All Hell Needs is Water. By Budge Ruffner. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1972. Illustrations. 96 pages. Paperback. $2.95.
This handsomely illustrated little book contains a variety of anecdotes with a Southwestern setting. Ruffner’s stories range from the historical, based upon his reading, to personal experiences or yarns told to him by others. All are brief, readable, and enjoyable. Although many take on serious overtones, the humorous ones seem best: his description of an Arizona cowboy’s reaction to seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time; the reason for putting a sign on a house of ill-repute that read “closed for repairs”; and the story of a man so mean that “he would get on his horse and ride away from you just so he could yell at you.” Western history buffs will find this good reading. DJW