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Home > News


Thu October 18, 2012
Dr. Kevin Blake Wins Inaugural Pfeiffer Award
Zen Ervin

On the evening of Monday, June 18, on the occasion of the opening dinner of the 30th Annual Zane Grey's West Society Convention in Spearfish, SD, Society President Terry Bolinger presented the inaugural Charles G Pfeiffer Award to Dr. Kevin Blake for his paper entitled "Zane Grey and the Images of the American West". Dr. Blake's paper was published initially in Volume 85:2 of the Geographic Review, a nationally recognized peer review journal, and now appears as an important element on the Society's website.

In presenting the Award, President Bolinger said Chuck Pfeiffer was once described by Loren Grey as a man of meticulous research and detailed knowledge of his father's work, has been an inspiration and model for each of us to emulate. He went on to say that Chuck read his first Zane Grey novel in 1946 while he was stationed aboard the USS Ranger as a young Navy chaplain. After the Navy, Chuck's career took precedence, but in 1970, he made his first "trip of discovery," searching for Grey's story locations. In 1983, accepting Society co-founder Joe Wheeler's invitation, Chuck became one of the first members of the Society. Since then, he has served the Organization well, from writing articles for its periodicals, to sitting on its board, to assisting members in researching and writing about Grey and the locations of his stories.

It was Chuck's devotion to Grey scholarship and his willingness to share what he had learned with everyone that prompted Society leaders to create the Pfeiffer Award last year. To be given biennially, the Pfeiffer Award recognizes excellence in research and writing on the lore and legend of Zane Grey. It is the Society's highest award and is considered highly prestigious. Dr Blake is the first of what will be a long line of distinguished Pfeiffer Award recipients.

In accepting the Award, Dr. Blake paid tribute to Chuck, thanking him for his example of scholarship and leadership; he expressed his appreciation to the Society, its officers, directors and members for his selection as the Award's first recipient. In his concluding remarks, Dr. Blake invited the entire assembly to join him in a toast to our respected and esteemed mentor, Chuck Pfeiffer.

The second Pfeiffer Award cycle begins in 2013, with the presentation of the Award to take place at the 32nd Annual Society Convention in June 2014.

[Originally published in the September 2012 Zane Grey Review Volume 27:3]

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Historical images of Zane Grey used with permission of Dr. Loren Grey
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Historical photos of Zane Grey used with permission of Dr. Loren Grey