Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “W”

Pre-Campaign Identity Strategy

The response across the nation to my pre-announcement of my candidacy for the U.S. Senate has been even more greatly underwhelming than anticipated.   Apparently, the Senate has plenty of white males already.  It might be advisable to emphasize diversity within my gene pool.

One of my grandfathers used to say that he was “mixed as the dogs in the streets.”  With fewer dogs in the streets due to leash laws, as well as the greater use of spay and neuter clinics, that saying probably lost some of its impact. Shucks, that was gonna bring me some street cred.

I do have two grandparents born to Swedish immigrants, so I could emphasize a strong Viking heritage.  The new TV series called The Vikings might have  helped in popularizing Vikings, yet I am not certain that will translate into electability.  I need more of an American identity.

Colorado is a western state.  We elected a former Senator named Ben Nighthorse Campbell.  I like Senator Campbell and even met him at a cafe when he was on his way to a meeting and asked me for directions after I introduced myself.

Former University of Colorado  Professor Ward Churchill did not run for office as far as I know, but he knew how to get attention.  Professor Churchill not only offended lots of folks by his comments about 911 being the fault of Americans rather than terrorists, but he also turned out to be a poser about being Native American.  I might have more Indian blood than him.  My gramma, who lived in Chickasha, Oklahoma, claimed to be part-Indian before it was so popular that Professor Churchill wanted to join the Native American club.  I don’t think Gramma knew about the scholarships or she might have gone further than the eighth grade.

On the subject of Native American vs. Indian, isn’t it telling that the American Indian Movement (AIM) organization named itself what it did?  Also, the proud Oglala Sioux at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have not changed their sign.


Will Rogers is one of my heroes.  I wish he was still around to be my campaign chairman.

Back to the drawing board……….  I am working on “branding” my campaign identity.  How does the electorate feel about cowboys?

As I do this strategic planning, based on Will Rogers and Gramma, I have decided to open up my campaign staff to Okies, despite my Texan wife’s prejudices.

Okie dokey!

Outlaw Hideout



We live adjacent to a 16,000 acre ranch.  (You can guess whether it is bigger or smaller than ours.  But don’t ask me.  My father taught me that it is impolite to ask someone how much they earn or what something cost.  The same applies to asking a rancher how many acres he owns or how many cows he has.  That is like asking how much money you have in the bank.)  Anyway, the ranch I am writing about has a rich history.  Just ask James Michener.  He wrote Centennial about this very area and part of the TV mini-series of long ago was filmed on this very ranch.  Oh, I know how many acres without having asked the owners, who have had it in the family for over 135 years.

Part of the Overland Trail ran from Fort Collins to Laramie, including through the ranch.  A canyon is not far off the trail.  There is a waterfall.  A part of the trail goes down a steep grade called Devil’s Slide.  At the bottom was an enterprising blacksmith whose shop was in a prime location to fix or replace broken wagon wheels.  Location.  Location.  Location.  The remains of the shop are still visible, as are hundred year old ruts left on the trail.  Not only did covered wagons bring pioneers, but the Overland Trail was a stage coach route as well. 


As a neighbor and friend, I have been permitted to ride on this adjacent ranch, so don’t think I was tresspassing.  I so appreciate being able to open one gate and ride “as far as the eye can see.” 

Well, a few years ago, I was riding in a rough area on the other side of the canyon.  There are some rock outcroppings that create overhangs under which a man on a horse could get out of the rain.  Or out of sight. 

As my horse and I traveled in this area by way of a washout, exploring what was previously unknown to me, I noticed what appeared to be a wall of sticks under a rock overhang which served as a roof.  It struck me that I had discovered a well-hidden “hideout,”  perhaps used by stage robbers or rustlers.  It had definitely been constructed by humans and was definitely intended to be out of sight and difficult to find.  It was like a cabin with a rock roof and a back wall of rock, with two sides of sticks.


It was so out of sight and so difficult to find that, although I tried to note some landmarks, and thought I could remember how I got there, I have never been able to find it again.  I have gone back on horseback, attempting to recall my route and I have gone back to hike around where I thought the hideout was.  It ain’t there.

We are left to choose between two explanations.  Either I don’t deserve the title “King of the Wild Frontier,” or the place disappeared.  Under the second theory, which is much more believable than doubting my considerable abilities, I went through a time warp and was back in time when I examined the hideout.  How can you expect me to find a time warp again?

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