Evening Lecture

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1 Thunderbird Circle
Hobbs, NM 88240

Evening Lecture

Melody Groves and Before Billy the Kid: The Boy Behind the Legendary Outlaw

Author Melody Groves joins us for an exciting discussion about Billy the Kid, before he was Billy the Kid. How history would have changed if he'd followed his passion for music...
Before Billy the Kid
Many stories have been written about the exploits of Billy the Kid, the charismatic outlaw of the Old West. Some have been pure fiction, designed to entertain and excite. Purple prose writers began chronicling the exploits of Billy as early as the late 1870s. Others have been biographical, researched by historians or recorded by those who knew him, including his murderer, Sheriff Pat Garrett.
But there was once a different side to the famous gunfighter, a softer more artistic side that seems at odds with Billy’s reputation for shooting, killing, and robbing. Born Henry McCarty, he was also known by the names Henry Antrim, Kid Antrim, and William H. Bonney. He didn’t shoot twenty-one men, as has been claimed. Four is a more likely number, three in self-defense. In Before Billy the Kid, author Melody Groves explores the early life of the infamous outlaw, the teenage boy who loved to sing and dance. The young man who was polite, educated, and popular. A boy who had the bad luck to be orphaned at fifteen and left with no one to guide him through life. How different history might have been if Billy had pursued his love of music instead of a life of crime. Copies of the books will be available to purchase during the event.
Melody Groves
Melody was born and raised in Las Cruces, southern New Mexico, but spent a few years "growing up" on Guam and in the Philippines. A graduate of New Mexico State University (B.S. Education), she is also a graduate of the University of New Mexico (M.A. Education). Melody taught in Albuquerque until leaving the classroom to become a full-time freelance writer.
A deep love of anything cowboy and Old West creates a fertile playground for her imagination. After spending ten years with the New Mexico Gunfighters Association, she learned what it feels like going toe to toe with a revolver-wielding sheriff. Being both "good guy" and "bad guy" gives her a firsthand feel for what her western characters experience.
Melody is a contributing editor for Round Up magazine for Western Writers of America. She is also a contributing writer for "American Westward Expansion," a collegiate history encyclopedia. She also writes for Wild West, True West, New Mexico and other magazines.
When not writing, she's busy playing rhythm guitar with the Jammy Time Band.

Thursday, October 27 , 2022


Erin Anderson

Phone: 5754922681