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7/27/2005

55

Talk about culture shock! Sitting in front of the television Tuesday morning was both exhilarating and exciting as the United States returned to manned space flight. The camera shot from that big ol’ fuel tank was nothing short of amazing!  
 
I had only just returned from the 19th century as several of our C.O.W.B.O.Y. Society members headed out into western Kansas to locate old trail ruts and stage stations from the days of the Butterfield Overland Despatch most commonly referred to as the B.O.D. We still had our gas guzzling vehicles, cell phones and various modern gear, but we always do our best to keep to the old days, dressing in period clothes and shunning air conditioning as much as possible even with 107 degree temperatures. Many places exhibit evidence of the trail which followed the ancient Smoky Hill Trail of Indian origins. When the big freight wagons and stage coaches cut into the prairie sod noticeable ditches were often left behind allowing us to sometimes follow the trail for miles across pastures that have never known the plow. Great depressions often reveal the locations of stage stations that were commonly made of earth most often in the form of “dugouts” or holes dug in the side of hills or perhaps adobe buildings where the level prairie did not allow for the popular dugout. Broken window glass , bottles, tin cans from the era of the Civil War give clues to both the trail and station. Wandering over the prairie gives one an insight into a world that is now lost to time. And how easily time gets lost. 
 
I was watching a Roy Rogers movie last night. I believe it was called Over the Great Divide, filmed in 1950. That was the year of my birth, 55 years ago. It struck me that 55 years in many, many ways is not all that long ago, until I began to ponder that 55 years before 1950 was 1895!!! All of the sudden, I’m thinkin’ I’m ancient! Especially since 55 years in terms of my own life don’t seem to be all that long.  
 
So, we’re off in space and the world is changing before our very eyes. Where do ya suppose we’ll be in another 55 years?  
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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