June 20th, 2011

Don Stanford?

My walking partner M. has a family tradition of making up stories, as in a rollicking good fiction sense, not as in a lying sense. I don't know that anyone ever gets around to writing them down, but it's a lot of fun to hear her musing about characters and plotting and what the towns and so forth are like. There's a fantasy tale involving a clan of people who work with dragons. There's a space opera story about an older man who works as an explorer/scout, living on the frontier of human developed space, a frontier shared with another spacefaring race.

Anyway. Today's topic involved what the young people learning how to work with the dragons have to learn as part of their schooling, and something about what she described made me think of Don Stanford's _The Horsemasters_. I told her about it, then I went upstairs and loaned her my copy, which I was excited to do, altho a little worried when I started to realize just how freakishly hard replacing this book would be if it went missing. M. won't lose it, tho, and she won't move away, so I'm not too worried. It's a Scholastic from 1968, so if it comes back in pieces we'll just reassemble it.

But it got me thinking, because that's an unusual book from my childhood in that I never did track down every-other-book-by-that-author, and of course now that is a very, very tricky thing to do. There was an Annette Funicello movie based on this entry (just found that out -- I had no idea), which is probably why there are so many copies still floating around (and yet still fantastically expensive used on Amazon). Anyone know if this is the same Stanford responsible for _Rice of Affection_ and _The Slaughtered Lovelies_? I'm reasonably certain this is _not_ the Stanford responsible for _Southern Kingdom_. Anyone else have fond memories of _The Horsemasters_?

ETA:

http://www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk/usa/donstanford.html

According to this, the school in the book is based on a real one that finally closed in 1986. Other books by him include _The Red Car_ and _The Treasure of the Coral Reef_.

http://speedreaders.info/blog/index.php?blog=2&title=the_red_car_by_don_stanford&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

Definitely _Treasure of Coral Reef_ and _The Red Car_, based on cover pictures of _Horsemasters_. Looks like _The Red Car_ had roughly the same impact on its readers that _Horsemasters_ had on its readers. This article says he was a magazine writer. Given how much he wrote (still trying to figure out if _Mulligan's Pirates_ is his, but I bet it is, along with _Ski Town!_ and _Must Be Good Riders_ and _Crash Landing_), I have to wonder if this guy had other names going. I have 1918-1992 as dates for him, and this may be a real name since Donald Kent Stanford Jr. is mentioned in a dedication. (Yup, _The Slaughtered Lovelies_ and _Bargain in Blood_ are both Donald K. Stanford, same as all of the above, with the uncertain possible exception as Mulligan.)