By SALLY SEXTON
Growing up in Tucson, Ariz., and attending school in Weatherford, Erik Wright has been surrounded by the history of the western frontier.
That exposure, along with the influence of his father, who shared the interest in history, has helped shape Wright into a successful and published historian.
“From following my dad around as a kid, I picked up on his passing interest for history, and a friend of mine, who is a native of Weatherford, got me into the Tombstone, Ariz. history,” Wright said. “I remember in middle school, he and I would go around and recite lines from the ‘Latin Duel’ scenes in the hallway. It really only escalated from there.”
Wright’s fascination became public when he published his first article on Doc Holliday in True West Magazine as a sophomore in high school.
The historian moved back to Tucson to attend college. After a path to study archaeology didn’t pan out, he decided to pursue his interest in western history in Arizona and New Mexico.
Since then, his works have appeared in the Tombstone Epitaph: National Edition, Wild West History Association Journal, Wild West Magazine and local newspapers and several books.
Wright’s approach to writing is based on his ability to visualize the scenery firsthand by visiting the sites he has written about.
“I like going to these places and seeing them for myself. It gives me a good perceptive,” he said. “My latest article, which came out a few weeks ago, deals with a young Mexican boy in Arizona who was abducted by Apaches.
“To go to a place like that and know that something significant happened right there, it really drives home what I’m doing when I’m sitting at my desk writing the article.”
Wright said that some of his initial motivations came during his time in Weatherford, from influential teachers, as well as access to resources such as the Weatherford Public Library.