Wednesday, October 16, 2019

COWBOY POTATOES! by Cheryl Pierson

Hi everyone! I was thinking about how much I love fried potatoes tonight when I was making them for dinner. Those are a great “comfort food” to me, and one I don’t think I’d ever get tired of. But I imagine the cowboys of yesteryear grew sick of the fare they ate constantly–beans, chili, stew, potatoes, and the like–when they were on a cattle drive.

Dinner time at a cowboy’s camp, banks of the Yellowstone, Montana, U.S.A. Original source: Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views.

Here’s another awesome picture that is around 120 years old–Wonder what they’re having to eat? Chili? Beans? Maybe biscuits and gravy? Or…POTATOES??? These color pictures were produced using a method called photochrom. This is making colorized photos from black and white negatives through the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.

It was invented in the 1880s and by the 1890s, was extremely popular (when this image was shot). Credit: Mediadrumimages/PublicDomain

Here’s a really good recipe for — what else? COWBOY POTATOES!
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup bell pepper (or jalapeno for spicier fare!), diced
salt and pepper
Peel potatoes, if desired or leave the peel on and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
Heat oil in large skillet. Add the potatoes, spreading into a single layer. Let them get brown on one side before stirring.
Stir the potatoes, and let them brown on another side. Stir once more, and add the pepper and onion. Cook until the onions and peppers are tender. If the potatoes are not done, reduce heat to low and cover the skillet until they’re done.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

YUM, YUM! Hope you enjoy these! Do you have a favorite potato recipe? PLEASE SHARE! I’m sure we have a LOT more variety than the cowboys did!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Western Bookshelves

One thing I like to do periodically is inventory my books. I enjoy having physical books on my shelves (though I do have quite a few e-books on my iPhone) and I enjoy the solid heft of a good book. I like the smell of a book as well, especially some of the older ones I’ve collected.

I thought you might like a virtual peek at my bookshelves, being authors yourselves. You’ve probably got much the same collection, but perhaps you’ll spot something that will strike your interest. I’d love it if you’d comment, too – what books do you have that I might like to read?

Here are some of my favorite non-fiction books about the Wild West:

Age of the Gunfighter; Joseph G. Rosa – a basic history of gunfighters and gunfighting

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains; Isabella L. Bird – the journal of a middle-aged English lady traveling alone in 1873 Colorado

The American Frontier: Pioneers, Settlers and Cowboys 1800-1899; William C. Davis – another basic history of the era

The American West; Dee Brown – a good all-around history book about the period

A Texas Cowboy, or, Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony; Charles A. Siringo – autobiography of the man who later became a Pinkerton detective

Before Barbed Wire: Photographer on Horseback; L.A. Huffman – an excellent source of photographs from the era

Boudoirs to Brothels: The Intimate World of Wild West Women; Michael Rutter – a well-illustrated history of the madam and her working girls

Buckskin and Blanket Days; Thomas Henry Tibbles – the memoirs of a pioneer, scout, hunter and “friend of the Indians”

Card Sharps, Dream Books and Bucket Shops: Gambling in 19th Century America; Ann Vincent Fabian – an interesting history of gambling

Children of the Old West; Russell Freedman – full of photographs of pioneer and Indian children during the era

Cowboy and Western Songs; Austin E. Fife – an interesting collection of songs from the era

Cowboy Culture; David Dary – a chronicle of cowboy life and legend

Cowboy Lingo; Ramon F. Adams – “A dictionary of the slack-jaw words and Whangdoodle ways of the American West”

Cowboys of the Wild West; Russell Freedman – an introduction to the cowboy

Daily Life in a Covered Wagon; Paul Erickson – this interesting book draws on actual diaries and letters

Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865: Sarah Raymond-Herndon – true story of a young woman who crossed the plains to start a new life

Early America at Work: A Pictorial Guide to Our Vanishing Occupations; Everett Broomall Wilson – an interesting history of old-time workers

Frontier Gambling; G.R. Williamston – a discussion of the seedier side of the frontier

Frontier Slang, Lingo and Phrases; Kathy Weiser-Alexander – another useful dictionary

The Gunfighter: Man or Myth?; Joseph G. Rosa – truth and legend of the Old West’s gunfighters and their influence on American culture

The Gunfighters: How the West Was Won: Bruce Wexler – truth and legend about some of the famous gunfighters of the era and their weapons of choice

Guns of the Wild West; David Kennedy – showcases more than 50 of authentic weapons from the Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming

Home on the Range: A Culinary History of the American West; Cathy Luchetti – a chronicle of American frontier cooking from anecdotes, writings and photographs

How the Wild West Was Won: A Celebration of Cowboys, Gunfighters, Buffalo Soldiers, Sodbusters, Moonshiners, and the American Frontier – Bruce Wexler – a comprehensive history

How to Write Western Novels; Matt Braun – a good basic writing “How-To”

I Do: Courtship, Love and Marriage on the American Frontier; Cathy Luchetti – compiled from journals, letters and reminiscences

The Look of the Old West: A Fully Illustrated Guide; William Foster-Harris – basically a picture dictionary of Old West tools, culture and fashions

The Log of a Cowboy; Andy Adams – the story of an 1882 cattle drive from Mexico to Montana

Men: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources: Harter – a good picture dictionary for clothing and hairstyles

Men of the West: Life on the American Frontier; Cathy Luchetti – compiled from letters, diaries, journals and photographs

My Sixty Years on the Plains: Trapping, Trading and Indian Fighting; W.T. Hamilton – a simple reflection from a man of the era

The Old West: National Geographic – an excellent history of the era with lots of good photographs

The Old West Day by Day; Mike Flanagan – 15,000 chronologically-arranged events with descriptions, sidebars and photographs

The Prairie Traveler; Randolph B. Marcy – an 1859 guide for settlers

Reflections of Western Historians; John A. Carroll – the history of the era by 16 historians

Seeking Pleasure in the Old West; David Dary – the amusements available to the average Westerner during the era

Shoes, Hats, and Fashion Accessories: A Pictorial Archive; Grafton – a good picture dictionary of fashion from around 1850

Stagecoach: Rare Views of the Old West; Sandor Demlinger – almost 300 rare photographs

Time-Life Old West Series – a great encyclopedia with many useful photographs

Trail Driving Days; Dee Brown with Martin F. Shcmitt – tales and photographs of the men and their animals during the heyday of the cattle drives

The Way West: A.B. Guthrie, Jr. – a novel about a frontiersman’s return to the untamed West in 1846

We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher; E.C. Abbott – the story of “Teddy Blue” Abbott, a cowboy from the heyday of the era

Western Words: A Dictionary of the Old West: Ramon Adams – an excellent dictionary

The Wild West How the West Was Won; Bruce Wexler – another history of the era

Women: A Pictorial Archive from Nineteenth-Century Sources; Harter – a good picture dictionary of fashion and hairstyles

Women of the West: Cathy Luchetti – a good look at the women who settled the West, from memoirs, diaries, letters, journals and photographs

Write a Western in 30 Days: With Plenty of Bullet-Points!: Nik Morton – an interesting “How-To” book for the Western writer

Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion; Celia Brayfield and Duncan Sprott – reflections on writing the genre

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West: Candy Moulton – an interesting basic guide to writing the era

Your Travel Guide to America’s Old West; Rita J. Markel – a travelogue describing fashion, accommodations, foods, customs and local transportation

Comment with your own favorites!

J.E.S. Hays

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author

I have been watching the PBS documentary by Ken Burns, "Country Music" when time and schedule allow. As a student of film, writing, and history, I am enthralled by the way stories of the stars and growth of the industry are interwoven with each other.

It also brought to mind how both fiction and nonfiction writers tell the story of history.

When we write fiction, myself included, I am thrilled when those pieces of history about an area in my stories that can be seamlessly added, thus fusing elements of authenticity to the story. I also enjoy reading stories that use elements of the past. I become so excited reading the authors who use history's elements, and I am aware of them, is almost like the story becomes even more real for me.

When growing up most of my history classes were names, dates. and places. The stories of those names, the people behind those names, were left out. That ended up making history very boring, although I still found it fascinating, it seemed to be lacking. As a student during the Vietnam era, a contentious time in our country, I had a world history/civics teacher who had colored pictures of the soldiers both living and dead and the surrounding countryside plastered upon the walls. Whatever his thoughts about the right or the wrong of that conflict, I appreciated his evenness in simply telling the story of the men and women on, of the background that led to that conflict, and both sides of the argument that was occurring in our country. It was through him that I fell in love with the stories of the people who made history.

Now, when I tell the stories both fiction and nonfiction I remember his evenness, his ability to not draw conclusions and allow his students to draw their own. I try for that same evenness when I tell the stories of the people I research. Sometimes it's difficult to keep my personal and modern thoughts from the words I write. At the same time, I try to weave a story that will imbue the excitement I have for the subject to the people who are reading it.

Photo property of the author
This is also true of fiction writing. Although I am relatively new to having both my fiction and nonfiction published, I am always reminded of the power of story to engage the hearts and minds of people. In that respect, I have a lot to learn from the way Ken Burns and his production company tell the stories of the subjects he is presenting. He weaves history's story into a tapestry that is beautiful and constantly challenging the watcher to find the truth they need to know.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Top 10 Western Websites, Blogs and Newsletters 2019

Did you know that our own Western Fictioneers blog is #1 in the Top 20 Western Fiction Blogs, Websites and Newsletters to Follow in 2019?

I was surfing the net, as a writer will do, looking for new and interesting information on our favorite topic, and I came across this article.

This gave me an idea for a useful blog post of my own, so I present my …
Top 10 Old West Blogs, Websites and Newsletters (in no particular order):

A good bit of information about Native Americans and cowboys, including a list of good museums you can visit. I’m a little disappointed that they’ve let their YouTube video channel lapse, but you can browse the written material on the site for inspiration.

A UK-based website whose author enjoys reviewing Western fiction. They review around three books a month, and it’s a good place to get a taste of what’s new in Western fiction.

A huge website with sections about American History, Destinations, and even Ghost Stories. This is often my first stop when I’m researching the Old West.

With sections like Inside History, True Westerners and Heritage Travel, almost anyone can find something of interest on this website. They post about 14 times a week.

Our own James Reasoner gives us information about books, movies, and other matters of Western-related interest. 

“We use print, internet, radio and television to give you the experience of the authentic Old West.” This is a rather eccentric website that reminds me of a rummage in your Grandma’s attic. For $30 (USA) or $50 (other countries), you receive 12 twenty-page newspapers composed of actual articles from the 1800’s. You can also purchase an e-subscription for $20 a year, listen to radio shows on CD, and even order some Arbuckles Ariosa coffee. 

This is a blog dedicated to Western movies and books from the 1950’s. The author is writing a book with the same title, endeavoring to bring to light 50 of the less-well-known movies of the period. Interesting reading.

“True stories, tall tales, and memorabilia of the Old West.”

“The blog that brings you the latest news about Western movies, TV, radio, and print.” 

These folks have another huge website, but it covers all historical fiction, from the prehistoric era to the 20thCentury. They have a good section with information about Western fiction.

If I’ve left out your favorite website or blog, please leave me a comment with a link so we can enjoy yours, too!

J.E.S. Hays

Monday, September 9, 2019

Have Gun – Will Travel — Television Debut 1957 by Kaye Spencer #classicwesterns #classictelevision #westernfictioneers

Have Gun – Will Travel – September 14, 1957

During my growing-up years, I watched reruns or as-they-aired episodes of what are now classic television westerns: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Lone Ranger, The Big Valley, High Chaparral, Rawhide, Laredo, The Virginian, Sugarfoot, Cheyenne, Maverick, Wagon Trail, Tales of Wells Fargo, Branded, Wyatt Earp, Johnny Yuma, Laramie, Broken Arrow, Guns of Will Sonnet, Zorro, Lancer, Cimarron Strip,Yancy Derringer... The list goes on and, no doubt, you have your favorites, too.

It just so happens that one of my favorite classic western television shows is celebrating its premiere date this week.
The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Sixty two years ago, the television-watching population enjoyed the premiere of the thirty-minute, Saturday night western show Have Gun - Will Travel starring Richard Boone as the somewhat mysterious soldier of fortune, but always a gentleman, Paladin. The premise of the show was Paladin worked as a gunfighter-for-hire who traveled the west c. 1875 offering his special kind of problem-solving skills. He was a high-dollar gunman—$1000 per job wasn’t unusual—but he also provided his services for free to those with a worthy cause who couldn’t afford him otherwise. However, violence by gun-play wasn’t his only weapon. He was a pugilist and dueling champion of some renown in his former life.

General Trivia

  • The word ‘paladin’ derives from the knights in Charlemagne’s Court, who were champions of worthy causes.
  • Paladin was a Union cavalry officer and graduate of West Point.
  • His residence is the luxury Carlton Hotel in San Francisco.
  • When not riding about the countryside doing good deeds—dressed as the original “Man in Black”—he lives the life of a cultured businessman who wears custom-made suits, consumes fine wine, plays the piano, and attends the opera. He also has a weakness for women.
  • With just a sip, he can determine a particular bourbon’s distillery.
  • Paladin is an expert chess and poker player, an accomplished swordsman, and possesses skill in Chinese martial arts having studied under a Kung Fu master.
  • His level of education is such that he quotes classical literature, philosophy, case law, and he speaks several languages.
  • Paladin’s weapons: 1) custom-made, single action .45 Colt (Army cavalry model) that he carries in a black leather holster adorned with a platinum chess knight symbol, 2) lever action Marlin rifle, and 3) concealed derringer.
  • He has a signature calling card/business card. In Paladin’s words:  “It's a chess piece, the most versatile on the board. It can move in eight different directions, over obstacles, and it's always unexpected.”

  • The show’s four note opening motif was done purposely to create a musical memory akin to other popular television shows at the time: Highway Patrol, Dragnet, Twilight Zone, and Perry Mason.

  • The show closes with the song, “The Ballad of Paladin”, which was written by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe. Johnny Western sings the ballad.

  • The show ran from 9/14/1957 to 4/20/1963 with 225 episodes.
  • A radio version began in 1958 with actor John Dehner portraying Paladin.

From 1974 to 1991, a trademark lawsuit against the concept of the show moved in and out of court culminating with a substantial settlement. You can read the details here: HGWT Website

Hollywood Trivia

Notable Episode Writers:

  • Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek)
  • Bruce Geller (Mission Impossible)
  • Harry Julian Fink (Dirty Harry)
  • Sam Peckinpah (directed a plethora of western movies)
Unusual for the era, many episodes were filmed outdoors and not on the Old West film lots – Bishop and Lone Pine, California – Paladin Estates between Bend and Sisters, Oregon – the Abbott Ranch near Prineville, Oregon.

Notable Guest Stars:

  • Angie Dickinson
  • Ben Johnson
  • Buddy Ebsen
  • Charles Bronson
  • Dan Blocker
  • DeForest Kelley
  • Denver Pyle
  • Dyan Cannon
  • George Kennedy
  • Jack Elam
  • Jack Lord
  • James Coburn
  • Johnny Crawford
  • June Lockhart
  • Ken Curtis
  • Lee Van Cleef
  • Lon Chaney, Jr.
  • Pernell Roberts
  • Robert Blake
  • Suzanne Pleshette
  • Vincent Price
  • Werner Klemperer

Who was Paladin?

Paladin was a West Point graduate, a Civil War cavalry officer, and his base of operations was the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, California. While it's been too many years since I've watched these episodes, I've read that in the episode entitled "Fandango", Paladin encounters a sheriff who knew him from their Civil War days. The sheriff calls Paladin 'Bobby' and goes on to say, "It's been a long time since Bull Run." Maybe Paladin's real first name was Robert.

Generally, though, the consensus is his real name is never revealed. However, Paladin’s backstory is shown in flashback sequence in the first episode of the last (6th) season, “Genesis”, which aired September 15, 1962. This episode explains how Paladin came by his pseudonym and his subsequent mission to champion the causes of the less fortunate. It isn't his shining moment. Through his actions, another man dies, and Paladin takes on the dead man's identity and mission as a type of penitence to atone for his own actions.

 Read the episode details at the HGWT Website link above.

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer
Writing through history one romance upon a time

Stay in contact with Kay via these venues:

Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest


Tagline - IMDb website:

Have Gun, Will Travel website:

Have Gun, Will Travel Wikipedia:

Image: Richard Boone - By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image: Paladin - By Source, Fair use,

Image: Calling Card - By CBS Publicity;,

Image: John Dehner -

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Okay, unless you live in Peru, Tibet or China, most of us don't and probably wouldn't consider living at 14,000 plus feet. In the United States, there are few mountainous areas that even would qualify or have ground enough for living quarters. Those problems didn't stop the Army Signal Corps from giving it a try in the 1870s.

Yes, Colorado had towns at high altitude. Even today the towns of Alma, Blue River, and Leadville are over 10,000' in elevation.  In 1894 the town of Altman in the Cripple Creek Mining District had an elevation of 10,630', almost 300' higher than Alma. (Altman sat on the south side of Pikes Peak)

Altman, CO. from Western Mining History.
If you look closely you can see the top of Pikes Peak
 in the background.

Alma, CO 1870
courtesy Wikipedia
Although many lived at these altitudes, in 1873 the US Army Signal Corps decided that the top of Pikes Peak would be a great place to build a signal station and have it manned year-round. This would place the men at least 3 to 4000 feet higher than the highest town. To say that Colorado Springs, at the base of the mountain was excited is an understatement. The local paper, The Gazette Telegraph on Oct. 4, 1873, had this to say, "There is every prospect that the new station on Pike's Peak will be in working order within six weeks; as it is hoped that the delay arising from the chief office, misapprehending the difficulties attended on this location, and thereby failing to secure an adequate appropriation, will be quickly remedied.
Once, however, established, it's importance as the highest station in the world cannot be overestimated; and its records and observations will be anxiously scanned by the meteorologist of all countries."

Oh, how the thought of having such a place in their own backyard, so to speak, was exciting to this new town, which had been established two years earlier in 1871. They were excited and wanted bragging rights when the wind at the Mt. Washington station in New Hampshire, with an elevation of only 6,288' only about 200' higher than the town of Colorado Springs, reported one-hundred mph winds. Of course, the paper of Sept. 27,1873, had this to say: "The signal Corps report high wind on the peak on Thursday — the highest they have experienced there. The velocity was fifty miles an hour. The signal Corps on Mount Washington have been reporting a wind of one hundred miles an hour, but our boys intend to beat them yet, even if they have to "blow" themselves."

So excited were the citizens arrange a celebration on the peak to begin Oct 11, 1873. The Gazette published the following program in the Oct 4. 1873 issue:
The following program has been arranged for the ceremonies attending the opening of the signal station on the summit of the peak next Saturday.

Friday, — invited parties expecting to attend the dedication of the US Signal Station, will please meet at 8:00 AM at the Colorado Springs hotel. At 9 AM, starting; arriving at the summit at 5 PM. Tea. Ladies to stay on summit — Gentleman at Camp Howgate the S.S. camp near timberline.

Saturday, — Breakfast. Dedication of the building. Presentation of flag. Photographic view of the ceremonies. Dinner. Remainder of the day employed in amusement and conversation. Tea. Ladies remain on the summit — Gentleman at Camp Howgate overnight.

Sunday morning, — start for Colorado Springs, arrived toward evening. 

The photograph shows Albert James Myer, holding binoculars, and another man standing outside a stone observation station on Pikes Peak, Colorado
Library of Congress photo.
 Of course for the men who would be living there, well that was yet another part of the story. They lived in a building 40'x40' with one wall 11 feet high and the other 9 feet, creating a sloping roof. There was also a 10'x12' foot storeroom built onto the original station. The original staff consisted of six people. There were three in the first crew on top of the mountain and two more in Colorado Springs, and another who had the job of handling supplies. Originally, the weather reports were to be sent using their flashes, but the unpredictable visit ability at the top of the mountain a telegraph line was built.

Although the sun would shine, there were days when the thermometer told another story. In November 1880 a Mr. F. L. Jones, the signal officer stationed at the peak, said that one Tuesday night was one of the coldest ever experienced by him on the peak. The thermometer showing a minimum of 36° below zero during the entire night and at 5 o'clock yesterday morning it was 31° below.

Two left under clouds of suspicion of fraud, while others simply moved on. Of course, one cannot tell the story of the signal station without mentioning O'Keefe. With the aid of a conspirator in Colorado Springs, O'Keefe told some amazing tales about the top of the peak that were printed worldwide. They even went so far as to stage a funeral and headstone to the child of O'Keefe and his wife lost to the large rats that ate the child. Of course, O'Keefe was a bachelor. I did find an interesting article written years later that tells of death at the station. From Dec. 31, 1933, Gazette, the following information was shared from stories told by the early construction workers.

"All went well at the new station during the first few months of occupation. Following the Christmas holidays, the pair reported 'snowing continuously. Wind blowing a perfect gale.' These reports did not vary from day to day. The monotony and steady grind were upon the boys on the peak. About the middle of January Sgt. O'Leary reported his companion as being a very sick man and growing worse. They had been provided with a medical kit, but nothing so far administered had been of any effect and in the daily reports he grew fearful and apprehensive. Sgt. Lamont called in a well-known physician of Colorado Springs and advised with O'Leary what was best to do. O'Leary grew fearful and called for immediate help, admitting at the same time that no man could live long in the blizzard constantly raging on the mountain. Reports from the peak were discouraging; the stricken man had now developed pneumonia and was rapidly sinking. At 3 o'clock one morning O'Leary called up Lamont and sent a cryptic message,' he is dead.' Little was heard from the peak the days following. O'Leary's hand on the key lack the firm touch of his former self. He was evidently laboring under a great mental strain as his nervous spasmodic touch of the key indicated. When asked what he had done with his companion his brief reply was that he had been buried "military." The story went on to say that they had difficulty getting O'Leary down from the top of the mountain. "The three beef hides were lashed together and he was wrapped in blankets and brought down on an improvised sled. At one point the sick man was shot off the sled but without injury." O'Leary's story ended by saying "O'Leary improved physically and mentally, but never became his former self and shortly afterward died in a federal asylum for the insane."

Image result for images of the summit house on pikes peak
Second Summit House/Cog Railway station
from Wikipedia
The experiment of the signal station ended around 1888. There are still people who travel to the top of the mountain today and you can see the remains of the second signal station building, but no one lives up there year-round.

For those who would like to know more, the early editions of the Gazette and other Colorado Springs publications can be found at Pikes Peak Newsfinder on the website. There is also the book "Weather Pioneers" by Phyllis Smith along with mentions in various older publications found on Google Books and other such sites.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Hey everyone! I do have some book news but it's too soon to share it,  BOO HOO--so I'll share some updates on my sweet boys you might want to see. We just passed a milestone in our family! We've had Sweet Seminole Sammy for one whole year as of the 18th of August! (Yes, I gave him and his furry brother Max both a small dish of vanilla ice cream to celebrate, but no party hats for fear of them being eaten, too!) Here's the first day we brought Sammy home to live with us, August 18, 2018--he was (they thought) about 6 months old. He'd been adopted and brought back because he dug holes in the adoptive family's yard. What a lucky day for US, because he is the perfect dog for our home! Here he is at the shelter before we brought him home with us.


And here he is on his little bed--it's amazing to see how "small" he was compared to NOW. No way he could even fit in that bed a year later!

Here are my two babies in March of this year--Sammy is about a year older than Max, and this was taken on Max's first day with us, March 11, 2019. Sammy was thrilled from the beginning, and he has been such a protective big brother ever since Max came to live with us. We got them both from the same shelter, but they never knew each other before, as Max came much later after Sammy was gone. This was taken in March of 2019, when Sammy had been with us about 7 months, and Max was a tiny puppy--only about 10 weeks old. He was so uncertain and afraid, but Sammy took him under his wing and made him feel right at home!

Here they are this past week and look how both of them have grown! They are best buddies and love each other dearly.
They spend almost every minute together and wouldn't know what to do without one another at this point. They are such a joy and so much fun to have in our family--always up to something (and not always something good--they are a lot like kids!)

Judging how Max has grown, I think he's going to be taller than Sammy, but I believe Sammy will always be more muscular. They didn't know what breeds either of them were, but it doesn't matter. Their hearts are pure gold, and their breed is LOVE!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of them. I took this just a few weeks ago. Max has gathered all their toys around him on the floor, looking up so proudly, and Sammy is on the couch beside me with the look that says, "Oh, brother. See what I have to put up with?" But he wouldn't have it any other way! 

Do you have a pet you cherish with all your heart? Let's hear about them! I am such an animal lover, and I know many of you all are, too!

Monday, August 12, 2019

My Favorite Song by Kaye Spencer #westernfictioneers #folkmusic #songs

We all have songs that mean something extra special to us whether by our associating them with a special event, a loved one, a precious moment, a situation, etc. In fact, if you’re like me, I could go on for hours singing the words to all the songs that are near and dear to me.

 But there is one song. The one song that tops all the others. The that brings a tear to my eye and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.


“My” song is an American rendition of Greensleeves, which is an old English folk song of complicated, and not entirely identifiable origins. Greensleeves was a familiar song (tune) in Shakespeare’s day, because he referenced it in his play, 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' in 1595. Falstaff: “Let the sky rain potatoes! Let it thunder to the tune of ‘Greensleeves’!”

There is a legend that the original song was written by Henry VIII for his future wife, Anne Boleyn, but that is apparently a myth as there is evidence the song was around before Henry’s time.

By 1690, or so, the original song was becoming associated with Christmas and New Year’s. Then by the 19th century, any Christmas songbook worth its salt included some version of the original folk song (lyrics and tune) as a carol. Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and a host of other crooners have recorded their renditions of Greensleeves.

Here is a clip from The Rifleman with Johnny Crawford singing Greensleeves.

As a Christmas song, we know it as What Child is This? which has also been recorded by too many artists to list here.

For those of you desiring more history about Greensleeves, click HERE, HERE, and HERE. 

My favorite song is A Home in the Meadow. The lyrics were written by Sammy Cahn and the song was performed by Debbie Reynolds in the 1962 western movie (and book by same title written by Louis L’Amour), How the West was Won.

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is the YouTube clip from the movie. If you've not read the book How the West was Won AND watched the 1962 movie of the same name, you should remedy those most egregious oversights as soon as you can. You can thank me later. *wink*

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

Writing through history one romance upon a time

Stay in touch with Kaye

Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest