Jake Brady and Wiley Deluce met in a bar in Alma in the 1880s and became fast friends. In fact, they became partners -- and notin the "Hold it right there, partner" sense. The cowboy protagonists in part-time South Park resident Dave Brown's Golden Feather Series of gay westerns, Jake and Wiley are lovers -- big, tough, burly lovers with spurs, chaps and ten-gallon feelings. But they're not sissies. Yee-ha! What a twist.
Brown, who held various city jobs in Denver and even spent three years in a monastery before retiring, has only been writing for a decade, but he's definitely found his niche. His original inspiration, conveyed by a hospitalized friend who was among the first to be diagnosed with AIDS in the '80s, was really more of a challenge: "He asked if I could find a Western with a gay hero," Brown recalls. "I couldn't, so I decided to write one."
The other half of his muse whispers on the side of a mountain in South Park, 28 miles from the town of Jefferson and two miles from his nearest neighbor, in a cabin on land that Brown has owned and loved for 25 years. "It's a fantasy story, but the setting is real," he says of the three-book series (a fourth installment is due for release in 2001). Brown researched the history of the area's mining towns and threw the facts together with a spicy speculation: Just how did denizens of the Wild West find comfort and love in a such a rugged, testosterone-infused world? "I always wished I could have lived in that time," pines Brown.
The Legend of the Golden Feather series is sold at Category Six Books, 42 South Broadway, at the Tattered Cover or online at amazon.com.
In a way, he's found the means to do that and still be himself.