And now you know…
The real “Lone Ranger,” it turns out, was an African American man named Bass Reeves, who the legend was based upon. Perhaps not surprisingly, many aspects of his life were written out of the story, including his ethnicity. The basics remained the same: a lawman hunting bad guys, accompanied by a Native American, riding on a white horse, and with a silver trademark.
Historians of the American West have also, until recently, ignored the fact that this man was African American, a free black man who headed West to find himself less subject to the racist structure of the established Eastern and Southern states.
While historians have largely overlooked Reeves, there have been a few notable works on him. Vaunda Michaux Nelson’s book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award for best author. Arthur Burton released an overview of the man’s life a few years ago. Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves recounts that Reeves was born into a life of slavery in 1838. His slave-keeper brought him along as another personal servant when he went off to fight with the Confederate Army, during the Civil War.
Reeves took the chaos that ensued during the war to escape for freedom, after beating his “master” within an inch of his life, or according to some sources, to death. Perhaps the most intruiging thing about this escape was that Reeves only beat his enslaver after the latter lost sorely at a game of cards with Reeves and attacked him.
After successfully defending himself from this attack, he knew that there was no way he would be allowed to live if he stuck around.
Reeves fled to the then Indian Territory of today’s Oklahoma and lived harmoniously among the Seminole and Creek Nations of Native American Indians.
After the Civil War finally concluded, he married and eventually fathered ten children, making his living as a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. If this surprises you, it should, as Reeves was the first African American to ever hold such a position.
Burton explains that it was at this point that the Lone Ranger story comes in to play. Reeves was described as a “master of disguises”. He used these disguises to track down wanted criminals, even adopting similar ways of dressing and mannerisms to meet and fit in with the fugitives, in order to identify them.
Reeves kept and gave out silver coins as a personal trademark of sorts, just like the Lone Ranger’s silver bullets. Of course, the recent Disney adaptation of the Lone Ranger devised a clever and meaningful explanation for the silver bullets in the classic tales. For the new Lone Ranger, the purposes was to not wantonly expend ammunition and in so doing devalue human life. But in the original series, there was never an explanation given, as this was simply something originally adapted from Reeves’ personal life and trademarking of himself. For Reeves, it had a very different meaning, he would give out the valuable coins to ingratiate himself to the people wherever he found himself working, collecting bounties. In this way, a visit from the real “Lone Ranger” meant only good fortune for the town: a criminal off the street and perhaps a lucky silver coin.
Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves was also expert crack shot with a gun. According to legend, shooting competitions had an informal ban on allowing him to enter. Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves rode a white horse throughout almost all of his career, at one point riding a light grey one as well.
Like the famed Lone Ranger legend Reeves had his own close friend like Tonto. Reeves’ companion was a Native American posse man and tracker who he often rode with, when he was out capturing bad guys. In all, there were close to 3000 of such criminals they apprehended, making them a legendary duo in many regions.
The final proof that this legend of Bass Reeves directly inspired into the story of the Lone Ranger can be found in the fact that a large number of those criminals were sent to federal prison in Detroit. The Lone Ranger radio show originated and was broadcast to the public in 1933 on WXYZ in Detroit where the legend of Reeves was famous only two years earlier.
Of course, WXYZ and the later TV and movie adaptions weren’t about to make the Lone Ranger an African American who began his career by beating a slave-keeper to death. But now you know. Spread the word and let people know the real legend of the Lone Ranger.
Mary Bacon was a lot of things: talented, funny, brave, ignorant. She was a female jockey at a time when that was new and controversial. A mother, a kidnapping victim, a Playboy model, a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
With Hollywood Park closing soon, her story and its connection to the famed Inglewood racetrack are worth recalling.
One of the things that helped make her a superstar after she broke into the male-dominated world of horseracing in 1969 was her humor.
On posing for Playboy:
"I thought they’d just want pictures of me with mud splattered on my face after a race. When they wanted the nude I thought it was funny. The only thing that sticks off me is my bumpy collar bones."
On husband Johnny Bacon (whom she divorced in the ’70s) crashing into her during a race and receiving a five-day suspension:
"That’s nothing. I gave him five nights."
On wearing flowered underwear, which showed through her white jockey pants:
"When I’m in the lead, it gives the boys back there something to look at."
In July of that year, she was in her hotel near Hollywood Park fuming because owners and trainers didn’t want her to ride.
"I’m not going to get involved," one owner told Times reporter Cheryl Bentsen. "I would never have put her on that horse in the first place if I’d known about the Klan thing. I’m not going to make any statement. I’m glad she didn’t ride."
As Bentsen reported, “The ‘Klan thing’ was Bacon’s attendance at a Ku Klux Klan rally … in Walker, La.” From the vantage of 2013, Bacon’s lengthy explanations — in an article headlined “‘The Klan Thing’” — don’t help her case.
In April, when she had finished the season in New Orleans, she decided to stay an extra 10 days while the tracks up north thawed.
"I was curious about the Klan," she said. "I’d seen the movie ‘The Klansman’ and I’d seen a TV special about the FBI versus the Klan and I was fascinated. I was curious, that’s all. And I was right in the middle of it, so I started asking abouit it, and after snooping I found out about the rally. In the South, everybody knows where rallies are going to be. And I wanted to see what it was all about.
"I figured, who’d be in Walker, Louisiana? I never figured anything would come of it. Really, the Klan is no different than any other organization. It’s like the Masons. It is very misunderstood and it is not where it was 110 years ago when it was founded. It is against forced busing and forced integration, forcing two opposites together. They’re not against any certain little thing. It really wasn’t what I thought it would be like. It wasn’t like the movies. It was kind of boring. I thought I was going to see all this good stuff. I thought I’d be right in the middle of all this weird stuff, but it wasn’t like that. I really don’t know anymore about it than anybody else. It was disappointing. There was just all this crap about busing. I also went to some voodoo, witchcraft thing when I was down there too, but nobody said anything about that."
She said she joined the Klan after the rally, and she does not like the “sensationalism” in the press.
"All those things they said I spoke, I didn’t say," she said. "I was just going along with everything, and it was all blown out of proportion."
Some time during the rally, spontaneously, she said, she got up to speak. There were TV news cameras taking it all in.
"The quotes were wrong," she said. "You know, when I’m home I might call my daughter a name, but if she knocks over something in the grocery store I’ll just say, ‘Now Suzie, don’t do that." You know, you don’t say things in the streets that you’d say to your own people. They glamorized everything I said."
The first repercussions from the rally to affect her career occurred recently in Omaha, where a black state senator tried to stop the track from letting her race. Nevertheless, she was allowed to ride.
"Every letter I’ve received has been to hang in there," she said. "I even got letters from people close to the senator asking me for an autographed picture. They told me it took a lot of guts to admit I was a Klan member. They told me to stand up for what I believe, because that is what made America great. But it doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m not Angela Davis or Jane Fonda. … All I care about is riding.
"I don’t have any hatred for any group. I’m Catholic and I belong to the Klan. My favorite music is hillbilly or Motown. I sure as heck wouldn’t be listening to Barry White or Marvin Gaye if I hated them.
"I just want everybody to know that I’m not against any group or race and I’m out here to ride and they should judge me on my riding, not my personal life.
"You’d think I was out in the stands handing out pamphlets for the Klan. Heck, I don’t hate anybody. I don’t even understand all this stuff."
For trainers, Mary Bacon is a difficult problem. Many say they want her to ride because she is good, but they don’t want their names involved with her for fear owners will drop them. …
For Hollywood Park, it is a delicate problem. “Since her mounts have been scratched, we really haven’t been involved, except for the phone calls,” a spokesman said. “I’ve heard some derogatory comments on the backstretch about her. We really don’t need any trouble. Watts is right down Century Blvd., and we have a very good rapport with that community. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a right to her opinions, but this seems to be part of a pattern of her outlandish behavior.”
Mary Bacon explained it by saying she is a free spirit. “See this bird tattoo on my stomach? I just did it,” she said. “I never premeditate anything. I do what I want to do and I guess you’re not supposed to do that. Life is short and I don’t think you should suppress your desires. It is like riding a race, it only lasts a minute and you have to make a lot of decisions. Should I go to the inside or the outside? Should I move now? You don’t have time to think, you just do it. It’s either right or wrong.
"I’m not afraid of this. Winning is living to me, and if I don’t ride, I don’t win. I’ve been through this before. It was hard when girls first started to ride. Life is one thing after another. But I’m not scared because I want to ride again. And if they think they are going to stop me they are wrong. I don’t hate anybody. I feel sorry for somebody who uses me as an excuse to cause a problem. Some people wait for something like this to come along. I’m not so bad. Some of my best friends are black."
All that verbal bobbing and weaving fits with her habit of giving varying accounts of her life story to reporters. WomenSports magazine tried to sort it all out once:
"Mary Bacon is 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26. She’s from Illinois, Oklahoma, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico. By the she was 16 she had ridden thoroughbreds, quarter horses, trotters, show horses and bulls in rodeos and race tracks all over the country; she was an exercise girl, a stable hand, a riding pro, an assistant riding pro, a parade marshal and a horse master; she had slugged cops, stolen chickens, was in a foster home, three reform schools, was a sixth grade dropout, a high school graduate, a lifeguard, a dancer, a topless go-go girl, a wife, a mother and a professional jockey."
"The Klan thing" caused her career to crash, and all the falls from horses took their toll too. An accident at Northern California’s Golden Gate Fields in 1982, "worse than the others," The Times’ obituary said, “scrambled her mind besides punishing her body. She was unconscious for 11 days, and people who talked to her long afterward noticed that she was missing a familiar mental sharpness. ‘She’s broken 39 bones,’ her husband, jockey Jeff Anderson, said at the time. ‘This is the first time she’s broken her brain.’”
In June 1991, in her early 40s, she shot herself. She had cancer that “made her too weak to ride,” the Baltimore Sun reported. Bacon “must have wept over facing a life without racehorses – no life for her at all.”
More on Hollywood Park:
Original published caption, July 3, 1975: LADY IN WAITING—Jockey Mary Bacon came to Hollywood Park to ride but her attendance at a Ku Klux Klan meeting recently caused some owners and trainers to shy away. Credit: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library
It’s true what he says though - there is no subject position from which it’s ok to talk about inequality - if you’re poor you are doing it out of jealously, if you’re not poor you’re doing it out of guilt/saviour complex, if you are young it’s just a phase, if you’re old you are hankering for times long gone and trying to recapture your youth, if you’re not well educated you just don’t understand the complexity of the situation, if you are well educated you’re in an academic bubble divorced from reality, if your politically apathetic you’re not allowed to complain, if you’re politically active you’re just trying to push your own sectarian agenda…
For every possible type of person there’s an established reason why your opinions on inequality are invalid. That’s not an accident.
Relevant, and important to understand.
A Most Unusual Gun Battle in Kentucky, 1955
On the night of August 21st, 1955 a man named Billy Ray Taylor was visiting his friends, the Sutton family, on their family farm near Kelly, Kentucky. A large farming family, the Sutton household that night consisted of eleven members including widowed family matriarch Glennie Lankford (50); her children, Lonnie (12), Charlton (10), and Mary (7); two sons from her previous marriage, Elmer “Lucky” Sutton (25) and John Charley “J.C.” Sutton (21), and their respective wives, Vera (29) and Alene (27); Alene’s brother, O.P. Baker (30 or 35); and a Pennsylvania couple, Billy Ray Taylor (21) and June Taylor (18).
At around 7:00 pm Billy Ray went to fetch water from the well when a bright light streaked over the sky, landing in the distance near the treeline. An hour later several strange creatures approached, described as four feet tall and were said to have large pointed ears, clawlike hands (with talons at the fingers’ ends), and eyes that glowed yellow. Billy Ray and Elmer “Lucky” Sutton member fetched a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun. When the creatures approached to within 20 ft of the house, they opened fire.
When shot the strange creatures were knocked to the ground with a metallic thud, but not harmed. The men shot at the creatures in the trees and even on the house as they crawled on the roof. At one point one of the creatures was able to grab Taylor by the hair and lift him off of the ground. The men barricaded themselves within the cabin with their family and friends. However the creatures would peer into the windows, trying to find a way in. When they did so Taylor or Elmer Sutton would open fire, knocking the creature to the ground and causing it to scamper away into the forest.
After three hours a there was a lull in the fighting and the Sutton’s quickly piled into their cars and headed to the local police station. An hour later dozens of officers from the local and state police swarmed the area. They found a barricaded cabin riddled with bullet holes but no sign of the strange creatures. The Sutton’s were not the only ones to witness strange things that night, dozens of people, including police officers sighted strange lights, flying saucers, and strange sounds throughout the night. However, it is unknown whether the battle at the Sutton farm was an elaborate hoax or the truth.
It’s so frustrating to see the masses care so much about things that matter so little and care so little about the things that matter so much. Open your 3rd eye. #Syria #Russia #MileySyrus #Sheep #Brainwashed #Corporate #Propaganda #SmokeScreens #FalseFlag #MatrixFlow #3rdEyeOpen
let’s talk about housecats and how fucking weird they are evolutionarily/anthropologically
like who thought it was a good idea to have tiny malicious predators in our homes anyways????? (not us actually)
are they even domesticated????!!!?? (yes) do they even feel LOVE???????!!? (yes)
LET’S LEARN ABOUT CATS
“you ready 2 learn punk”
The last Sugarbear update:
I have some very bad news to report.
My big beautiful orange tabby has passed away.
The cause of death was not a post-surgical infection or some other medical blunder. Our air conditioner had stopped working and it was impossible to get a repairman. For the past week, Las Vegas has been suffering under Death Valley temperatures. At least six deaths here have been blamed on the heat. For the last week the house has been an oven. It is so hot that the thermometer needle in the wall thermostat had nowhere left to go. My usually efficient portable swamp cooler was rendered useless by the high humidity, and before I knew it, it was as hot as a parked car in here.
Despite my attempts to keep him cool, Sugarbear started to show signs of heatstroke late Wednesday night. By Thursday morning, it was clear his condition was worsening. Because Mountain Vista Animal Hospital was closed for the 4th of July, the only alternative was an animal emergency room for which I didn’t have the money for or the means to get to. I tried calling friends for help, but none of them were available. I tried calling friends living in California for help. But it was the 4th of July.
Sugarbear died quietly in my arms last Thursday evening at 7:30 PM. Up to his last moment, I was telling him how loved he was by me and all of you.
My brother took me back to Mountain Vista Animal Hospital the following morning so could I give over Sugarbear’s body to them for cremation. Later on, I will bring his ashes home and keep them with me until my time comes, so Sugarbear and I can rest together at Craig Road Pet Cemetery.
There are some incredibly wonderful people who are living from paycheck to paycheck who donated money to pay for Sugarbear’s medical bills. I was told by the staff at Mountain Vista Animal Hospital that what I had done for Sugarbear was amazing. That’s not true. It is the people who sent in those donations to help my cat who are the amazing ones. There is just no way I can thank all of you enough.
This is probably a bad time to ask, but I still have veterinary bills left to pay, plus the cost of Sugarbear’s cremation. I want to try and stay on Mountain Vista Animal Hospital’s good side because I’ve decided to put my other cat up for adoption to a good home because it’s clear to me that I can’t take of my animals anymore and I need their help.
Mountain Vista Animal Hospital is set up to take donations over the phone towards Sugarbear account. The account number is #17261. All donations will go directly to Mountain Vista and none to me.
Mountain Vista Animal Hospital is located at 4675 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121. The telephone number is 702-458- 8808 and the Fax is 702-458-8796. Mountain Vista Animal Hospital’s website is www.mvahvetlv.com