JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 446
Woodrow Call, the
major and surviving figure in the four volumes of Larry McMurtry’s Great
American Novel/tetraology, Lonesome Dove, is in his early seventies (about 73 years) old
when we see him in the premier volume Streets of Laredo. (He is born ca. 1823 and is approximately 20
years old when he first teams up with Gus McCrae in the series' premier installment, Dead Mans Walk (which takes
place ca. 1843). Although he seems to be
an old man who is not a part of the times in which he lived, he is far from
being without company. It is easy to
think of frontier legends like Pat Garrett and Charles Goodnight as being a
part of ancient modern American history—and they were, temporally, but not
physically. Even though Pat Garrett
kills Billy the Kid in 1882, Garrett lives until 1908; Charley Goodnight helps begin the concept of
the cattle drive in Texas in 1860, and then lives another 69 years. Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp became famous in
the 1870’s, and both lived until what seems to be an incongruously close
time—the 1920’s. It just seems incredible to me that figures like this survived nearly into the lifetime of my father.
The frontier legends
below all transcended their place in history by many decades, and brought the
idea of a living history just a little closer to comprehension; their
survivability brings to bear how close
the grand epoch of the frontier is to America, even in 2008. Hanging Judge Isaac Parker, (b. 1834) dies 1896
Hanging Judge Isaac Parker, (b. 1834) dies 1896
Shanghai Peirce, (b. 1834), dies in 1900.
Judge Roy Bean (b. 1825) lives until 1903
Billy Dixon, 1850-1913
George Bent (Fort), 1843-1918
Bat Masterson, 1853-1921
Annie Oakley (the"peerless Lady wing-shot"), born just before the war, height.
Big Tree (Adoeettee) Kiowa Chief, born 1845, lives until 1929.
Black Elk, the great chief, (“Black Elk Speaks”), was born in 1863 and died in 1950.