After a distinguished career as an engineer with the Hughes Corporation and as a middle school teacher and coach, Mike Prince Sr. of Alamo retired and is now a published author.
On April 10, Prince was invited to be one of the guest speakers and do a book signing at the Las Vegas Historical Society’s monthly meeting.
Prince noted that, “… the invited speakers were former rodeo queens of the Helldorado Days celebration in Las Vegas, dating as far back as the early 1940s, and what that experience had meant to them.” He added that “one of the women invited to share her story was a former resident of Lincoln County, Naomi (Lytle) Gibbs, who was Helldorado rodeo queen in 1954. Mrs. Gibbs’ husband suggested to the group that they invite me, as a southern Nevada boy and successful author … And they did. They were very gracious to me and I was well received.”
Prince is also a known author of cowboy poetry and said he recited some of his poems to the delight of the audience.
He said he told the group that he was a storyteller and “relied on my background and education growing up as a young cowboy in a third-generation ranching family. My father was a ranch and rodeo cowboy in the southwest for a number of years. He punched cows in Arizona, California, and Nevada, and as a rodeo contestant won the amateur calf roping event at the 1947 Elks Helldorado.”
Prince said he “grew up a lot around storytellers, who were all cowboys.”
He has three books in print at the present time, “Toquop, the Warrior Stallion,” which won the Academy of Western Artists’ Will Rogers Gold Medallion in 2008; “Flint Pierce, The Adventures of a Young Nevada Cowboy” (2013); and “Charley Weston, the Cowboy and the Kid” (2017).
He is currently working on a fourth book which picks up the story of Flint Pierce a little later in his life and is considering doing a follow up with the Charley Weston character as well.
Prince says he often weaves secondary characters into the story, both men and women, that are based in part on real people he has known at one time or another.
“The books,” Prince said, “were at first designed for young readers, early teens, and young adults. But we have found out, to our surprise, that we sell as many to adults as we do to young people. The adults just seem to really like them, too. It’s been a revelation. I originally wrote the first two for young people, but adults have picked them up as well.”