Hot on the heels of broadcasting a breaking news bank robbery in Houston, CNN brought on Bob Boze Bell to address Gov. Richardson's denial of pardon for Billy the Kid.
Bob cited three reasons for the pardon. One, Billy was the embodiment of the all American kid. Two, the Kid was a cold blooded killer, who as Richardson cited in his denial killed two law enforcement officers when escaping jail. This dichotomy, Bob said, creates American legends. Three, if pardoned Bob would sell more…Continue
No matter which side you take on the Billy the Kid pardon, you have to admit that young Henry made some bad choices in his life. It dates back at least to his time in Silver City, when he was arrested and incarcerated for receiving goods stolen from a Chinese business--and then compounded that bad decision by escaping.
Yes, Billy had a tough life. But so did many others who took a different path.
Take the Blachleys of Delta, Colorado.
December 31, 2010
It's official. Gov. Richardson did not pardon Billy the Kid. I'm being interviewed at 9:20 a.m on Channel 3 in Phoenix about it, then at 1:20 p.m. on CNN. I'll have more to say later. In the meantime, discuss amongst yourselves.
December 30, 2010
It never ceases to amaze me that new historical finds show up at this late date. Well, Mark Gardner has discovered an interview with Lew Wallace in May of 1881 that is quite astounding. For one thing, the Kid is at large (he escaped hanging in April of 1881) and hasn't been tracked down yet so Wallace's comments have the added value of breaking news.
In terms of Wallace promising the Kid a pardon, the governor gives a pretty…Continue
December 29, 2010
My old bandmate Steve Paroni came by on Christmas Eve and gifted me a couple fifties style Western magazines. One of them features "Reno Brown: The Screen's Famous Western Movie Star!" My question to you is: Who the hell is Reno Browne? The contents page has a 1950 date,…Continue
Not a bad movie, however it begs the question; why does Hollywierd keep doing re-makes. For crying out loud, get an original idea and script and make a good western. Matt damon was horrible as a Texas Ranger. There are plenty of descriptions of Rangers and their outfits to make that a…Continue
Open Ted Yeatman’s book on the James-Younger Gang, Frank and Jesse James: The Story behind the Legend, and you’ll come across a rare photo of Jim Younger in the second set of photographs just after page 320. This photo of Jim was taken during Christmas 1875 — less than a year before the failed Northfield bank…Continue
December 28, 2010
Old photographs inspire me. Case in point, John Langellier recently pitched us on doing a feature on frontier army bands, as in musicians. He sent along a bunch of great photos and one of them, taken at Promontory Point on the day of the final spike ceremony, May 10, 1869 caught my eye. This image was one I had never seen before:
December 27, 2010
Did a phone interview with the Wall Street Journal at lunchtime today. They are doing a story on Governor Bill Richardson's threatened pardon of Billy the Kid. Supposed to run in tomorrow's edition. Did another phoner with a Durango, Colorado radio station about them being crowned a Top Ten Western Town in our current issue.
After the interview I whipped out a nice little fire rider study:…Continue
December 27, 2010
The immediate members of my family, that would be Kathy, Deena and Tommy, are not fans of the Western. I take total blame for this, having basically ruined so many oaters by my pompous commentaries before, during and after the many Westerns I have forced them to endure for the last three decades.
There have been a few exceptions. Kathy joined me for 3:10 To Yuma, and sort of enjoyed. Even I thought the ending was lame.…Continue
Lincoln Star, Nebraska Newspaper--6/5/1971
The wagon train snaked slowly across the prairie leaving a billowing dust cloud in its wake. There were 300 ox-drawn wagons in the train. Bringing up the rear were several hundred cattle and sheep.
Biddy Mason, 32 year old mother of three young daughters, strode through the choking dust herding the livestock with a long stick.
Soon she would take her turn driving the oxen pulling her master's wagon. Then she would have a chance…Continue
December 23, 2010
Under the weather. Got a sore throat and chills. Stayed home most of yesterday.
Speaking of weather, it rained most of last night. This is the big storm that flooded Cal yesterday. Soggy, with juicy clouds hanging off the tops of Skull Mesa.
In spite of my flu-type doldrums, I have been pushing paint around. Did this little study a couple days ago:
Stray Leaves reports on the death of historian Emmett Hoctor, a friend and supporter of The James-Younger Gang, and the Jesse James family.
Hoctor claimed to initiate the first contact with Prof. James Starrs that resulted in the 1995 exhumation of Jesse James, that had the approval of the James family. In later years, Hoctor expressed disappointment when Starr's exhumation fell into question. Still, Hoctor…Continue
December 21, 2010
Caught something last weekend. Slight cough and fever. Stayed home. Rainy day. Slept and worked in studio.
Here's Johnny Boggs' take on he new True Grit:
I guess my main problems were why they separated Matt Damon from Rooster and…Continue
Strange but true – General Lopez de Santa Anna’s invasion of Texas in 1836 was not to be the last time that a Mexican Army crossed the border into Texas in full battle array – artillery, infantry, military band and all. Santa Anna may have been defeated at San Jacinto – but for…Continue
Added by Celia Hayes on December 21, 2010 at 11:41am — No Comments
Come spend Saturday, Jan. 8th, 2011, at Rawhide Old West Town, for the Ruckus at Rawhide. There will be reenacment groups, professional stunt people, and old west entertainment of all kinds, performing throughout the day.Come see Rawhide itself, which is a breathtaking reproduction of an old western town located just south of Phoenix, at the Wild Horse Pass exist of Interstate 10. The event is open to the public and arizona reenactment and actors groups are welcomed to come and participate…Continue
December 20, 2010
Since we're about 40 hours out from the opening of the new True Grit, let's take one last look before you go take a look:
As one of the critics, who has seen it, remarked: it's the least ironic of all the Coen brothers' movies. Being a fan of The Big Lebowski, Fargo and No Country For Old Men (okay, two thirds of it), I think this played into my expectations. I was expecting more Dude and less…Continue
December, 17, 2010
Someone asked me what Yoko Ono has to do with anything Western and to that I say, quite a bit actually. Last week I attended the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas and, as mentioned, the music was wall to wall Metal Town with AC/DC sort of being the house band. About the lightest thing I heard was "Get Back" by the Beatles. Given the tenor of the tunes it seemed a tad light, but then I realized they played it when one of the competitors, who was named…Continue