Bruce Douglas Mitchell, 20 March 1950, near Elko, Nevada, USA. The name Waddie is a slang word for a cowboy and was given to Mitchell by his father the moment he was born. It was no surprise that he grew up loving the Old West and the stories of the cowboys. The Mitchell family lived on the Horseshoe Ranch, over 30 miles from Elko and 14 miles from their nearest neighbours. As a young boy he could recite poems about the West and at 16 he was working as a cowboy. When called for Army service, he was posted to the Armys ranch at Fort Carson, Colorado. He worked there training horses, became a prominent member of the Army cavalry team that appeared at rodeos and fairs, and also began to seriously write poetry.
In the early 80s, Mitchell, then working as a ranch foreman on a 36, 000 acre Nevada ranch, appeared on The Vanishing Breed, a television programme about the last real cowboys in America. The producer was interested in...