I heartily applaud Mary Franz’s well-written article “The Real Men of Deadwood” in the August 2006 Wild West. I especially appreciated the author’s comparisons of the Deadwood television production with the realities of life in the early mining camp of Deadwood. The HBO show makes an effort to view life as it actually was in regard to styles of clothing, firearms, Victorian-type dialogue and the locale. However, the language on the show has bothered me. In all the years I have been reading about Western culture, I never heard it said that so much off-color language was actually used. That was one point Franz didn’t mention, but you addressed it well in the P. 6 editorial in that issue.
Victor A. Albanese
The editor’s remarks on the language in HBO’s Deadwood are quite amusing. I have never seen the show, although I have heard about all the filthy language. Lord knows, as an old combat infantryman, I am not shocked by bad language, but I don’t want it in my house, and I sure won’t pay HBO to bring it in. The doings in Deadwood have always interested me, and I would have liked to have seen a decent TV series dealing with the goings-on there in the 1870s, but not if I have to listen to that “fumadiddle” language…especially when I believe that kind of talk is the norm in 2006 Hollywood but not in 1876 Deadwood.
I was amazed at reading the interesting real history of Deadwood in the August issue. It seems like the HBO show is right on the money. It’s fascinating how Seth Bullock became the sheriff in this wild town; he had his hands full. I enjoy the characters on Deadwood such as Bullock, Charlie Utter and Calamity Jane. Of course, it was the murder of Wild Bill Hickok that really placed Deadwood on the map.
Elk Grove, Calif.
I was impressed with your August 2006 issue, especially Mary Franz’s article “The Real Men of Deadwood.” Your most important asset is information, and I sincerely believe in your magazine’s integrity. I’m very interested in Wild Bill Hickok and in the precise and true story of the Gunfight at the O.K Corral (October 2006 Wild West).
Merlin Ray Elliot
Deer Park, Texas
Calamity Jane was fond of Wild Bill Hickok and perhaps she did express a wish to be buried beside him, as mentioned in the enjoyable article “The Real Men of Deadwood.” But here’s what Wyoming pioneer Russell Thorp wrote about it for my grandfather, historian Pat Flannery, and recently published in The Diaries of John Hunton (Heritage Books, Westminster, Md.):
A few leading citizens of Deadwood were gathered in Mike Russell’s saloon for their usual mid-afternoon drink when word of Jane’s death reached them. They talked it over and decided to give her a big last sendoff in appreciation of what she did nursing miners through the smallpox epidemic. The idea of making this a really memorable funeral grew and grew, with a few more drinks, and word was sent forth calling on all business houses to close during the services. Then came the question of where to dig her grave, and it was concluded as appropriate that she be buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, alongside Wild Bill Hickok. Now Wild Bill had absolutely no use for Jane, but this distinguished, self-appointed committee decided it would be a good joke on the old boy to make him “layup” with her for all eternity. I knew four of the men who planned the funeral (Albert Malter, Frank Ankeney, Jim Carson, and Anson Higby), and all of them told me the same story.
NO MORE JUMPING
I am a member of SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) and a subscriber. I enjoy reading about the Wild West. One problem I’ve continued to have is to be interrupted in my reading because it tells me to jump to so & so. I am tired of this. I want to read the article in its entirety without going traipsing through the rest of the magazine.
The editor responds: Never fear, Mr. Ripplinger. Your jumping days are over. Eric Weider, the new owner of Wild West Magazine, considers articles that jump to the back of the magazine as unwanted as claim jumpers during a gold strike. There were no jumps in the December 2006 issue, there are no jumps in this issue, and there will be no jumps in the future until Helldorado freezes over.
Greg Michno’s article (P. 66) in the June 2006 issue was a pleasant treat. I’ve watched all or parts of How the West Was Won many times and consider it a classic. On the other hand, I got through only the first episode and part of the second episode of Into the West; I couldn’t take any more.
I was really enjoying Wild West, when I came across Greg Michno’s article in your June issue. Now I want to see Into the West. I have seen How the West Was Won and to me it perverted history. Maybe this is because I am Apache and Creole and I realized at an early age that those who had control created the history without taking a look at it from different angles.
Jim Starshadow II
(Wacasa Wakan) Via e-mail
Send letters to: Wild West Editor, World History Group, 741 Miller Dr. SE, Suite D-2, Leesburg, VA 20175, or e-mail to WildWest@weiderhistorygroup.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Letters may be edited. Wild West welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material. Material to be returned should be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.