I’m Your Huckleberry

The expression, “I’m your Huckleberry,” has been traced back to King Arthur lore. When a knight swore allegiance to a lord or damsel, they would drape a huckleberry garland over his lance, a symbol that he was their champion, their defender. The phrase can also be traced to the classic Mark Twain novels, where Huckleberry Finn is the loyal sidekick of Tom Sawyer.

“I’m your Huckleberry,” was re-popularized in the classic Western movie “Tombstone” (1993). Val Kilmer, as Doc Holliday, says to Johnny Ringo, “I’m your Huckleberry, that’s just my game.” The saying means, “I’m the one for the job,” “Name the place, I’ll be there,” “I’m your man (or woman!).” If you enjoy art and American history, artist Thom Ross is your Huckleberry.

Ross has had a lifelong interest in American History and the “folk hero” who is a product of that history. Those heroes and their stories have long been the motivating force behind his work. His emphasis, however, is focused on the “historical folk hero” as compared to the “mythical folk hero.” Examples of historical folk heroes are Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. A mythical folk hero would be Paul Bunyan or John Henry. The difference? The first four actually existed while the others are a product of tall tales.


“My love of history, my enjoyment in story-telling, and my passion for painting … supplies as much in artistic enjoyment as it does in the contemplation of history and the people and events which so shaped it.”  

– Thom Ross

Thom works in various media including painting, book illustration and life-sized recreations of historical scenes. Favorite subjects include Cowboys, Indians and historical battles in the American Indian Wars. Ross has illustrated at least 20 books, including a history of baseball. In 2001, Ross published a book, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Words and Pictures. In 2002, Ross illustrated the 100th-anniversary edition of Owen Wister’s novel, The Virginian.

Enjoy more works by Thom Ross on our website. When you’re looking for great art, “we’re your Huckleberry!”