Spurs and the Great West

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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Here are a pair of presentation spurs from the Sand Cup at Moses lake, Washington.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Great western character actors: Barry Kelley was born on August 19, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Edward Barry Kelley. He was an actor, known for The Manchurian Candidate (1962), The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Too Late for Tears (1949). He died on June 15, 1991 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

On stage from 1930. Brought to Hollywood by director Elia Kazan in 1947.
Did his best work in westerns and films noir, often as corrupt lawmen or judges.
Trained for acting at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
Kelley's gruff, authoritarian face is on the many political posters seen on the walls of streets in "West Side Story.".
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The Davis Mountains, originally known as Limpia Mountains, are a range in West Texas, located near Fort Davis, after which they are named. The fort was named for then United States Secretary of War and later Confederate President Jefferson Davis. They are a popular site for camping and hiking and the region includes Fort Davis National Historic Site and Davis Mountains State Park. The historical and architectural value of the fort, along with the rugged natural environment of the park are a significant destination for tourism in Texas.

Most of the land in the Davis Mountains is under private ownership as ranch land, but the Nature Conservancy owns or has conservation easements on more than 100,000 acres.

Rather than being a single coherent range, the Davis Mountains are an irregular jumble of isolated peaks and ridges separated by flatter areas. The mountains occupy a rough square about 31 mi. on each side. The mountains are of volcanic origin composed of strata associated with eruptions of the Trans-Pecos Texas volcanic field 35 million years ago. The highest peak in the Davis Mountains is Mount Livermore at 8,383 ft. the fifth-highest peak in Texas.

The Davis Mountains are a sky island, an isolated mountain range surrounded by desert. The town of Fort Davis at the foot of the Davis Mountains has an elevation of 4,900 ft. From that elevation, the sky island rises to 8,383 ft. As the elevation increases, average temperatures decline and precipitation increases, permitting an "island" of forest and other mesic habitat at higher elevations.

The most common vegetation of the Davis Mountains is montane grassland, often mixed with scattered bushes and trees. As is common in most Northern Hemisphere semiarid climates the vegetation on the southern slopes of the mountains is noticeably sparser than on the northern slopes. This is due to the greater exposure to the sun on southern slopes, thus warmer temperatures and drier soils.

Over 277 species of birds have been seen at Davis Mountains State Park. Many species found here are characteristic of more northerly mountain climes or alternatively of nearby Mexico, including 10 species of hummingbirds. Large mammals found here include whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, black bear, cougar, pronghorn, peccary, and introduced species such as aoudad and feral hogs. Several private ranches in the Davis Mountains offer hunting opportunities.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Hyman G. Neill, better known as Hoodoo Brown, was the leader of the Dodge City Gang in Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1879 and early 1880. According to Harold Thatcher, curator of the Rough Rider Museum in Las Vegas, Hoodoo was "the baddest cowboy of them all". He was described as tall and thin, with light hair, a rakish look, and a small moustache.

Neill hailed from a traditional Southern family from Lexington, Missouri. His father had come to Lexington from Lee County, Virginia in the 1830s. Hyman's father, Henry Alexander Neill, practiced law and would have joined the Confederacy when the American Civil War began, however, he decided he could not disavow his oath to support the Constitution and ended up joining the Union. This choice, coupled with his wife's death, caused him to move his family to Warrensburg, Missouri after the war. His date of birth is possibly unknown.

Hoodoo became a printer's devil when he was a teenager, until one day he was asked to retrieve rags needed for printing. Young Neill jumped on a freight train going by the back door of the office, saying he was leaving to "get your durn rags".

He was hunting American bison and hauling lumber in 1872. At the time, he was known to be a small-time gambler and confidence trickster. He eventually went to Colorado, working in silver mines with a friend. Hoodoo and his friend ended up in Mexico to form an opera company.

When Hoodoo arrived in Las Vegas, New Mexico, he found it was developing a reputation as a lawless place, filled with outlaws, confidence tricksters, murderers and thieves. His displeasure with this led to his election as Justice of the Peace for East Las Vegas. He also served as coroner and mayor of the town, and recruited several former gunfighters from Kansas to form a police force. However, the force was as lawless as the criminals they were supposed to be policing. Called the "Dodge City Gang", the force included J. J. Webb as the town marshal, Mysterious Dave Mather, Joe Carson, "Dutchy" Schunderberger and Dave Rudabaugh.

From 1879 through 1880, Hoodoo led the Dodge City Gang on stagecoach and train robberies, murders, thievery and municipal corruption. Hoodoo's position as coroner enabled him to install the gang as the "Coroner's Jury", which they used to determine whether or not killings were in self-defense. This position enabled Hoodoo's gang to cover up most of their crimes.

By the summer of 1880, the citizens of Las Vegas, New Mexico, had had enough of Hoodoo's corruption, and organized a team of vigilantes to overthrow the mayor. Hoodoo was not killed, but instead driven from the state. Historians have stated that Hoodoo stole money from a dead man before moving on to Houston, Texas.

Meanwhile, the widow of one of Hoodoo's deputies, who had been killed two months earlier, had exhumed her husband to move him to Houston. When she arrived, she found Hoodoo had been arrested. The widow visited Hoodoo in prison. The Parsons Sun reported that "the meeting between the pair is said to have been affecting in the extreme, and rather more affectionate than would be expected under the circumstances." The Parsons Eclipse, another newspaper added that Hoodoo's specific offense committed at Las Vegas was murder and robbery, and it was indicated that seduction and adultery was connected to the crime.

Soon thereafter, however, Hoodoo hired two local attorneys and was released when the attorneys managed to prove that the officers had no legal authority for holding Brown. Neither he nor the widow were ever seen again. The Chicago Times soon reported that Brown and the widow have been "skylarking through some of the interior towns of Kansas ever since".

Reports from a descendant of Hyman G. Neill indicate that Hoodoo died in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico, where he left a common-law wife and a son. Two of Hoodoo's brothers brought back his remains to Lexington. His son was also brought there, and was raised. Hoodoo Brown was buried at his family plot in Lexington under the name Henry G. Neill.

Years later, records listed a woman named Elizabeth Brown who was living in Leadville, Colorado. A heavy drinker, she claimed to have been married to a gambler named Hoodoo Brown, who was shot and killed in a gambling dispute. She may have been Hoodoo's common law wife, but this was never proven.

Hyman Neil appears in the weird western novel Merkabah Rider: The Mensch With No Name, by Edward M. Erdelac. He unofficially hires the Rider, Mysterious Dave Mather, and Doc Holliday to find two thousand dollars in cash stolen in a train robbery outside Las Vegas, New Mexico.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The Pelican Bay Light (or Port of Brookings Light) is a small, privately owned lighthouse in Brookings, Oregon, United States. It overlooks the Port of Brookings Harbor and the mouth of the Chetco River. Built as an addition to an existing house, Pelican Bay Light is maintained by the Cady family of Brookings.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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More versions of the ever popular railroad spike knife:
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Marymere Falls is located in Olympic National Park near Lake Crescent in Washington, United States. The falls are accessed by a one-mile, well maintained, dirt trail through old-growth lowland forest consisting of fir, cedar, hemlock, and alder trees. Falls creek descends from Aurora Ridge and tumbles over Marymere Falls and then flows into Barnes Creek. It has a height of 90 feet. The falls is one of the more popular attractions in the area, due to ease of access and proximity to U.S. Highway 101.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Here's a nice century old saddle. The strap that holds a lariat is in an unusually high location.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Merwin, Hulbert, and Co. or Merwin Hulbert was an American firearms designer and marketer based in New York City which produced revolvers and rifles from 1874 to 1896. The firearms were manufactured by a subsidiary company, Hopkins & Allen of Norwich, Connecticut. Merwin Hulbert's designs had influenced other gunmakers of the time, such as Meriden Firearms Co., Harrington & Richardson, Forehand & Wadsworth, and Iver Johnson.

During the late 19th century, Merwin Hulbert revolvers were used by police departments of many cities in the eastern United States.

Joseph Merwin was involved with marketing and manufacturing revolvers as early as 1856 when he formed an arms company known as Merwin & Bray. This company folded after the end of the Civil War. In 1868 Merwin formed a partnership with William and Milan Hulbert, who owned 50% interest in Hopkins & Allen. Merwin and Hulbert not only designed firearms, but imported firearms and retailed firearms and other goods in a large sporting goods endeavor. Merwin and Hulbert additionally purchased several firearms manufacturers. Author Art Phelps opined that if Merwin and Hulbert had not marked the revolvers with the manufacturers name 'Hopkins and Allen' (known for inexpensive and poor quality weapons), the Merwin Hulbert would be as well known as Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Remington.

The company made numerous innovative designs such as folding hammers on their revolvers for pocket carry and a unique takedown system but was plagued by financial missteps. Payment for three sizable shipments to Russia were never realized. The bankruptcy of subsidiary Evan's Rifle Company cost Merwin and Hulbert $100,000. A company associate literally stole the firm's operating capital and disappeared. During 1880–1881, Merwin and Hulbert was in receivership, but it was able to recover.

After Merwin's death in 1888, the company became known as "Hulbert Brothers & Company". Hulbert Brothers declared bankruptcy in 1894 and in 1896 it was liquidated. Hopkins & Allen continued to manufacture Merwin Hulbert style rifles, primarily .22 and .32 caliber single shots, until 1916 when it went bankrupt and was bought the following year by Marlin Firearms.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Great western character actors: Eduardo Ciannelli was born on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. His father, a physician, owned a health spa there and Eduardo briefly followed the same career path and studied medicine at the University of Naples, graduating as a fully qualified doctor. His calling, however, lay elsewhere. He first came to prominence as a leading baritone opera star, performing at La Scala and touring internationally. Then he reinvented himself as a dramatic actor of stage and screen, first in Europe, and, from 1919, in America.

He first performed on Broadway in the short-lived play 'Always You' (1920), then had better roles in 'Rose-Marie' (1924-1926), 'The Front Page' (1928-29, as Diamond Louis, establishing his stereotypical later screen persona) and 'Uncle Vanya' (1930,as Telegin). He reprised his stage role from 'Reunion in Vienna' (1931-32) in the MGM movie of 1933. With his heavily-lined face, piercing eyes and erudite Italian-accented manners, Ciannelli was soon cast as Italian gangsters (apparently, there was also some alleged resemblance to the infamous Lucky Luciano). One of his most celebrated roles was as Trock Estrella in Winterset (1936) (re-creating another previous stage performance), which the New York Times review of December 4 described as the film's 'most compelling characterization'. This set the pattern for many of Ciannelli's later efforts, such as the smooth, elegant racketeer Johnny Vanning in Marked Woman (1937) or Rockey in Law of the Underworld (1938). Other notable villains in his repertoire include the maniacal leader of the Kali sect in Gunga Din (1939) and the suave evil genius, titular villain in the Republic serial Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940).

Attempting to shake-off his typecast 'bad guy' image, Eduardo appeared as the jovial speakeasy proprietor Giono in Kitty Foyle (1940). Following that, his screen roles began to diminish. Changing his name to Edward Ciannelli failed to re-ignite his career. In 1952, he returned to Italy to appear in continental co-productions, occasionally re-surfacing in Hollywood sword-and-sandal epics (Attila (1954),Helen of Troy (1956), Love Slaves of the Amazons (1957)). He also continued to portray Godfather-types in film (The Brotherhood (1968),Stiletto (1969)) and on television (Naked City,The Untouchables,I Spy). Among his last roles of note, one must include Houseboat (1958), as Arturo Zaccardi, and a recurring character part, jazz club owner Waldo, in the television series Johnny Staccato (1959). Eduardo died in Rome in October 1969 and is interred at the Cimitero Flaminio in Lazio.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Tomorrow we leave for our annual vacation in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. See you in two weeks.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Here I am by the giant ponderosa pine in the San Juan Mountains. The Forest Service has cored this and found it to be about 450 years old.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Nebraska designated blue chalcendony (commonly called blue agate) as the official state gemstone in 1967.

Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of quartz and moganite. These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, while moganite is monoclinic. Chalcedony's standard chemical structure (based on the chemical structure of quartz) is SiO2 (silicon dioxide).

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black. The color of chalcedony sold commercially is often enhanced by dyeing or heating.

The name chalcedony comes from the Latin chalcedonius (alternatively spelled calchedonius). The name appears in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia as a term for a translucid kind of Jaspis. The name is probably derived from the town Chalcedon in Asia Minor. The Greek word khalkedon (χαλκηδών) also appears in the Book of Revelation (21:19).
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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My home last week at the Rainbow Trout Ranch.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The Des Moines River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the upper Midwestern United States that is approximately 525 miles long from its farther headwaters. The largest river flowing across the state of Iowa, it rises in southern Minnesota and flows across Iowa from northwest to southeast, passing from the glaciated plains into the unglaciated hills near the capital city of Des Moines, named after the river, in the center of the state. The river continues to flow at a southeastern direction away from Des Moines, later flowing directly into the Mississippi River.

The Des Moines River forms a short portion of Iowa's border with Missouri in Lee County. The Avenue of the Saints, a four-lane highway from St. Paul, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri, passes over this section; the highway is designated Route 27 in both Iowa and Missouri, and was completed in the early 21st century.

The Des Moines River rises in two forks. The West Fork (the main branch) rises out of Lake Shetek in Murray County in southwestern Minnesota. It flows south-southeast into Emmet County, Iowa, past Estherville. The East Fork rises out of Okamanpeedan Lake in northern Emmet County on the Iowa-Minnesota border and flows south, through Algona.

The two forks join in southern Humboldt County, approximately 5 miles (8 km) south of Humboldt at Frank Gotch State Park. The combined stream flows roughly southward through Fort Dodge. South of Boone it passes through the Ledges State Park. It flows through downtown Des Moines, then turns generally southeastward, flowing through Ottumwa. It forms approximately 20 miles of the border between Iowa and Missouri before joining the Mississippi from the northwest at Keokuk.

One of the earliest French maps that depicts the Des Moines (1703) refers to it as "R. des Otentas," which translates to "River of the Otoe"; the Otoe Tribe lived in the interior of Iowa in the 18th century. The Meskwaki and Sauk people referred to the river as "Ke-o-shaw-qua" (Hermit's River), from which Keosauqua, Iowa, derives its name. The Dakota Indians, who lived near its headwaters in present-day Minnesota, referred to it as "Inyan Shasha" in their Siouan language. Another Siouan name was "Eah-sha-wa-pa-ta," or "Red Stone" river, possibly referring the bluffs at Red Rock or the reddish Sioux Quartzite bedrock near its headwaters.

The origin of the name Des Moines is obscure. Early French explorers named it La Rivière des Moines, literally meaning "River of the Monks." The name may have referred to early Trappist monks who built huts near the mouth of the river at the Mississippi.

During the mid-19th century, the river supported the main commercial transportation by water across Iowa. River traffic began to be superseded by the railroads constructed from the 1860s.
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