June Cleaver and Miss Kitty Walk into a Bar

Have you ever wondered what would happen if June Cleaver walked into the Long Branch Saloon?  Miss Kitty might eye her up and down to see if Cleaver is trouble, or she might say, “What’ll ya have?” to which Cleaver would probably say, “Tea, dear.” You are likely wondering what these two have in common. … Continue reading June Cleaver and Miss Kitty Walk into a Bar

Sweethearts of the Rodeo

First thoughts of western couples often conjure up Roy Rogers and Dales Evans – Hollywood’s silver screen sweethearts. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans – photo taken at the 61st Academy Awards, March 29, 1989, photo by Alan Light[1] Although Rogers and Evans met through rodeo and he actually proposed in an arena, there were also many famous … Continue reading Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Cowgirls in Cowtown

The brisk change in weather and chance of precipitation are right on cue. Those of us who grew up in anticipation of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo could tell when time for the first rodeo was near. As a kid, the excitement of getting to go to the rodeo, and travel to the … Continue reading Cowgirls in Cowtown

Cowgirl Christmases and the New Year’s Rodeo Season

The holiday season in today’s rodeo world kind of kicks off with the end of the season and the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas – but it wasn’t always so. This Christmas break led me to reflect on the lives of the rodeo cowgirls I research, who competed in rodeo at the turn of … Continue reading Cowgirl Christmases and the New Year’s Rodeo Season

Bad Girls and Bimbos in Boots

Bad girls in the Old West was not a term just limited to soiled doves or saloon girls. Bad girls in the West, both in reality and on the silver screen, have come to identify women who refused to conform to society’s assigned gender roles and etiquette expected of a lady in the Victorian West. … Continue reading Bad Girls and Bimbos in Boots

Singing Cowboys and Tone-deaf Cowgirls

Singing cowboys made their entrance onto the silver screen in the 1930s and remained popular through the early 1950s. Perhaps the two most well-known are Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. https://youtu.be/IQIagUuGn5Q Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette singing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” in Heart of the Rio Grande (1942) The singing cowboy actually began … Continue reading Singing Cowboys and Tone-deaf Cowgirls

Finding Waldo and other Camouflaged Items

When I first began researching rodeo cowgirls for my dissertation, one archivist told me to quit. She said I was looking for a needle in a haystack and I would not find sources adequate for a dissertation on women. Not to be deterred by one grump, I continued looking. It hasn’t been easy, and not … Continue reading Finding Waldo and other Camouflaged Items

Leading Ladies Necessary for Oaters’ Success

Magers, Boyd and Michael G. Fitzgerald, Westerns Women: Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. Many people fondly recall having seen their favorite Western as a kid, perhaps at a local theater for the matinee. In addition, when asking … Continue reading Leading Ladies Necessary for Oaters’ Success

Rodeo’s Deeply Rooted Patriotism

Some of the best rodeos of the season are on the July schedule. True, it is hotter than blazes in some areas where rodeos show during the summer, but it doesn’t seem to deter the crowds, perhaps because of the ice cream, snow cones, and frozen lemonades now available at the concession stands, but more … Continue reading Rodeo’s Deeply Rooted Patriotism

A Tale of Two Conferences, and Mythbusting

Recently I traveled to present my research and I decided to make use of the travel delays to reflect on the questions discussed in the digital history class I'm taking, specifically those that pertain to how digital history fits into the profession today.  The uncertainty of how digital history is changing academic practices extends beyond the classroom … Continue reading A Tale of Two Conferences, and Mythbusting