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Remembering R. L. Wilson

The late R.L. "Larry" Wilson (left) and the Blue Book of Gun Values author/publisher, S.P. Fjestad (right), shown holding one of Larry's biggest literary projects – the two volume set of Magnificent Colts which he co-authored with the late Robert M. Lee.
  Recapping/recounting the swashbuckling life and times of R.L. Wilson is a daunting/near-impossible task for those of us fortunate enough to have known Larry well. There were so many chapters in his Book of Life, and this is not intended to be a medium to explore or explain them. The following posts reflect what The Professor meant to his friends, colleagues, and family, and how much he impacted our lives. To find out a comprehensive listing of Larry's achievements throughout the decades, please visit www.wilsonbooks.com and click on "Author".

In September of 1997, R.L. Wilson, photo journalist Dennis Adler, Luigi Chinetti Jr. (Luigi Sr. won Le Mans during 1949 in a Ferrari), and myself departed on a landmark trip to Italy. Our first stop was Maranello, and we were given access to the entire Ferrari factory, plus allowed to take a few laps on the famous Fiorano race track in a new Ferrari with paddle-shifting.

After that, we went to Brescia for an extensive tour of the sprawling Beretta complex, whose history dates back to 1526. Being the official group photographer, I sent everyone a large scrapbook with all the images after we got back. On December 29th, 1997, Larry sent me a very nice thank you letter. His last sentence was "That's what life's all about, in the long term – enjoying what is a relatively brief moment on this fabulous earth!" No one understood this better than Larry.

Publisher's note: If you would like to contribute a post for the late R.L. Wilson, please email it to stevef@bluebookinc.com. Images would also be very much appreciated.
R.L. Wilson & Defeat of Jesse James Days   
An Appreciation   
R. L. “Larry” Wilson, Mentor and Friend   
Memories of a Literary Legend Part I   
Memories of a Literary Legend Part II   

R.L. Wilson & Defeat of Jesse James Days
1/19/2017

by Gene Bakko

I was sorry to learn through my friend, Charles Priore, of the passing of Larry Wilson. He was a remarkable man who did so much for the firearm industry with his writings and publications of high class, top notch books on the history of firearms. Through Charlie, I had the opportunity to meet Larry and thus further appreciate his character.

As you may know, here in Northfield, we celebrate the famous Jesse James Raid every year during our “Defeat of Jesse James Days”. The highlight of the four day celebration is the reenactment of the shootout of the raid. In 2004, Larry was a guest of honor for that year’s celebration and rode in the shootout reenactment.

Larry with hats off to the crowd after the reenactment.

Gene Bakko Northfield, MN

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