Gunfight In Dixie XVI

Wednesday we lit out in the wee hours of the morning (did you like that description Ruby?) and headed for the state of Tennessee again. This time to Lakeland just outside of Memphis.

The Memphis Gunslingers are again hosting the South East Regional and Gunfight In Dixie. This is a great range, great facades with 11 permanent cowboy bays.

As with most of the middle states at present it has been raining and we are in for another boggy, damp and very cold match. They have done their best to ensure most stages are covered and have flooring or matting for decent footing. It's just the guncart areas – the rest of the range – that is very muddy and boggy, with no amount of hay seeming to soak up the water. We certainly thank them for their efforts!!

 

Thursday, Doily Gang ladies clinic, T-Bone Dooley's men's shooting clinic, with all proceeds as usual going to the SASS Scholarship Foundation raised another $344, putting the current total raised from clinics held around $10,000. A great effort and all the instructors sure do enjoy giving back by passing on tips to others.

Wild Bunch, Warm Up and speed events were held throughout the rest of the day.

Friday's opening ceremony commenced with their usual and outstanding recognition of veterans over this Armistice weekend. We thank you all for your service and to those currently serving in United States and Australia especially.

 

Jack and I were with a great posse and glad to be a part of Posse 3 with some amazing people. Cooncan, Bertie Winchester, Randy Saint Eagle (Posse leader), Tomstone John, Papa Dave, Whiskey Hays (Deputy Posse leader), Blackfish Kid, Riverview Rattler, Chica, Ginderella, Jailbreak Jake, Doc Hurd, Ethan Callahan, Doc Who, English Tom and Steelshot Scott.

My shotgun having worked the previous weekends match, warm up and side matches, decided to play up across the first two stages resulting in 2 unpleasant times. Jack had a few fumbles but why wouldn't you when the weather is barely above 32F/0C!

 

It was cold, toes are frozen, no amount of hand warmers in gloves, boxer shorts and socks seemed to keep anyone warm. Jackets, ear muffs, scarves, were all a requirement across the weekend.

 

There is no accounting for fun though. So it doesn't matter what was happening we had a blast. Not the best result but great match, great folks, great fun.

The shootout was held after the final 5 stages on Saturday. They drew our pairings and Shamrock Sadie and I were paired up for first run. We had fun, Shamrock ran out of shotgun shells, I thought she was giving up and coming for a hug when she pinched a shell and finished out our run! Great sportsmanship, great friend and good fun!

 

Oklahoma Dee took out the men's shootout and so we went head to head. No backing off, he had a slight hitch with rifle and I left one plate up to be reengaged. Down to the wire we were both on pistols same time and with only one shotgun shell left myself, I carefully loaded and he just got me! Lol! Was a great run, a gentleman I respect greatly.

 

The banquet Saturday night for awards was well put together. Tumbleweed was the MC under the guide of Match Director, Hot Lead Lefty assisted by Josie Grace Underfire with all the plaques, buckles etc. A fabulous job done by all. Thanks for asking me to help with costume contest!

There were 26 clean matches out of approx 190 shooters. A white longhorn pin and a towel were given for that. Congratulations to all winners, Regional Champions and placers in category!

Elderstatesman category – 1st and Regional Champion Purly, 2nd Max Payne, 3rd Jackaroo, 4th Knot Hardly Dunn

Lady Wrangler category – 1st Kathouse Kelli

Congratulations to SE Regional Champions, Sidekick and Dodge City Dixie. The overall champions for the match, Slick McClade and Dodge City Dixie!! Well done!

It was great to catch up with so many more wonderful cowboys and cowgirls we have come to know over the years.

 

To put a dampener on the evening, some idiots decided to break into a couple of vehicles in the car park. Taking leather rigs, saddle bags, ripping out a dash for a radio. Just wrong!! Grrrrr!

Thanks to all the hardworking folks of the Memphis Gunslingers, their assistants etc. Another fabulous match, Jack and I thank you.

Kat xo

 

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Bullets and Rails 2018

The Plum Creek Shooting Society hosted the Battle of Plum Creek – Bullets and Rails 2018 this weekend at the Comanche Country Ranch owned by landowners Lyman and Nancy who have kept it running as an outstanding cowboy range facility.

This year the shoot is based on famous train scenes in western movies with even a silent movie start in the Livery.

After much rain in previous weeks, it appears the range has been mostly spared and the ground is soft under foot but not boggy.

Day 1 was Wild Bunch and side matches which went off in fine sunny weather.

Day 2 rolls around with a clear cool start and more sunshine expected to continue. The mornings proceedings start with welcomes, pledge of allegiance, pledge to Texas, prayers and 'Patience'. Patience is a cannon but I couldn't tell you the details of her magnificence but if you asked her caretaker, Artiman, I bet you he could tell you more than a story or two.

 

Under the intricate instruction of Artimans artillery commands he and his fellow cowboys, come recruits get Patience ready for action. (You have to go to the Facebook page to see her in action). Now ready for firing, me holding iPad to video, I realise I don't have earplugs and only the capability to plug one ear hole, well….you can see by the video, that I still was not expecting the result! My ears were ringing for a good while!

 

We all moved off to our respective start stages for Day 1 of the Main Match and commenced stages 2-7 with our posse of Texas Ghost, Lady Ghost, Oklahoma Dee, Kansas City Sneed, Lefty Wheeler, Krazy Legs Kay, Texas Drifter, Chisos, Red River Raider (and the ever spectacularly dressed Petticoat Parker), G W Ketchum (thanks Suzie for keeping score all weekend), Six Goin South, Kickshot, Jack and myself.

Last night was the banquet and I assisted Six Goin South and Lorilei Longshot with a costume contest in the Parlour House Reception whilst men gathered in the Saloon next door. Congratulations to all who attended and placed.

 

Side match awards were given. A neat train whistle, theme appropriate for the shoot. I walked away with 4 so I may share with Jack if he wants to play trains! Haa haa haa!

 

Thanks Lyman for putting together your band and playing too. Music was great!!

Day 2 of the Main Match and we are set to finish stages 8, 9, 10 and 1. We had thunderstorms last night and the range has seen a massive downpour that has created better environments for pigs! Lol!

It is boggy as but the match officials are hurriedly running around clearing water and laying bags of sawdust as best they can, After a delay, we started at 9.15am to finish the match.

Lunch was on – fajitas – and might I just say the lunches and dinner the crew put on the whole weekend was outstanding especially lunch today. Awesome job and it was very much appreciated.

Awards got under way and the prizes were railroad spikes. Not just any old railway spikes I might add, these are the real deal. Actual 1800's railway spikes from Texas railroads.

 

Joe Darter gave a little trivia behind them before they started the awards. He 'acquired' these from somebody he knew that had connections. All the spikes are uniquely marked and highly collectible. The makers of the spikes would mark their initials or other carvings into them. If you were injured during other railway work back then, you usually ended up with one of these jobs also. All these spikes are marked, engraved with the shoot name and some with Champion on them.

Special awards made by Two Spurs and in keeping with the railway theme were given to our, shall we say, more mature cowboy and cowgirl at the match. Cherokee Clay and Lady Ghost received these awards for 'Most Train Rides'. Such a neat idea.

 

Jack with a jam in his rifle today finished 3rd in Elder Statesman. Congratulations 1st Skyhawk Hans, 2nd Wildcat Bob, 4th Dusty Mines, 5th Lefty Wheeler, 6th Little Bowley, 7th Ranger Tay.

 

Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wrangler shooter in 2nd place, Krazy Kat.

 

There were 16 clean match winners from 203 shooters for the match. I had a clean match!

Congratulations to Oklahoma Dee 1st man overall and I won ladies overall AND finished 2nd place in the match right behind him!

 

Thanks to all the crew at Plum Creek Shooting Society once again for a great match.

Kat xo

 

Battle of Plum Creek Day 1

Battle of Plum Creek Bullets and Rails 2018 kicked off today with clear cool skies after the much rain Texas has had over the past month and a half.

Thankfully the grounds are not too boggy and suitable for carts today.

The resident Longhorns mayyyyy want to move their butts though before we start shooting!

 

This is a great range and would recommend it for anyone trying to get to a shoot in Texas. Comanche Country Ranch, Lockhart has brilliant buildings for you to shoot out of. I can't really call them facades because they are so much more than that.

 

Although Jack and I didn't shoot Wild Bunch we hung out with them for the 3 stages, picked brass, pulled targets etc.

Good fun had with Alamo Andy, Badlands Buddy, Dragon Hill Dave, Big Iron Patnode, I Reckon, You Bet, Shotgun Jim, Skinny, Skyhawk Hans, Wymore Wrangler, Yuma Jack. Artie Fly, Taos O, Joe Darter and Cowboy Small. Oh and Belle Kaye doing the scoring!

 

After Wild Bunch and some lunch it was time for side match speed events. We helped out some with Speed Pistol, shot it, speed rifle, shotgun and 'call your time'. Everything is running fine and ready for tomorrow.

We packed up and headed out to meet up with Artie Fly, Sadie and son Matt at the Caracara Brewing Company in Lockhart. Artie being a beer aficionado – a man after our own hearts! – suggested we try it with them. Great idea!

When we parked at the Caldwell County Courthouse the Day Of The Dead celebrations were about to get underway and I asked if I could take a photo. After the lady said I could, I got one and headed out of the way.

 

Off to Caracara and we had a beer flight to try out their four brews made in house right there. Lockertoberfest, Le Peche French Saison, On The Square IPA, and Plum Creek Porter. Very good indeed, oh and we tried 'Dingleberry' which was a mix of another local St Michael's Blackberry Mead with the Plum Creek Porter. Yum!

We had barbecue from Blacks Barbecue. The oldest major barbecue restaurant in Texas continuously owned by the same family. Oh my gosh, the brisket just fell apart and melted in your mouth. The sausage links were awesome and the beans, green beans and sauce were amazing.

 

Thank you Artie and Sadie (and Matt) for coming back from Austin to take in this experience with us. Good times!

 

Caracara also sell growlers unlike the glass one we bought in Amarillo it's a 32oz can, they fill it and seal it right there. Jack did a video of it and wanted to know if he could adapt his press! Lol! Brilliant!

Anyway, an early night as its Main Match tomorrow. Six stages ahead then banquet tomorrow evening. Followed by 4 more stages and awards on Sunday.

Have a great weekend no matter where you may be, shooting or not, just live!

Kat xo

 

Wild Bunch and Cowboy

This weekend was spent in gorgeous sunshine, blue skies and critter sightings as we headed to the range both days.

Seeing an actual armadillo – instead of roadkill – was a highlight. The small stag yesterday bounding. Along the roadside and seeing his shocked 'oh crap!' Look on his face when he almost darted out in front of us was kinda funny. The hawks sitting on fences and in flight are just gorgeous.

Yesterday was Wild Bunch day and we had a blast! Jack shot Wild Bunch but I shot cowboy as I didn't know know how my hand would take it with the .45 and stitches and best not to mess that up.

With Hondo Tweed, Elwood James, John Elder, Jodi Coyote, Gordy Hattrick, San Jacinto Joe, DJ, Slade, Jack and I, we ran through 4 stages.

Hondo, not wanting to see us leave OKC as a base, had made up lines referring to Jack and I. It was fun and humbling and we thank you for your kind words yesterday. We will miss everyone much.

 

The Mine – he had remembered when Posse'd with us one time and Jack was having a few issues that I had said “Suck it up princess!” and so that was the start line for that stage. I gave Gordy style points for saying it almost wih an Aussie accent but then when he 'princesse'd' his rifle vertically into the rack, I had to recall the style point. Lol! Good fun.

We moved on to the Mercantile and in recognition of my artwork there (Jacks handy timber work also) the line became “Welcome to Kathouse Kelli's place”

Into the Saloon and Hondo likes an adult beverage as much as we do and so the line became “A toast to Jack and Kat” (I heard you use that one again today too Hondo ;))

 

The final stage at The Depot and not wanting to say goodbye..and really what cowboy ever does…the line became “Happy Trails to you” ….until…we meet…again.

 

A great day followed with Cowboy Chicken and said adult beverages with the odd Ziegen Bock. Thanks guys for an excellent day! We thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Today was Cowboy match with 23 turning up that weren't at other shoots. Two posses ran the 6 stages. Jack had a pretty uneventful day and shot his first clean club match all year. Good work man. A blonde moment had me leave one shotgun target up but extremely happy with pistol and rifle. Hand is working fine and not pulling on the stitches.

 

Thanks Stoney Cahill, Hurricane Deck, Badly Bent, Trent, Prairie Drifter, Elwood James, Stonewall, Travellin' Travis, Gun A Do It, Hondo Tweed. We had a blast! Another sensational day with great cowboys and cowgirls finished with Mexican at Habanero's.

Thank you Territorial Marshal's.

Kat xo

Hee hee hee, new sayings I learned today – anymore inbred and he'd be a sandwich! – and – his family tree is like a wreath! Lol! Redneck lives matter, just sayin' 🙂

 

Laramie, WY Part 2

As we left the Ivinson Mansion we headed towards the railroad and found the historic Old Buckhorn Bar.

Established in 1900, it is Laramie's oldest standing and most historic bar. It has the gorgeous, heavy timber carved, mirrored bar back. There are a number of taxidermy heads placed around the walls with antique firearms and signs.

A bullet hole features on one of the glass panels, enquiring minds had to know the story behind this. Alas not from an outlaw's gunfight but a disgruntled ex decided he would take a 30/06 and fire it towards his ex girlfriend in the 70's after they broke up. She survived, the original mirror panel still remains and now it's on a tshirt! A bullet hole glass break pic with 'I survived the Buckhorn Bar'. A beer and we head off to find one with food.

Around the corner is the Crowbar Grill. A neat little place, great food and a nice Belgian White Passionfruit beer. The place was packed on this 4th July considering the rest of the town was very quite.

Next, the Wyoming Territorial Prison, built in 1872 it was restored in 1989.

 

Before entering the Prison building itself we viewed the Warden's house built in 1875 by inmates it was constructed with 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and basement.

 

This is a self guided tour into the prison and features furnished cells, guards quarters, dining area, laundry room, an infirmary and the women's quarters.

 

The first room in is the processing room where prisoners were fitted with their black and white stripe uniform. Rules and regulations were cited to each prisoner regarding bathing, airing bedding, hygiene etc.

The walls are hung with pictures of prisoners who were here, information regarding the prison conditions, the locking mechanisms for cells, etc.

 

The Wardens office had also been restored back to 1890's glory. Faded patterns on walls were found and subsequent reproduction of exacting color's and patterns for wallpaper were used in the restoration.

 

Before the erection of the stockade and the calling of the mountains to the west 25% of the prisoners in 1875 escaped. The stockade prevented some but there is record of at least a few scaling the stockade wall and escaping.

 

As you move through the additions of the prison there are preserved excavation sections, an exhibit on Butch Cassidy. A very well presented display on the man, the myth, the legend, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, an 1888 blown up safe, and more.

 

In 1882 the first wing on the broom factory was built and later further additions plus steam pipes heating instead of wood and coal were implemented.

The broom factory building and equipment are still original except the flooring was replaced. Brooms are still made here during exhibit displays and are sold within the gift store.

 

Now in Part 1 I had referred to John Hjorth, the Swedish architect/wood carver. Two of his furniture pieces are on display here – a table and a bench. Other pieces made by prisoners such as horsehair woven hatbands, halter's and a very intricate model ship.

 

A great site which has another small town section that we didn't go into. Definitely worth a visit!

What a great way to spend Independence Day in Laramie, finished with dinner, cupcakes and fireworks looking like glitter against a burnt orange sunset.

Thanks to my darling man and a spectacular Wyoming backdrop!

Kat xo

 

Georgia On My Mind

Tuesday we hit the road travelling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and into Mississippi. We made an overnight stop at Olive Branch and today are hitting the road for Georgia.

As Elvis crooned across our airwaves yesterday Jack said we would make a stop at Tupelo to Elvis' birthplace and Museum. Yippee!

This morning we made the stop in Tupelo, Mississippi to visit the Museum. No photos are allowed in the Museum which features times during the Depression when times were tough for Vernon and Gladys Presley. There are many photos, memorabilia, clothing worn by Elvis and more.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935 (his twin brother was stillborn) in the tiny little two room 'shotgun' style house at this very site.

The small church Elvis and his family attended was a block over on Adams Street. When the church needed to build a larger facility it was used as a house and later purchased by the Museum in 2008 and relocated here to its current site on the house and Museum grounds.

 

He grew up with the church services and the gospel sounds that would set Elvis on a path of music, beyond the weekly gatherings around the radio listening to the Grand Old Opry.

It was Reverend Frank Smith who taught a young and shy Elvis a few guitar chords. He was encouraged to perform during services, often with his parents. The Reverend would walk and play which statements attribute this to Elvis performance style.

Also noted in the Museum was that Elvis used to entertain himself with simple toys and Captain Marvel, Jr comics. Speculation maybe? They also suggest his signature hairstyle and perhaps the TCB (taking care of business) lightning bolt could have been attributed to these comics.

 

In 1938, the family lost their house when Vernon was sent to prison for forging a check (cheque) where he served 8 months of a 3 year sentence. Gladys would work to keep food on the table.

As Elvis continued school, taking his guitar with him at times performed for friends. His teacher entered him in a state contest where he placed 5th.

In 1948 the Presley's moved to Memphis. This became a turning point in Elvis' career where he began performing with other boys who played music. He still had the intention of being part of a Gospel quartet.

In 1953, he paid $3.95 to make his first recording 'My Happiness' and 'That's When The Heartache Begins'. Then if you have ever done a Sun Studio's tour in Tennessee, we all now what happened after that and how Marion Kesker had saved the recording and later Sam Phillips produced many of Elvis' recordings.

The grounds to the Museum are spectacular with plaques of information during the years of pivotal moments, a bronze statue depicting a young Elvis in oversized overalls and a meandering walk both wheelchair accessible by way of ramps and paths or stairs to the top of the property to another statue called 'Becoming'.

 

This stunning statue shows a small Elvis and as a mature, larger than life flamboyant style as he had become.

 

Onwards and we cross into another state we have not visited – Alabama. We will pass the Talladega Super Speedway. Now comes to mind, besides NASCAR races of course, is Talladega Nights – Ricky Bobby, shake and bake – a very funny movie. We will make a stop here on the return trip to the Motorsports Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame!

 

From Alabama winding through the Talladega National Forest, we continued East heading across the border into Georgia.

 

We found the range, then the hotel and we are ready for an early start tomorrow. We missed the registration as we forgot we would lose an hour!

Kat xo

 

Port Neches – Beaumont, TX

We spent the day with a leisurely breakfast, fresh air and sunshine before taking a ride with Texas Mac and Texas Flower, first via Nederland and Tex Ritter Park, then to Cowboy Harley Davidson and on to Gladys City.

 

Spindletop – the first place oil was discovered in Texas. So named for the small bursts of escaping gas that rose, ghost like from the ground and appeared like spinning tops.

The actual gusher was called the Lucas Gusher which is actually situated across the highway from the reproduction on the Lamar University grounds. The reproduction gushes water during re-enactments and other celebrations.

 

Here on the University grounds sits the small replica town of Gladys City, representing businesses from the 1901 boomtown. The man behind the plans for this “industrial utopia”, Pattillo Higgins, never actually saw his dream realised. As the news of the oil strike spread, buildings seemed to spring up over night in a haphazard fashion for the workers and their families, in a seemingly unorganised vision of what Higgins intended.

The original town had no saloon, for he and especially his wife, were involved in the temperance movement. Stella Higgins wanted no part of any drinking, gambling or prostitution within town limits. Of course saloons did exist further on the outskirts of town where I'm sure many an oil man may have squandered some or much money on these pleasures.

Mac and Flower are involved with re-enactments of this part of history in their town. Whilst the reproduction Gladys City does have a saloon, it is often changed into a tea room during these shows where high tea, fan etiquette, and discussion about the temperance movement can be participated in.

When Spindletop (Lucas gusher) first gushed in 1901, it did so for 9 days before being capped. During that time an estimated 800,000 barrels oil were lost.

 

The buildings depicted within the city are – Walkenshaw Steelworks, Barber Shop, R.C. Grinnell's Log Cabin Saloon, Guffey Texas Post Office, A.L. Gibson's Dry Goods Store, General Store & Living Quarters, Beaumont Oil Exchange, Edgerton's Photography Studio, T.A. Lamb & Son Printers, Gladys City Drug Store, Gladys City Oil Gas & Manufacturing Co., Nelson & White Engineers, Southern Carriage Works, Broussard's Livery Stable and the Lucas Gusher Monument.

 

There are many artefacts within each of the buildings and is worth a quick little visit and walk through history.

 

After a quick bite at Depot Hamburgers it was back to the house for the men to take a nap and a quick spot of sewing.

This evening we went to Port Neches Wheelhouse Restaurant. A popular waterfront restaurant and tiki type bar huts that seemed to be well patronised for a Tuesday night.

 

The barges, tugs and later a ship came through the river access. When the ships come in the bell at the bar is rung and there are half price 'ship shots'! A blue concoction of vodka, gin, rum and something but surprisingly was pretty good!

 

So the views were great! The food spectacular!

 

Jack and I thank you Mac and Flower for an interesting and exceptional evening. Actually, a fabulous day!

Kat xo