Saturday, November 19, 2011

Western writer inspiration, no. 12

Here is this week's omnibus of #westernwriter inspirations posted each day at twitter [click to enlarge]. If you are on twitter, you can follow me @rdscheer.

Canteen, Fort Keogh, Montana, c1892
Gold miners, near Leadville, Colorado, c1895
Fairbank, Arizona, c1890
Glacier Point, Yosemite, California, 1898
Hayden's Ferry over Salt River, near Tempe, Arizona, c1900
Canyon of Rio Las Animas, Colorado, 1899
Sunset glow on Mt. Tamalpais, California, 1896, William Keith (1838-1911)

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Coming up: Gary Cooper in The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926)


  1. One of the things that always gets me about the saloon scenes of the old west is how dirty everyone was. Course, come to think of it, bar scenes today have some dirty folks in them too.

  2. I've noticed the dirt also and I imagine that most cowboys did not get a chance to take a bath that often. Maybe they might get wet riding through a stream or take a bath in town on payday once a month. I doubt if they really cared much about shaving and washing.

    Even the soldiers in this photo probably did not wash that often. Being retired I've cut down on shaving to once a week. I still shower each morning to get my back loose and wake me up. Not too many chances to shower in the old west however.

  3. Those miners look like they just hit the mother lode. The Salt River has looked like that a couple of times after heavy rains since I settled here.

  4. There's a railroad trestle over the river, but the buggies must you a ferry... Keith's picture made me think "Hudson River School" and after checking up on him, I found that's where he started as an artist.

  5. I was tempted some years ago, to forgo the pleasure of washing, shaving etc. Not only was the effort worth while, it was invigorating! I took my idea from an old photo, of the Gunfighter, Ben Thompson, late of Yorkshire England. He wore shirt a tie, but for some reason, he always looked "dishevelled". I lasted one week, it was my wife at the time who finally railed against my efforts!

    However, some months later, while climbing in Chamonix France, I didnt wash for the whole of that week, neither did my to compadre`s! It wasnt until we entered a local bar, after a particularly good climb, that we noticed! Well not us, more the staff and customers! So I suppose if everyone in the West didnt wash that often, then I guess no one would notice!

  6. Charles, that lack of women customers in saloons probably had something to do with it.

    Walker, men in the old west would have not just smelled of sweat - the pretty universal addiction to tobacco and the proximity to cows, horses, and manure may will have produced a heady mix.

    Oscar, seems like you seldom see old photos like this with people actually mugging for the camera.

    Sage, I had the same thought; thanks for looking him up.

    Cheyenne, a concentrated whiff of oneself can be startling for sure.

  7. I think a horse opera titled DIRT is worth considering.

    I'm also reminded of the cook in MONTE WALSH. Film version, that is.

  8. The miners having a chuckle made me crack a grin.