Search This Blog

Monday, March 16, 2015

Roping and Shooting in the Old West

Next week, our “True Grit” programs really take a turn to exploring the history of the Old West. On Sunday, March 22 at 2:30 p.m., the Sheerar Museum will present “Gun That Won the West.” David Kennedy from Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid will be talking about the firearms that were used during the time period when True Grit took place.

One of the firearms David will be discussing is the famous Winchester ’73. It was the favored firearms of Old West giants like Billy the Kid and Jesse James. In fact, the one authentic image of Billy the Kid is an old tintype showing him in his daffy-Pharrell Williams-like hat and leaning on his ’73 (BTW, the tintype should for $2.3 million a few years back).

In more recent news, the Winchester ’73 made headlines when a park employee at Nevada’s Great Basin National Park came across the weathered rifle leaning against an old juniper tree. The internet was abuzz with speculation of how it had come to have been left there. Was it just forgotten by a roaming cowboy? Could it have been abandoned by an owner who had met his death on the trail? It is quite a fascinating mystery, and Kennedy will fill us in on the details about this firearm and many others.

We are incredibly lucky to have David here in Oklahoma. Prior to his move to Oklahoma, he was the Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. He also is the author of “Guns of the Wild West: A Photographic Tour of the Guns that Shaped our Country’s History” and he was the content adviser for Katherine Brevard's “The Story of Guns: How They Changed the World.” The man really knows his stuff!

After the discussion, be sure to stop in downstairs at the museum to see its excellent display about outlaw activity in Payne County. The display covers many facets of local outlaws, murders and lawmen, and I don’t mind saying that it was inspired in part by a series of Osher Life Long Institute classes by your truly.

At any rate, this event is free and open to the public and will be fascinating for history and gun buffs, as well as anyone interested in the Old West. Also, an ASL interpreter will be present.

The next day, on Monday, March 23, 4 p.m., here at the library, we are having an after school program for the whole family. Marty Tipton, a.k.a., The Oklahoma Kid, will be doing a trick rope presentation that includes roping and tons of history.

The Kid has been roping for 30 years and was trained at the 101 Ranch where many famous performers got their start. The Kid will be doing some of the hardest roping tricks in the world like the “Texas Skip,” the “Wedding Ring,” and the “Butterfly.” He also will be teaching kids about the Old West including the history of the Wild West, Wild West show characters like Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill and the story behind the 101 Ranch.

You can visit for more info about Tipton. His performance is free and open to the public.

If you are planning to attend the “Western Writers’ Colloquium” on March 28, please do so now, as registration is closing soon. To sign-up go to The program, featuring four top Oklahoma western writers and historians, includes a $10 fee for lunch.

For more info about our True Grit series, visit our webpage.


No comments:

Post a Comment