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Legends of America Newsletter
March 4, 2016

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Life 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 complaint.  

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 Missouri home.

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. 

I 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 live here. 

Kathy 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 to air. 

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.

 

What's New

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
 
Edward Teach was better known as the infamous pirate BlackbeardBlackbeard - The Fiercest Pirate of Them All - Blackbeard, more than any other, can be called 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 in 1960.
 
Abilene Kansas in its glory daysThe 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.
 
Rio Puerco Valley west of Albuquerque New MexicoRio 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.
 
Jim Bridger Mountain Man and ExplorerJim 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.
 
Crossing the Wyoming grasslandsThe 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.
 
Mexican Gambling HallDoña 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.
 
Taos New Mexico todayTaos - 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 entire West.
 
Susan Shelby MagoffinWomen 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)
 
Rock Springs Wyoming Riot 1885 - Harpers WeeklyRiot 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 Places Nomination)
 
Emigrants arrive in what will soon be Denver ColoradoThe 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.
 
Jackson's 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 Chattanooga home.
 
Westport Landing Missouri by William Henry JacksonThe 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.
 
Fort Osage in Sibley MissouriFort 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 HERE.

 

 

Featured Story - White Oaks, the Liveliest Town in the Territory

 

 

White Oaks, New Mexico Brown StoreBefore White Oaks became known as the liveliest town in New Mexico Territory the area was first roamed by the Piros Indians before they were forced out by the fierce Apache. Though the region is arid and dotted with lava rock, the Indians 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 Texas prison, 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.

 

Continue Reading HERE

 

 

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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