Posted: Nov 29, 2012 6:52 PM by Melissa Anderson (Helena)
Updated: Nov 29, 2012 6:53 PM
HELENA - Montana artist, cartoonist, and author Stan Lynde is taking retirement to a new level, leaving behind what's familiar in day to day life in exchange for a new adventure in Ecuador.
Lynde made his fame in the 1950's by creating the popular western comic strips Rick O' Shay and Latigo.
He noted, "I had a daily readership of about 15 million people."
Now, he's liquidating his fortune, has sold his home and furniture, and is heading to South America, sight-unseen.
Why Ecuador? Lynde said, "We can easily live well in Ecuador on our Social Security alone. Great climate, springtime all the time."
Lynde and his wife Lynda will leave Helena with just two suitcases each; he said, "We decided to put the house up for sale, we're going to sell our cars. Won't need them down there. There is public transportation and a lot of walking in those towns. We'll do that and that's the plan."
A 4th-generation native cowboy growing up in eastern Montana, Lynde tells stories based upon characters he admires.
While some of the cowboys in his books and comics may be a little shady, Stan says his own new persona is worth the risk.
He said, "It's surprising how many Montanans we've learned are down there now. We just heard from a guy who grew up with Rick O'Shay, was a big fan, and heard we were coming down. He runs adventure vacations down there for people to sign up for and go into the jungle and that sort of thing and he's invited us up to the lodge so we'll see him there."
Lynde, 81, is leaving behind some of his works to the Montana Historical Society as well as to his seven children, 16 grandchildren, and a great- grandchild.
By New Year's Eve, he and his wife will be in a new country with a new life.
He chuckled, "Some of my friends have kidded me about Butch and Sundance going down to Bolivia and it didn't work out too well for them down there, but I hope we'll do better in Ecuador."