Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Women are Women


Ellen Libby "Cattle Kate" Watson

Cattle Kate was a Wyoming pioneer and an outlaw. The term outlaw was posthumously applied by her killers. She was never known to be violent nor charged with a crime but she was ultimately lynched by powerful Texas ranchers that tried to take land from Wyoming settlers in the late 1800's. That makes her a bit of a hero like Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid and the Hole in the Wall Gang.

But she was clearly not a snappy dresser. As a kid playing cowboys and Indians I had a rather biased view of my heroines like Cattle Kate or Belle Starr or Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane. Hollywood delayed my confrontation with reality. The gorgeous women stayed east and married well. But the real independent women went west where nobody cared how they dressed.

I was reminded of that today when I jumped into the car and headed into Angel Fire five miles away for necessities at the hardware store. They have gotten used to seeing me in paint splattered joggers but today I dressed it all up by being covered with tile dust from cutting pieces for my new plant bench's mosaic top. Guess I should be happy nobody was there to snap my picture for Wikipedia.

I wonder if Cattle Kate was heading down to the feed store for more "No Trespassing" signs.


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