The Yellow Rose of Texas

Texas – red white and blue strong, patriotic to the core and proud.

The Yellow Rose of Texas – well I'd heard the song before, basically know the tune and had more than likely heard Pa's warbly whistling renditions of it as well.

Do you know the history of it though?

Where is all this leading to you might ask and indeed I though this would be a more straightforward reference to the spectacular B-Western outfit completed for Complicated Lady.

So I will give a quick insight into her outfit and then digress to the history lesson as such.

This one was to be a complete Texas themed outfit in red, white and blue to go with THE most gorgeous pair of boots.

I started it back in the US and the fabric that came was not to our liking, whilst the blue was a bit deeper than expected it actually will absolutely nail the colour in the boots but the red was giving me fits.

I'd ordered a true red and what came changed like a chameleon in many different light sources to the point that I had to disappoint and not have it finished for when she wanted to debut this beauty. It looked burgundy more than anything. Insert mild tantrums and tears from me here!!

So into the shipping container and wait on its impending arrival. In the meantime, I had managed to locally source the same sort of suiting fabric in the brightest red that made my heart jump for joy!!

 

I now couldn't wait for it and my machine to arrive so I could crack on with this project!

It turned out sensational! Finished with embroidered stars, Texas flag state, yellow rose and blue bonnet combination's, finished with white deer skin fringe and some serious bling! Happy days indeed!!

 

Now back to 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. To start The Alamo – Medium tells me 'the term “yellow” was commonly used in the 1830's to refer to mulattos and “rose” was a popular euphemism for a description for a young woman' (mulatto meaning a person of mixed white and black ancestry)

Blackpast.org explains 'West's possible forced separation from her black lover and her placement in Santa Anna's camp. According to legend, inspired her lover to compose the song we know as “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Publicity surrounding the hotel in San Antonio that was named after Emily Morgan asserts that West was a spy for Texas'

The song is a traditional American folk song that originated in the 1850's. The earliest version found in Christy's Plantation Melodies No.2, a song book published under authority of Edwin Pearce Christy in Philadelphia 1853.

The song has since been reworked and recorded by many an artist including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson to name but a few. It was chosen as one of the top 100 great Western songs of all time.

Mitch Millers version in 1955 became a gold record achieving #2 position in the UK and #1 position in Australia.

During the American Civil War it became popular with Confederate soldiers in the defeated Texas Brigade of the Battle of Nashville. Texans remained ever gallant even in defeat.

Who was Emily West? Emily D. West (c. 1815-1891) also known as Emily Morgan, is a folk heroine whose legendary activities during the Texas Revolution have come to be identified with the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. West was a free woman of color, of mixed race, or a “high yellow”…….in 1836, with other residents, she was kidnapped by Mexican cavalry. Forced to travel with the forces of General Santa Anna as they prepared to face the army led by Sam Houston, she was in the Mexican camp on April 21 when Houston's men attacked. The Texans won the Battle of San Jacinto in 18 minutes.

According to legend, Santa Anna was caught unprepared as he was engaged in 'other activities' with West when Houston struck. This was reportedly recorded in a journal in 1842 when a gentleman was told the story by Sam Houston during a steamer trip.

In any case, historians question the reliability of such a story but as history often predicts (bit like Chinese whispers), stories get embellished, legends are made and so it becomes. Why shouldn't we think the defeat occurred by those means?

Emily West has been immortalised in history regardless and a hotel, The Emily Morgan Hotel, in downtown San Antonio, is named in honor of the Texas heroine.

Maybe this outfit should be called 'Emily'?

Kat xo

 

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Tatanka (Buffalo Gal)

Tatanka, the Lakota tribe word meaning 'big beast'. For the American Northern Plains people, Tatanka meant life. The bison/buffalo, ruled the plains, clothed and fed many American Indian tribes and were revered by all, especially in sacred ceremonies.

 

Herds of buffalo existed from Alaska all the way down through the Gulf of Mexico.

 

During the 1800's they were hunted and killed mostly for the fur trade almost totally decimating the herds to extinction. By the 1860's it is said that less than 1000 buffalo were left and it was men such as Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, Charles Goodnight and another 6 men (I had not heard of) that realised what lay ahead and purchased them for their own ranches.

 

At various points in time, cattle were introduced into herds of buffalo upsetting the DNA of true bison. Today there are some that have been bred from true stock with very little to no common cattle variety in them.

Today, over 400,000 buffalo roam freely in reserves and managed properties such as Yellowstone National Park, parts of Wyoming and Texas. Still a far cry from the once 30million plus!

So how come Buffalo Gal?

Now my Texas women friends pride themselves on all things Texan, and are very patriotic. The costumes I've been pushing to get finished lately from a few Texas ladies are in the B-Western styling keeping me very busy at the embroidery machine.

Lil McGill's latest is a recreation of a 1940's B-Western dress featuring flowers, scrolls and bison.

With a few pictures at hand of the original and paint chips of colours to match boots, I set out to pay homage to this spectacular gown. The buffalo proved a little difficult with not being able to find a design of a running buffalo closer matched to that of the original.

 

We don't want a football version of a running buffalo now do we! Lol! So the choice of a rather majestic looking bison standing in grass seemed appropriate.

After altering designs and reconfiguring flower sequences, I eventually had 17 different sections to this embroidery work, with 12 needing to be mirrored for left or right.

Some careful planning and lining up got it looking pretty darn close to the original.

 

The only thing I couldn't see in the pictures we had was something on the sleeve side. It looked like same colours so I could only surmise nothing new was added outside the theme. I eventually came up with the inclusion of bison tracks through the same floral detail.

 

With the buffalo complete around the bottom edge the dress is ready for the final larger one on the back. This had to be outsourced as my frames aren't big enough. Threads all numbered and bagged, 'Buffalo Gal' is headed for her final stage of embroidery. Only thing left to do from there is bling!!

 

Can't wait to see it worn, boots and all!

Photos to come later when it is blinged up!!!

Kat xo

😉 see, still alive, head down bum up, love y'all!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

https://www.storyofthebison.com/faq.html

 

Sunday Sightseeing

As we left Mean Mongrel Matt, Sassy Belle and Broken Spur to enjoy the rest of their weekend, Jack and I took a Left out of town and headed for the hills.

Well, hills being the Blue Mountains area; Lithgow, Katoomba, Laura, Wentworth Falls, Glenbrook, then down into the Sydney greater region heading North then to Newcastle.

The Blue Mountains

Aptly named for its haze, a mixture of fine drops of eucalyptus oil (given off from the Eucalyptus trees) dust particles, water vapor and that little thing called light waves cause this beautiful blue hue to the mountains.

The Blue Mountains were inhabited by aboriginal tribes when the First Fleet landed. First Governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip had seen these tremendous ranges from a ridge at Castle Hill some 40-60miles East of them. He had named them Camarthen Hills and thought them to be worthy of government stock.

In 1799 it was the place Gidley King established a town for political prisoners from Ireland and Scotland.

The name was first documented in Captain John Hunters account of Phillip’s expedition up the Hawkes yet River in 1789.

There is a whole other story about who passed over them first and when and the explorers who are actually noted for gaining passage through here but I’m not going into that today.

Suffice to say at its highest point at Mount Werong is 1215m/3986ft above sea level and it’s lowest point on the Nepean River at just 20m/66ft.

It is home to such beauties as;

The Three Sisters

A quick stop at Echo Point to get our own snaps at The Three Sisters.

Coffee with a view.

Jenolan Caves

And Wentworth Falls

Poets, artists, sculptors and lovers of nature have frequented the Blue Mountains region for years. One of the most notable and one of my favourites – Norman Lindsay.

http://www.normanlindsay.com.au/

So as we continued to wind through the eucalypts, past car shows, reminiscing about visits to the caves, galleries and sights; we eventually came out on the flat plains into Penrith, heading towards the outskirts of Sydney and onto Newcastle.

spectacular, spectacular!

Kat xo

Bathurst, NSW

Not Barth-hirst it’s pronounced Bath-urst, think bat add the ‘h’ and urst on the end.

Bathurst, the next stop on the road is the oldest inland settlement in Australia and has around 35,000 people living in it.

Bathurst was established in 1814 and was site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia.

In the early years of settlement, Bathurst was a base for explorers headed inland.

In 1823, flecks of gold were found in Fish River and later ‘payable’ gold was found in 1851 at Ophir and Hill End.

Here’s some trivia for you on the gold mining front!! Hill End’s claim to fame is the Holtermann Specimen (correctly the Beyers Holtermann Specimen) found on 20th of October 1871, it is the largest single mass of gold ever discovered in the world and still retains that record today.

Bernhardt Holtermann and the gold Specimen.

BUT! We are driving and almost anybody knows (especially in motor racing) that Bathurst is home to Mount Panorama, hosting the Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 12 Hour motor races!

The track is 4 miles/ 6.213km in length, is technically a street circuit and is actually a public road.

Historically the circuit saw motorcycles and open wheel car races but times have changed, safety restrictions tighter and now only closed-bodied cars can be raced on the track.

In 1992, Jack was a driver in the Under 2litre Sports Sedans and has raced on this very track!! (I’ll post a picture of his car later)

So of course – as one does – and now we have a manual car – he had to drive the track, ride the curbing, touch the wall (I exaggerate here), and give a running commentary on gear change, speed and who overtook him where! 😂😂🏎🏆

Mount Panorama offers a great experience and spectacular view, and maybe just the occasional wallaby sitting in the paddock.

On to Mean Mongrel Matt and Sassy’s for a visit.

Start your engines, open the throttle and let ‘er rip!!

Kat xo

Flying Visits

It’s usually the way isn’t it, you make a plan to get a few things finalised and then you get a phone call that could change life’s plans and you aren’t there to take advantage of it.

Could have been a great role and hopefully still in the running for it come Monday.

……or sometimes things work out for better options ahead. 😉😉

Wednesday we lit out early (not as early as we thought, forgot about time change!😂) and headed down the coast.

We stopped in at Emerald and Paddlewheel’s to see how they were and then on to Dad and Mum’s for the night.

Catch ups with my brother, nieces, Fiona and of course a couple games of Scrabble with Mum never goes astray!

Onward to Canberra for paperwork and visits; stayed with Trooper for a couple of nights, dinner with Trail Rider and Wendy, lunch with my Rori boy and down to the poo farm to cause a bit of trouble. 😊

Saturday on our way through to Bathurst we take the road through Boorowa and Cowra.

Usually we are coming through here in the Spring where it was meadows of golden glow, field after field filled with flowering canola. The fields are bare and dry, a little bit of green in some places see the sheep surviving well.

Boorowa is a small farming in South West, New South Wales (NSW). There are only about 1200 or so people living here.

The first unofficial residents (1821) in Boorowa were two Irishmen, Rodger Corcoran and Ned Ryan, who were ex convicts having received their ‘ticket of leave’ or pardon from the Governor.

The first Land grant came to Thomas Icely in 1829 and by 1837 a mill was operating along with an inn and some houses on the future town site of Boorowa. The village was established at its present location in 1843.

As usual in those days, there was much lawlessness, mayhem, boundary disputes that led to livestock theft, arson and murder.

Bushrangers often took advantage of the remoteness of the town as they roamed the mountainous wild lands. They would make raids in the town and on stations.

With later large land parcels sold to ‘ticket of leave’ men, the area also went through a short boom of gold, copper and iron extraction. One copper mine continuing operation up until 1900.

Now the little town continues its sheep and cattle stations in quietness. No longer subject to bushrangers and outlaws, this is pure farm country.

We continue through to Cowra, in the Central West of NSW. Population approx 10,100.

The township of ‘Coura Rocks’ had its beginnings (European settlement) in 1844. 1847 the township site was called Cowra and it proclaimed a village in 1849.

Hmmm sometimes history makes me wonder, why is a village different from a township? If it was surveyed in 1817, technically did it not exist from back then? The mind boggles.

Miners heading to gold fields made their way through here and over the next 50 years expanded rather rapidly.

  • 1857 first school
  • 1870 first bridge built over the Lachlan River
  • 1880’s Gold was discovered at Mount McDonald
  • 1886 the railhead from Sydney reached the town
  • 1888 local government was granted
  • 1901 the first telephone exchange was established

During World War II, Cowra was the site of a POW Camp for mostly Japanese and Italian detainees – captured military personnel.

In 1944 the infamous Cowra breakout occurred. Some 545 Japanese attempted the mass breakout. Four Australian guards and 231 Japanese died during the recapture of the POW’s with another 108 wounded.

Still to this day Cowra’s Japanese gardens have those laid to rest in their with other memorials to those who served in Darwin and World War 1.

Photo by John O’Neill

Made a quick stop at Cowboy Guns and Gear and had lunch with Wondering Hans.

On to Bathurst!

Yours in travels

Kat xo