Monday, November 02, 2009

Tales Behind the Tombstones

"We never did hang the wrong one but once or twice, and them fellers needed to be hung anyhow jes' on general principles."
~A Nameless Judge In The Old West

It's time for Turn the Page Tuesday hosted by Adrienne from Some of a Kind. I choose to read Tales Behind the Tombstones by Chris Enss, thinking that it was appropriate and fun for a late October read.

From the back cover:
A crumbling headstone in the cemetery at Bodie, California, memorializes Rosa May, a prostitute still known for caring for the sick. In Deadwood, South Dakota, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok, infamous to the end, lie interred side by side, per Jane's last request. And at the top of Lookout Mountain in Colorado lies the greatest western showman of all time, Buffalo Bill Cody, his grave site visited by thousands every year.
Simple Stones, roadside crosses, and grand monuments commemorate the lives of those ordinary citizens and larger-than-life characters who tamed the Wild West and exemplified its greatest myths. In Tales Behind the Tombstones, author Chris Enss shares the stories behind their lives, deaths, and burials.

This book is a collection of short true stories about those buried in both marked and unmarked graves all over the old west, both the infamous outlaws that we all know and many other pioneers that we don't. All of the stories are interesting, all of them taking us back to the old west.

I really enjoyed this one. It's fun to read short stories now and then and even better when we revisit some of our old outlaw friends and foes. I had always thought that Bob Ford shot Jesse James in the back of the head after Jesse had stopped his life of crime. Not so. Bob was part of the James brothers gang, had killed one of the other gang members and, after getting caught, plea-bargained his own case by agreeing to bring down the infamous Jesse James. They were in Jesse's house discussing their next train robbery when Jesse turned to straighten a picture and Mr. Ford shot him in the head. I knew most of the story; had just always heard that the gang was no longer a gang and that Jesse (alias Mr. Howard) was on the straight and narrow.

"All the world likes an outlaw. For some damn reason they remember 'em."
~Jesse James, 1879

I know that I'm posting this on Monday night but my computer seems to have a bit of a bug again, so I probably won't have any access for a couple of days. Darn thing won't recognize it's own battery pack or my photo multi-media card, among other things. Cross your fingers and wish my poor sick computer luck. Otherwise, it might soon be in an unmarked grave in the old west.

"A cemetery is a history of people - a perpetual record of yesterday and sanctuary of peace and quiet today. A cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering - always."
~William Gladstone, Prime Minister of England, 1890


Adrienne said...

What a great book~ That sounds so interesting. I'm gonna add that to my list.

I hope you computer won't need it's last rights read to it ;-)

Love Bears All Things said...

Isn't it a hoot how we've become so attached to these things. Now, I can't imagine life without them. I have suggested(told) Honey Bear that we need to buy another laptop before he retires to keep in his office. Just in case. He has an old company one, a cheap one that has Vista on it and then his current company one which he will not be able to keep. The first two he uses for personal stuff but boy do they have issues. I spent half a day on the Vista one trying to print out a few bank statements.
Okay, I got off the subject. I wrote down this book and will see if they have it at the book store. I thought it might interest my Grandsons.
Have a great week.
Mama Bear

The Jolly Bee said...

Your book looks interesting too....It might be something I could get a couple of teenagers to read as well! And sometimes, I buy books just for the cover -- in reference to your blog comment on my site. Have a great day.
-- Jodi

Love Bears All Things said...

Paula, I went to the bookstore. Its one of those huge ones which looks like a warehouse inside, there are so many books. I have a discount card, compliments of Daughter and they have a great bargain table which I always browse. Anyway, they didn't have your book but she said she would order it and if I didn't think it was appropriate for my grandson, I didn't have to buy it. I needed to know if the language was clean, etc.
Mama Bear

jannza said...

Oh, I love historical stories. Short story-style makes it easy to approach so I can grab moments here and there as I'm able to enjoy it. Thanks for the review. I'll read it!

Stacey's Treasures said...

This does sound intresting.
I just finished a good fall book called "Fortune Tellers Daughter"
by Susan Wilson.
I hope your computer is all better. Sometimes I think mine is about to conk out.

Tipper said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I hope your computer sorts itself out Paula : )

Terri said...

Hey girlie!
Listen, I love that photo at the top of the page. Did you know that The Weather Channel was having a fall photo contest? You should look it up and enter that one. You're a good photographer!

Mary said...


Very interesting and a book I would enjoy. I'm going to have to look it up. Thanks for the heads up.

Wishing you an enjoyable and relaxing weekend.

catieann said...

sounds like a great book to read.
thanks for sharing it. Isn't it amazing the general outlook on life way back when?