Duchess & Oakie's NW Corner
Grab your cowboy hats, horses, buggies and cowgirls! Everyone that's anyone will be heading towards Freedom, Oklahoma this weekend for the Biggest Open Rodeo, Old Cowhand Reunion and big shootout Saturday on Freedom's Main Street in this Old West community in NW Oklahoma.
Will you be one of the visitors crowding the main streets of Freedom (Oklahoma), Saturday for the cowhand reunion honoring Helen Snapp London (age 92) -- experiencing a staged bank robbery & shootout in the afternoon with actors from the community -- watching the final night of the Rodeo Saturday evening starting around 8:00p.m.?
Duchess and I wish we could be there, but we are still in SW Colorado. If someone making the reunion, shootout and rodeo happens to get some photos of this years festivities in Freedom, we sure would love to have a copy to share on the OkieLegacy website and in the newsletter.
We have been consumed this week as with last week trying to get our DirecWay Antenna installed up here. Finally... our installer figured things out. AND... after waiting a couple months to get DirecWay / Hughes on the ball, we are zooming, browsing about 18 times faster than the slow dialup we were using. We still have our main Email address - email@example.com.
While waiting for the DirecWay to be installed... we have been reading about Moman Pruiett, an early 1900 pioneer lawyer from Indian Territory (Pauls Valley and later Oklahoma City). Some of you NW Oklahoman's might remember Moman as the Special Prosecutor that the Law Enforcement League hired back in 1911 to help prosecute N. L. Miller in the Old Opera House Murder - November, 1910. From reading the book, we find that Moman was a Lawyer that brought dramatics to the courtroom and kept the jurors awake and on the edge of their seats... instead of them (jurors) falling asleep during the court proceedings. I will tried to get some notes/facts together on Moman to share with you in future issues of the OkieLegacy.
Early this week near Ignacio (Colorado)... the monsoons brought rain Monday afternoon and continued into the evening. Things were soaking wet and a bit chilly onTuesday morning when we took a walk out into the north pasture around 7:00a.m. While we were out there, we saw the first buck with a beautiful set of majestic horns grazing in the north pasture. We weren't close enough to count the points, but he sure did hold his head, horns high as he loped, bounced off into the trees to the north. AND... it's one of those times when we forgot the camera. BUT.... the buck was loping, bouncing so quickly that we wouldn't have gotten a good shot, anyway. It is also the time of year around here when you need to be on deer patrol while driving through the valley, because the wildlife is starting to come down from the high-country to graze.
Fitzlen (Oklahoma)... We finally figured out where Fitzlen was located in northern Woods County. The Fitzlen Post Office was founded, located in Sec. 31-T29-R14 in 1906 on land surrounded by J. W. Berry. Fitzlen was about 4 miles from Kansas border -- about 9 miles north and west of Alva. Has anyone ever heard of a town called Fritzlen? OR... was it the same as Fitzlen?
Bernardi (Oklahoma)... One of our readers bought a postcard on ebay the other day that was address to someone in Bernardi, Oklahoma. We did a google search -- finding Bernardi, Oklahoma located in Major County today (Rootsweb - Major County). This info shows the post offices of Bernardi established 20 April 1896 - 30 Sep 1901 (7 miles southeast of Cleo Springs). Almeda post office established 4 February 1895 - 20 January 1903 (a.k.a. Bernardi). Then later around 20 January 1903 - 15 August 1910, there was another Bernardi post office. Does anyone out there have any other memories of Bernaldi, Oklahoma?
This 1895 Maps of Oklahoma - WoodsCounty shows Almeda/Bernardi in Old Woods County down near the southern part, south of Cleo and north (on the edge) of the Cimarron River and straight north of Fairview. This was before statehood in 1907 before "M" (Woods County) was split into Major, Alfalfa, Woods and Woodward counties.
1928 Alva Band Photo... We also heard from a lady in California that identified her grandfather (Lester G. Duck who grew up around Avard, later Alva) in the 1928 Alva Band Photo that we had in an earlier Vol. 5, Iss.21, OkieLegacy newsletter.
If you glance at the photo, notice in the background the thickly grove of trees on the downtown square and what I assume is the old chamber building on the right side background. Notice the crowd of old automobiles parked around the square and in the middle of the street (like they used to in the "old days).
SW Colorado News Article... We were reading a Silverton (Colorado) newspaper the other day and it had an article entitled, Why History? written by Jonathan Thompson, May 6, 2004. He asked some interesting questions that I would like to leave Y'all with... "Why bother with history? Why spend hours, days, and even lifetimes digging into the past when the present contains so many challenges of its own?"
Is it a quest for meaning? What is it that drives us to seek out the "truth" about our past? Does having an accurate picture of our past allow us a different perspective of the present and the future? Do we really learn from the past mistakes our ancestors made?
I guess this is a good enough place to leave you with for the weekend -- something to think about. As my sister started NW Oklahoman's and voters thinking back in 1990... "Learn the Past! Live the Present! Look to the Future!" See Y'all next weekend with more Okie Legacies! Help keep those memories alive... Share them with us in The Okie Legacy newsletter/ezine.
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