October 22, 2022
Thanks to my third-grade-school-mate, Bill Blake, I got to witness one of the last, oldtime dances at the Wikieup School House on the Big Sandy. It was the summer of 1957 and the queen of the dance was a young cowgirl named Roxie Stephens.
Roxie as I remember her
As an impressionable ten-year-old, there were oodles of cakes and a couple fiddles—no drums—and no drinking allowed in the schoolhouse. But, many, if not all, the cowboys went outside for a nip and sure enough there was a fight between two young cowboys between two pickups and I got to witness the KO punch.
Okay, that photo above, is actually of Angie Dickinson, back in the day, but in my memory, that's how Roxie looked.
Whenever I see old photos of cowboys I am always taken back to those wonderful memories of the Big Sandy and the strapping vision those young bucks cut.
These great looking guys with the double-gun-belts are not Big Sandy Cowboys but I say, close enough for government work. A favorite line, by the way, of a Big Sandy cowboy I worked with at the Highway Department.
The Kaboys of Mohave County
In my memory, this is how they looked, as rough as they come.
Of course, when I was growing up, Mohave County wasn't just full of cantankorous cowboys.
The Raunchy And Legendary Candy Barr
She wasn't from Mojave County either but she sure looks the part. Anyway, that could all be bad memory because, as I grew older, I wandered away from the Big Sandy and the cowpokes and the rangy, scallywags who made it wild, only to find other wild ones in other wild parts of the world.
Kingman Kaboy in van Gogh Homeboy Bar
Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, 2015
Somehow, in my mind they are all connected. And, bottom line, to this day, I have vivid and fond memories of the harshest and most beautiful desert in the world.
Daily Whip Out: "Memories of The Mojave"
"Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe. It gives back life to those who no longer exist."
—Guy de Maupassant, some piss-ant from France