September 25, 2012
Signed off on the final corrections on Kid Curry's Last Gunfight which will run in the December issue. Talked on the phone with Kid Curry author Mark Smokov in Seattle at nine this morning (we sent him a pdf of the article). He caught a couple errors (the date of Sheriff Hazen's death was off by one day on the timeline but correct in the photo caption). He also wondered where I got the information that one of the posse members, Elmer Chapman, was a brand inspector. In his research he only found him referred to as a deputy sheriff. These are the little details we go the extra mile on to try and get it right. Because:
We Aim To Get History Right
Meanwhile, Robert Ray has taken Gus Walker's excellent map of the Parachute robbery and subsequent man hunt and added a couple tweaks. Mike Bell wanted us to add the Gustafson Ranch to the map and Robert managed to shoe horn it in. Because of space restraints I was not able to include these little gems from Mike Bell:
Bob - just dug out my dog-eared copy of Garfield County, Colorado, The First Hundred Years, 1883-1983. had to retrieve it from our loft. Some of my notes come from it:
The robbers demanded food from Mrs. Gustafson and took fresh horses. They also cut her telephone line, but she repaired it. As the outlaws were about to ride away the young Gustafson boy, about five, came running up and said: "Momma's fixed the phone so you can use it now". One of the outlaws responded; "Well if she's talking about us, at least she isn't gossiping about the neighbors".
The other snippet i'd forgotten is that the outlaws stopped at Banta's ranch for food but threw it away because for some reasons they thought Mrs. banta had poisoned it - hence stopping again at Gustafson's.
End of Mike's remarks. He also had a couple other little gems I didn't have room for, like this one: after Rolla Gardner had his horse shot out from under him by Kid Curry, Rolla came up from behind his dead horse and fired a shot with his deer rifle and hit Kid Curry across the arms and chest. When Gardner tried to remove the bullet it was rusted from the rain the night before and he had to use his pocket knife to get it out. I love these little details: Gardner must have left his rifle on the porch or somewhere and it got wet. Imagine being in a fire fight and you've had your horse shot out from under you, you are scared silly, and you have the nerve to raise up and fire, THEN you discover you can't eject the shell from your rifle and you have three outlaws armed to the teeth, firing in your general direction.
Just Dad-burned amazing.
Meanwhile, our November issue goes on sale this week and will be on an end cap position in every Barnes & Noble in the country. I want you to go in and have your picture taken like I have here and post it on Facebook. If you do, you could win a 5-year subscription to True West, or a DVD of our TV show "Outrageous Arizona." Or, perhaps both.
And if you go in and you can't find True West on an end cap (the display at the end of the aisles), then I want you to go to the manager and complain, preferably loudly. Thanks.
"History is too important to be left to historians."
—Old Vaquero Saying