Arch (Skip) Gibson, former reporter for the Chronicle in the 1960s, recently published Kotah Gold, the second novel of his Bear Kotah series, available on Amazon and Kindle.
Skip Gibson lived with his family in Trinidad from 1960 to 1966 during which time his father, Arch E. Gibson, was the editor of the Chronicle-News before joining the staff of former Third District Congressman Frank Evans. Gibson worked as an assistant pressman while he attended TSJC and served as a reporter for the Chronicle-News after graduation.
“I followed a career in journalism for 19 years,” said Gibson, “working for newspapers from the Chronicle in Trinidad, to Roswell, New Mexico., the Lamar Daily News in Lamar, Colorado; Okmulgee Oklahoma Daily Times, Lawton Oklahoma Constitution and Morning Press, and The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.”
Gibson and his wife Carolynn were married at the Trinidad United Methodist Church in 1965. “Carolynn and her family, father Harold, mother Dorothea and brothers Wayne and Archie, had recently moved to Trinidad from Alsea, Oregon,” Gibson said. “Her late father was a lifetime lumberman who supervised planer operations at the Stonewall Forest Products mill which operated in Trinidad 1963 to 1968.”
In 1987, Gibson changed careers, moving to defense and government contracting. “This led to positions in Fort Worth and Huston, Texas, Washington, D.C., Australia, the Middle East for three years, and back to Fort Worth,” he said. “I retired from contracting in 2015 and we visited family for nearly a year of travel from coast to coast until I published my first novel in 2016.”
His first novel, Crossing the Red, “focuses on the war on terrorism veteran Bear Kotah, his struggle with PTSD and how he overcomes a terrorist threat in his own backyard,” Gibson explained. “More than 28 years of defense and government contracting provided a significant understanding of international affairs in the Middle East; the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Jordan. It offers a profound understanding of the jihadist threat today which is reflected in this first book.”
The second, recently published Kotah Gold, is drawn from the national problem of child sexual assault and human trafficking. “My fictional story is about one such victim who is befriended by two Comanche brothers, Grandfather and Uncle Willie Kotah, camping in Palo Duro Canyon and preparing to participate in the annual Celebration of the Horse. From them she learns survival tactics in her struggle to escape abductors,” he continues. “Hers is a happier ending than most such abductions. Sadly, few of these cases have storybook endings and involve serious trauma that can take years of therapy and counseling to repair.”
Gibson recalls his time living and working with the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache during his years as a journalist helping him understand their cultures. “My experiences [with these tribes] provided insights into their old culture, compared to the conflict of traditional ways with modern living.”
He also recalls his first visit to Palo Duro Canyon as inspiration for his novels setting in the ruggedly beautiful 120-mile long canyon. “In the early 1970s, my brother, Roger Gibson, who still lives in Amarillo, took us to the Pageant in the canyon,” he said. “I was wowed and motivated on the spot. I knew right then and there that I would write something about Palo Duro, the tribes, the big battle and how that could affect visitors today.”
These days, Gibson works on his fiction in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree, California, but he fondly remembers his time in Trinidad. For more information, visit Arch Gibson’s website www.mondernwestfiction.com.