Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Bat Masterson

denverBat Masterson*
Bartholomew Masterson, was born November 26, 1853 in (sit down for this) Quebec, Canada! One of America's most revered lawmen was a freakin' Canadian! Sad, but true. No offense to our friends to the North. And all these years we thought he was one of us. This is almost as bad as if you hosers up there found out that Wayne Gretsky was born in Oklahoma or God forbid, Massachusetts! The blow to American ego and pride aside, Masterson did call Colorado home for twenty-three years, including stints in Leadville, Trinidad and Denver. Best-known as a US Marshal and local lawman, Masterson was also a prizefight promoter, gambler, Army Scout, buffalo hunter and newspaper writer. After his arrival in Denver in the late 1890's, Bat published a weekly sports column in Goerge's Weekly. Wikipedia tells us of more of Masterson's writing exploits : "Masterson continued his writing career in New York at the New York Morning Telegraph, (a sporting newspaper featuring race form and results whose reputation was part of what was known as 'a whore's breakfast,' which consisted of a cigarette and the Morning Telegraph) circa 1904. Hired by the younger Lewis brother, William Eugene Lewis, he reprised his role as sports writer, later becoming the paper's sports editor. The politics, sporting events, theaters, fine dining establishments, and varied night life of his adopted city became fodder for his thrice weekly column "Masterson's Views on Timely Topics" for more than 18 years. W. E. Lewis eventually became the general manager and president of the company and promoted his friend Masterson to vice president and company secretary.
While in New York City, Masterson met up again with the Lewis brothers. Alfred Henry Lewis eventually wrote several short stories and a novel "The Sunset Trail", about Masterson. Alfred Lewis encouraged Bat to write a series of sketches about his adventures which were published by Lewis in the magazine he edited, Human Life (circa 1907–1908). Masterson regaled his readers with stories about his days on the frontier and his gunfighter friends. He also explained to his audience what he felt were the best properties of a gunfighter.
It was during this time that Masterson sold his famous sixgun—"the gun that tamed the West"—because he "needed the money". Actually, Masterson bought old guns at pawnshops, carved notches into the handles and sold them at inflated prices. Each time he claimed the gun was the one he used during his career as a lawman." The great Bat Masterson, con man. He probably would have been a Mets fan, too. Heh.

Maine Minutiae : Whale Video !

Minke Whale (courtesy of NatGeo.)
No matter how hard I tried , I couldn't come up the words to accurately describe what you are about to see. So, I won't even try. I will set the video up by saying that it takes place in the Bay of Fundy at Eastport. Click here to see the wonders of the Minke Whale. Beautiful.

Texas Tidbits : The Greatest Town Name Ever in the History of Town Names

If you were in Houston and were to head North on I-45, forty miles or so later, you'd be in Conroe. The subject of today's Texas Tidbits is located six miles East of Conroe and goes by the handle of Cut and Shoot. I.Love.That.Name. Cut and Shoot. There are many stories about how Cut and Shoot got its sobriquet as there are letters in its name, but this one seems to be the one mentioned most. Hell, it doesn't make a rat's patootie how Cut and Shoot came to be called Cut and Shoot, I simply like saying that name. Cut and Shoot. That name is 110% Texan. One would think that a town with such a menacing moniker would have earned its label by virtue of being a Wild West, rough and tumble, gunfightin' kind of place and one would be wrong. Cut and Shoot didn't go by that name until 1912.Cut and Shoot was such a small community, that population stats weren't kept until the mid-1970's. However, the town garnered world-wide attention when in 1958 a local lad fought the great Floyd Patterson. From Wikipedia ; "The town of Cut and Shoot gained fame when local boxer Roy Harris, a heavyweight contender fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in 1958. Harris appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was featured in Life Magazine. So much mail was addressed to "Roy Harris, Cut and Shoot, Texas" that the U. S. Postal Service granted a franchise post office to the town." Cut and Shoot had arrived! Now you can impress your friends at parties and social gatherings of all sorts, with your near encyclopedic knowledge of Cut and Shoot, Texas. You can thank me later. :)

Hat tip: n2l

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