Thursday, September 06, 2007

Celebrating a massacred man

Last weekend the family and I stumbled upon a small town celebration a few towns north of us that rated equally high points on both my quainto and bizarro meters.

Apparently the town was named for a tough Irish wagonmaster and trader of old, who was rubbed out with extreme prejudice back in 1874.

Seems he and his fellow teamsters were hoofing a load of good across the prairie when they were attacked by a band of Indians. The fella who the town was named for was apparently shot, tied to his wagon wheel and burned alive.

Well, this proud little town has a soiree every year celebrating the legacy of the wheel roasted hombre, complete with a parade, quilt show, fair type activities, pie contest, an open rodeo and what they call a "hometown hootenany."

Capping the celebration is what is termed as an "authentic recreation of the massacre."

That's right. They recreate the bloody event, live, for all to watch in wide eyed wonder.

The mystery and conflicting historical reports surrounding the massacre only add to the interest of the town and event, as far as I'm concerned. Were he and his party killed by renegade Indians or by White thieves looking to capitalize on the Native unrest in the area?

Custer Battlefied National Monument could learn a thing or two about self-promotion from these small town folk.

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