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We're back in the saddle again.

The Chisholm Trail ended in many of the famous towns in that not so long ago Wild West as the railhead moved around a bit. The snake of commerce grows many heads. It strikes, retreats, and recoils regardless sometimes of how and where a man in hat may toil.

The Long Ride Ends Where?

Rawhide and Rowdy on TV

As Rawhide and a young Clint reminds us the black and white world in times of trouble and opportunity can be filled with Rowdy men and boys who seek to become men. The cattle Trail, that was really many, ended finally in one of the roughest, toughest towns of all - Dodge City, Kansas.

Enter Our Character Stage Right

He’s only one amongst a group of rowdy, bawdy and raucous men. Some are bands of brothers some are not. He’s the quiet and purposed one perhaps. We all remember or have heard of Gunsmoke and “Marshal Dillon”. Can you say that with a limp?


Some say Wyatt Earp is the model for James Arness’ Matt Dillon – maybe, maybe not. Wyatt had ever-present brothers and our Mr. Dillon you may recall did not. Wyatt, his brothers, and the Doc did not stay in Dodge City all that long in any case. Perhaps they were herded out of town by their mutual friends to Tombstone, AZ. Perhaps they simply sought their own opportunities - their own day of destiny at the OK Corral. Sepia shaded photographs and many western films attest that is wasn’t the first shared gunfight for the Earp brothers and their friends anyway.

The marshal that actually did clean up Dodge City; who really did own a bar or two; who also never drank; and who no longer had a brother to watch his back was someone else altogether.

A friend and famous Bat in the hat said, “He was the handsomest man on earth.”

Bat Masterson in NY

Now that’s the thing for a leading actor to aspire to, isn’t it? Who was that guy?

Serve the Queen of Hearts or Mother Earth

His lost love returns and a dangerous life must calm down to do the right thing. Even local heroes may in part retire to raise children, cows, and horses. This makes some measure of horse sense if you’ve pretty much spent your life until now with horseflesh between your knees and a rifle across them. To adopt another’s wedded and quickly widowed wife and baby boy simply cries out like a cowboy song for a more peaceful pursuit than rousting bad guys from the bar and bawdy house in the day and night.

Life on the range may be noble, but the ranch life is truly hard scrabble. Every hero discovers that while Peace is something to be pursued, it cannot be cheaply purchased. The boy dies young as children do. The Indians come to raid. He's not there to save the day. The braves burn down all he owns while he’s off elsewhere tending to other cattle and perhaps marshal matters. His wife and kids are plucked from the snare of death by of the quick actions of a loyal friend. They escape with only the clothes on their backs. There are always things heroes cannot control.

It’s back to marshaling to pay the bills and rebuild a home and ranch all from raw dirt again. If war is cruel, the weather can be meaner creature herself. After five years of toil the infamous Great Blizzard of ’86-88 kills all the stock. He and many others are done with ranching there or anywhere for a while. Starting over becomes the only what to do.
Do the Fates pursue the hero as screaming Banshees in the frozen wind?
Who was that guy?

The Towns Lay Out Across the Dusty Plains

There’s more land and a new Territory ready for the steading. Someday soon this land will become a state. Meanwhile that earth is in a painful and almost breached labor.  At starting line trouble is a brewing before the rush to land is on. The promise of Free brings many folks - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as it were from everywhere else to here. They come wanted or not and in numbers that overwhelm all the meaningful supply. Want and painful needs leads quickly to riot and to ruin.

Indian Territories

To keep order the few must be a tad inventive in the skilled application of civil justice. The unruly mobs in border towns are pacified by horse-drawn chained logs and a man who rides tall in the saddle down the middle of the street. He holds a silent shotgun and a long reputation. Maybe that paid a little - maybe not. He’s going that way anyway and his own family is in danger.
It’s plain to see the thing needs doing.
Who was that man?

Meanwhile here in AutoCAD Civil 3D land its important to remember that we can invest a lot of time and energy building and rebuilding what we'll never get to use. It's really easy to get buried in the blizzard of our own past detail and the personal investment. This is emotional. It's not always really rational. Put down the shovel.

InstantOn Basic makes AutoCAD Civil 3D Run so you can focus on the civil engineering and surveying. That is what we get paid for. See how InstantOn Basic and the rest of The Jump Platform solutions do that here.

Links to all the Man is the Straw Hat posts

Who is That Guy in the Straw Hat?

The Ballad Begins Again

Eagles Sing Reprises

Desperado Come to Your Senses

A Whisper in the Wind

Expectations of Deliverance

On the Night in Question