Started out with a show at the amazing Colorado Railroad Museum that had a great display of Buffalo Bill Cody’s reliance of the trains that transported the hundreds of people, animals, and props all across America and Europe for his Wild West Exhibition. I’ll bet he didn’t suspect all that when he was working for the Kansas Pacific Railroad as a young man, providing their workers with 12 buffalo a day for $500 a month! Then I went on to Peakview Senior Living, where four senior communities gathered together to hear Bill’s adventures… the great part of doing senior communities is that almost all the time they have stories of Bill to tell that were passed down from their immediate relatives… for instance, after the show, a lady named Betty Proctor told me of her relatives in Kansas that showed her a place on their property where Buffalo Bill once carved his name!
Some things are just meant to go together! Muchas Gracias to Donnie and the folks at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for hosting the BBE!
For a second year now, the BBE’s been privileged to do living history for the sharp kids at Pine Grove Elementary! Really good questions after the show!
On my trip to Rochester, NY, a couple of years ago, I stopped in Mt. Hope Cemetery to see the graves of Buffalo Bill’s children, Arta, Orra and Kit, and was very disappointed to see the condition their headstones were in. Bill’s family was just as surprised as I was at the photos I sent them, and they proceeded to do the following restoration project upon receiving them… I KNOW the Colonel is smiling down!! Way to go guys!
Buffalo Bill’s Family Gravestone Restoration:
On a beautiful Wednesday in October, our team of gravestone preservationists scouted Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester NY for Buffalo Bill’s family plot. Using the map, they quickly located the children’s markers and took pictures of each one. Just down the path, they repeated the process for Buffalo Bill’s foster son, Johnny Baker’s gravestone. Johnny had ties to Rochester and cared for the Cody graves after Buffalo Bill died.
It had been a long drive from Cape Cod, so the next goal was good lodging, refreshment, rest and preparation for the initial treatment. The following day, Dwight and Rick sprayed the stones with D/2 to neutralize years of acid build-up. Returning Friday afternoon, they got out the safety glasses and rubber gloves again, re-sprayed with the D/2, gently scrubbed each stone to a lather and rinsed. Years of neglect disappeared!
As you can see the results are dramatic! The lichen on Arta’s stone is gone and Orra’s stone practically shines. With a little care, these historic relics of our family’s favorite son can last a lifetime while the staff of Mt. Hope Cemetery cuts the grass. Away over yonder, at the last roundup in the happy hunting grounds, Bill turned to Johnny and said with a smile, “They didn’t forget.” Like an old buddy, Johnny returned the smile and said, “How could they?” and so they rode.
We started on this trail with the “Buffalo Bill’s Family Gravesite Restoration” fundraiser in the June 2015 Review, appealing for the capital needed to preserve the gravestones of Buffalo Bill’s son Kit, and daughters, Arta and Orra Maude. Along the way, we heard the story and included Johnny.
We thank you all for the contributions which made all this possible. From Jeff “Gunny” Norman to BB’s g-g-grandson, Kevin Cody and his “Remember the Children” in the November Review, and especially the generosity of the donors which led to this real achievement by our team!
I can’t say enough good things about the folks at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center and the kids in Kansas who provided the BBE with such a warm and welcoming hospitality… here are some pic’s from a memorable day for the BBE, and hopefully, for a few young historians… you can go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BuffaloBillCulturalCenter/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED to see and read more!
The BBE had three shows and a television interview last week, and is now getting ready to head to the “Buffalo Bill Cultural Center” in Oakley, KS, to perform for about 500 students. Oakley is right around the corner from where Bill Cody had to earn the official title “Buffalo Bill” by out-shooting Billy Comstock, the head scout at nearby Fort Wallace. Excited for this one!
Last night the BBE got to talk to Pack 131 about their connection to folks like Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson, Jim Bridger and such, and thank ’em for keeping the Scouting spirit alive… great kids… I personally love the color guard and the Pledge of Allegiance that starts these meetings…
Last time was my show in 1913! It sure felt good to be a part of the effort to rebuild Fort Sedgwick up by Julesburg, CO at their first fundraiser Friday night. In return they honored the BBE with a standing O and a vintage collapsible cup for those long Pony Express rides. Buffalo Bill was a frequent visitor to the fort. Thanks, Julesburg!
The BBE was privileged to talk to the Scouts of Pack 788 about their scouting roots to Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson and the like… Bill was a good friend of Lord Baden-Powell, who would incorporate many frontier ways when he created the Boy Scouts! (Some even say the neckerchief that Scouts wear today was inspired by Buffalo Bill!)
What a trip… the Buffalo Gap Historic Village hosted an amazing fundraiser with the BBE at their legendary local Perini Ranch Steak House. Sold out… 400 seats at $125/plate, not including the silent auction… an evening the BBE will never forget, for sure… I sure was humbled when I looked up from my final bow and they were standing while they applauded. Thank you Buffalo Gap for your gracious hospitality! Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BuffaloGapHistoricVillage/ and see all they’re doing to preserve our history!