gun

Unfortunately, there are among us, people who are corrupt and ruthless, and sometimes, things happen because of corruption, anger, or even stupidity. William Tilghman was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa on July 4, 1854, at the height of the “Wild West” era. He was a man who wanted something more, so at 16 years old, he moved west. As sometimes happened, men who went west, toyed with the wild life that was brought about by the lawless area. Tilghman was no different. He fell in with a bad crowd of young men who stole horses from the Indians. After several narrow escapes with angry Indians, Tilghman decided that rustling was too dangerous and settled in Dodge City, Kansas, where he briefly served as a deputy marshal before opening a saloon. He was arrested twice for alleged train robbery and rustling, but the charges did not stick. It was a shaky start, but Tilghman gradually built a reputation as an honest and respectable young man in Dodge City. Before long, he became the deputy sheriff of Ford County, Kansas. Later, he was offered and accepted the job of the marshal of Dodge City…a real life Matt Dillon, from Gunsmoke.

Tilghman was one of the first men into the territory when Oklahoma opened to settlement in 1889, and he became a deputy US marshal for the region in 1891. In the late 19th century, lawlessness was still very much a part of Oklahoma. Tilghman helped to bring order the to area by ridding Oklahoma by capturing some of the most notorious bandits of the day. While locking up many criminals, Tilghman, nevertheless, managed to earn a well-deserved reputation for treating even the worst criminals fairly and protecting the rights of the unjustly accused. Any man, who found himself in Tilghman’s custody, knew he was safe from angry vigilante mobs, because Tilghman had little tolerance for those who took the law into their own hands. In 1898, a wild mob lynched two young Indians who were falsely accused of raping and murdering a white woman. Tilghman arrested and secured prison terms for eight of the mob leaders and captured the real rapist-murderer.

In 1924, after serving a term as an Oklahoma state legislator, making a movie about his frontier days, and serving as the police chief of Oklahoma City, Tilghman might well have been expected to quietly retire. However, it was the height of the Prohibition era, and the old lawman was unable to hang up his gun. He still felt a calling to keep law and order in his town. He accepted a job as city marshal in Cromwell, Oklahoma. On November 1, 1924, William Tilghman, who was known to both friends and enemies alike as “Uncle Billy” was murdered by a corrupt prohibition agent who resented Tilghman’s refusal to ignore local bootlegging operations. The Prohibition officer was drunk, and in his anger, made the worst mistake of his life.

Turning 15 is a milestone in the life of a kid. My grand nephew, Easton Moore, like most kids at this age, is thinking of learning to drive and in just one more year, getting his driver’s license…that great ticket to freedom, as all kids see it. Studying for that test to get the permit, is not always a priority in a kids mind, however. I can’t say if Easton is studying hard or not, but I can tell you that contrary to popular belief among teenagers, the test is not common sense, and if some of it is, the problem for kids is a lack of common sense where rules of the road are concerned. Those things come with study and experience. Easton’s grandpa, LJ Cook taught him to drive a stick shift on the mountain last summer. Easton was so proud of himself!! His grandpa also taught him to change the oil in his truck.

Easton is a good worker and helper of others. He helps his parents, Machelle and Steve Moore around their house, as well as his grandparents, Debbie and LJ Cook around theirs. This past summer, Easton learned how to use a chain saw. That was scary on his mother’s side…but Easton was good and careful!! So often, the biggest lesson to learn when using such tools is respect for the danger of said tool. Easton learned that very well, and became a big help to his grandpa. Together they got all of the firewood cut up for his garage for this winter. LJ says that he has been nice and toasty warm.

As the son of parents who are gun enthusiasts Easton loves to go shooting when it’s warm. His mother tells me that Easton is a darn good shot!! When they go camping, they have had BB gun shooting contests in camp. They put a string around the whole camp and hung cans off it. Then they shoot the first one and go on down the line. They way it works, you can’t go to the next one till you hit the one your on. It makes the competition a little more stiff. I’m told that Easton has won more times than either his mom or his dad. Yikes!! That has to be an ego downer for them.

Easton got a television for Christmas, and then used money he had saved to buy an Xbox One. Easton loves to relax with a game on the Xbox on the weekends, and since he has his own television and Xbox, there is no fighting over turns with his brother, Weston…which is very nice for their parents. Today is Easton’s 15th birthday. Happy birthday Easton!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Steve Moore is one of the most at home in the mountains people I know. He and his wife, my niece, Machelle love sending time in the Big Horn Mountains near their home in Powell, Wyoming. Their favorite thing to do there is to go exploring on new trails or roads, in areas they haven’t explored before. This past summer, while exploring such an area,the came across a cabin. It was in such a beautiful setting, and of course, it heightened their desire to have their own cabin in the mountains, which I truly believe they will have one day. They had seen the road to the cabin before, and that day, they decided to go see where it led them. I think that if anyone I know could live off the grid, it would be Steve and Machelle. Steve is extremely handy when it comes to building things, and living off the land.

Last winter, Steve decided to build a gun. It is a 22 Dasher. Steve has a Labradar Witch, which is a devise that tells you how fast your bullets are going. He can measure the speed, and decide if he wants to add or subtract gun powder for reloading. The gun shoots accurately, and Steve got a couple few Rock-Chucks this summer on the mountain. While it is a great gun, it isn’t one that you want to have to pack very far, because it is pretty heavy. Their youngest son, Easton got to shoot Steve’s 1911 for the first time this summer. their older so Weston is four years older, and so has been shooting or a while now. Their ideal camping sot is one where nobody else is around for miles, so target practice can be done from camp. Another thing Steve likes to do in camp, is experiment with the fire. Of course, he is careful, but he can say for sure that discarded bacon grease will make the flames flair up nicely.

Steve got a chainsaw from a really good friend last year, so firewood is never in short supply. He never has to be asked twice to go to get some firewood for camp, or for his father-in-law, LJ Cook’s garage. In fact they have so much now, that he had to tell us that’s enough…for probably the whole next winter. Te way Steve and Machelle see it, better to have too much, than not enough. Needless to say there is also always enough firewood for camp too! Camping is a way of life for the Moore family, and this summer they tried to go someplace different, instead of always doing the same things, in the same places. They had a great time exploring new roads, hiking around, and just enjoying each others company. It was great while summer lasted, but they said that it sure went fast this year. Today is Steve’s birthday. Happy birthday Steve!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand-nephew, Matthew Masterson is growing up so fast. According to his mom, Dustie Masterson, Matthew is a real man boy these days. He is very protective of his mom and his sisters. When his dad, my nephew, Rob Masterson had to go to South Carolina for training for work, it ended u being at the same time that Matthew was supposed to be staying in Fort Laramie, Wyoming with a friend of his. As Matthew thought about his mom and sisters at home without a man in the house, he just couldn’t stand it. And his mom secretly felt the same way. Matt called his mom and asked her to drive to Fort Laramie and pick him up. The visit with his friend would have to be another time. So right after she dropped Rob at the airport, she made the drive back up to pick him up. Matt stuck to his mom and sisters like glue, even going outside with his mom when she went out to smoke. When his dad is not home, Matt considers himself the family protector. He is learning to shoot and to be safe with guns, so he can keep his family safe.

Matt is turning 13, and going into 7th grade this year. It’s hard to believe he is getting so grown up. Matt is totally into online gaming with his friends from school. He really likes Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Siege 6 and Fortnight. Now, if only he can remember not to “team kill” and get banned for another week. I guess it’s easy to get carried away sometimes. Nevertheless, I’m sure that it won’t take him too long to become a master at both games. Gaming if great, but Matt likes to cook too, and when given the choice between cooking with his mom and gaming…well cooking is the only thing that Matt will immediately flip off the Xbox for.

Matt’s family recently moved into a new home, and now he has his own room, which he really loves. One surprising thing came about with having his own room. Suddenly Matt is meticulous about keeping his room clean. Now that, for most boys is a amazing thing, of course, it all gets back to normal for boys when you hear that along with having his room clean, he also works very hard to keep it girl free!! I guess it’s one thing to be protective of his sisters, but totally another to share his space with them. Today is Matt’s birthday. Happy birthday Matt!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Every new invention has to have its trial run, but some of them might not be so easy to test as others. If you are testing a Frisbee to see if it flies, it is much different than testing a plane to see if it flies. Still, an invention cannot be used, sold, and especially patented without being tested, so testing must be done, and sometimes that can be a little bit dangerous.

For many years, police work was extremely dangerous…even more so than it is now. Without some of the protective coverings the officers have today, they could be easily killed in the line of duty…not that they can’t now, but there is a little bit less chance of it these days. Kazimierz Zeglen, was a Polish engineer, born in 1869 near Ternopol. He is credited with inventing the first bulletproof vest. In 1893, after the assassination of Carter Harrison Sr, the mayor of Chicago, he invented the first commercial bulletproof vest. In 1897, he improved it together with Jan Szczepanik who was the inventor of the first commercial bulletproof armor in 1901. It saved the life of Alfonso XIII, the King of Spain…his carriage was covered with Szczepanik’s bulletproof armor when a bomb exploded near it.

When the time came to test the bullet proof vest, a man names Mr Borzykowski, who was a friend of Szczepanik, agreed to test the vest…not on himself, mind you, but on his servant. When he shot his servant, it looks to me like the man braced for death, but he stood in place as he was told to do. It’s kind of like testing a shark suit for the first time. You would have no idea if you would see tomorrow or not. Once the vest was tested, however, it quickly became a valued piece of protective gear for police officers everywhere. The vest worked very well, but the early vests were quite heavy. Through the years, vests have much improved, and will continue to do so, as new materials become available.

When a new lighter vest was demonstrated by the Protective Garment Corporation of New York in 1923, it had to be proven again, because no one was willing to buy these vests sight unseen, so to speak. The gun players were WH Murphy and his assistant. Pictures were taken during a demonstration of the company’s bulletproof vest for DC area police. The live demonstration took place at the Washington city police headquarters. The inventors and salesmen were trying to convince the police force that these bulletproof vests did work and did save lives. The police officers in the background were all part of the Frederick County Police Department, the gun they were firing is believed to be a Smith and Wesson Model 10 Revolver. Mr Murphy stood less than ten feet from the firing gun and took two consecutive .38 round slugs straight to the chest. An eye witnesses claims he “didn’t bat an eye” in both cases. Later Murphy gave the deflected .38 bullet to the police officer as a souvenir. This vest weighed 11 pounds, fit close to the body, and was considered more comfortable than the previous types of bulletproof vests. The bullet proof vest has become standard gear for police officers.

It seems as if the nations will never be satisfied until they have a new and stronger weapon that will easily destroy a massive amount of people in one shot. Wars are a part of life here on Earth, and will be until the end of time, so we might as well get used to that fact. World War I was not a different time when it comes to weapons of war, in fact on March 23, 1918 at 7:20am, an explosion took place in the Place de la Republique in Paris, and it hailed the first attack of a new German gun. The Pariskanone, Paris-Geschütz, or Paris gun, as it came to be known, was manufactured by Krupps. The Pariskanone was 210mm, with a 118-foot-long barrel. It could fire a shell an impressive distance of some 130,000 feet…25 miles into the air. Three of them fired on Paris that day from a gun site at CrÉpy-en-Laonnaise, a full 74 miles away. The city of Paris was reeling. Paris had withstood all earlier attempts at its destruction, including scattered bombings, but this would be different. It was first thought by the Paris Defense Service, that the city was being bombed, but soon they determined that it was actually being hit by artillery fire. It was a previously unimagined situation. I’m sure everyone wondered how the Germans could have made such a weapon.

Before the day was over, the shelling had killed 16 people and wounded 29 more. The Germans continued the shelling of that year in several phases between March 23 and August 9, 1918. Over that time, the gun caused a total of 260 deaths in Paris. It was a low number due to the fact that the residents of Paris quickly learned to avoid gathering in large groups during periods of shelling. With less people in each area, the casualties were limited substantially. Nevertheless, the weapon had a terrifying effect on the people and a horrific impact on property in the areas of the shelling. Almost all information about the Pariskanone, one of the most sophisticated weapons to emerge out of World War I, disappeared after the war ended. Later, the Nazis tried without success to reproduce the gun from the few pictures and diagrams that remained. Copies were deployed in 1940 against Britain across the English Channel, but failed to cause any significant damage….a good thing for the people of the Britain at that time. When I look at the pictures of the weapon, I am reminded of the old “Wild, Wild, West” show. There always seemed to be some strange new fangled weapon of destruction in use there too.

andy-schulenbergAs a young boy of just 15 years, Andy Schulenberg was hunting with a friend, Howard Stewart on an October day in 1921. He leaned his rifle against a tree and it fell over, discharging and hitting Andy in the leg. That event would begin a 2 year long stay in the hospital, and Andy would lose his leg about a year into that stay, in June of 1922. While devastated over this event, Andy dug deep inside himself and decided that he would not be an invalid. Fitted with a wooden leg, that had a simple table like rubberized end to it, Andy proceeded to live the rest of his life. This would not break him, because he was not a quitter. Andy did whatever he wanted to do. Throughout his life, Andy did things his way. He became quite competitive. For a time, his family hauled beets, and Andy could out load anyone when it came to loading the truck. His arms were so strong, by way of compensation for his lack of a leg, and the fact that Andy was a big strong man. Many times while loading those trucks, he could load the truck he was working, faster than two men on the other truck…and then he went over and finished loading their truck too. Nobody could beat Andy Schulenberg!

In 1955 Andy Schulenberg became the sheriff of Rosebud County, Montana. That was really an amazing feat for a man with a wooden peg for a leg. Andy became a sheriff who didn’t carry a gun. That is such an odd thing to think about. There might be a television show sheriff who didn’t need a gun, but the reality is that a real life sheriff carries a gun…at least any I knew of until Andy Schulenberg. You do have to recall that Andy maybe didn’t just love guns…making his decision to become a lawman a strange one, I suppose. I’m sure that most people must think that Andy lived in an area much like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show, but they would be wrong. Andy used different tools in his work as sheriff. He knew a lot of the Indian elders in the area, and they respected him. If Andy was looking for a specific brave, he would go to the elders and ask where he was. They would simply bring the young man to him. There are a number of young men who would be glad to tell you that had it not been for Andy Schulenberg, they would probably have ended up in prison. As I said, Andy was a different kind of sheriff. He believed in second chances, and he earned not only the respect of the elders, but of the young braves, and in fact all the young men and women in the area. He was honest and fair, and they knew they would get a fair shake from him.

There were some comical arrests, however. One in particular was the time Andy was called to Ashland, Montana. Two young Cheyenne Indians had decided to break into a liquor store. They made off with about a case of whiskey. They were down on the brush lined banks of Otter Creek when Andy caught up with them. On the reservation, Andy was known as Cottonwood, because of his wooden leg. When he found the young braves, sheriff-andy-schulenbergthey were a little tipsy from the whiskey. They had crossed a log bridge to get to an island to have a little party. Andy cuffed the boys and told them to wait by the car. He went back for the evidence. On his way back, with several bottles of whiskey, Andy slipped and fell into the water. Under normal circumstances that might not have been a big deal, but wood floats, and Andy’s leg was made of wood. As he struggled to get his leg back under him without losing the evidence, the Indian braves sat on the side of the creek bank laughing hysterically. They assumed that the evidence would be lost, and they would get off scot-free, but they were wrong. Andy managed to get his leg under him, and save one bottle of whiskey. Then he took the braves…who had not even considered running, by the way, back to jail. And he did it all without a gun.

34096_1324342636193_275594_naMy brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has had a long and successful career in law enforcement. As a young married man, Chris was working in sales, which as most of us know, is a career that some like and some don’t. Chris was good at it, but the career was not a fulfilling one for him. While they were living in Fort Morgan, Colorado, Chris told my sister, Allyn that he really wasn’t happy doing what he was doing, and simply couldn’t see himself doing it for a long term career. She asked him what he thought he wanted to do, and he told her that while he didn’t think he could be a doctor, he wanted a career in which he could help people. He wanted to be a police officer. I think that prospect really scared my sister at first, and after going on a few ride alongs with my brother-in-law, in which it looked like he might have to pull his gun on someone, I can understand why that could bother my sister. Nevertheless, my brother-in-law was a very capable patrol officer, and with his tall 6’4″ stature, the perpetrators seldom felt inclined to try to go up against him. While some of the shorter officers had to struggle to apprehend a perpetrator, Chris would walk up, and the guy would take one look at him and surrender.

Of course, his height was not the only reason that Chris had no trouble apprehending a suspect, however. He imagehas a very calming nature. Whether he is doing police work, or just calming jangled nerves in a stressful situation, Chris has the unique ability to de-escalate a situation. He has done so on many occasions, both in and out of police work. One occasion I specifically recall was when he went to arrest a man, and when the man opened the door to Chris’ knock, and saw that it was a cop, he tried to shut the door again. Chris simply stuck his Billy Club in the door, and calmly said, you don’t want to do this. The man calmed down, and agreed to go with Chris. He then asked if he could make a phone call first, and because he was cooperative, Chris allowed it, knowing that he would also be allowed a second phone call at the jail. He didn’t have to allow the man to do that, but the arrest went very smoothly and I believe that the main reason is because Chris worked with the man and kept him calm. I also had the opportunity to see police officers who wouldn’t work with a perpetrator, and the whole situation blew up. It’s all in how the officer handles the situation.

imageThese days, with so much turmoil surrounding our police officers, much of which is not their fault, and yet any arrests are looked at as Police Brutality, my brother-in-law is a police officer who brings peace, a sense of calm, and yet justice. Chris has advanced in his career from a Deputy Sheriff, to a City Patrolman, a Sergeant, and now a Lieutenant over the detectives. He has been a training officer, and a hiring officer, and now he is spending several weeks out of this summer a “Leadership in Policing” class. Chris has been an asset to both of the departments he has served in. He is a born leader and we are very proud of him. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

10527326_10202299152067747_6858961738343546900_nAt this time of year, many people turn their attention to the fine art of…hunting. And my nephew, Ryan Hadlock is no exception to that rule. This year, Ryan’s interest has turned to duck hunting. While any kind of hunting is a challenge, I think it would be especially difficult to shoot a flying target. I love to take pictures of birds, especially in flight, but they are hard to capture. The camera gives me far more chances to capture a bird in flight than someone with one bullet at a time. For that reason, I have to respect someone who can shoot a bird in flight. I don’t think that is such an easy thing to do.

Ryan is a great husband to his wife, Chelsea, and a great dad to his children, Ethan and Aurora. Those are the most important jobs of his life, even if they don’t feel like work. Ryan and Chelsea have always had a lot in common, and that made them compatable from the very start. Sharing your life with someone is easy, when you are both going the same direction. Then, when they had their children, they both showed everyone what great parents they are. Ethan and Aurora are wonderful kids with good manners and sweet personalities, even if they do take after their dad in the teasing department.11986937_10207241894556588_5179927847889566122_n

Of course, it could be all in the way Ryan was raised…and I don’t mean by his parents. Ryan is the only boy in a family of four children. His sisters have picked on him unmercifully. Not in a mean way, of course, it’s just the way that family functioned. And don’t get the idea that Ryan couldn’t dish it out, because he could. One time he told his youngest sister, Kellie not to dance with boys at the prom. Needless to say, her date was…you guessed it…a boy!! Everyone in this family teased everyone else. Ryan was slightly outnumbered, however. I’m not so sure that really mattered, but the girls did try to gang up on him some. And, even when it comes to his birthday card, which his sisters, Jessi and Kellie laughed about uncontrollably for the entire day. The card read, “Once upon a time, a very special person was born, who was destined to change the world.” And inside it said, “Calm down, it’s not you, it’s Jesus. I think he’d want you to have a happy birthday though.” You have to admit…it was funny!!

As to the serious side of Ryan, if there is one, he loves his job and works very hard at it. Ryan is a compression operator for FDL Energy, LLC. FDL Energy bought Anadarko which is where my brother-in-law, Mike Stevens and also Ryan work. In fact, Mike is Ryan’s supervisor, and they both get along very well. Gas compressor 10396299_10202299151787740_4098311407718402878_noperators follow a schedule provided by petroleum engineers or production supervisors to operate compressor engines, pumps and auxiliary equipment in a way that allows for appropriate flows of gas. They are responsible for adjusting controls and valves, regulating pressures and monitoring meters. Gas compressor operators keep records of meter and gauge readings to determine the temperature, amounts of gas received and dispensed, pressure and consumption rate variations. They may also collect gas samples for laboratory testing. I’m not sure how much of that Ryan does, but it was interesting to learn about his job. Ryan is a man of many skills. He can learn just about anything he sets his mind to. That’s what makes him a great employee. Today is Ryan’s birthday. Happy birthday Ryan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Uncle Jim and Aunt RuthOur family always loved having our Aunt Ruth Spencer Wolfe, her husband, Uncle Jim Wolfe and their kids, Shirley, Larry, and Terry come to visit. We always had so much fun when they came. It didn’t matter if we were playing with the kids or sitting around listening to the many stories Uncle Jim or Aunt Ruth told. There was always so many fun things going on when they were there. My dad, Allen Spencer and Uncle Jim kept us all laughing with their antics. Dad and Uncle Jim were always coming up with some new thing…from wild recipes to crazy challenges. There was never a dull moment when our two families were together.

When we were kids, the two families took trips together. A favorite was the South Dakota trip. Our parents were great campers, and they always made it a lot of fun. I also remember several trips to Casper mountain. The mountain was a long standing favorite, because it was close and yet we got to Uncle Jimget out and camp, or at the very least, go for picnics. For a number of years, however, their family lived here in Casper, and that made it much easier to get together.

I gave us kids lots of time to play together. They had chickens, ducks, and geese, and for my sisters and me, all city girls, that in itself was a novelty. Of course, we didn’t have to clean up after them either. I think we were pretty prissy, and we would have probably freaked out at the site of the coop. They also had a garden, and in it was just about everything you could imagine, so I’m sure Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jim found a few things missing from the garden after we all spent time outside at their house. They also had a tractor that Shirley would hook the wagons up to and take us all for rides. It was a great time. Of course all too often, it was more fun to be inside with them. Our dad’s kept things lively, whether they were together or all by themselves.

For Uncle Jim’s kids, he was a role model. He taught them how to shoot a gun, and go hunting, so they could provide meat for their families. Their training started as young as two years old, and that is something I agree with. If children know what a gun can do, and they are taught the value of life, they will gain a healthy respect for both life and gun. Shirley recalls fishing, hunting and camping with her dad, and with that came a great scan0017sense of camaraderie between the two of them. He was her hero, and she knew that he could do anything. I suppose that is part of what made it hard for her when his mind started to go. Suddenly the dad, who had always taken such good care of her and the family, needed her to take care of him. I know how she feels about that. It is a hard thing to know that your parents are aging, and all you can think is, “How can I stop this? I want to go back in time!!” Unfortunately, that can never be. We live the life we have been given, in the time we were meant to live in, and when it is time to go home to heaven, we must go, whether our family is ready or not. Today would have been Uncle Jim Wolfe’s 94th birthday. He left us almost 3 years ago, and we’ll always miss him. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Jim. We love you.

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