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Fred West grew up in the middle of the Great Depression and learned to be self-sufficient at an early age. He spent a couple of years in an orphanage and in mid-1944, his sister, Doris, took him to live on a farm in Kansas where she and her husband raised livestock and wheat. Among the many things his sister fostered in him, his love of reading proved to keep him in good stead.
With little formal education past eighth grade, he taught himself enough engineering to design and sell industrial equipment, enough aviation to succeed as a flight instructor and enough business management to own and operate a successful industrial supply company.
On his off hours, he builds guitars and belongs to a group who entertains patients at nursing homes and senior centers.
West loves to write, and his historical epic novel, With Bowie at the Alamo, published in 2009, received high praise in a review by Steve Donoghue of the Historical Novel Society. The equine heroine, Tess, is molded after his first real-life horse.
He belongs to an international writing group and writes novels, short stories and poetry, often inspired by his dear wife, Bess.