You know, some stories just write themselves. That was the headline in the Indianapolis News on November 26, 1947, which I found doing some random dude ranch research the other day. Naturally, I had to investigate, and if you think today's celebrity culture is weird, just wait. Alva LaSalle "Beau" Kitselman, Jr. was the heir … Continue reading “Hoosier Tires of Yoga and Wants His Dude Ranch Back.”
Folks of a certain age in the United States will remember the Death Valley Days TV show of the 1950s. But before Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, and Dale Robertson hosted the long-running series, Death Valley Days was a popular radio program. It debuted in September of 1930 and featured a singer called The Lonesome Cowboy, … Continue reading The Cowboy Singer Who Wasn’t A Cowboy
When people go to a dude ranch they want two things most of all: good horses to ride, and good food to eat. When I was researching my new book, American Dude Ranch: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West (coming March 2022, and please excuse the shameless self-promotion) I discovered … Continue reading For Your Holiday Table: “Cowboy in a Sack”
Grab a cup of coffee or a soda and put your feet up: I've got a long post for you today. November 5 marks the 150th anniversary of the “Wickenburg Massacre,” a stagecoach shootout that inspires either spirited discussion or fist-shaking arguments among historians and history buffs. The arguments are about who actually did the … Continue reading The Wickenburg Massacre: Still Mysterious After 150 Years
Chances are you don't think "dude ranch" when you think of Halloween. Some ranches didn't do much to celebrate the day, because the end of October was the end of the season for Rocky Mountain operations, and the start for ranches in the warmer climates of the Southwest. In other words, it's a busy time … Continue reading Dude Ranch Halloween Fun
Everybody loves a rebel. Well, I do, anyway. Especially female ones. One of my favorite rebel girls was Louisiana Foster, whose life was as unusual as her name. She was born on July 18, 1887 in San Rafael, in Marin County, north of San Francisco. Her family was both wealthy and philanthropic, and she seemed … Continue reading Louisiana Foster: Not Your Usual Debutante
In May of 1866 the Rev. Charles Morris Blake, his wife and two children moved from Pennsylvania to Fort Whipple, in Prescott, Arizona Territory. Rev. Blake had a spotty record as an Army chaplain in the Civil War, but he stayed in the service and was assigned to minister to the troops at Whipple and … Continue reading A Visit to Wickenburg in 1867….that didn’t go well.
When he was a teenager, New York native Larry Larom saw Buffalo Bill's Wild West during one of its appearances in the city between 1907 and 1909. (By the way, if you want to show your Western authenticity credentials, never call the Wild West a show, because Buffalo Bill didn't either.) Larom actually got to … Continue reading 95 Years With the Dudes