This summer, I’ve listened to the Audible (audio) editions of three Old West nonfiction recounts of tales and legends in America’s history. My starred ratings illustrate how much I found them worthwhile, enjoyable, and informative. Love history? These three are worth checking out.
“Nineteenth Century Problems” is a bit of poking fun at today’s “First World Problems” tongue-in-cheek humor…the challenges we face today because we have a life of ease. I came across the Nineteenth Century practice of allowing barnyard animals free run of the surrounding neighborhood–not a problem until their presence (and eating habits, and messes)–became an inconvenience of that growing town. Read vintage newspaper clippings about this challenge and the dangers it posed, along with a separate, serious threat of the late Nineteenth Century; now that’s a serious problem!
A vintage newspaper article from 1897 retells the harrowing experience of Sharkey, owner of the Copper Queen Mine outside Salmon, Idaho–a shootout, Old-West style–between himself and a 6-foot rattler.
In the 19th century American West, Gingham was more than checked fabric made of cotton–it was also striped. Any woven cotton cloth made of pre-dyed alternating threads (plaid, striped, or checked) was called gingham. Why would pioneers (or frontiersman, or Old West women) select gingham? What made this fabric practical? Why would we name an anthology with Gingham in the title?
Weather can be a character in a book, just like a person or an animal. In the case of The Marshal’s Surrender, Winter is a setting and a villainous character, hiding clues, endangering lives, impacting nearly every scene as a sense of place and timing. Have you ever thought of weather in the role of character?