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June 2016

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Legends of America Celebrates 13 Years

Hey, Ya'll - How's it going? Can you believe it?? 13 years I've been at this. Haven't stayed at a single job that long in my life, but, then ..... never had a "job" I loved like I do this.

So, I get thinkin' how this all started. Some of you may have heard all this -- so just yawn and move on, but, for those that haven't, I started to write a book about this place in New Mexico that was special to me-- the Moreno Valley in the mountains of northeast New Mexico. About the time I got it done, an almost identical book came out. Ho, Hum, what now? So I talk to my publisher and he says -- start a website, that's the future for writing.

But, but, but.... I dunno how. I figured it out over time and what started out as a hobby turned into my life. Six years later, Dave came aboard full-time and we've been traveling through history all along.

So, in my trip down memory lane I think about some of those first stories that I wrote so long ago. There is a fascinating history in that area of little known people and places. Ever heard of the Maxwell Land Grant -- largest land grant in the history of the U.S. This story ends up culminating in what was called the Colfax County War.

And, in just these two stories, I see quickly how this whole thing develops. As I'm researching, I just keep "bumping into things," so what starts out as one article ends up being dozens. So, to write about the land grant, I need to write about Kit Carson, Elizabethtown and Cimarron, New Mexico. Cimarron is on the Santa Fe Trail, so gotta write about that. Elizabethtown is a ghost town, so gotta write about that, and because ghost towns are my favorite, then I gotta write about lots of them. Elizabethtown was frequented by gunfighter Clay Allison and train robber, Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum -- more writing.

I'm talking to some locals and I find out about the legend of La Llorona, a ghost that walks the river, and a serial killer named Charles Kennedy.

And, that's how it goes and has gone ever since. I still love it! Next month takes us on a new adventure to Minnesota. Though it's not that far from here, I haven't spent time there and am looking forward to roaming the state so stay tuned for lots more stories coming soon.

Hope this letter finds you and yours very well and you continue to follow our tales and travels.

Until next time, Kathy Weiser-Alexander


What's New

Levi Strauss - King of the Blue Jeans - Jewish immigrant Levi Strauss, through his already successful dry goods company in San Francisco, would team up with Jacob Davis to patent the riveted Blue Jean. Dave gives us the story of the King of Blue Jeans.


Men dressed as Kachinas by the American Bureau of Ethnology, 1895.The Hopi - Peaceful Ones of the Southwest -  Kathy provides an expansion on our story of the Hopi tribe, who have the longest authenticated history of occupation of a single area by any Native American tribe in the United States.


Cynthia Ann Parker - White Woman in a Comanche World - Captured at an early age during an Indian raid on Fort Parker, Texas, Cynthia Parker would end up marrying and give birth to famed Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.  Dave gives us the scoop.


Frank - The Other James Boy - Author Kathleen Walls brings us the story of Frank James. His brother Jesse may have overshadowed him in history, but Frank lived the outlaw life then later died a law-abiding entrepreneur.


Shalako Mana KachinaKachinas of the Puebloans - The origin of kachinas is not completely known but according to Hopi oral traditions, these mostly benevolent spiritual beings came from the underworld with the Hopi people. Read more in this article from Kathy.


In that same spirit, Kathy also included more in the realm of Native tradition and healing:


Healing Crystals and Stones - For thousands of years, crystals have been utilized for mental, physical and spiritual healing, to cure ailments, protect against illness, disease, and injury.


Native American Symbols, Pictographs & Petroglyphs - When European explorers arrived in America, Native Americans did not communicate through writing as we know it. Instead, they told stories and created pictures and symbols. And these symbols date back thousands of years.


Also, Kathy found some historic text worth sharing from Frederick Webb Hodge, Bureau of Ethnology written in 1906.


Native American Medicine Men & Healing Practices - Various Native American tribes showed many similarities in regard to medicine including magic, prayers, songs, exhortation, suggestion, ceremonies, fetishes, and plant remedies.


Indian Shamans & Priests - A shaman is a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces.


New on our Ghost Town Pages


Hachita - Old and New - The original town of Hachita was a mining settlement in the Little Hatchet Mountains. The town moved with the railroad to the east, but there are still remains of previous glory. Dave brings us more in this look from our brief stop there in 2008.


More What's New Here

Did you know?

The National Park System was created on August 25, 1916 when Congress passed the National Park Service Organic Act. Today there are over 400 National Parks in the United States.  


Read About Some of Them Here

Old West  Wisdom

  • Polishing your pants on saddle leather don't make you a rider.

  • There's two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.

  • Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.

More  Old West Wisdom HERE

Featured Travel Destination

That Time When... Our Trip to Virginia City Nevada in 2009

From our Photo Blog - In July of 2009, during a trip out west to California, we ventured over into Nevada to check out Virginia City, once heralded as the most important settlement between Denver and San Francisco. Along the way there we ran into a couple of 'bonuses', Silver City and Gold Hill; mining camps not far from our destination.

The first in our new series "That Time when...", looking back at some of our favorite travels since 2003.


T-shirts at Legends General StoreLower Prices & New Designs on T-Shirts!

At Legends' General Store, we've lowered prices and added up some of our Americana designs to our T-Shirt selection. Regular prices now start at $17.95, and are available for International Customers too!


See All T-Shirt Designs Here


More to See

Supporting our love of history since 2003, Legends General Store is a great place to find unique gifts, books, DVD's and more. Save 10% off anything in our General Store by using coupon code NEWS10 in cart view.


Legends' Photo Print Shop provides a wide range of photos from vintage images to our current travels. Thousands to choose from, in print sizes small to large. Or put your favorite on T-Shirts to coffee mugs. Save 10% off all Photo Prints by using coupon code News10 during checkout.


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