Kit Perriman


August 21, 2019

The Dalton Gang

  • The Dalton Gang were active between 1890-1892, in Kansas and Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
  • Their name came from the three Dalton-brother members: Bob (1868-1892), Emmett “Em”(1871-1937), and Gratton “Grat” (1865-1892).
  • An older brother – Frank – had been a Deputy Marshal, but he was killed in 1888.  His three siblings initially followed in his footsteps, and only turned to crime after they were not paid for upholding the law.
  • The Dalton family came from Indian Territory and later settled in Kansas.
  • They were related to the Younger Brothers who rode with Jesse James.
  • This gang specialized in bank and train robberies.
  • They were notoriously violent and sometimes shot innocent bystanders.
  • Other members included Dick Broadwell, Bill Power, Bill Doolin, Charlie Bryant, Charley Pierce, and George Newcomb.
  • The majority of the gang was killed trying to rob two banks at the same time, when the townsfolk of Coffeyville (Kansas) formed a posse and protected their money in a lengthy shootout.

Sources:, “This Day In History,” at

HistoryNet, “The Dalton Gang,” at

Rosa, Joseph, G. Age of the Gunfighter: Man and Weapons on the Frontier, 1840-1900. Oklahoma: U of Oklahoma P, 1995.

Wikipedia, “Dalton Gang,” at


August 20, 2019

Cowboy Frog Joke

Q: What do you call the frog who wants to be a cowboy?

A: Hop-a-long Cassidy!

August 19, 2019


They Call The Wind Maria

(Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe)

Away out here they’ve got a name
For rain, and wind, and fire.
The rain is Tess,
The fire is Joe,
And they call the wind, Maria!

Maria blows the stars around
Sets the clouds a-flying.
Maria makes
The mountains sound like folks was out there dying.
Maria (Maria)
Maria (Maria)
They call
The wind

Before I knew
Maria’s name,
And heard her wail and whining
I had a gal
And she had me,
And the sun
Was always shining.

But then one day
I left my gal,
I left her far behind me.
And now I’m lost,
So gold-darn lost
Not even God
Can find me.
They call
The wind

Out here they have a name for rain,
And wind and fire only.
When you’re lost and all alone,
There ain’t no name for lonely.
I am a lost and lonely man
Without a star to guide me,
Maria, blow my love to me
I need my gal beside me.
Maria (Maria)
Maria (Maria)
They call
The wind
Maria (Maria)
They call
The wind

August 16, 2019

Cowboy Wisdom #19

“If you’ve lived to be 29 and have made no enemies –

– you’re a failure!”

August 15, 2019

Black Elk Speaks: Four

August 14, 2019

Black Elk Speaks: Three

Black Elk 3

August 13, 2019

Black Elk Speaks: Two

Black Elk 2

August 12, 2019

Black Elk Speaks: One

August 09, 2019

Kit’s Crit: Dodge City (Tom Clavin)

Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson. and the Wickedest Town In the American West

(Tom Clavin)

Although Dodge City  has the Author’s Note, Illustrations, Bibliography, and Index of a non-fiction book, the tone and lack of scholarly footnotes makes the book appear more like one of the hybrid non-fiction/fiction books recently made popular by writers such as Erik Larson.  It is an account of how the Earp and Masterson families brought frontier justice to the “wickedest town in the American west” during the late Nineteenth Century.

A lot of interesting facts come to light throughout the tale.  Parts of the book are particularly entertaining and will undoubtedly appeal to the western reader, though scholars may argue the accuracy of some minor details.  The latter half of the book is the most engaging.

But whereas writers like Larson manage to effortlessly weave their history within a narrative setting, Clavin’s work is clunky and too reliant on a journalistic approach, darting around from person to person, following after minor characters with no consistent timeline, story, or authorial voice to join things together.  In Chapter Ten, Clavin adopts a casual tone:  “After all that Bat had been through on many a hoof-beaten trail, this town probably seemed like a good place to slap the dust off his clothes, wet his whistle, and enjoy the company of good gamblers and not-so-good women (118).”  Yet three chapters later a more academic voice explains, “In May 1877, The Kansas City Times sent one of its reporters the 335 miles west to give readers a glimpse of the young city on the edge of the frontier that the people in the east were hearing more and more about.  He stepped off the train at 8.30 A.M., ‘in the tranquil stillness of the morning.  In this respect Dodge is peculiar.  She awakens from her slumbers about eleven A.M., takes her sugar and lemon at twelve, a square meal at one P.M., commences biz at two o’clock, gets lively at four, and at ten it is hip-liiphurrail till five in the morning (151)’.”  This mix of popular and academic writing does always not work well together.

That said, I believe Dodge City is worth reading for the detailed insight into Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.  I particularly enjoyed Clavin’s efforts to show how these figures interacted with other legends of the American west.  And I certainly know a whole lot more about Dodge City than I ever did before!



August 08, 2019

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