Episode 74: Tom McGuane – King of Words
Tom McGuane is a giant among legends across all continents and countries. His boundless heart and endless determination tackled dreams only he could’ve accomplished. Tom’s extraordinary writing is in the record books and for the rest of time he’ll be remember as one of the greats. His literary spectrum includes ten novels, five screen plays, and countless short stories. His work has received a page full of awards culminating with his induction into The American Academy of Arts and Letters. But then there’s the fishing, the hunting, and the HORSES; cutting horses. Tom McGuane is a savant of many talents!
Although he was born in Michigan, his heart ventured west. As a young man he worked on a ranch in Wyoming where he first got his boots dirty. After the success of his book and movie “Sporting Club,” he bought a ranch in Montana and property in Key West. His life on a horse became extremely important to him and he became a great “cutter” often beating the best in the world and eventually was inducted into The Cutting Horse Hall of Fame.
But it was in Key West where Tom McGuane caught fire. It was there, when his writing was young and his aspirations were as vibrant as the blistering sun. Literature, fishing, and adventures after dark took on a life of its own. It was there, where of a handful of friends, all writers too, became a brotherhood that challenged life’s offering to its fullest. Jim Harrison, Russell Chatham, Guy De La Valdene, Jimmy Buffett, Hunter S.Thompson, and Kurt Brautigan did what the rest of the world wished they could do. They had more fun than the law allowed and were brilliant with everything they touched. Each would become extremely successful and famous. But as much as anything else, they loved to fish. What most the fishing world doesn’t know is that these guys put Tarpon fishing on the map. And they made a movie about it called, “Tarpon.” This production showed what a magnificent, beautiful, ageless fish it is. It loves to eat flies, it’s big and jumps majestically…. It’s the most perfect fly rod fish one could ever have the privilege to catch.
As much as Tom McGuane has accomplished, his greatest success is having Laurie Buffett as his wife and their daughter Annie. And fathering two other children, Thomas and Maggie with former wives, Rebecca Crocket and Margot Kidder.