Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blood and Thunder

Placerville, California aka Old Hangtown
Outside of blood & thunder novels and periodicals, the Wild West is about put out to pasture.  Long Horn cattle are a vanishing breed and more and more the Angus and Herefords cross the country by rail; Annie Oakley’s fixin’ to retire, ol’ Bill Cody’s lookin’ mighty hoary, and even the Earp’s have cashed in their chips! You’d barely recognize ol’ Hangtown. One by one the old hitching posts are vanishing along Main Street, and just the other day I drove from upper town through lower town and never once saw hide nor hair of a horse! Placerville’s old landmarks are fast disappearing, and palatial cinderblock atrocities rise up like the phoenix from their ash.  Progress beckons like a siren in the night, and ol’ Hangtown answers spellbound to the call.  The boon of electricity has illuminated our little metropolis, and steeds & buggies are fast replaced by Fords.
   Despite the growth and conveniences, I prefer to recall her as she appeared in the undignified days of her misspent youth, back in ’49.  In my mind’s eye, she still exudes the uncivil scent of sawdust floors and canvas; the rustic, rough sawn facades glow hospitably in the crimson shades of long spent sunsets, and rows of tents glow pleasantly, flickering with myriad lamps. “Obie’s Quest”

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