The Ruby Slipper has rested idle in the garage a lot this summer and is hankering for a road trip. Our life just has not been settled enough to do much more than tend to business…or businesses. We were to camp this week but canceled it as days too crowded. I am relieved not to have camping be my outing, but there are some things coming up that might be more appealing. Yesterday we took a mini-trip to get away, but it was a bit taxing to say the least. Biscuit got sick a few miles short of destination and so she was cranky and worrisome rest of day. Then the lovely autumn air turned nasty hot again!
We have never been to Dewey, Oklahoma, but when we heard of their Western Days celebration we wanted to go. Had we been there in the cooler hours things would have been much better. But the cattle drive was not until midafternoon and that was the main draw. Little did we know Biscuit hated longhorn steers up close!!!
The drive over took us through the bottom counties of Kansas and across beautiful pasture land. Due to the wet year here with twice the normal rainfall, the trees, grasses, even ditches with wildflowers were still lush and green in September. Once across the Oklahoma line, the farms became ranches. The people of Dewey were farmers and ranchers. One man in town wore a gun belt with bullets loaded across his butt like the Long Ranger. His gun was for real, but he dressed in khakis and plaid summer shirt. The Old West still lives here, one way or another.
Because it was Western Days, many people were dressed in 1890 attire. The museums were free with pony rides, craft vendors and music groups performing. The Dewey Hotel was built in what was an open field in 1897. It is huge and it was interesting to see, but so many people made the place feel crushing. Same for the Tom Mix Museum.
Tom Mix was the original King of the Cowboys. He was a handsome man and made almost 300 films, most of those were silent movies. Born in Pennsylvania he ended up wrangling and working on ranches in the Dewey area. He had five wives in his lifetime. I would have enjoyed the museum on an ordinary day, but too many people and book vendors in several areas made seeing the displays difficult. I do not remember Tom Mix myself, but I do know who he was.
These are some of the Western gloves Tom Mix wore.
A couple took to dancing to a favorite song played by a band.
This Rooster Cogburn character stopped me dead in my tracks! Since my grandpa looked like John Wayne, I had a moment of confusion about whether I was seeing Grandpa, John Wayne, or the real Rooster Cogburn!!!
The western parade and longhorn cattle drive was in the afternoon. Dewey is a small town so the parade was only about three blocks long. Since it was a western parade there were no bands and majorettes but saddle clubs, rope acts, trick horses, and the star of the show, longhorns. I’ll admit being nervous standing so close to those long, curved horns that could be used as weapons. But the cattle were mild natured of sorts, driving through town like they were supposed to do. It was thrilling in its own way and I will relive seeing those longhorns in any free time I find this coming week.