Legends of America Newsletter
March 4, 2016
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is a learning curve. I've discovered that repeatedly, and every time I
think I have it figured out, something else comes along to muck it up. But
that's what makes life fun and interesting so don't take that as a
Although, I will admit, routine is nice too. Our usual routine would have
us take a winter trip somewhere to explore and learn. Some place to write
about and photograph, escaping the winter weather here at our
However, this year
we decided to stay in Missouri. Looking at the long range forecasts back in
December, we could tell that going to the Southeast, South, or even
Southwest (which we did last year), might be wetter than home and possibly
cold enough that it wouldn't really be escaping. Even though we've had cold
weather this Winter, for the most part it hasn't been bad at all, and only a
couple of inches of snow total for the entire season (so far). So I guess
it was a good idea to stick it out. Besides, like you, we're on a budget
that sometimes requires some voodoo magic, this season being one of those.
Speaking of voodoo, that's where our learning
curve came in. I was getting set to send another newsletter in December
when the forces that be decided we needed a different newsletter service
provider. These are companies that provide the subscribe button, collect
your email address, provide templates for the letter we can use, and
actually send the email to you, our readers. You would think that's a pretty
easy task, but there's a lot involved in finding the right partner for not
only what you need, but also your budget. Our previous provider, which Kathy
signed up with over 10 years ago, was no longer an option for us, and thus
began a search for a replacement.
Kathy and I tend to over analyze things
sometimes.... ok, ok, I tend to over analyze. It took me until late February
to actually find one we both liked, and could afford. Then it took a week
or two to set up and learn, which I'm still doing. If you are reading this,
I guess I still have the ability to follow instruction, troubleshoot, and
stare at a screen long enough to figure it out.
also discovered, since we stayed home this winter, that we've been missing
out on some spectacular sunsets during February here at the
Lake of the Ozarks. There's just the right shift in where the sun goes
down that the sky turns all shades of red and orange for a few minutes each
evening, especially when there are a few clouds to provide the backdrop.
I know we have been here during the Winter
months at some time in the past, but I guess I just didn't take the time to
appreciate it until this year. It reminds me of just how blessed we are to
managed to figure out a way to escape without me. Another production company
called and flew her back out to
Death Valley for a show that will be on the Travel Channel called
"National Park Mysteries". We'll let you know when it is done and scheduled
Luckily for her, she waited until after her
trip to fracture her pelvis. I'm sitting there one night watching the circus
that has become news when I heard a loud thud coming from Kathy's office. I
waited a moment to see if she would say anything, but it was pretty quiet,
so I finally called out "Everything alright in there?" Amidst a few grunts
and groans she shot back "I'm fine", but I could tell she needed help. She
had fell flat on her tush trying to readjust in her chair, which happened to
have a cushion that wasn't securely fastened. After a couple of days of
barely being able to walk, sit, or lay in certain positions, she finally
relented and we had a 'wonderful' experience at the emergency room in
Clinton, MO. Fractured pelvis sounds pretty bad, but it's more like a
fractured rib. Very painful, but there's not a lot you can do, other than
doping yourself up on pain meds and taking it easy for a while. Happy to
report that she's doing fine and well on her way to a full recovery.
In the meantime, Kathy's interview from last Spring when she flew out to El
Paso will be in the new American Heroes Channel (AHC) series "American
Lawmen". Her episode, 'Dallas
Stoudenmire: The Hero of El Paso', premieres Wednesday, March 16 at 10pm
Eastern/9Central. Proud of my little story teller.
I'll be playing around with the format of the new newsletter, trying to
figure out what works best for all of us. We welcome your feedback via our
guestbook, or simply reply to this email. Kathy and I will both get the
message. If you need to change your email address, simply unsubscribe via
the link at the end of this email, then go to our
Newsletter page and re-subscribe with the new address.
Sincerely, Dave Alexander, finder of seatbelts for office chairs.
Here's the latest additions to our website.
Pirates - Renegades of the Sea - Pirates and piracy on the high seas are
almost as old as history itself. Long before the first permanent English
settlement was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, piracy was
flourishing off the North American coast. By Hugh F. Rankin in 1960
- The Fiercest Pirate of Them All - Blackbeard, more than any other, can
North Carolina's own pirate, although he was not a native of the colony
and cannot be considered a credit to the Tar Heel State. By Hugh F. Rankin
Men That Tamed the Cowtowns - Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays City,
Newton -- these and more were names that spelled romance in the early days
when Kansas was the great clearing house for Western cattle. Historic text
from 1905 by Arthur Chapman.
The Hidden City of Death Valley - Mummies -- Giants -- Underground
Caverns! So said a San Diego, California newspaper in describing an event in
Death Valley in 1947. This story and more telling of a lost race beneath the
sands of Death Valley.
The Shawnee Trail - Driving Longhorns to Missouri - The Shawnee Trail
was a major trade and emigrant route from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas and
Missouri in the 19th Century. Texas Cattle would be brought up the trail as
early as the 1840's.
Puerco Valley Along Old Route 66 - Traveling the pre-1937 alignment to
Route 66 from through the Rio Puerco Valley, New Mexico.
Zebulon Pike - Hard Luck Soldier & Explorer - Captain Zebulon Pike led
the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southern portion of the
Louisiana territory, during which he recorded the discovery of what later
was called Pikes Peak.
Bridger - Quintessential Guide of the Rocky Mountains - An accomplished
trapper, scout, and mountain man, Bridger was one of the first non-Indians
to see the natural wonders of what would become Yellowstone Park.
Bozeman Trail - A Violent Path to the Gold Fields - Of all the overland
trails blazed during the westward movement, the Bozeman Trail ranks as one
of the most violent, contentious and ultimately failed experiments in
American frontier history.
Ranchos de Taos & the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church - Spain began
to issue land grants one of which is was called Las Trampas de Taos. In 1725
it became a permanent Spanish settlement called Ranchos de Taos.
Gertrudis Barceló - Commonly known as Madame La Tules, Maria Gertrudis
Barcelo was a prominent saloon owner and professional gambler in Santa Fe,
New Mexico during the heydays of the Santa Fe Trail.
- Art, Architecture & History - The valley of Taos, with its two great
Pueblos, the old town of Taos and the still more ancient settlement known as
Ranchos de Taos, is one of the most fascinating and historical points in the
on the Santa Fe Trail - The Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial
and military road mostly used by male traders, but it also served a smaller
role as an emigrant route for individuals traveling in both directions
between the United States and Mexico. Despite previous historical writings,
Women played a role on the trail. (Based/Sourced from 'Santa Fe Trail
National Register of Historic Places Nomination)
in Rock Springs Leads to Massacre - September 2, 1885 brought violence
and mayhem to Wyoming as racial tensions between white and Chinese
immigrants leads to the Rock Springs Massacre.
Santa Fe Trail - Exploration & Illegal Trade - Pre-1821 - Trade was an
integral part Native American life well before the opening of the Santa Fe
Trail. Since prehistoric times, communication, travel, and trade had
connected the American Plains with both the Southwest and prairies to the
east. (Based/Sourced from 'Santa Fe Trail National Register of Historic
Pike's Peak Gold Rush and Colorado Territory - The mountains of
northeastern Colorado once held vast treasures of silver and gold and when
prospectors found gold in 1858, it spiked the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Written
by Steven F. Mehls for the Bureau of Land Management, 1984.
Arm - Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson, a Confederate General revered
second only to Robert E. Lee, lost his arm before he died, but the arm was
given a Christian Burial. Excerpted from the book "The Last Days of
Stonewall Jackson", by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White.
Moonpies - Author Greg Bailey explores one of the South's greatest
contributions, the Moonpie, which has endured for more than 75 years in its
Santa Fe Trail in Missouri - In 1821, the land beyond Missouri was a
vast uncharted region until William Becknell left Missouri with four trusted
companions and blazed the Santa Fe Trail. This story covers the events
leading up to the establishment of Missouri and the trail.
Osage Trading Post - Lewis and Clark passed through the area of Fort
Osage, Missouri in June, 1804 and considered this spot to be a good place
for a fort with its high commanding position overlooking the Missouri River.
See more "What's New" on Legends of America
Featured Story -
White Oaks, the Liveliest Town in the Territory
Before White Oaks became known as the
liveliest town in
Territory the area was first roamed by the Piros
before they were forced out by the fierce
the region is arid and dotted with lava rock, the
found it abundant with game and made it one of their hunting grounds.
The first Europeans to
travel into the area were members of Don Juan de Onate's expedition in the
late 1500’s, who called the land Malpais, loosely meaning "lava stream.”
Though sparsely populated for centuries, that all changed when prospectors
found gold in the Jicarilla Mountains.
Originally discovered by a man named John
Wilson, allegedly an escapee from a
Wilson shared his find with two friends by the names of Jack Winters and
Harry Baxter. Though Winters and Baxter were ecstatic, Wilson had no
interest in gold and soon moved on, leaving his find to his friends.
|Well, this is a
long one since it's been a while. We'll continue to adjust, adding back in
some of our Old West Wisdom, readers comments and more. Let's see if this
one works though before I go bite off more than I can chew.
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