Tuesday, August 30, 2016

OK Corral Gunfight -- The Tombstone Nugget, October 27th, 1881

Ever wonder if there was media bias in the news back in the Old West?

Before The Tombstone Nugget burned down in 1882, that paper was said to have sided with the Clantons and the McLaurys, pro-Cow Boys, while The Tombstone Epitaph was said to be pro-Earps and Clum.  

Here is how the The Tombstone Nugget covered the gunfight near the OK Corral compared to how The Tombstone Epitaph covered it. If you read both, you will be surprised that they were both covering the same shooting and how they came up with two different views of what took place. 

The Tombstone Nugget, October 27th, 1881:

A Desperate Street Fight

Marshal Virgil Earp, Morgan and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday Meet the Cowboys - Three Men Killed and Two Wounded, One Seriously - Origins of the Trouble and its Tragic Termination.

The 26th of October, 1881, will always be marked as one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone, a day when blood flowed as water, and human life was held as a shuttlecock, a day always to be remembered as witnessing the bloodiest and deadliest street fight that has ever occurred in this place, or probably in the Territory.

The origin of the trouble dates back to the first arrest of Stilwell and Spencer for the robbery of the Bisbee stage. The co-operation of the Earps and the Sheriff and his deputies in the arrest caused a number of cowboys to, it is said, threaten the lives of all interested in the capture. Still, nothing occured to indicate that any such threats would be carried into execution.

But Tuesday night Ike Clanton and Doc Holliday had some difficulty in the Alhambra saloon. Hard words passed between them, and when they parted it was generally understood that the feeling between the two men was that of intense hatred. 

Yesterday morning Clanton came on the street armed with a rifle and revolver, but was almost immediately arrested by Marshal Earp, dismissed and fined by Justice Wallace for carrying concealed weapons. While in the Court room Wyatt Earp told him that as he had made threats against his life he wanted him to make his fight, to say how, when and where he would fight, and to get his crowd, and he (Wyatt) would be on hand.

In reply, Clanton said: “Four feet of ground is enough for me to fight on, and I’ll be there.” A short time after this William Clanton and Frank McLowry [sic] came into town, and as Thomas McLowry was already here the feeling soon became general that a fight would ensue before the day was over, and crowds of expectant men stood on the corner of Allen and Fourth streets awaiting the coming conflict.

It was now about two o’clock, and at this time Sheriff Behan appeared upon the scene and told Marshal Earp that if he disarmed his posse, composed of Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday, he would go down to the O.K. Corral where Ike and James [sic] Clanton and Frank and Tom McLowry were and disarm them. The Marshal did not desire to do this until assured that there was no danger of attack from the other party.

The Sheriff went to the corral and told the cowboys that they must put their arms away and not have any trouble. Ike Clanton and Tom McLowry said they were not armed, and Frank McLowry said he would not lay his aside. 

In the meantime the Marshal had concluded to go and, if possible, end the matter by disarming them, and as he and his posse came down Fremont Street towards the corral, the Sheriff stepped out and said: “HOld up boys, don’t go down there or there will be trouble: I have been down there to disarm them.” 

But they passes on, and when within a few feet of the the Marshal said to the Clantons and McLowrys: “Throw up your hands boys, I intend to disarm you.”

As he spoke, Frank McLowry made a motion to draw his revolver, when Wyatt Earp pulled his and shot him, the ball striking on the right side of his abdomen. About the same time Doc Holliday shot Tom McLowry in the right side using a short shotgun, such as is carried by Wells-Fargo & Co.’s messengers.

IN the meantime Billy Clanton had shot at Morgan Earp, the ball passing through the point of the left shoulder blade across the back, just grazing the backbone and coming out at the shoulder, the ball remaining inside his shirt. He fell to the ground but in an instant gathered himself, and raising in a sitting position fired at Frank McLowry as he crossed Freemont Street, and at the same instant Doc Holliday shot at him, both balls taking effect either of which would have proved fatal, as one struck him in the right temple and the other in the left breast. 

As he started across the street, however, he pulled his gun down on Holliday saying, “I’ve got you now.” “Blaze away! You’re a daisy if you have, ” replied Doc. This shot of McLowry’s passed through Holliday’s pistol pocket, just grazing the skin.

While this was going on Billy Clanton had shot Virgil Earp in the right leg, the ball passing through the calf, inflicting a severe flesh wound. In turn he had been shot by Morgan Earp in the right wrist and once in the left breast. Soon after the shooting commenced Ike Clanton ran through the O.K. Corral, across Allen Street into Kellogg’s saloon and thence into Toughnut street where he was arrested and taken to the county jail.

The firing altogether didn’t occupy more than twenty-five seconds, during which time fully thirty shots wree fired. After the fight was over Billy Clanton, who, with wonderful vitality, survived his wounds for fully an hour, was carried by the editor and foreman of the Nugget into a house near where he lay, and everything possible was done to make his last moments easy. He was “game” to the last, never uttering a word of complaint, and just before breathing his last he said, “Goodbye boys; go away and let me die.” The wounded were taken to their houses, and at three o’clock next morning were resting comfortably.

The dead bodies were taken in charge by the Coroner, and an inquest will be held upon them at 10 o’clock today. Upon the person of Thomas McLowry was found between $300 and $400 and checks and certificates of deposit to the amount of nearly $3,000.

During the shooting Sheriff Behan was standing nearby commanding the contestants to cease firing but was powerless to prevent it. Several parties who were in the vicinity of the shooting had “narrow escapes” from being shot. One man who had lately arrived from the east had a ball pass through his pants. He left for home this morning. 

A person called “the Kid” who shot Hicks at Charleston recently, was also grazed by a ball. When the Vizina [mine] whistle gave the signal that there was a conflict between the officers and cowboys, the mines on the hill shut down and the miners were brought to the surface. 

From the Contention mine a number of men, fully armed, were sent to town on a four-horse carriage. At the request of the Sheriff the “Vigilantes,” or Committee of Safety, wre called from the streets by a few sharp toots from the Vizina’s whistle. During the early part of the evening there was a rumor that a mob would attempt to take Ike Clanton frm the jail and lynch him, and to prevent any such unlawful proceedings a strong guard of deputtes [sic] was placed around that building and will be so continued until all danger is past.

At 8 o’clock last evening Finn Clanton, a brother of Billy and Ike, came to town, and placing himself under the guard of the Sheriff, visited the morgue to see the remains of his brother, and then passed the night in jail in company with the other.


Shortly after the shooting ceased the whistle at the Vizina mine sounded a few short toots, and almost simultaneously a large number of citizens appeared on the streets armed with rifles and a belt of cartridges around their waists. These men formed in line and offered their services to the peace officers to preserve order in case any attempt at disturbance was made, or any interference offered to the authorities of the law. However, no hostile move was made by anyone, and the quiet and order was fully restored, and in a short time the excitement died away.


The bodies of the three slain cowboys lay side by side, covered with a sheet. Very little blood appeared on their clothing, and only on the face of young Billy Clanton was there any distortion of the features or evidence of pain in dying. The features of the two McLowry boys looked as calm and placid in death as if they had died peaceably, surrounded by loving friends and sorrowing relatives. 

No unkind remarks were made by anyone, but feeling of unusual sorrow seemed to prevail at the sad occurrence. Of the two McLowry brothers we could learn nothing of their previous history before coming to Arizona. The two brothers owned quite an extensive ranch on the lower San Pedro, some seventy or eighty miles from this city, to which they had removed their band of cattle since the recent Mexican and Indian troubles. They did not bear the reputation of being of a quarrelsome disposition, but were known as fighting men, and have generally conducted themselves in a quiet and orderly manner when in Tombstone.

-- end of article.

Editor's Note:

The Tombstone Nugget was published from 1880 to 1882. It ceased to exist after it burned down.

I find it pretty interesting just how The Tombstone Nugget covered the gunfight versus how The Tombstone Epitaph covered it. It seems that they came up with two different views of what took place -- just proving that media bias is nothing new in the news business.

Tom Correa 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Murder of Caldwell City Marshal George Brown 1882 -- Part Two

Here is Part Two on the murder of Caldwell Kansas City Marshal George S Brown on June 26, 1882.

We pick up the story from Part One shortly after Marshal Brown's death when the Sumner County Sheriff, which the town of Caldwell is situated, wrote the governor of Kansas and asked that he offer a reward for the capture of the Green brothers.

This is the letter to the governor:

Office of J. M. Thralls
Sheriff Sumner County.


On the 22" day of March [June] 1882 the City Marshal at Caldwell George Brown was killed -- by one of two men giving their names as Jeff and Steve Green "Cow boys" The circumstances are about these -- Brown went up to one of them & asked him for his revolver he said he did not have any -- When Brown and an assistant took hold of him he jerked loose and shot Brown through the head killing him instantly -- Now are you not authorized to offer a reward of $500 apiece for their arrest and delivery to the Sheriff of Sumner Co We are having so much of this kind of work it does seem as tho the State should offer a good reward for some of these "Texas killers" and outlaws -- This is the fourth murder within the last year at Caldwell and Hunnewell and no reward offered by State for any of them --

Yours truly J M THRALLS
Please answer

Within days Gov. John P. St. John responded with this proclamation:

$1000 REWARD!

WHEREAS, "JEFF. GREEN AND STEVE. GREEN" stand charged with the murder of George Brown, City Marshal of the City of Caldwell, in Sumner County, Kansas, on or about the 22nd day of March [June], 1882, and are now at large and fugitives from justice:

Now THEREFORE, I, JOHN P. ST. JOHN, Governor of the State of Kansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by law, do hereby offer a reward of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS each, for the arrest and conviction of the said Jeff. Green and Steve. Green of the crime above stated.

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and '. [L. S.] affixed the Great Seal of the State, at Topeka, the day and year first above written.

By the Governor:
Secretary of State.

The shooting of George Brown prompted at least one out of town newspaper Wellington's Sumner County Press which decided to publicly censure Caldwell's city officers.

Yes, on June 29th, 1882, Wellington's Sumner County Press claimed that all of Caldwell's troubles were caused by men who had been "fired to evil by bad whiskey and prostitute women, both of which were placed within their reach only by means of flagrant violations of the laws of the state, through and by the sanction of the city governments of Caldwell and Hunnewell ...."

Those charges were not taken lightly by the Caldwell Post which answered in its issue of July 6th, 1882, which stated: 


Under the above caption the Sumner County Press, of last week, proceeds to read the citizens of Sumner county, and officers of Caldwell and Hunnewell a lecture on morality and immorality. The editor states what he is pleased to call facts, what in reality is a string of falsehoods or mistakes. In the first place, he says there has been forty murders committed in Sumner county in the last ten years, all traceable to whisky and lewd women, and that only three of the murderers have been brought to justice, namely, Jackson, Chastain and Carter.

In the three cases above, the city of Caldwell had nothing whatever, to do. Jackson killed his man for money-was tried, convicted and allowed by his guards to escape them while they were playing cards. The guards were leading citizens of Wellington, and were not drinking whisky at the time.

If we remember right, the citizens of Wellington murdered three or four men in an early day, that was not decidedly traceable to mean whisky. A murder was committed in London township, and the murderer was tried and not convicted. The murder was not committed while either of the men was under the influence of whisky nor prostitutes.

The murder of two men in the early days of Caldwell was not traceable to either whisky or prostitution. One was hanged by the citizens for his cursedness, and the other was committed by an outlaw just for the fun of the thing, who was chased by the citizens and killed.

George Flat was killed to satisfy a grudge. Frank Hunt was killed for the same reason and not on account of either women or whisky.

George Spear was shot by citizens or officers while assisting the Talbot gang to escape.

Talbot shot Mike Meagher in a riot, not caused by whisky or women, but from a supposed insult. He was an outlaw, and the officers nor citizens were not responsible for his actions no more than the city of Wellington. He was killed in Texas about two weeks ago.

George Brown was shot in the discharge of his duties. The men who did the killing were not under the influence of whisky or lewd women. One of them had taken two drinks and the other had not taken any. They were outlaws and would have made the same play had they been anywhere else in the State. They would give up their arms only after they were past using them.

The Press' fine-spun theory in the above named cases is decidedly at variation with the truth.

George Woods was killed by a man who had not touched whisky in two years, and was the outgrowth of a feud and supposed insult, but was, we are willing to admit, brought about through prostitutes.

Rare cussedness has been the cause of nine-tenths of the murders committed in the county, and not whisky and public sentiment, as the Press would have one believe. The city authorities are no more responsible for the murders that are committed in Caldwell, than is the President of the United States, and it is a base slander for any one to make such a statement.

-- end of article.

On July 13th,1882. The Caldwell Commercial reported that Sumner County Sheriff Joseph Thralls, who was instrumental in having a state reward offered for Jesse and Steve Green, added $400 to the amount.

And yes, believe it or not, out-of-town newspapers were still taking pot shots at the town of Caldwell even into November. And yes, once again the Caldwell Post defended the town's honor in its issue of November 9th, 1882, which stated:


The cowboys have removed five city marshals of Caldwell in five years. -- Dodge City Times.

We most emphatically deny the charge made by the Times that the cowboys removed five city marshals. The fact is, the cowboys have "removed" but one city marshal, and that one was George Brown.

His murd[er]ers were escaped convicts from the Texas penitentiary, and were only making the profession of herding cattle a cover to their outlawry and cattle and horse-stealing operations.

Jim Talbot killed Mike Meagher, assisted by cowboys, some of them being in a row of that class for the first time. Mr. Meagher was not a city marshal at the time of his death, nor was his murderer a cowboy at that time.

The other marshals spoken of by the Times were not killed by cowboys, but by male prostitutes, to put it mildly.

It looks to us as though the charge contained in the item quoted from the Times comes with very bad grace from a man whose entire support-bread and butter, as it were-comes from men whose chief patrons are cowmen.

The cowboys of our acquaintance are not the class of men that commit murders and raise riots simply because they can. They are, as a majority, well-educated, peaceable and gentlemanly fellows.

The day of the wild and woolly cowboy is past, in this section, at least, if it is not in such ungodly towns as Dodge City. If the Dodge City editors would visit us once, and see what kind of people live here, we think they would not be so rash in their assertions.

-- end of article.

On November 7, 1882, Sumner County Sheriff Thralls reported the deaths of the Green brothers to the governor.

Below is his letter informing the governor of what took place:

Office of J. M. Thralls Sheriff Sumner County.

WELLINGTON, KAN., Nov 7" 1882


You doubtless remember having offered a reward about July 1st for the arrest and conviction of the murderers of City Marshal George Brown of Caldwell- I had issued cards describing them as minutely as possible and sent them to every P. O. in the I. T.- N. M.- Colorado- and the western half of Texas- besides getting them into the hands of all Officers possible-

The result was the Officials of Wise County Texas- got after them had a fight with them- on Monday Oct 9"/82 when they whipped the constables' -posse- and escaped with one of them carrying a Winchester ball in his right side-which disabled him from traveling much.

They were again overtaken on the following Wednesday morning- When asked to surrender they replied with a Shot gun and Revolver- The posse replied killing one instantly- and hitting the other 12 times- 2 Winchester balls and 10 Buck Shot- entered his body- but did not disable him so badly but what we could bring Trim to this County, his right side was paralyzed so he could not handle himself- We have had him in our Jail since- until today- last Saturday he was taken suddenly ill and became unconscious all at once and died Sunday morning.

The Post mortem examination showed that our Buck Shot, of small size, entered his forehead- and passed through the lower part of his brain- and stopped near the back part of head- Then had puss formed along the course, of the ball- which caused his death.

That ends the course of the two murderers of George Brown- Now what is necessary for us to do to get the State reward- which goes to their captors in Texas- We can give you several affidavits of his own admission to killing Brown.

The one that died in our Jail is the one who fired the fatal shot while the other, his bro -- was present and assisted by keeping off Brown's Deputy -- and came near shooting him -- He told the boys in Jail (5 of them) the circumstance of their flight after the murder --

If you will indicate in what way we can get the State reward -- I think we can fully satisfy you as to their identity and guilt -- If you will appoint some attorney -- in this section of the country we will furnish him the witnesses- as to Identity and guilt, or any attorney from any where so it is not too Expensive to us.

We are asking this for the Texas Officers who have done good work in the case -- And what was dangerous work, in good faith, and at some expense, now I would like to see them rewarded to make our part of the contract good

Hoping to hear from you soon I remain
Yours Respectfully,

Editor's Note:

If you noticed, Caldwell City Marshal George S. Brown was murdered by the Green brothers in June, and by November both of the badmen were dead. It just proves that people did everything possible to catch the culprits when a lawman was shot back then. While it's true that lenient sentencing existed even back then, they did not rest until they found those responsible for such killings.

As for the murder of Marshal George Brown, though this is a little known killing of a law enforcement officer of the times -- it certainly illustrates how swift justice was when such a horrible thing took place back then.

Horrific as an murder is of course, it was considered doubly significant to the people of that time because their was a special significance when a badman killed a lawman.

It is of special significant because people back then understood that if someone has no respect for the law to that extent, then he or she has no respect for anything at all. People back then understood that if a badman was willing to kill a lawman, then he would have no hesitation when it came to killing anyone else.

Frankly, people today should understand the same thing about anyone who kills a law enforcement officer. We should all understand what people knew so many years ago: That sort of uncivilized behavior translates to them being as rabid as the most rabid dog. And that, well that puts them in need of a bullet or rope from the nearest tree.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Murder of Caldwell City Marshal George Brown 1882 -- Part One

Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City Kansas between 1870 and 1885
In the archives of the Kansas Historical Society, you can find evidence of the real West in the newspapers which have been preserved there.

The Caldwell Commercial, June 29th, 1882:



About half past nine o'clock on Thursday morning of last week, the city was alarmed by the report that Geo. Brown, our city Marshal had been shot dead at the Red Light. Proceeding up street, we learned that the killing, had occurred but a few moments before and that the parties engaged in it had barely rode past the COMMERCIAL office which is located on the lower part of Main street, on their way to the Territory, the refuge for every fiend who perpetrates a crime upon the southern border of Kansas.

On going to the Red Light, we found the body of George Brown at the head of the stairs, his face covered with a clot of blood and his brains spattered on the wall and floor of the building, while the gore dripped through the floor to the rooms below.

Dr. Hume had been called in and was engaged in washing off the blood in order to ascertain the nature of the wound which had caused Brown's death.

It is useless to give the various stories told as to how the murder occurred, and we shall only state the facts as made up from the statements of different parties.

Shortly after 8 o'clock in the morning, three men, two of them brothers going by the name of Steve and Jess. Green, and another whose name has not been ascertained so far, went to the Red Light. Brown at the time was on main street, engaged in obtaining signatures to a couple of petitions in reference to voting bonds.

Some one informed him (as near as can be ascertained) that a man had gone down there armed, and Brown requested Constable [Willis] Metcalf to go down with him, as he (Brown) did not want to go alone.

Arriving at the Red Light Brown and Metcalf proceeded up stairs, the former in the lead. On reaching the top of the stairs they found three men one of whom had a pistol in his hand. Brown laid his hand on the man with the pistol and told him to give it up.

The latter replied "let go of me," when Brown grasped hold of the fellow's arm and pressed it against the wall. Meantime another man grasped Metcalf by the throat and backed him up into the corner, at the same time telling him to hold up his hands, the order being enforced by another who held a pistol at his head.

Just then another man jumped out of a room across the stairway and to the right of where Brown and the man he was holding stood, and called out "Turn him loose."

This seems to have attracted Brown's attention momentarily, but that moment was most fatal to him, for the man whom he held turned his wrist and fired, the ball from the weapon crashing through the Marshal's head, and he fell to the floor dead, without a struggle or a groan.

The man who shot Brown and the other who held Metcalf then ran down stairs, while the fellow who had drawn on Metcalf guarded the retreat.

The two former proceeded on up Fifth street to the alley in the rear of the Opera House, followed the alley to a passage between the buildings fronting on Main street, went through the passage, down Main street to the front of the Hardesty corner, where they mounted their horses and rode on down the street toward the Territory.

Fully ten minutes transpired before it was known that Brown had been shot, but as soon as the fact was ascertained and that his murderer had escaped, several citizens mounted their horses and started in pursuit.

It is needless to detail the operations of the pursuing parties. Suffice it to say that J. W. Dobson, who was among them ascertained that on reaching Bluff creek the murderers turned down the stream, crossed over Wm. Morris' farm, thence north across the creek and through E. H. Beal's place thence down the line to a point east of Cozad's place, where they turned into the bottoms of Bluff creek and probably remained there until towards evening.

When the pursuing party started out nothing was known or could be ascertained as to who the two men were, or whose herd they belonged to, although, as subsequent investigation showed, one or more persons knew all about them, but refused to give any information, fearing, perhaps, they might loose six bits worth of trade if they "gave away" a cowboy, no matter what crime he might commit.

But it was learned before noon that the men belonged to Ellison's outfit, camped on Deer creek, and that of the others who were with them at the time of the murder, one was McGee, the boss of the herd, and the other two were herders.

No effort seems to have been made to take in the Greens in case they went to camp, which they did about 6 o'clock, obtained fresh horses and ammunition, and then started off in a southeasterly direction.

Up to the present writing the men have not been captured, and if any efforts have been put forth in that direction, the fact is kept a profound secret.

Geo. Brown, the murdered officer, was a young man about 28 years of age. He has resided in this city about two years, and has borne a good character. There was nothing of the bully or the braggart about him, but in the discharge of his duties he was quiet and courageous.

It is not known that he had an enemy, therefore his murder would seem to be an act of pure fiendishness, perpetrated solely from a desire to take human life.

Of the Greens, Steve and Jess., we are informed that they are brothers, French Canadians by birth, and came originally from the vicinity of Collingwood, Ontario. They have been employed as herders for several years, and have visited Caldwell every season for the last three years.

McGee, Ellison's foreman, says they came to the herd, and were employed by him, on the trail south of Red River; that they were desperate men, who did not seem to care for danger, but rather coveted it, but that they were good hands, doing their work faithfully and well.

It is probable that they are outlaws, all the time ,fearing arrest, and constantly on the alert to prevent being taken alive. If not taken or killed for their last crime, it is only a question of time when they will yield up their lives in much the same manner in which they have taken the lives of others besides George Brown.

George Brown was a single man, resided on Fifth street, east of Main, his sister, Miss Fannie Brown, keeping house for him. When the terrible news was brought to her that her brother, her supporter and protector, had been cruelly shot down within a stone throw of his own door, the poor girl could not realize it at first, but when the truth forced itself upon her mind, she gave way to the most heart rending screams.

Kind and sympathetic friends did everything in their power to solace her, but notwithstanding all their efforts it was feared at one time that she would not be able to survive the terrible blow. But nature, ever kind, came to her relief, and by Friday the intensity of her grief had given way to a calm resignation.

Word was telegraphed to their father at Junction City, but owing to railroad connections he did not arrive until Saturday. George was buried on Friday afternoon, the funeral being largely attended by our citizens. All the business houses in the city closing out of respect for the deceased during the funeral.

A coroner's jury was summoned by J. D. Kelly, Esq., and an inquest began on Thursday afternoon. The inquest was not concluded until Monday afternoon, when a verdict was rendered that the deceased came to his death from a gun shot wound at the hands of J. D. Green.


J.D. or Jess Green as he is called, is a man about five feet ten inches in height, strong built, weighed about 180 pounds; full, broad face, dark complexion; hair black, coarse and straight, mustache and imperial colored black, but naturally of a sun burnt color. Had on dark clothes, leggings, and new white felt hat with a leather band around the crown.

Steve Green is about five feet six or eight inches high, heavy built, coarse black hair, mustache and imperial dyed, broad face, very dark; dressed about the same as his brother, save that his hat was not new.

As stated above, the men are brothers, and from their appearance would be taken for Mexicans. When last heard from they were traveling west, evidently intending to make for New Mexico.

-- end of newspaper article.

According to The Caldwell Commercial police docket, which for 1882 begins with April, "Marshal Brown was required to perform his duties mostly upon drunks, gamblers, madams, and prostitutes. In his brief tour of duty no record was found that he encountered more serious crimes until he was shot and killed by cowboys on June 22nd "in a most gruesome manner."

Earlier on March 9th, 1882, the newspaper The Caldwell Commercial reported that George Brown had apparently accepted the "marshalship" ... "since Geo. Brown has been acting as City Marshall, $216 in cash have been collected for fines by the Police Court."

Yes, George Brown was hired in early March and murdered by June 26th. While the article above reported him as being 28 years of age, his headstone says he was 32.

What happened to him was really no different than what happens to many law enforcement officers today. There are a great number of them who are killed in the line of duty early in their careers. Yes, very young. And frankly, I find that very sad.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Knott's Berry Farm's "Ghost Town" Is Alive

Dear Friends,

I just read a 2015 article out of Southern California that talks about how Knott's Berry Farm has transformed its original "Ghost Town" attraction into the new "Ghost Town Alive" in celebration of its 75th Anniversary this year.

While Knott's Berry Farm located in Buena Park in the Los Angeles area, has had thrill rides and such for many many years, its first attraction was its Ghost Town which was originally created during the summer of 1941 before the opening days of World War II.

It was created by the park's original owner Walter Knott who was an Old West enthusiast. Back in 1941, Knott's Berry Farm was an actual working berry farm. It's main attraction at the time was his wife Cordelia Knott's fried chicken restaurant.

For me, the first time that I'd ever been to Knott's Berry Farm was in 1974 when I was stationed in Camp Pendleton as a young Marine. I found Knott's Berry Farm one of the greatest places to visit, especially if you were brought up as most of us were back then on television Western and John Wayne movies.

Going on "liberty" in our uniforms was a 50-50 proposition those days. Half the time we were treated like scum by most of the civilians in Southern California, especially the college kids who would harass us with their anti-military attitudes. The other half of the time people want us to simply leave and go back to the base.

That was not the case at Knott's Berry Farm. They loved us and we appreciated the sentiment. In fact, they had a Saloon that served Sarsaparilla. And yes, they had a pounding away on an old honky-tonk piano. When we Marines would first walk in, that piano player would switch over to the Marine Corps hymn and everyone would applaud. Between that sort of greeting and the cancan dancers, the Old West atmosphere, it was a great place. It was very family friendly.

Besides the blacksmith shop, the western wear store and tack shop, there was the John Wayne Theater. Walter Knott was good friends with John Wayne and loved that they shared the same personal values. 

When Knott's was looking for a name for his 2,150 seat Knott’s Berry Farm theater, he named it the John Wayne Theater. It is said that California Governor Ronald Reagan and John Wayne himself presided over the celebrity-filled opening ceremonies of the theater. They had great shows there -- all perfect for families to enjoy.

OK, so here's a bit of trivia for you. The bronze statue of John Wayne that once welcomed folks to the John Wayne Theater can now be found in front of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. Yes, that's where it came from.

As for cowboys and Old West enthusiasts, there were always the occasional cowboy or gold prospector roaming the streets of Ghost Town back then. It was always great to chew the fat with them. 

Today it's said to be just as much fun, especially at the park's town of Calico which has been populated with a cast of character actors who interact with guests in a sort of daylong improv show.

The new Knott's Berry Farm attraction is an immersive interactive experience for park-goers in "Ghost Town Alive." Yes, it's said to be the latest craze in theme park design. 

While I haven't been back since 1977, up until a few years ago, Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town had what was called "peek-ins." That's where a visitor wanting to look into a building would find mannequins inside depicting a scene. 

Yes, there were mannequins dressed up in period correct clothing to help visitors understand what life in the Old West looked like. It is something that many museums and other historic sites still do today. Usually they include prerecorded voices of people talking about what you may be looking at. 

That's not the way it is anymore. Today, it is said that everything is different. Today they actually put people into those buildings. So if you go into the sheriff's office, you can play poker with the sheriff in his office. You can have your gold weighed at the assayer office. You can go to Hop Wing Lee's Chinese Laundry and wash your clothes. You can go into barbershop and interact with a barber. 

Yes, it sounds a lot different from back in 1977 during my last visit when cowboys actually roamed the streets of Ghost Town -- but mannequins occupied many of the buildings. Now everything that was just something to look at, which was museum quality, has actually come alive in "Ghost Town Alive.".

So yes, now a guest is going to be connected and develop a relationship with all of the citizens in the town of Calico. That means talking and interacting with the mayor, the sheriff, the judge, the blacksmith, store clerks, bartenders, and all sorts of other characters. 

Of course while every Old West town had their scoundrels and their vermin, Calico has the Mayfield Gang.

You can be there when they come into town to start some trouble and just kind of stir things up. They're the kind of gang that you love to hate and hate to love. 

But of course, the law is on the side of the good and it's up to the sheriff, the judge, the mayor, and the townspeople to stand up to them. Which of course, as in the Old West, they did just that.

So what is the "Ghost town Alive"? It's where the guests are a part of that and they're helping solve the crime of the day while having a great deal of fun, And friends, it's really not about the characters and the actors that are in Ghost Town, the story is driven by the guests who interact with our characters. 

After reading about what's going on these days in Knott's Berry Farm, I'm thinking they are on the right track. If someone is interested in the Old West, they are going to want to be a part of what's going on there. 

Lastly, it should be noted that there's a huge difference between Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town and what other parks such as Star Wars or the Harry Potter parks have to offer. The difference is that Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town is recreating Old West life as it actually happened. 

And yes, even in a small way by getting a handlebar or walrus mustache "shave" at the Barbershop, or trying your luck at a game of cards with the sneaky Sheriff, or meeting an old prospector and his trusty burro "Brutus". And how about panning for gold, locking up bandits in the town's patty wagon, voting for the Mayor in the town election, drawing up hand-made wanted posters, visiting the Livery Stable to meet the friendly equestrian team of horses, riding a real Old West steam train, or learning how Blacksmith do their magic. 

So yes, it's a history lesson in and of itself. It's educational as well as fun. And frankly, if we want our children to like history and maybe become inspired to learn more about what took place in our nation's history -- make it fun and that will give them the desire to learn more.

There are generations now who know little to nothing about the Old West, I'm hoping this will help change that in making the Old West interesting and fun.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Monday, August 22, 2016

Galeyville and Curly Bill

William "Curly Bill" Brocius
By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer / Old West Historian

Galeyville was a short lived mining town founded in 1880 with a post office established on January 6th 1881 and discontinued on May 31st 1882.

The founder, John Galey, who was an oil man from Pennsylvania and the president of the Texas Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, struck silver on the site and had grand ideas of the area becoming the next big mother load silver strike and built a smelter on the site.

Galeyville was located approximately sixty miles Northeast of Tombstone, as the crow flies, and on the Eastern side of the Chiricahua Mountains. The small mining town boasted thirty various establishments plus eleven saloons.

With the silver mine running out of ore in about a year, the town of Galeyville would have completely died out except it had become the hangout for the cow-boy gang ran by Curly Bill Brocius with Johnny Ringo. Brocius became known as the "King of Galeyville" which no one disputed. 

The old mining town was the perfect location for the gang because the area was surrounded by canyons which was the perfect hiding place for stolen cattle to be kept out of site while the gang used running irons to alter the brands. Brands were not so heavily scrutinized then as they are today, and even the army bought stolen cattle from these outlaws through old man Clanton who was the actual leader and brains of the cow-boy organization.

While in Galeyville, one day Curly Bill almost met his fate with eternity at the hands of a new member of the gang by the name of Jim Wallace. Wallace claimed to have ridden with Billy The Kid during the Lincoln County War. 

Curly Bill had a loose relationship with the county sheriff, John Behan. Behan would send Billy Breakenridge to Galeyville to collect taxes and Brocius would help him collect the taxes by collecting from the locals who still lived there. 

When Wallace noticed Breakenridge, or "Breck" as he was known, wearing a badge, and him having a great dislike for lawmen, began to threaten Breck and pulled his gun. Curly Bill stepped in ordering Wallace to holster the gun and apologize to Breck while stating, "Breakenridge is our deputy and that suits us fine."

Afterwards the three men, Brocius, Wallace, and Breck, went to the nearest saloon and began to share a bottle of whiskey. Brocius, who became surly when drinking, pulled his gun and threatened to plug Wallace but other members of the gang intervened, avoiding a fight.

Wallace then stomped out of the saloon, went to the stable and retrieved his horse. He then rode up the street, dismounted, and waited for Curly Bill to exit the saloon. 

As Brocius came through the swinging doors, he spotted Wallace with his gun drawn and resting on the back of his horse. Brocius went for his gun but to no avail, Wallace fired and the bullet struck Brocius in the upper neck and exited through his jaw taking two teeth with it. 

At that moment, several gang members grabbed Wallace intending to string him up but when it was realized that Curly Bill would live they decided to let him go. Curly Bill Brocius spent a few weeks or so wearing a bandage tied around his head to keep the jaw in place and he healed up just fine.

Galeyville was completely shut down in 1888 with the buildings torn down and reassembled in Paradise just a short distance to the South. John Galey's smelter had already been relocated to Benson, Arizona by then, and the Galeyville site today is on private property with nothing left to speak of.

As we all know, Curly Bill was reported killed at Iron Springs which name has been changed to Mescal Springs. Actually at the time of this gun battle it was known as Burleigh Springs. 

There is speculation that Wyatt Earp did not kill Brocius at the springs and several statements made by the gang to this effect. Some say Brocius was not even at the springs but he was with his girl friend in Mexico at the time. 

Another theory, after being shot in Galeyville, he retired from the outlaw life and moved to Texas where he lived out the remainder of his years under the last name of Graham. Last but not least, some said the "cow-boy" gang came back, retrieved Curly Bills body and buried him in an unmarked grave.

The story written in The Tombstone Epitaph under the headline "The Battle of Burleigh Spring"on March 25th 1882 reads as such: 

Yesterday afternoon as the sun was descending low down western horizon, had a person been traveling on the Crystal or Lewis Spring road towards the Burleigh Spring, as our informant was, he would have seen one of the most desperate fights between the six men of the Earp party and nine fierce cowboys led by the daring and notorious Curly Bill, that ever took place between opposing forcers on Arizona soil. 

Burleigh Springs is about eight miles South of Tombstone and some four miles east of Charleston, near the mine of that name, and near the short road from Tombstone and Hereford. As our informant, who was traveling on horseback leisurely along toward the Burleigh, came to a slight elevation in the road about a half mile south thereof, he observed a party of six men ride down to the spring from the east, where they all dismounted. They had not much more than got well upon their feet when there rose up at a short distance away nine armed men who took deadly aim and fired simultaneously at the Earp party, for such the six men proved to be, Horrified at the sight that like a lightning stroke flashed upon his vision, he instinctively stopped and watched for what was to follow. 

Not a man went down under this murderous fire, but like a thunderbolt shot from the hand of Jove the six desperate men charged upon their assailants like the light brigade at Balaklava, and when within easy reach returned the fire under which one man went down never more to rise again. The remaining eight fled to the brush and regained their horses when they rode away towards Charleston as if the King of Terrors was at their heels in hot pursuit. 

The six men fired but one volley and from the close range it is supposed that several of the ambushed cowboys were seriously if not fatally wounded. The six men returned to their horses where one was found to be in the agony of death, he having received one of the leaden messengers intended for his rider. The party remained at the spring for some time refreshing themselves and their animals when they departed going southerly as if they were making for Sonora. 

After the road was clear our informant rode on and came upon the dead man, who, from the description given, was none other than Curly Bill, the man who killed Marshal White in the streets of Tombstone, one year ago last September. Since the above information was obtained it has been learned that friends of Curly Bill went out with a wagon and took the body back to Charleston where the whole affair has been kept a profound secret, so far as the general public is concerned. (March 25th 1882)

In Tombstone, The Nugget Newspaper, which sided with the cow-boy faction, offered a $1000.00 reward for Curly Bills Body as proof that Wyatt Earp had killed him. On the other side, The Tombstone Epitaph newspaper offered the same $1000.00 reward if someone could find Brocius alive. 

Nothing came from either offer and today the answer to this mystery depends on who you talk too. No one actually knows for positive if Wyatt Earp killed him or if he actually got away, but the opinions still run strong on both sides of this issue even to this day. 

Personally, I have to go along with the Epitaph story because it is the closest thing to the time period written about the battle. Does that make me right in this matter? I don't know.

About the Author: 

Terry McGahey is a writer and Old West historian.

This once working cowboy is best known for his fight against the City of Tombstone and their historic City Ordinance Number 9, America's most famous gun-control law.

He was instrumental in finally getting Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 repealed and having Tombstone fall in line with the state of Arizona.

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, please click:
The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter One)

Coffins Rise Up Out Of The Louisiana Soaked Earth

Below is a report by reporter Chris Pleasance with the DailyMail.com. He reported on August 18th, 2016:

Coffins are left high and dry while graves are filled with water in Louisiana as officials raise flood death toll to 13. As waters recede across Louisiana scale of devastation is laid bare.

Coffins lifted from their graves by water rising through the ground have been left scattered around cemeteries. Meanwhile tens of thousands of homes have been wrecked by torrent of muddy water flowing through them. 

Approximately 8,400 people remain in shelters while 16,000 are still without power. Death toll has been raised to 13 as workers get to badly flooded areas. 

The waters may be starting to recede in Louisiana, but it seems the disaster is far from over as residents are now faced with a monumental clean-up operation.

In heartbreaking scenes, coffins have been left high and dry across cemeteries after floating up from graves that have been filled with water in the downpour.

Officials also raised the official death toll to 13 and warn it could raise further as emergency crews probe areas previously cut off by the waters.

Coffins have been left scattered across graveyards as the floodwaters across Louisiana have started to recede, with residents facing a massive clean-up operation.

Much of Louisiana sits close to sea level, meaning water backs up quickly through the ground during heavy rains, filling the graves and causing coffins to float away.

Parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, have a history of burying people above ground in mausoleums to avoid floodwater damage, though this is not common everywhere.

The true scale of devastation across Louisiana is starting to be laid bare as floodwaters begin to ebb, though some places have been warned to expect more rain. The highest number of confirmed fatalities is in East Baton Rouge, close to where the rains began on Friday, where five people have so far been confirmed dead.

Because most of Louisiana sits close to sea level it means in heavy rains water backs up quickly through the ground, filling graves and causing coffins to float up. To combat this Louisiana has a history of burying the dead in overground mausoleums, though the practice is not common everywhere.

Hundreds of coffins were pictured floating through the streets of New Orleans and elsewhere after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Across the state more than 8,400 people are now in shelters, 40,000 homes have been damaged, and 30,000 people rescued in what the Red Cross has dubbed "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy."

Coffins pictured floating among floodwaters in the city of Sorrento yesterday will be left scattered around the graveyard now the waters are dropping. As well as repairing their homes, many Louisiana residents will also have to rebury their dead after historic rainfall across the state.

The scenes of coffins floating through the streets echoes images from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when similar devastation was wrought across New Orleans.

The Louisiana National Guard said it has so far distributed 32,000 ready-to-eat meals and 2,200 cots to survivors. For most residents the worst has now passed, but others have received fresh flood warnings as rain continues to fall across the state.

The National Weather Service said that while most of the rain will be "hit and miss," the problem is that it has nowhere to run off to. That is causing flash floods.

Ascension parish, which is further south from Baton Rouge and also one of the hardest hit areas, has been warned that further flooding could be on the cards. Parish officials said flood waters there were receding at a rate of one inch per hour in some places, while holding steady or still slightly rising in others.

THOUSANDS evacuated during historic Louisiana flooding

Now that the worst of the rainfall is over, residents of Sorrento are returning to their homes in order to salvage what they can before mold sets in.

Baron Leblanc (left) and George Snyder help to move a refrigerator from Snyder's flooded home in St Amant, just to the south of Baton Rouge where the rainfall was heaviest.

Elsie Lazarus weeps as she sits in her flooded living room in St Amant, one of the worst affected communities in the Louisiana flooding.

Lazarus is just one of an estimated 30,000 people who were evacuated during the flooding over the weekend as up to 30 inches of rain fell in some communities.

While the water is steadily flowing away from most communities in Louisiana, others have been told to expect showers and flash floods throughout today. 

Where the land had dried out, residents picked through what was left of their sodden homes and belongings, trying to salvage what they could before mold sets in. The Louisiana National Guard said it has so far distributed 32,000 ready-to-eat meals and 2,200 cots to survivors.

Electricity was slowly being restored. The number of customers without power was less than 16,000, down from a peak of 40,000. While many areas were drying out, the National Weather Service forecast that all waterways would not fall below flood stage until as late as Friday.

Megan Schexnayder and David McNeely sit on the porch of their home in Sorrento, to the south of Baton Rouge, as they attempt to defend it from flooding with sandbags.

Others attempted to retrieve supplies from a Shell gas station on board boats in Sorrento. Rescue workers say they have given out more than 30,000 emergency meals so far.

Gonzales, another town to the south of Baton Rouge, was also badly affected with cars submerged and residents having to navigate by boat.

Twenty-two of the state's 64 parishes, Louisiana's equivalent to counties, have been declared disaster areas, designations that free up federal disaster assistance. Almost the entirety of the state has seen at least a foot of rainfall since Friday, with some areas getting up to 30 inches.

Despite the extent of the flooding, President Barack Obama has announced he will not be cutting short a scheduled vacation to New England in order to visit victims.

The Advocate newspaper had called on Obama to travel to the state, saying his presence was long overdue but would be "better late than never".

Aerial images show the true extent of the devastation in Baton Rouge, with at least five people perishing in East Baton Rouge Parish, with 13 dead overall.

Denham Springs, a community to the east of Baton Rouge, was also very badly affected by the flooding with homes and streets submerged

'The saddest eyes I ever seen': Trapped dog rescued from devastating Louisiana floods before she drowned

A Good Samaritan who helped rescue people in the deadly flooding of Louisiana is earning praise for saving a dog just before she drowned.

Josh Pettit wrote on Facebook that he was in his boat skimming over several feet of water on Monday after flash flooding when he spotted a "bush shaking". He said he looked over and all he saw was a gray muzzle and a pair of frightened eyes staring up at him, the rest of the dog submerged underneath the waters.

"The dog could barely tread water anymore she was so worn out and had the saddest eyes I ever seen so scared for her life! We saved her and she came laid her head on my lap and cried and moaned like a big baby! She was thanking me. I thank God for letting me notice her," Pettit posted on Love What Matters' Facebook wall.

Sadie the dog looked like she had very limited time left when Josh Pettit came by on his boat and happened to see her.

Sadie on Pettit's boat. The kind-hearted rescuer said "she cried and moaned like a big baby when she was rescued."

-- end of DailyMail.com article.

And where has President Obama been during this emergency?

Tom Correa

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Obama Ignores Flooded Louisiana 2016

Obama all smiles on the golf course while Louisiana suffers

So OK, let's talk about rebuilding our America! Not the Liberal America where more than 100,000 Americans ask for Federal help in the aftermath of Louisiana flood, but are ignored!

Let's talk about rebuilding our America and not electing a president that doesn't give a damn about our country -- other than subjects near and dear to him like Black Lives Matter, Muslims, and Transgender bathrooms.

So OK, I'll say it, I think Barack H. Obama is a pathetic individual who should have never been elected president. He has proven himself inept, incompetent, lazy, and uncaring. And yes, believe it or not, he's too busy playing golf to address the problems in the state of Louisiana, what is that all about?

Of course, the president can find time to be on the golf course yukking it up with his comedian buddy -- but he can't be where he's needed? He's proving himself absolutely worthless!

An estimated 60,000 homes have been damaged, but assessments are continuing so the number may change, Some homes were flooded up to their eaves. And yes, with at least 60,000 homes damaged in Louisiana flooding, the head of the Department of Homeland Security said, "the President can't be everywhere at once!"

In other words, quit your bitching and knock off the whining -- the president has better things to do -- such as play golf.

Thousands of south Louisiana residents have to deal with the muck left after torrential downpours swamped drainage systems, rivers, and streams. The rains were a year's worth in just two days!

The floodwaters killed at least 13 people but are now slowly falling. The falling water is giving way to the hard slog of cleaning out, rebuilding, and the tough job of just finding somewhere to live.

In Sorrento, La., Giovanni DeCarlo needed a boat to get his mother-in-law's clothes, linens, mementos and curtains out of her house trailer. He said, it was on blocks about 4 1/2 to 5 feet high, but still took on about 1 1/2 feet of water. He also said that with 3 1/2 feet of water still on the ground.

He said he put Laura Allbritten's belongings into heavy plastic bags, and then into the boat. Another family member was dealing with the flood-inflicted heaps of laundry. Ms Allbritten, 59, is staying with another daughter and the daughter's husband and son in Ponchatoula. She's lived in the trailer for 22 years.

"That's 20 years of housekeeping you've got to move out before you can begin repairs," she said. Thought the trailer itself is 30 years old, she said, "The cost to repair it will probably be greater than what it's worth."

She has flood insurance, but doesn't know what it will pay, or when the adjuster will be by. "They tell me three to five days. Because of the volume of customers in the area, it could take a week or two."

In nearby St. Amant, about 20 relatives and coworkers were helping Sheila Siener muck out her house, removing furniture, appliances, carpets and wallboard.

"It's much worse than I expected," she said. "The water, the dirt, the smell. Water in the cabinets. Everything's filthy. I've never been through a flood, so I really didn't know."

In other areas the water is still high enough to cause concern. In Lake Arthur, pumps and sandbags were keeping floodwaters out of the town of 2,700 in southwest Louisiana. Residents may not be able to return until midweek, officials said.

When I was growing up, I was taught the President of the United States was there to help people maintain their strength by giving them hope. Donald Trump went down to Louisiana, and helped lift the spirits of folks there. Yes, Mr Trump was acting as the President of the United States should in time of an emergency.

You think Barack H. Obama would cut his vacation short during an emergency of such magnitude? No he didn't! And he said he will not cut his vacation short for any reason!

Sure this SOB is supposed to be there to keep spirits high. He is supposed to be a leader -- not a wannbe golf pro!

We should start billing Obama and his family for living in the White House under false pretenses and maybe sent some of the money we recoup from the extravagant lifestyle to the poor folks who can't afford to spend weeks golfing, on million dollar vacations, and never on the job.

Forget about impeaching the SOB! He should be fired! If you acted like he does on the job and was in fact negligent in your duties, you certainly would be fired! Why isn't he?!

Obama pitched a fit and was quick to have at George W. Bush during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While now Obama is proving as worthless as teats on a boar when it's his turn to step up!

For me, I wish the pathetic SOB would just resign. Maybe he can just go away and play golf with Tiger Woods, or even better maybe with one of his Black Lives Matter cohorts! Maybe he can make one of those Black Lives Matter punk friends of his to caddie for him?

Oh wait, I forgot, they don't work either!

OK, I feel better now that I've vented some! And yes, that's the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Friday, August 19, 2016

Americans May Need To Arm Themselves

It's not strange that Americans would arm themselves to protect their homes and family. It's part of the history of our nation nevertheless mankind. That's the way life has been for ages.

During the Old West, it wasn't unusual for townspeople to band together and arm themselves against a threat. Native Americans took up arms against other warring tribes long before the arrival of Europeans. Of course, we all know they took up arms against the encroachment of Europeans onto their lands as well.

Settlers took up arms against hostile natives, marauders, bandits, thugs, hooligans, brigands. From the Sydney Ducks to the James Gang, those in the Old West armed themselves in an effort to protect themselves, their families, and all that they worked so hard to build.

Back during the Rodney King riots when Black thugs decided to burn down parts of Los Angeles, Korean store owners knew that the police were helpless in stopping the looters and those arsonist determined on burning down their businesses. Those businessmen resorted to taking up arms.

Yes, they armed themselves with rifles and shotguns to protect their businesses and save their life's work from thugs who felt they had the right to destroy whatever they please.

To Obama's glee, Black thugs in Milwaukee went on a rampage and set the town on fire. Yes, Black thugs believing that they can act like sick animals waged widespread arson, looted, and preformed other acts of violence after police fatally shot an armed criminal with a gun.

The reason for their outrage is that one of their own, a Black thug with a criminal record as long as your arm pulled a gun on a police officer there. It doesn't make any difference that the police officer who was defending himself was Black.

No, to those in the Black Lives Matter hate group, a group Obama has actually invited to the White House, a group he calls a "movement", only the Lives Of Black Thugs Matter when they say "Black Lives Matter."

To the hate group Black Lives Matter, the lives of good Black people don't count.

Forget about the life of the Black cop. To that hate group, he was not Black because he was a Police Officer. And yes, there is the difference.

That officer wasn't some Black punk who steals and scams and cheats and lies and sells drugs or has a number of children from multiple women. That Black officer was not some punk who was a wannabe "gansta" who worships the lawless and sees honest work as something for suckers.

Yes, they are Obama's idea of America's down trodden. But in fact Black Lives Matter is filled with people who are worthless whiners who either can't seem to understand that work and success equals independence and strength, or they are filled with thugs who simply enjoy being leeches on society.

No fathers, single mothers, very little guidance or morals, ethics, or rules of conduct, that's what Black Lives Matter is all about while they scream "Give us our money or we will kill you!"

Think I'm exaggerating the problem, one Black "protester" who was interviewed during the riot said the Black Lives Matter group has demands. What sort of demands you ask?

The man interviewed on TV reporter claimed that "They not trying to give us none."

Now what you ask? What was he talking about? Was it their "no justice, no peace" chant? No, he was talking about money. He was saying what Black Lives Matter has stated recently in that if they do not get "reparations" for their great-great-great-great-grandparents who were slaves, then they will burn and loot and destroy. Yes, that's called extortion.

The Black man said, "It's sad, because you know, this is what happens, you know, because they're not helping the Black community. Like, you know, rich people, they got all this money and they not, like, trying to give us none."

Forget the concept of working for money. Besides, even when politicians give them money -- they still burn down their own cities! As insane as that is, it's true,

And by the way, the Black Lives Matter thugs believe other Americans, the rest of us, owe them something because of the color of their skin. And frankly, that whole thing of falling on the floor and throwing a tantrum and calling all of us "racists" if they don't get what they want has really gotten old.

In my own family, we have all races and ancestries. While I love my family, I'm grateful for the fact that I still believe in the old American notion of a "color blind" society. I believe in it because I don't care about the color of anyone's skin.

I believe Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I believe that with all of my heart. Skin color means nothing. In fact when I was working in Corrections as a Marine, I remember having to deal with prisoners of all races who weren't worth a shit. The color of their skin did not determine their worthlessness, they did!

And as for you who will take away from this article that I hate Blacks, you'd be wrong. I hate anyone from any race who threatens others, who are criminals, who are lazy and worthless but feel somehow entitled to special treatment. Yes, any race. Color of your skin means nothing to me!

And if I were some sort of Black hating bigot, why is it that I respect folks with high moral character like Allen West, Herman Cain, Martin Luther King Jr, and Condoleezza Rice, yet despise people of low moral character like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Al Gore, and Harry Reid? It's because I don't judge people by the color of their skin but instead by the content of their character.

So as for someone threatening me with false accusations of "racism?" Frankly, Blacks who use the term "you're a racist" really don't understand that that term has become worn out and as meaningless as Hillary Clinton using the term "trust me!"

Fact is, those using the term racist have used it up to where it means nothing anymore. I really think most people are tired of hearing it. I know I certainly am, especially since I know what real racists are all about.

Want me to tell you what real racists are about? They are about pure unreasoned hatred. The real racists are the Black thugs affiliated with Black Lives Matter. Yes, especially those who decided to search out Whites just so they could beat them up and kill them!

Yes, that is true racism. That is hate at a level now seen in the United States only since Barack H. Obama has taken office. That is hate that Obama must enjoy, especially since he could not find a minute away from his golf game to tell his Black Lives Matter followers to stop the widespread arson, stop the looting, and stop hunting Whites.

As shameful as it is, there were Black sleazebags hunting Whites. And when I read that Whites were being "hunted," yes "hunted," by Black intending on doing them harm, I prayed that those being hunted were armed and ready to defend themselves.

Yes, after realizing that Obama's desire for a Race War has actually come true, my first thought was that I hoped that Whites armed themselves and use deadly force if threatened with mortal danger. I hoped this just the same as I would for any race of people who were being "hunted".

And yes, I hoped they wouldn't hesitate. Such hesitation may mean them being crippled, burned alive, or killed as what has taken place fairly recently by mobs of Black thugs. And while I also wondered if the Black punks hunting Whites would be surprised to see their prey armed and ready to defend themselves and their families, I wondered if knowing that their prey was armed would stop them?

My next thought was about President Obama. I couldn't help but wonder if he likes what he has done to our nation? I couldn't help but wonder why he's worked so hard to divide us by race? I still can't help but wonder what he gets out of pitting one group of Americans against another, and why he puts targets on the backs of America's law enforcement? What sort of pleasure does he get from seeing this take place? Why pit White American against Black Americans and vice versa, and embrace militants?

It is probably a question that I'll be asking myself for a long long time. And yes, that's just the way I see things.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

America's Worse Case of Horse Cruelty -- Part Two

Dear Friends, 

As I stated at the end of Part One of this story, knowing that my readers will want to know what was done to save this horse, especially in such a severe case of cruelty as this is, I really believe you will want to read the updates provided by Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue Founder Natalee Cross.

So in this Part Two, I have included the exact notes provided by the great folks at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue who have cared for Rudy.

And please note that none of the notes have been edited by me. I post them here no differently than I would if I extracted information from an 1881 article in The Tombstone Epitaph. This is all an attempt by me to furnish you with what exactly took place.

While this may seem long, please know that the work by the wonderful folks at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue is absolutely inspirational!

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue

Below are the updates of Rudy's Condition after arriving at their rescue facility. 

Rudy arrived at the Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue facility on January 2nd, 2015, by way of the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division.

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue Founder Natalee Cross wrote:

"Rudy came into our rescue program on January 2, 2015. Rudy came into our rescue program from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division. Rudy is a Beautiful, Palomino/White, Paint, Gelding. Rudy is estimated to be 15 years of age. Rudy is a survivor, despite his former owners discarding him and not even giving him the care or chance he deserves.

Rudy came to the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division when they received a phone call from the owner requesting that they come out and remove a dead horse on New Years Day. Since OKC-AWD was closed for the holiday, they informed him that they would be out on Friday.

Animal Welfare arrived on the scene to find a horse still very much alive and completely tangled up in a fence, with his ears chewed off and multiple wounds and injuries. How can someone not even take the time to fully check on their horse?

Instead, he was just wrote off. He didn't want to provide the horse any veterinary care. So, he was signed over to OKC-AWD. He was released from what he was tangled up in and taken to OKC-AWD, where they called Dr. Charlotte Kin with Exclusive Equine Veterinary Services.

Dr. Charlotte Kin walked into the barn and witnessed a horse with a lot of blood on his face, no ears, and severe wounds all over.

Although Rudy was in horrific condition, he neighed to her. Rudy knew he was going to receive the care he needed. He wanted to Survive! His wounds and injuries are critical, and he will require a lot of extensive care, wound cleaning, bandage changes, and antibiotics for an extensive amount of time. But, if Rudy is willing to fight to survive, then we will certainly fight with him and give him a second chance he deserves.

Rudy has extensive facial injuries. The most dramatic was the fact that both of his ears had been torn off, as well as a large portion of the right side of his face. He also has corneal ulcers in both eyes, and both his upper and lower right eyelids had been torn off. He has a fractured jaw, and a large piece of bone was removed. He has numerous lacerations and punctures on his head. He has numerous lacerations and punctures to all of his legs, including a possible septic tendon sheath.

We are asking for your help! Please consider making a donation towards Rudy's extensive medical needs and rehabilitation. He has a very long road of recovery ahead of him. He isn't in the clear yet, but we are praying that he will continue to fight and pull through this. We created a "youcaring" site to help raise funds to cover Rudy's medical needs. You can view the link and see additional pictures, etc., here:

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 3rd, 2015:

" I can't even begin to thank all you wonderful people for supporting Rudy. I know some don't agree with our decision to help him, and some feel he is better off being euthanized. I am sorry that you feel that way. But Rudy is here. He has survived the worse part of this horrible ordeal. 

Rudy was down on the ground for 2 days, trapped in chain link fencing, being attacked by dogs, in the freezing ice, and he never gave up. He fought to survive, and we are fighting with him.

So, here is a quick update. We are on day 4 since Rudy was attacked. He is doing really well. He is starved for attention and can't get enough of the loving. If you try to leave, he tries to come with you. He spent the morning itching his head all over me. We got his wounds cleaned up, and they are looking great. His wounds are healing as they are supposed to. Yes, his wounds look horrible, but the wounds itself are not life threatening problems, as most of it is just skin. However, we have to watch for things like Tetanus, since we don't know his vaccine history.

So far, nothing appears to be infected and he is on strong antibiotics and pain reliever. He doesn't act as though he is in pain. He is chewing, eating, and drinking. He can see out of both eyes. We are leaving one eye covered with antibiotic ointment in it, so that it can heal. He can hear also, as he knows when I am coming and can hear me open his stall door. So far, he isn't showing any lameness in his legs, most of those wounds appear to be superficial. We are watching one wound, as we want to make sure it is not in his tendon sheath. So far, that appears to be good also.

Here is the deal guys, this horse has a fighting chance and will have a good quality of life. His jaw has one fracture and so far no signs of it affecting his sinus' etc., We are watching that closely and if he shows any complications with his jaw, we will pursue surgery. Right now, everything looks good.

Please keep the prayers coming. There is power in Prayer. Even if you don't support our decision, it is still God's will if he survives. The least you can do is pray of him."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 4th, 2015:

"Rudy is an inspiration! I can't tell you how much this loving soul has captured our hearts here at Blazes Tribute Equine Rescue. I truly feel as though he can sense how much we, and every one of you out there, are pulling for him. Today, he is doing wonderful! His wounds are continuing to heal and are looking very good. His eyes are shiny and gaining that awareness that all us horse-owners know so well. He was even interested in his surroundings enough that he enjoyed a walk outside in the yard. He perked up, and paid attention to all our distractions that we offer around here! Please continue to send prayers for this sweet boy; they are working!"

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 5th, 2015:

"I simply can not thank each of you enough for your continued prayers and support for Rudy. I honestly can not put into words how much each of you mean to Rudy and I. Rudy is an amazing horse, and I honestly don't know how to describe his personality. He is the single most trusting horse, I have ever met. He just met us on Friday, and he already trusts us completely. Rudy has had several visitors and it takes him a moment before he is accepting of them. But, his wonderful soul is always quick to capture all those that come into contact with him. Rudy has a long road to recovery, and we will take each step with him. He is doing amazing and continues to show the world how much fight he has.

If you took one second to meet Rudy, you will quickly understand why we choice to give him the chance he begged for. Thank you for standing beside us. We don't take these decisions lightly. We see extreme neglect and abuse everyday. We know when a horse has given up and we respect those wishes and end the suffering humanely. Rudy has not shown those signs at all. The complete opposite. Rudy is a beautiful horse, inside and out.

I know several of you are concerned about the former owner. Rest assured that Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is pursuing charges against him for animal cruelty."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 7th, 2015:

"Yesterday, Rudy had a follow up with our wonderful veterinarian Dr. Kin. They got him all cleaned up and debrided the wounds. We had to make sure to remove any dead tissue, so that he can continue to heal and granulate healthy tissue. He is progressing wonderfully. We now have both eyes uncovered, which he is very happy about. You can tell how much he appreciated have full vision again. Dr. Kin believes that she will be able to repair his eye lids. Of course, we're not quite at that stage yet, but that is in his future. So far, no sign of infection!

Today, as I was attempting to put the ointment in his eyes, he wanted to show me how froggy he was feeling and decided that he would fight me. I have to admit, while I was struggling to doctor him, I had to take a moment to laugh, as he wanted me to know that he was feeling good.

His feisty side is starting to show, which is great. It is hard to believe that we are now on day 6 of his recovery. He is doing so good! I am so happy with his progress. He looks wonderful and feels wonderful too. He even took a little jog in the yard the other day.

Once again, I can not thank you all enough for supporting Rudy. I truly believe because of all the people that are praying for him, he continues to thrive. I tell him every day that he is more loved than he will ever know, from people all over the world. If this sweet boy never felt the love before, he is probably overwhelmed with it now. He soaks up all the attention he can get. This sweet guy is a true love bug. He can't get enough of me scratching under his chin. And, he enjoys putting his face on my chest and scratching himself. I enjoy being his itching post, but he is a strong boy and this post doesn't stand on her own as easily. lol He has a lot of personality and he makes me smile everyday.

I have said this before, and I will continue to say it, this boy is an amazing fighter and has a very strong will to survive. I have read numerous comments and emails from everyone and one of the things some are concerned with is his quality of life. He will have a Full and amazing quality of life, once he fully heals. The only thing that he will lack, is his ears. Many horses, cows, dogs, cats, etc., live happy lives without their ears. That is merely a cosmetic issue and has no bearing on his quality of life. He has full vision, he has full hearing, he is sound and healthy, despite his current status. I just don't understand why so many felt that he wasn't worth the fight and the quick easy answer was to put him down. For those that know me, Know that I always root for the underdog. I always say, if God leads me to it, he will lead me through it.

I am in this for the long haul with Rudy. If it takes 6 months for him to heal, that is fine. I will doctor him everyday until he is better. I made a commitment to Rudy and Thank God that I did!"

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 10th, 2015, from Veterinarian Dr. Charlotte Kin:

"Rudy is doing really well. He enjoys going out on walks and eating his alfalfa cubes. He is able to chew and eat normally now. The wounds on his legs are healing well and he remains sound on them. The wounds to his head are covered with health granulation tissue now. We continue to cover them with wet to dry antibiotic bandages to draw out contamination and keep the tissues moist. The edges of the wounds are beginning healthy contraction and we should see skin cells start to migrate across the wound soon. The good news is that part of his lower right eyelid is intact and healthy. This will make reconstruction of his lower lid much easier. Many people have asked how he will do without ears and can he still hear. Yes he can still hear as the inner ear is intact. We are keeping them packed with gauze so the ointments will not get inside of his inner ear at this time. We will reconstruct his ears so that they are protected and many people have offered to make him a custom fly mask. He will not look "normal" but he can live a healthy life without ears. Numerous people have shared their pics of their animals who are missing ears with well wishes for Rudy. Although his injuries appear very dramatic we are treating them as we would any large wound. His vitals are stable, his bloodwork looks good, he is eating and drinking well and he is not showing any signs of distress. Thank you again for all of your support. Rudy has brought attention to animal neglect and cruelty something we see way too often."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 12th, 2015:

"We are so happy with Rudy's progress. Rudy continues to thrive and improve daily. His wounds are looking great with healthy granulation tissue. He is bright and happy! Every day, you can tell this boy feels better and better. We are so happy with his amazing progress. Dr. Kin visited Rudy today and is very pleased with how he is coming along. He is such a survivor! I know we have touched on this several times, but once again, I want to say, he has full vision in both eyes and full hearing in both ears. He may not look like a normal horse, but his ears are fully functional and they will continue to serve the purpose they are meant too. He will live a happy, normal life without issues or infections! He just won't have the normal appearance of ears. That does not make him any less of a horse. He can still communicate with other horses, as well as, people. Trust me, I don't need to see his ears to know when he is frustrated or upset with us. It is all about knowing your horse. We have 125 horses in our rescue program. All come from severe neglect and believe it or not, they each have a full respect for each other. What one horse may lack, there is always another that is there to help out. Rudy is beautiful inside and out, and how superficial it is to believe that a horse has no value of life without his ears. All our rescue horses are amazing! All have a purpose! Rudy's story is just beginning!

For those in the Oklahoma City metro area, you can see Rudy tonight on Channel 9 news at 10:00 pm. Keep in mind, Rudy was sedated for his clean up, so he isn't going to be his bright self. For those that aren't local, we promise to share a link to the story, as soon as one is posted.

I do want to take a moment to add how much we appreciate all the wonderful comments of support, notes of prayers, and assistance all of you have offered during this time. It truly means a lot to us to know how many stand behind us in our effort to heal Rudy all over the globe.

For those that feel the need to make ugly and disrespectful comments towards us and Rudy, it will not be tolerated. We have devoted the last 14 years to rescuing horses and saving those that we can. We work very closely with law enforcement, such as Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Canadian County Sheriff's Office, Garvin County Sheriff;s Office and many others.

We do not ever allow a horse to suffer and know when it is time to assist them to the rainbow bridge. I can respect the opinions of those that disagree, when done so in a respectful manner towards others. If you are one of the ones that feel that Rudy should have been euthanized. I am sorry you feel that way. I'm sorry you haven't been able to meet Rudy in person and see his thirst for life, his love for attention, his spirited personality and his disliking of his antibiotics. I'm sorry that you can only assess his condition from behind a computer screen and instantly determine a fate of an animal without any facts, without being a veterinarian and without seeing what Rudy wanted.

All I have to say is I am so glad that Rudy's fate was not ultimately in the hands of those that wanted him dead. If you do not stand beside Rudy and his fight you are against him, and I kindly ask that you keep your negative thoughts to yourself, as we would like to keep this page, and his progress positive."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 18th, 2015:

"Rudy continues to thrive and is doing wonderful! He is now out of one of the leg bandages and only has 2 wrapped. Both of those wounds are doing well and healing. I suspect he will be able to get out of another leg bandage soon, only leaving him with the hind leg wrapped, which is the one that was injured the worst with suspicion that it may have been in the tendon sheath. It is doing great and healing nicely, but that one will take a bit longer. He continues to make great improvements with the wounds on his head. They continue to retract and have healthy pink granulation tissue. His eyes are looking good and the wound under his eye, where the fractured occurred is doing great.

Rudy has been with us 2 weeks now. I will admit, the last two weeks have been extremely hectic. When we asked for assistance for Rudy, we never dreamed it would go as far and wide as it has. To know that people from all over the world are standing beside Rudy and praying for him, does my heart good.

I want to send a huge thank you to all the people that have brought treats/Alfalfa cubes to Rudy. A huge thank you to the sweet person that shipped Rudy the extruded horse feed. That was an extra special gift, as Rudy can't have hay at this time. Thank you to the sweet ladies that volunteered their time yesterday and helped clean up a couple of the horses that just came in and was infested with ticks. Thank you to the family that donated horse blankets, alfalfa cubes, etc., to Rudy last weekend. Everyone's support has been amazing. Thank you to everyone, everywhere, for all your kinds words of encouragement, support, prayers and friendship. We can't do this without you! Please remember, we are a family owned rescue, no paid staff, all volunteer based. We truly want to answer everyone's messages, phone calls, emails, etc., but please be patient with us, as it has been difficult to keep up, since our focus is on the 137 horses in our program.

Thank you to our wonderful friend/volunteer Pam, who spent some time loving on Rudy yesterday. As you can see, he is a ham for attention."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update January 25th, 2015:

"Rudy continues to thrive and doing wonderful!! His wounds continue to improve, getting smaller everyday. He is down to only having one leg bandage on. He had his feet trimmed on Friday and every day, he gets more normalcy in his life. He nickers when he sees a new horse enter the barn and is happy to greet you when you enter his stall. He continues to show an amazing personality, one full of gratitude and happiness. On nice, sunny days, he likes to go outside and see what the other horses are up too. We continue to thank everyone for all their wonderful support and prayers."

Pictured with Rudy is Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue Founder Natalee Cross and Board Member, Jennifer Bates.

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update February 1st, 2015:

"It is so hard to believe that exactly 1 month ago today, Rudy arrived into our program. I still remember it like yesterday. Rudy has come so far in such a short period of time. His personality makes me smile everyday. However, Today, his personality left me just shaking my head. lol I went to check on him and give him his eye medication. As I approached his stall, I found a bloody Rudy. Apparently, Rudy had an itch that he just had to scratch and he got a little overly excited scratching his good ear. His bandage was bloody and I swear Rudy just looked at me with a "Yep, I did it, and it felt great"! I never knew a horse could "smirk" until Rudy! ;-) His eyes hold more expression than any other horse I have been around. He continues to inspire me on a daily basis. His will, strength and attitude speak volumes.

Rudy continues to improve daily. His wound on the right side of his face is now about half of the original size. He has skin and hair growing back and it looks amazing. We are still working with the right eye, as that has been a bit more of a challenge, since he can't blink right now. He is blinking with his third eyelid, but that doesn't provide enough moisture. We are medicating his eye as much as possible throughout the day. He is such an amazing boy!!"

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update March 1st, 2015:

"I know everyone has been patiently waiting for an update on our favorite boy! So, here is your Rudy Update!

We are now 2 months in with Rudy's injuries. He has come so far, in really such a short period of time. I decided to show you guys his amazing progress by giving you some before and after pictures. We don't have much more to go on his wounds and then we can start focusing on doing some work to his ears. His wounds look amazing. His fracture has healed, his legs wounds have healed, and he only has about 20% of the large wound on his face left to heal. The only thing that we have struggled with, and continue to struggle with, is his right eye. Since he isn't able to blink, he can't provide the needed moisture to his eye. Despite the meds we have been putting in his eye, many times, a day, it just doesn't look like we will be able to completely save his vision in his right eye. But, I am okay with that and Rudy seems okay with that, because regardless how that eye is doing, he is alive!!

I have to admit I have a bond with Rudy like I have never experienced before. We have an equal respect for each other and if Rudy is uneasy about anything, as long as he can see me or I am beside him talking him through it, he is fine. He is so calm and trusting as he allows me to scrub his wounds and bandage him up. However, he isn't as sweet and compliant if anyone else attempts to do it. He likes to shake his head and put up a little fight. I have to admit, it makes me laugh. He is so smart and he knows exactly what he is doing. Everyday, I walk into the barn and I instantly yell Rudy's name. He will quickly turn around and face me with an eager look of joy, as he waits for me to enter his stall. I recently learned that Rudy's original name was Buttermilk, but I am certain that he never knew it, because he responds to Rudy like he was born with that name. I have learned that since Rudy was 5 months old, he lived with his former owner. I am not sure what happened to Rudy, how he ended up trapped in a fence, or why, but what I do know, is God lead me to a beautiful horse, inside and out, that was obviously meant to be here. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes we just don't fully understand why. I don't question it, I just ask Rudy where he has been all my life!

Rudy Update May 30, 2015 Rudy continues to thrive and is doing wonderful! Rudy, along with his buddy Double D, joined us at our 4th Annual Blaze's Ride to the Rescue Trainer's Challenge on May 30, 2015. We wanted Rudy's supporters to have an opportunity to meet him in person and see how wonderful he is doing. Rudy and Double D had a great time romping in the arena. I hope you all enjoy this video of Rudy, as much as we do. You can see Rudy and Double D's Showcase here: Rudy & Double D's Showcase"

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update December 24th, 2015:

"Rudy is doing amazing!! It is hard to believe that we are quickly approaching a year since he came to us injured. He continues to love life! He is such an inspiration to us all and a true blessing. If you are local to the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area, please watch Channel 9 and/or Channel 6 news. The picture above of Rudy and Founders Natalee & Shawn Cross is featured in their commercial, titled "We believe in Oklahoma". They truly did a beautiful piece representing all the inspirational stories they have covered throughout the year. You can also follow us on Facebook to see a small clip of the commercial, if you are not local. We will update on his 1 year anniversary, as we have a surprise planned for this sweet boy, along with his best friend Double D, and all his prayer warriors that supported him and followed his story. Thank you all for all of your amazing support! We couldn't do what we do without each and every one of you!"

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update  January 2nd, 2016:

"It's hard to believe today marks the 1 year Anniversary of Rudy's journey to our rescue from such an unbelievable chain of events that nearly left for him for dead. His remarkable will to survive truly touches all of our lives. Of course, we wanted to celebrate his anniversary, along with his best friend Double D, in style. We decided to take them for a little play time while our wonderful Photographer, A'Lissa DeVorss with Fat Cat Photography, captured them at their finest. They started off so pretty and clean, they quickly turned themselves into muddy messes and enjoyed some carrot cake! These two do everything in style!! Thank you all for supporting their journey and helping with their huge medical bills! We can't do this alone! Many more horses just like Rudy and Double D will come into our program. Together, we can save those who otherwise would be discarded, and provide them the future they have always longed for! I hope you all enjoy the photos, as much as we enjoyed taking them."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update March 4th, 2016:

"It is with an extremely heavy heart that I announce the loss of our beloved Double D. Double D was Rudy's Best friend! And it breaks our heart to see Rudy grieve.

As you know, Double D has been battling cancer for the last year. He went through 4 surgeries where we tried to get ahead of the squamous cell carcinoma of his eyelids and his penis sheath, where large masses were excised by our Veterinarians. Each time, they treated the cancer with cryosurgery and implantation of chemotherapy slow release beads. Sadly, each surgery only provided him a couple of months before the cancer returned.

Over the course of the last month, the cancer spread rapidly and the growth rate was excessive. I could see a difference in personality and how the cancer had quickly taken a toll on him. I prayed there would be other options available.

Upon examination, the cancer had grown larger than ever and he was struggling to urinate. As we waited with Double D while our wonderful Veterinarian reached out to see if there was another surgery option available, I could see that he didn't want to fight it any longer. He had grown tired and his eyes seem to beg me to let him go. We had run out of options! We lost the battle!

My heart is broken and it leaves me feeling so many emotions. I'm angry, because despite all our best efforts, it wasn't enough. I'm angry, because his previous owners allowed him to live like that, no treatment, no surrendering him to get him help.

Perhaps, if we could have gotten to Double D much sooner, maybe, just maybe, he would still be with us. Instead, I am left with a broken heart. His best friend, Rudy is left with a broken heart. It is never easy to say goodbye.

Double D, please know that I fought so hard for you and loved you as my own. You will always have a special place in my heart. I know you are no longer suffering and you are complete again, cancer free, running in greener pastures. Rest In Peace my sweet boy! You will forever be missed."

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue update March 17th, 2016:

"They say everything happens for a reason! Sometimes the reason becomes crystal clear if you watch closely. Rudy took Double D's death hard. He rarely used to lay down, but I would find him just laying in his run often. The run that was built for Rudy and Double D, where they spent many hours together.

Rudy wasn't eating like he used too and when I would come over to love on him, I swear he would cry! The loss of Double D was hard enough, but watching Rudy grieve, broke my heart.

I knew I needed to do something. One morning last week, I opened his run where he could go outside. He was able to talk to the horses on the other side of the fence. Once outside, he would just call out for Double D. I had some things to do, so I proceeded back into the house.

A couple of hours later, I looked outside to see what he was up too, when I found him playing with Crash on the other side of the fence. That may not seem like a big deal to others, but it was to me, and the message was clear.

See, Crash just returned to our rescue the same day we lost Double D. I was disappointed to see Crash come back, specially what led to his return, but it all became clear in that moment.

I have said from day one, If God leads me to it, He would lead me through it.

The loss of Double D and the return of Crash was no accident. Later that evening, we collected Crash out of the pasture to see how he and Rudy would do together. At that moment everything seemed right again.

Crash and Rudy are getting along great and becoming fast friends. Of course, Crash can never replace Double D, but he is certainly helping a friend cope with the loss and putting a smile on our faces."

-- end of updates.

So now maybe you can see why I waited over a year to put this article together.
While what happened to the horse who came to be known as Rudy is the worse case of horse cruelty that I've ever seen, his recovery is the greatest that I've ever seen. And yes, from their work, I really believe that the great folks at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue are some of the best doing Horse Rescue.

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue was established in early 2001. They are located in Jones, Oklahoma. They are a non-profit 501(C)3 organization that strives to improve the lives of neglected, starved and abused horses.

According to their website, they say, "We provide equine rescue regardless of age or disability. We provide Rehabilitation, Education and Adoption Services. We promote and teach horse care and humane, natural methods for training horses. Our primary focus is Animal Cruelty Cases. We work closely with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office with their Equine related Animal Cruelty Cases. We also assist any other local/rural County Sheriff's Office who request our assistance."

Since December of 2001, Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue has rescued 1,301 horses. And yes, a total of 1,066 of those horses have been adopted. You can see the remaining horses, available for adoption, on their Rescued Horses page.

This article is compiled of information from their website in an effort to be accurate with what took place after Rudy arrived there, and to relate what was done medically and emotionally for this horse. 

Rudy's tenacity, his desire to live, even after being attacked and left for dead, and then losing his companion Double D, provides a glimpse into what horses are made of. They are a great deal more than most will ever understand. 

Yes, the happy ending to this story is that Rudy survived even though there are people like Rudy's previous owner in the world. He survived because he wouldn't give up, but mostly because there are good and decent folks like those at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue in the world.

Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue Founder Natalee Cross said "there's no excuse for this." And frankly, I agree 100%. 

While I can only hope that the person or persons responsible for what was done to Rudy get exactly what's coming to them, I tip my hat to Natalee Cross, her husband and crew. And along with my respect, I send a prayer their way for all of their incredible works and deeds.

May God Bless those great folks at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue, and of course Rudy as well!

Tom Correa