Don't forget to double click on pictures to enlarge

Monday, March 31, 2008

Behind the Scenes

It is posted every Monday and the original was posted in Jan. 2008

Today will be my last post of Behind the Scenes.

Last week I ended by saying many unusual people and events came into my life while writing the book but there were also many mysteries that I could not solve, like what happen to the lady that originally owned the letters (Bessie's niece). I tried and tried to find her and my interview with her brother only made me more suspicious that she didn't just walk away from it all. What I wouldn't have given to talk with her.

Although I was clueless to the fame of the 101, I discovered that there were collectors that spent thousands of dollars for original 101 memorabilia and in fact I met one who allowed me to use some of his pictures of Bessie. The 101 ranch and Wild West Show was famous in it's day but it is a money maker today as well.

An original 101 poster sold for $25,000.00 recently.

Joe Miller's saddle that is on display at the Woolaroc Museum in Bartlesville, Okla. was just a glimpse of the unbelievable amount of money they had. Here are a few pictures

Solid gold and silver and the gems are all real.........what would the value of it be today? Why wasn't Bessie's saddle (a gift from Joe Miller that was to have matched) found in the rubble of the fire? Or any of the jewelry she had like the steer head with the diamond eyes she won in a relay race (picture of her wearing it in the book). Why did I unknowingly stand at the foot of her grave on the anniversary of her death on my first visit to Ponca City before I had even considered writing the book?

The web site for the book has a link available for people to share any info they may have or opinions, yet it remains relatively silent.........................................................................

I end where I the foot of her grave.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


What a miracle birth is and today is my daughter's birthday. I was so thrilled it was a girl and I tell you that she is still a miracle in my life.
Amazingly her and her hubby share the same birth date but different years...I never forget my son-in-laws birthday:)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Movie Review

Under the Same Moon
This movie was to jerk your heartstrings concerning illegal immigration but it was a good movie, the young boy did a fantastic job acting and my favorite part?? A happy ending of course!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Many years ago I saw this porcelain doll on one of the shopping channels and I bought her, she has had a special place on my dresser ever since.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do You Know

Do you know the names of these when they are babies?

1. Pigeon

2. Quail

3. Rabbit

4. Rat

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Never refuse the opportunity to express are unique!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Behind the Scenes

This is an ongoing post about how the book "Buckskin Bessie - Her Lost Letters" came about.
It is posted every Monday and the original was posted in Jan. 2008

No part of this information may be reproduced in anyway.

Travel was a part of Bessie's life even before she joined the Wild West Show and that in itself was unusual in the year of 1910. Most farmer's daughters were married off by the time we catch up to Bessie at 25 years old and most women were having babies, not applying for their own homestead (copy of actual document in book) and a career of stenographer (sample of it in a letter). This is just the beginning of this unique woman's life, a life that took her all over the world.

A family member found me through my work on the Herberg family tree on She had a postcard that was in a trunk of her Grandmother's with a picture of a cowgirl with her horse and the name, Buckskin Bessie. We communicated a lot while I wrote the book and she was a great encourager. She even went to the Hotel Piccadilly on her trip to London where Bessie stayed to see if she could get any information for me.

Many people and unusal things came into my life while writing this book................................

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Easter eggs, Easter baskets, special dinners, pretty dresses, peeps, the hope of spring...............................
The reality

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm back

My adventure was a trip with Elderhostel on a city signature tour to Memphis, Tenn.

We stayed on Beale street which is the famous blues street, went to Sun studio (where Elvis make his first record), The Cotton museum, The Blues museum and of course Graceland to name a few.
I think I mentioned in an early post that I have begun doing some travel on my own as a personal growth effort and I must say this was the best one yet! Of course to go on a Elderhostel tour you have to be over 55 years old so that is the first thing we all had in common and although diverse and from all parts of the US our group had a wonderful time together. The hotel was very nice (Picture of the lobby) and very safe with having to have your door key to use the elevator to go to the rooms.

It is amazing how you think you know about life until you go to a different part of the US and find that their way of looking at life if very different than yours. Such was the case with the history of the Civil Rights, cotton, Mississippi River trade and Jazz that propelled this part of the country.

But the thing that transcended them all was of course, Elvis Presley.
Painting inside Graceland

What a sight to see young and old lined up to go to the home of the King who died 29 years ago.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Adventure

I am off on an adventure.......will tell you about it when I get back:)

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I love to play computer games and some of my favorites are:

Scrabble and this new hidden objects game
How about you?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

My show and tell is this little painting. It was done for me by a special friend several years ago.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Around town

Mystery Castle at South Mountain in Phoenix, Az.
Eighteen rooms all built by hand and scraps of things one would normally throw away. The story goes that Stutz Bearcat had promised his daughter he would one day build her a castle. He left their home in Calif. and came to Arizona to fulfill his promise. The daughter only found out about it after he died and the will was read.
He used old glass refrigerator shelves for window and just all sorts of unusual things but the thing that impressed me the most was that the heavy metal bed was on a rail track so that it could be pushed near the window in the summer and near the fireplace in the winter.
The daughter lives at the castle and people can tour it. The pictures I have seen of it since the daughter has been here have included more art and etc. which in my humble opinion distracts from the actual architecture but it is most unusual.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


You would have to be living in a cave if you haven't already heard all about it but my question is why do we react the ways we do? Even if you don't share Gov. Spitzer's political views, surely we all want crime to be defeated. Yes, he appeared to be a "in your face" kind of personality, but he did go to bat to fight crime so why are some so happy to see him fall on his face?
I heard on the news that many stood and cheered on wall street upon hearing the news.

You see this same scenario when a preacher falls.

Everyone feels sorry for his wife and children, some demand his resignation, others call him names, some make jokes, and many feel ashamed they knew him or supported him, but the truth is.........................
Someone who put themselves out there and fought for the good has bit the dust and it ain't pretty.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Behind the Scenes

It is posted every Monday and the original was posted in Jan. 2008
The book of how to write a book says to need to create chapters!!!
Oh my, how am I going to create chapters from these letters????

Again the letters themselves provided the answer. The first batch of letters were written from Red Lodge, Montana and in fact the very first letter dated 1907 still had dried lilac flowers tucked inside and the envelope had all the statistics of the little town of Red Lodge. Later I learned that she was with her Dad at this time and thus, the first chapter became........"Immigrants' Daughter". How exciting it was to find the picture of her skiing as a little girl in the old photo albums and those of her and her Dad in the corn fields and so the chapter grew.......her niece provided the picture of her parents, provided the family tree and etc.

It is true that creating the chapters begins to give you the focus of how you are going to layout your book. I knew that I wanted the readers to be able to read the letters themselves and see the unusual envelopes from all over the world, just as I had, but I also wanted to fill in the gaps with the info I had found along the way and of course, the pictures were a must.
The treasure hunt began................I would search for pictures and info about anything that was mentioned in the letters or on the envelopes....... like for example in Red Lodge, Montana the Northern Pacific Depot has been restored so I was able to give that info and also a picture of it thanks to Google:)...why was that interesting??? Bessie traveled by train and in fact when I visited there, I just stood and thought about the fact that over 90 years ago, she had walked in this very place to catch a train to?????????????

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Well, I guess it is time for everyone to change their clocks...everyone except us in Arizona and those in Hawaii. MSN featured a nice article about the Daylight Savings Time, how it got started and what it is suppose to accomplish and etc. I am so grateful I don't have to go around and change all the clocks in my house and lose time on top of it:)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The life and times of my hubby

Our weekly movie doesn't happen on this weekend:) Winter Range

I am posting this because it has started to occur to me that what seems normal to me here in the west is not so normal for those in other parts of the country and perhaps it would be interesting.

Cowboy shooting and its association SASS (Single action shooting Society) is a world wide sport and it includes people from all walks of life. You must create an alias for yourself when you join (mine is Buckskin Bessie) and for some people it is all about the clothes........................

but for others is it all about the guns and shooting...........................

The two left one's be my man and for a closer look James and Guns
Although I have competed with him for over 35 years it has not been in this sport but in a sport called "Fast Draw". I have often considered giving this a try but every time I see those women shoot those shotguns and jerk their shoulder almost out of socket...I think again:)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Show and Tell Friday

My show and tell today is this old milk can. On it says "Redstone, Montana". Many years ago, my mother brought this from the old homestead where she grew up in Montana and she put it in luggage on the airplane with an old bridle inside. The airlines lost it so they had to deliver it to the house here and at that time I was terribly embarrassed...........but wouldn't she be surprised that it has a special place here today:)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I have always considered the phrase "being in a rut" in bit of a negative way, however, I recently read something that presented a different slant.

I read daily from a book called "Growing Older, Growing Better". Today's reading shared some insight into the comfort of routines. Knowing what is expected, the comfort of familiarity. It went on to point out that even the law of nature holds monotony. The sun rises and sets everyday in the east and the west yet, where would we be without that daily occurrence?
How about you? Where are you in this time of your life?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Do You Know

Do you know the names of these animals when they are babies?

1. Kangaroo

2. Lion

3. Owl

4. Pig

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The weekend jaunt

Hubby and I put 794 miles on the car for our little weekend jaunt.
Eat, sleep and drive seemed to be our theme. We like to drive places we have never been before and so it was with this trip. We headed south toward the Mexican border of Nogales. I was assuming it would be desolate and not much to see.....but no, there were many homes all along the way and the little town we stayed at the first night (Rio Rico) was really neat. There were little hills everywhere and on top of every hill was a house. We stayed at a resort called "Esplendor" it was just a great place.....pretty and great service. Here are a few pictures:

The bathroom sink

The patio off the bar and restaurant (we had dinner out here)
The next day our plans were to drive to Douglas, Ariz. and stay at the historic hotel called "The Gadsen Hotel". The map showed us to drive to Nogales, Az. and then turn east to go to Douglas but as we got there it looked like we were going to the run right into the border crossing so we tried to avoid that but instead ran smack into the fence. Although we live so close to the Mexican border this was the first time I had seen the fence.
Well we worked out way around and finally got on the right track. Hubby wanted to stop at the Del Sol Casino. Trust me, this is not your average looks like a Mexican town with buildings and etc. and the roof looks so much like the evening sky you aren't sure it isn't real. We had lunch there and looking out at one of the bars they had these revolving tequila bottles. Like I said, it is not your average casino.

Well, when you take jaunts not all the experiences are great ones and so it was with Douglas and the historic hotel. If only I would have read the reviews on Tripadvisor before I booked a room. It is really sad too because the hotel is really amazing but just not being maintained. We ended up going back about 90 miles to another place where we had stayed one time before and got a room there.

The next day we were determined to drive the different route home so back tracked again and headed to Wilcox, Safford, Globe and then home......and so was the weekend jaunt.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Behind the Scene

A thought has to come before an action can begin and so it was with the concept of writing the book. I am not going to go through the hours and hours of thought and argument that I had with myself but came to the conclusion I would at least try to see if I could put some things in the order of a book.

I read everything I could get my hands on about the 101 Ranch and Wild West Show. I also read many books about writing a book and some of the most helpful were written by Dan Poynter, in fact two of his books, "Writing Non Fiction" and "The Self Publishing Manual", became my tutors.

Having the letters in order was key and I began to investigate different events that she mentioned in the letters...example: She mentioned going to to a Billy Sunday revival (famous evangelist) while she was in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1910. I searched out Billy Sunday's web site and found that he indeed was there at this time.

I also discovered that I could obtain death certificates, copies of deeds and etc. because it had been over 60 years since the people had lived and so it began...........The long process of searching out the information and putting it together.

When writing non fiction, everything has to be documented and all things used from other people require a release form if you don't want to be sued. So many things to learn but fortunately there was no time limit and it was turning into quite an adventure.