PHANTOM OF THE BLACK HILLS

When we started Cowboy to Cowboy we said we would have an occasional “off the wall” item.  Well, here’s one.

We old farts are always concerned about young people appreciating and getting involved with the history of the Old West.  Maybe the group named The Phantom of the Black Hills could be an avenue to bridge that gap.

Although they call themselves a cowpunk band, they do have an interesting message.  One of their songs is directed to the government:  “First you take my money, then you take my guns.”

You can view one of their videos by going to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf1kll9csSI

What do you think?

 

OLD WEST PHOTOS

Our good friend Michael F. Blake turned us on to some unbelievable Old West pictures that were taken between 1867 and 1884.

It’s just amazing the skill of photographers during this time. Especially when you consider if they can take a dozen pictures a day they’re working hard.

Here’s the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/05/the-american-west-150-years-ago/100304/

NEW POSTAGE STAMPS

Today the United State Postal Department is issuing a new set of Forever Stamps. These stamps will be honoring four great filmmakers. They are John Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston and Billy Wilder.

Of particular interest to western film fans is the John Ford stamp. The background of the stamp recalls a scene from the great classic movie The Searchers starring John Wayne.

The Great Film Directors stamps are being issued in self-adhesive sheets of 20 (5 of each design). I’m sure they won’t be around long, and could become a collector’s item.

I have a picture and sheet of the “Legends of the West” series of stamps that came out back when first class stamps were 29 cents.

CYNTHIA ANN PARKER

On this date back in 1836 one of the Old West’s most tragic events began to unfold.

At the age of nine, Cynthia Ann Parker’s family was killed and she, along with some other children, was kidnapped. The Comanche took her, and she lived with them for 25 years.

She became the wife of Peta Nocona, and gave birth to two boys and a girl. Comanche warriors normally take more than one wife. Nocona was happy with just Cynthia Ann.

In December 1860 a group of Texas Rangers attached Nocona’s village and rescued Cynthia Ann and her daughter.

Rather than feeling she had been rescued, Cynthia Ann felt she was kidnapped a second time. Cynthia Ann resigned herself to a life among a people she no longer understood. In 1863 her daughter died. And she died seven years later of influenza brought on by self-imposed starvation.

Incidentally, her son Quanah Parker became the last great war chief of the Comanche tribe. One wonders if he would have gone to war had Cynthia Ann not been kidnapped.

DICK FELLOWS

We see outlaws in the movies riding at breakneck speed to chase down a stagecoach, and then jump from the horse to the stagecoach to encounter the driver and guard. All outlaws weren’t that good of horsemen.

One such person got out of San Quentin Prison on this date back in 1881. His name was Dick Fellows.

Raised in Kentucky, Dick Fellows…An alias…came to California, and falling on hard times decided to rob stagecoaches. He picked the correct stage. It was carrying $240,000. However, as he was getting ready to go after the stage, the stolen horse he was riding threw him, and he was knocked unconscious.

Not one to give up, Fellows stole another horse and held up the next stage. He was successful. After the stage left, he tried to lift the strong box on his horse. The horse startled and raced off.

With night coming on he started walking with the strong box. Next he fell over a high bluff, knocking himself unconscious a second time. He woke up with a broken leg and foot.

Although the strong box has $1800 in it, he never got a chance to spend it, before Wells Fargo Detectives caught up with him.

When he got out of San Quentin, I believe most people would take the hint and go straight. But not Fellows. He went back to robbing stages, only to be caught again and sentenced to life in Folsom Prison.

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