The last couple of weeks have been quite busy with Big Nose George interviews, promotions,
and book signings throughout Wyoming. It is a beautiful time of the year in the Equality State, and I enjoyed every mile of asphalt and intermountain vistas!
In late August, I sat for a ninety-minute interview with Nathan Schucker of Wyoming
PBS. He is working on a documentary about frontier justice in Wyoming that involves several
episodes of criminal activity in the late nineteenth century. He asked pointed questions about the murders near Elk Mountain in August 1878. The finished PBS product will not be ready for a year or so, but Nathan is compiling some interesting stuff with a variety of historians and authors from the region.
In that interview, I focused on the key events of the Powder River gang between 1878-
1881, particularly the role of one of its leaders, Big Nose George Parott. The strategies of the
outlaws in attempting to rob a train, the response of law enforcement in tracking the desperados, and the anger of the local communities following the murders of Vincent and Widdowfield, were featured prominently in the questions and responses. Nathan’s final cut will hopefully place the Big Nose George study in proper context as part of the evolution of law enforcement in Wyoming Territory. It was a real honor to be asked to contribute, and I am grateful to Wyoming PBS.
On September 9, I attended the 70th annual meeting of the Wyoming Historical Society
held in Cody. Their Executive Secretary, Linda Fabian, let me set up a book table at the back of their meeting room during the lengthy business meetings. I was able to sell all the copies (10) of my book during their break, Big Nose George: His Troublesome Trail, in only ten minutes. I wish I had brought more copies, because there was a strong demand, and I disappointed some members when I ran out.
WHS then held a fantastic awards luncheon after the meeting. Officers of the society
announced winners in several performance categories that each foster the study of Wyoming
history, including both fiction and non-fiction book categories, fine arts, web development, and young historian accomplishments. My book won First Place in the biography category for books, where it was recognized for “outstanding accomplishments and contributions to Wyoming’s legacy” (listed on the award itself).
I left Cody right after the luncheon and traveled back to Woods Landing that evening,
only to turn around the next day for a trip to Savery on the opposite end of the state. Local
citizens there put on a huge bar-b-cue and social gathering at the museum as an annual
celebration. Part of the event was a book signing that involved myself, my brother Rod, and our friend Sharon O’Toole. We all brought some of our own books to sell and enjoyed the festivities.
The lamb ribs were particularly delectable. Savery should be my last book signing for a while.
So, I can let the tires on my RAV4 cool for a bit.
I currently am working with Carbon County residents to discuss their plans for expanding
research capabilities at their county museum. One of the features they may want to include
would be a memorial statue of Robert Widdowfield and Tip Vincent if enough money is
generated for all the plans. We will see how this works out in the years to come. That’s all for
Thank you for keeping up with me and if you haven't done so already, check out my book, Big Nose George.