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10/10/2004

Wild West

Another C.O.W.B.O.Y.S. Fall Roundup has come and gone and as usual there were lots of Yahoos stirrin’ up there own brand of Wild West excitement. Whilst discussin’ things at hand Young Buff (Kirk Shapland) and The Cowboy delved into the workin’s of just what it is that makes these Cowboy reenactors tick. Buff pointed out that if it weren’t for the original Buffalo Bill Cody our whole impression of the West would probably be much different.  
 
Those of us who honor the lives and legends of that romantic era known as the Wild West owe a lot of what we feel to Cody and his dedication to bring the Wild West to families not only in America but over the world. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West sought to show the West to the public at the very moment that history was unfolding on the plains and beyond. He continued his love affair with the West even as the frontier was breathing its last.  
 
The life he loved was overrun by civilization in his own lifetime, but he carried the spirit on to new generations even stirring the hearts of the kings and queens of Europe. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West reached into an era of automobiles and moving pictures. His performance was actually captured on early film.  
 
The grand old scout died in 1917. They say his own spirit was failing. The world had changed. His old friends were gone. Open range was fast becoming only memory. Men like Buffalo Bill had forged the way for all of us to follow. George Custer’s wife, Libby, once lamented as she rode a comfortable rail car over the prosperous farming lands of Kansas if anyone really understood or remembered the sacrifices that were made to make possible the settlement that followed. 
 
The answer to Libby Custer is, yes, in our own way we do remember, because of a scout named Buffalo Bill who saw in the West a spirit that can lead us through the ages. Thanks Buff! This is your legacy. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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