June 14, 2006
I had a long one trying to wrap up the Henry Brown vs. Medicine Lodge Cow-boys gunfight. Did a scratchboard before I went into work of The Newlyweds. Not bad. Worked all day trying to get all the copy in. Very tight. I had a couple of questions about Henry, then received the following e-mail from across the pond:
Leave It To An Englishman To Know This!
“Gwyn Nell, actress former, mistress of King Second the Charles, lived close to Castle Windsor. I don't just do Billy the Kid, kiddo.”
—Frederick Nolan, responding to yesterday’s quote
So I wrote Fred back and asked him two questions: The first: I seem to remember that there was a controversy several years ago about whether the Henry Brown who rode with Billy the Kid in the Lincoln County War was in fact the same guy as the marshal of Caldwell who got himself killed trying to rob the bank at Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Did that controversy ever get resolved? And, two, I’ve seen Henry styled as Hendry. Where did that come from?
And The Foremost Lincoln County War Expert Replied. . .
“For (as much as you'll need of) the latest on whether Henry of Lincoln was Henry of Caldwell, cf. Betty Jay, ‘From Henry Brown to Henry Newton Brown’ in the NOLA Quarterly, XXX (2) April-June, 2006, pp.21-27. She kind of chickens out on the argument, which renders the piece pretty pointless, but if it matters, I have Tascosa material that quite definitely ID's the Henry Brown who was a constable there as the Henry Brown who rode with the Kid and that he went on from there to Caldwell. This is to some extent backed up in a series of newspaper articles ‘The True Trail of Billy the Kid,’ by Alvin Rucker, and which appeared in the Oklahoma City The Daily Oklahoman in July, 1929, which suggests [issue of July 7] that Henry was very friendly with John Middleton and that they went north to Caldwell where they became friendly with the Colcord family. The Colcords nursed Middleton back to health (he married one of the daughters) and ‘took an interest in Henry Brown and helped obtain for him the appointment of deputy city marshal of Caldwell.’ QED, I would say.
“The ‘Hendry’ goes back at least as far as Emerson Hough's Story of the Outlaw (1907) and maybe before that, but it was probably Siringo who popularized the error in A Cowboy Detective (1912) and others like Eugene Cunningham carried it on.
“It's good to see you having so much fun. A long haul from 1999, old friend.”
Oh, the detail! The footnoting, the amazing minutia that emanates from Fred’s head! It is a total pleasure and honor to know someone so committed to the historical truth. And yes, this is the same guy who called me an “asshole” two weeks ago in this space. Ha.
Joey “Spinmaster” Dillon came by the office at 11 today with his producer Tony Cassanova. On my team were Mark Boardman and Rob Bandhauer, and we all retired to El Encanto to plot a decent presentation for The Joey & BBB Show at End of Trail in ten days. Lots of good ideas and bits bandied about. While there I ran into Debora Gifford, True West Maniac #17, looking ravishing as ever. She got out of real estate and is now doing skin care with Arbonne. You can check her out at:
My comments in The Arizona Republic have been getting some odd responses. When I got back from Frisco, my office phone had a mumbled message that sounded something like this:
“I read your comment in the Plugged In section last Sunday and then I read about a girl who was shot in the head and I went back and looked at what you are wearing in your photo and it made total sense.” Click.
Yesterday I got my “Yo Say, Jose!” comments clipped out and sent to me with the following scribbled note: “Either you had too many margaritas when you wrote this or you don’t get out of Cave Creek enough!”
Leaving at five in the morning for Cody and the Western Writers of America Convention. While there, Steve Randolph and his son are going to film the Pike Landusky vs. Kid Curry gunfight out at Trail Dust Town. Should be fun.
”I have no money and no resources. I am the happiest man alive.”
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