Jeff Arnold’s West

The blog of a Western fan, for other Western fans

Shall We Gather at the River?


             Shall We Gather at the River?

Readers of Jeff Arnold’s West received the news this week that we’d all been dreading. Jeff Arnold passed away on 5th June, just two weeks after announcing his terminal diagnosis.  Thank you to Bernard Graf for sharing the sad news.

This post is titled ‘Shall We Gather at the River’ after an apt observation by regular reader Chris Evans: Westerns – most especially those of John Ford – often used the hymn of that title to mark solemn moments, including funerals.



Jeff’s many thousands of wise, sometimes witty, words will remain online as testament to his wisdom about, and infectious enthusiam for, what he often termed ‘our noble genre’.

Our initial post announcing the site’s continuation invited readers’ suggestions. One was the possibility of featuring guest posts: pieces written by readers who, while perhaps not matching Jeff’s wide range of Western interest, have things to say about the noble genre that complement his writing on the topic. Potential posts are welcome, whether examining films he did not cover (even Jeff didn’t manage to see every Western ever made), or providing contrary perspectives on those he did, or submitting essays on broader topics in the Western and the West.

We now have an email address to which you can send suggestions for contributions:

Please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you, e-pards.

Bud and RR

15 Responses

  1. May Jeff rest in peace….
    My deepest sympathy for his family.

    Best wishes from Belgium
    A fan of Jeff Arnold’s west

  2. Thinking of Jeff with deep appreciation. So many years of interesting writing on the genre we all love. He will be missed always.

    My sincere condolences to all who knew him.

    Best wishes,

  3. Just read the sad news, I hope there’s some way to convey to his family and friends just how much Jeff and his writing meant to us. If anyone has a link to his obituary please do share.

    1. I have been trying to find this information since I know he was living in France , in, or close to, Bourges (almost right in the middle of the country) he once said. But unfortunately no positive result so far.

        1. I’m not sure that clarification is needed, but in case anyone is wondering: RR and I knew Jeff through his posts and comments on the site, plus two (short) emails received after his last post. We learned of his passing when Bernard posted his comment. We sadly have no additional information to share. Like many of you, I have affection and grief for someone that I never met but felt that I knew.

  4. Jean-Marie,

    Bernard has only left the one comment on the site. He never commented previously.

    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that he was asked by Jeff to provide an update. But I have no way to confirm that guess.

    1. In response to Jean-Marie.
      I was one of Jeff’s close friends, living in the same village.
      The day Jeff shared his last post, he asked me to come over in the evening to tell me the bad news about his state of health.
      As Jeff was alone, he turned to his close friends to help him in his final moments.
      Although I don’t know this blog, it seemed natural to share his passing.
      I’d like to share with you a link that Jeff sent me when his book was launched.

      In the author section there are a few words about Jeff.
      That’s all I can say for the moment.

      PS I apologise for my English. Jeff and I spoke in French, a language he loved and which he spoke without an accent.

      1. Thank you, Bernard. Jeff’s readers appreciate the news and sentiments that you have shared. No apology is needed.

        And heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your friend.

      2. Thank you Bernard. All friends of this wonderful blog and of Jeff’s hard work to make it the resource it was appreciate your words.

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