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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A SETTLER?

I just got my computer back from the shop…A virus hijacked it.  In addition to that the screen on my iphone turned black.  I’m waiting for a replacement.  To add to all this, it snowed last night and my Direct TV dish is covered in snow, blocking the signal.

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like on the Kansas frontier spending weeks and even months with no contact with the outside world?  And when it was time to go into town to get supplies it was usually the man.  The woman had to say home and take care of the animals.

If you were transported back to the Old West as a pioneer, what do you think you would miss the most?

THIS WEEK IN THE OLD WEST

How would you like to start each week off with an interesting story about the Old West?  We have a “This Week In The Old West” feature where each Sunday morning you will receive a story via email about something that happened in the current week back in the Old West.  And it’s FREE!  Here’s just a part of this week’s story:

Today’s story is about a man who was a dentist.  But he gave up his career to go out west and gain fame in a completely different profession.  Do you think you know the person I’m talking about?  You may be surprised.

Pearl Grey was born on January 31, 1872.  He was a talented baseball player, and played for the University of Pennsylvania while getting a degree in dentistry.  Pearl was scheduled to follow in his father’s footsteps as a dentist.  Looking for some excitement, he played some semi-pro baseball.  But that didn’t satisfy his need.

Incidentally, Pearl never liked his first name, which was thought by everyone to be a woman’s name.  So he decided to change it to his mother’s maiden name, Zane.

Then we tell some of the accomplishments of Zane Grey.  You can sign up by going to this link:  http://chronicleoftheoldwest.com/this_week_in_the_old_west-signup-new.shtml

 

CONTINUING THE VAQUERO TRADITION

Our good friend Lee Anderson has just made the final arrangements on a contract with Moonlight Mesa Publications to publish his book Developing the Art of Equine Communication.

About four years ago Lee picked up an injured horse from the racetrack.  Because of Lee’s training skills, this horse he named Concho has become more famous than Lee.  They both perform throughout the Southwest in the traditional Vaquero style.

To see a sample of Lee and Concho’s skills go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd6qBns676c&feature=plcp&context=C3123dceUDOEgsToPDskLuNl8FoayqrVoBeer-cta4

 

GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER

Of all the Old West characters Wyatt Earp is probably the most controversial.  There are those who think he was the Old West’s greatest lawman, and others who say he was a con man.

Not far behind him is George Armstrong Custer.  There are those who feel he was a great military tactician, and others who believe he was a publicity hound.

 Tonight the PBS history series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will be airing a two hour special on Custer as a part of their month-long “Wild West” collection.  You can catch it at 8/7 C on PBS

BILLY THE KID PHOTO

Last week I commented on the Billy the Kid PBS special and how the famous picture of Billy the Kid kept appearing on the screen over and over.

That’s because there are only two authentic photographs of Billy the Kid presently in existence.  The most famous one is a two-by-three-inch ferrotype or tintype, taken by an unknown itinerant photographer outside Beaver Smith’s Saloon in Old Fort Sumner, around 1880…Because it portrays Billy as a very unattractive person, many have called it his visa picture.

Originally people didn’t realize that since it was a tintype, the image was actually reversed.  So, everyone though Billy the Kid was left handed. This misconception even inspired the 1958 movie “The Left Handed Gun,” starring Paul Newman as Billy. 

Finally firearms experts looked at the Kid’s Winchester and noticed its spring plate, where the cartridges are loaded, was on the left side.  But Winchester produced firearms with spring plates only on the right side.  So, later books and publications have the reversed image reversed, so it’s correct.

Recently this picture went on the auction block and a retired Wichita industrialist who collects everything from Wild West memorabilia to Picassos bought it for $2 million…Incidentally, it was thought it would go for about $300,000.

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