Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Lynda Sanchez's Apache Scouts, Wild Bill's Mistress & Fictional Truths

 February 28, 2024

   Good morning you Zany Zonies!

Daily Whip Out: "Part Time Lawman"

Daily Whip Out: "Troopers In Dust." 

   This is for a wonderful feature from historian Lynda Sanchez on Apache Scouts in the next issue of True West magazine (May-June). 

   I tell you, it's such a privilege to still be in business! What with Wild West magazine going out of business it is amazing we are still standing and I thank Ken and Lucinda for that. We are down to six issues, but we are still here Mothers-you-know!

   Meanwhile, I am sort of bemused that no one bought this DWO, below. It was in the bins prominently displayed last Saturday. Perhaps it was too subtle, and not deemed "picture worthy"?

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill's Mistress"

   This was created for my 2017 book, "The Illustrated Life & Times of Wild Bill Hickok" Page 65: "Wild Bill is a rock star in his day, and he loves many women. Fated just like his future brothers in arms, one of these women gives him a gift he doesn't want."


What Are The Odds of History Being True?

   When I was starting out on this history journey four decades ago I believed that if we dug deep enough, we could arrive at the truth, and I mean, 100% TRUTH. Man, was I naive. Today, almost 25 years after buying True West magazine, I would put that number closer to 48%. Here's what happened. 

   Our theory was that if we rounded up the very best experts and historians on any given topic or event, we could corral the true story of what happened and it would be golden for generations. Ha. Even though we daily correspond with the top historians in our world, we still find ourselves stepping in it after about five years. Sometimes less. Here's what happens: new research invariably blows holes in the old research and it affects even the very top dogs. I won't name names but it's true of everyone. Turns out history is a moving target. Sometimes I feel like it's trying to change a tire on a car going 40 mph!

   And, of course, there were warnings, but we failed to heed them.

"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper."

—George Orwell

   And when we invariably step in it, there is always a know-it-all who says this:

"And you call yourself TRUE West magazine?"

—A typical Vince Murray criticism

   Another roadblock to the truth is what I call insipid family stories.

My Daddy Told Me. . .

   Here's a "true" Tom Mix anecdote that was posted on Facebook a couple days ago: "Tom Mix always went to Tucson, AZ on weekends to play poker with his buddies at the Hotel Tucson. He was on his way in his 1936 Cord car pulling a horse trailer. Don't know if he had his horse with him when he went off road into a 'WASH' and hit it hard. He was on his way home to either Gila Bend or Casa Grande."

   Okay, let's unpack this "true" story: Mix was on a cross country road trip from New York to LA, with stops in Chicago and Texas. He rode in a parade in Lordsburg, New Mexico 48 hours before he crashed and died in a wash northwest of Oracle Junction. He was driving a 1937 Supercharged Cord and he stayed at the Santa Rita Hotel in Tucson. He wasn't pulling a horse trailer and he was on his way to Florence, Arizona and, then on to Phoenix and his home in LA.

   We can file this "true" story under "My Daddy Told Me A Windy". It  also begs the question our Texas kin put on these kinds of specific propositions: Unless you can improve on a story, you have no business retelling it in the first place. Then, you cross pollinate that ditty with this one: Most of the fiction in this world comes from people who are repeating true stories.

A Past That Never Existed?

"There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present and invoke the security of a comfortable past, which, in fact, never existed."

—Robert F. Kennedy 

   And, so what is the moral of the story?

Here's My New Mantra

"When the legend becomes fact, stick with the facts, but good luck with those slippery eels!"


1 comment:

  1. Gave him a gift he didn't guess is socks? And just a compliment on the Tom Mix issue-great job! Also, consider expanding on the John Joel Glanton story and comparing with Cormac McCarthy's, Blood Meridian. Some Blood Meridian inspired daily whip outs would be a treat. And based on the quality of this last issue, 6 issues is fine by me...hopefully, it gives you time to finish that Illustrated Jesse James book! Keep up the great work. Long Live True West!!


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