and directed a seventy minute, silent, slapstick western in Super-8! As soon as he graduated from college with a degree in architecture, he and his brother Doug loaded provisions into a red Volkswagen Beetle and made their first journey west to California, shooting film all along the way. Seeing the Old Tucson movie set made an indelible impression on Don. It wasn’t long afterwards that he conceived an elaborate plan for a Western Town and Old West Resort. Since then his interest in the American West has grown by leaps and bounds.

After a short tour of duty in the military, Don’s interest in the REAL American West blossomed, and he began to collect period antiques, western history books, movie posters, and western costumes-—anything western. He managed a Wild West gunfight acting troupe and later participated in living history reenactment groups. As time passed, he gained more than ten years experience in film and motion picture production, six years of practical building experience, and years of dabbling with pen & ink drawing, his subjects, of course, western towns, artifacts, and steam railroads.

Don traveled the western states for twenty years documenting, through still photography, the rapidly disappearing remnants of that unique era in World history known fondly as the Old West. Because his interest was also in period architecture, he has built an enormous slide file of false-fronted Victorian buildings, wagons, schools, churches, mine complexes and any remaining architecture he could find still standing from the nineteenth century.

Don has dreamed of the perfect “Western Town” for over 30 years and believes that it could be much more than a theme park. It could be a historical look into a very unique part of our past, a period that is getting farther and farther removed from the present with a loss of not only memories, but the values of the people that settled the frontier and gave us what we have today. Redrock Canyon Territory, as he calls it, would be the largest open-air museum ever built, containing several western towns on over a thousand acres of classic western scenery. It would be a unique mix of services and activity, all catering to the buff, historian, and general public who want to learn and revel in the legend of our American West.

Don's E-mail: OR

Other books by Don Kirk available at this website:

Texas A&M Aggie Bonfire information and video by Don Kirk available at this website:

The original Old West Web site way back in 1993 that inspired the book Barbed Wire, Windmills, & Sixguns:

Costume Gallery
More Photos of the Author Below (To use automatic slideshow, move mouse arrow to bottom of page to see controls).

Don has been an Old West fan for about as long as he can remember. He, like so many baby boomers, sat with his father in front of a small black & white television set watching westerns like “Gunsmoke” with the bumbling but lovable Festus Hagen and “Wanted: Dead or Alive” starring Steve McQueen, the first character to holster a sawed-off rifle. Before that, it was singing cowboys like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry on Saturday morning matinees. With Don—still wearing his coon-skin cap—the West stuck with him: he traveled the American West in search of movie locations, went to Hollywood, met Roy, worked on a western, and collected all things western—including costumes—until there was no room left in his home. So, to reduce the number of file boxes with scribbled notes on the American West, he put those notes in the 740 page book, Barbed Wire, Windmills, & Sixguns.

Wanted Posters
Rewards forThe Apprehension of Don Kirk and His Aliases

An easterner who walked into a western saloon was amazed to see a dog sitting at a table playing poker with three men: “Can that dog really read cards?” he asked. “Yeah, but he ain’t much of a player,” said one of the men, “Whenever he gets a good hand he wags his tail.”
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