Exploring the Old West, Sequim Style

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Sequim Gazette

Dwight “Buc” Keene knew exactly where he wanted to take readers in the Old West. Keene’s “The Kind of Western I’d Like to Read” is one part historical America, another part biography and an homage to the westerns Keene loved while growing up (see page A-20 for book details).


Keene said he and probably everyone else wanted to be a cowboy at some point.


“I think there is something in our hearts that yearns for a life that is bigger than us,” Keene said, “whether it’s spiritual, a call to adventure, a hero fighting for a beauty or overcoming the trials and tests of life.”


He always has been intrigued with westerns because of the way they capture the American spirit, as in the books of Zane Gray and Louis L’Amour and in B-western movies.


In 2009, Keene began writing his ideal western on hundreds of pages of yellow notebook paper before transcribing it to computer. In the summer of 2011, “The Kind of Western I’d Like to Read,” his first book, was done.


It follows Colton, a 16-year old cowboy in West Texas after the Civil War, as he encounters the frontier.


As a Christian, Keene said he wanted his book to dig deeper into the Christian faith with his characters because he wanted an authenticity to the area and time. Keene said he also tried to find a balance of excitement with realism, such as whether or not Colton, a genuinely good person, should shoot bad guys on first sight.


His book’s romantic element remains tasteful because he tried to preserve the sanctity of young love without compromising the Christian message.


In some ways, Colton and his love interest, Suzanne, shadow Keene’s own love life with his wife, Janis.

Married in 1963, Keene, a native Washingtonian, spent his early adult life working in insurance while living in Joyce before pursuing a ranching job in Quincy, which he did for 16 years.

Eventually, his family decided to move back to the North Olympic Peninsula to live on 80 acres of land near the Olympic National Forest by Sequim.


Keene continued his modern-day rancher lifestyle here, transporting and selling hay for his Eastern Washington Hay Co. A few years back in the Sequim area, he started Sequim U-Haul.


Keene typed his book at work and knew from his outline that “The Kind of Western I’d Like to Read” would be a trilogy. The second book is being edited and soon will be published while the finale remains in progress. Keene said people would find his first book an entertaining read.


He hosts a book signing on Feb. 10, at the Sequim Library. “The Kind of Western I’d like to Read” also is available as an e-book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Visit Keene online at


Reach Matthew Nash at
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