November 2, 2023
I've been having fun painting on these old images of rebel youngsters in the Civil War.
Daily Whip Outs:
"Missouri Bushwhackers In Training"
It was a young man's game. Very young.
Meanwhile. . .In the first decade of the Twentieth Century, a Pennsylvania boy created a new, clean cut version of the cowboy and starred in 291 films that were high on action. He dethroned William S. Hart, who defined a more somber and serious Western hero.
Thomas Hezikiah Mix started big with the Selig Film Studio in 1909 and made 100 films with them before moving on to Fox where he made 160 films during the 1920s. He made upwards of $7,500 week at a time before income tax! He did his own stunts and was injured quite often. He had a brief business arrangement with FBO Studio, but left because of the studio chief, Joseph P. Kennedy (father of JFK) who he claimed was, "a tight-assed, money-crazy son of a bitch."
In the 1930s with the depression he toured in a circus—allegedly making $20,000 a week—then bought the circus and was trying to make a comeback when he died in a freak automobile wreck south of Florence, Arizona. His marker is a mecca to all of us who love the West and Westerns.
Tom Mix bought a Gordon Buehrig designed Cord 812 supercharged phaeton, equipped with a forced-induction Lycoming V-8 engine and front-wheel drive with a four-speed gearbox. It was allegedly one of three Cord 812s with a rear tire mount. The other two were purchased by Al Jolson and Barbara Stanwyck.
The Suitcase of Death
Tom Mix had the pedal to the metal on his bright-yellow Cord Phaeton automobile as he sped from Oracle, Arizona towards Florence on a dirt road. His estimated speed was eighty-miles-an-hour when he came over a rise and saw a highway crew working on a bridge over a dry wash. He tried to slow down and steer clear (one eyewitness said he was standing as he attempted to steer clear) and the car swerved into the dry wash and hitting the sand, the car stopped short and Mix was hit in the back of the head by his heavy aluminum suitcase which broke his neck. Today, this "suitcase of death" is prominently displayed the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma (yes, the same town where he got his start in movies 29 years earlier.
—Old Vaquero Saying