May 10, 2007
Whipped out a nice little gouache of rancher Dan Coomer, one of the heroes in the Silver City, New Mexico Jail Escape Shootout in 1884. Mr. Coomer was coming out of the bakery in Silver City when the escape began, he ran home for his rifle (many ranchers have a home in town to do business from), came back and borrowed a horse, and along with a brick layer (on another borrowed horse) they charged off after six heavily armed escapees. Unlike most impromptu citizen posses, when they got within range, the outlaws stopped, turned and fired at them. At this point Dan Coomer said, "We better charge them. . ." and off he went. At one point, the outlaws saw he was alone on a hillside and charged him on horseback. Dan simply dismounted, went to one knee and dropped one outlaw and killed a horse from underneath another. Now charging on foot, Coomer shot it out with another two, killing one and taking the fight out of the rest. Amazing courage for an unarmed guy walking out of a bakery.
These are the guys who are fun to write about. I've got another ambitious illustration I want to do this morning of the Gage Train Robbery, with the locomotive in the ditch and one of the outlaws, Mitch Lee, shooting the engineer. Worked until nine last night trying to get the wrecked train right. Still not right. Issue goes out the door this afternoon. Got to move.
"The doors of opportunity are marked 'Push' and 'Pull'".
—Ethel Watts Mumford
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