Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Remember When: The Old West

I've been giving a lot of talks around Phoenix the last few months. I write my bio and introduce myself through my love of the Old West. 

I mention that I was born near Dodge City, Kansas "The Cowboy Capitol of the World."
We then moved about 80 miles east but visited regularly as my grandparents and aunt and uncle lived near Dodge. 

I loved Boot Hill: a western town built to resemble the original town of Dodge City. Back then it was free and you could just roam in and around at your will. I developed many a story while roaming the boardwalks, the Long Branch Saloon and the old museum. 

My family had even lived in Dodge City. I don't know for sure if this was before or after I was born but my sister always told of heading to Boot Hill after school and if she was too late mom would call the security guard and have him track her down and tell her to go home.

One special visit to Dodge City was with my friend. Lydia. She had moved in across the alley from us and we became life-long friends. She went with us one weekend to visit my cousins and we stopped at Boot Hill. 
Here we are in front of the Long Branch Saloon, made famous by the show "Gunsmoke."
We had stick candy and surely a sarsaparilla. It was a great day. My mother and I moved to Arizona soon afterwards and then Lydia returned to Florida with her family.

During Lydia's short stay in Kansas the Old West didn't get into her blood but it runs deep in mine. I am happiest when visiting historical towns, watching re-enactments, and well, just about anything to do with the west. Including writing and research.

Do you have something that has always interested you? Something that is "in your blood" even if your life has led you in a totally different direction? I spent many years doing other things but the era of Wyatt Earp has always been there in the back of my mind and in my heart.

Write about those parts of you that bring a little spark to your heart.