The MISSING DEPOT in Cheyenne, Wyoming

On May 26th I did a post about a post card of the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Today I feature what used to be across the street; a lovely old train depot.

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Looking online with Google I find that what's across the street now bears no resemblance to this fine train depot. There is now a large park with a different depot.

I read nothing but rave reviews about this park and depot, but I can't but wish that I'd been able to look out of a room of the Plains Hotel across 16th Street to the old depot on this card with trains pulling in. Better than a freeway onramp.

The post card was published by Harry Heye Tammen. You can read a bit more about him by clicking on his name in the labels below.

And click here to see another post card of the old depot. According to the sign in this shot, this was also a bus depot.


MAYBE I'M DEAD by Joe Klass

In honor of Memorial Day.

Dell 1st edition 1958. Publication copyright 1955.

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In January 1945 the Russian offensive had reached within seven miles of the somber prison camp at Sagan.  The prisoners' dreams were agonizingly close to being realized.  Then, with only four hours notice, they were ordered to march west, away from freedom into more months of captivity.

Out into the night, therefore, the long, winding column began the march.  Some men proved to be heroes; in some the moral fiber snapped.  Under the unbearable ordeal some sank down by the road and died.  Some few rose to the heights of sacrifice.  To all of them as they huddled in the icy winds, memories returned at intervals, heartbreaking memories of days when they were free and proud and owned the sky.

How more than ten-thousand freezing men survived and nearly three-thousand fell by the wayside to be shot or frozen to death is an agonizing tale by one who was actually there and personally experienced the horror and lived to write this unforgettable portrait of what actually happened to these unsung heroes of World War II. 

Maybe I'm Dead is an epic account of what young men in history's greatest human conflict suffered so all of us may enjoy the prize they won for us--unfettered, unabashed freedom. (SOURCE: Joe Klass)  
A current edition of this book is available at Amazon. Sadly I cannot make out the name of the illustrator of this vintage cover. If I do I'll post what information I find.


More cowbell please...I MEAN CARS!

The Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming has been open for business since March 1911. Many a buckaroo and buckarett have passed through their doors. I figure at one point in the early 1960s I drove by at least twice.

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In the late 1800’s the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming was called "The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the "Plains Hotel.” The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December, 1909.

In the midst of the meeting, Thomas Heaney, club President, interrupted the other discussions to give his opinion that Cheyenne was badly in need of a new and modern hotel. At the time, the main hotel in town was one called the Inter-Ocean which, over time had become outdated and had taken on the more of a role as the city’s principal watering hole.

Though Heaney had said this in a somewhat joking fashion, the other men agreed and by February of the following year, the Cheyenne Securities Company was organized for the purpose of building a new hotel. Moving quickly, the hotel was designed by architect William Duboise and in March, a contract was awarded to build it. Construction started in June, 1910 and in March, 1911 it was completed at a costs of about $250,000, including furnishings.

On March 9, 1911, the hotel hosted an elaborate grand opening that was attended by men in full evening dress, gallant Army Officers and a host of elegantly gowned ladies. As a band played until the wee hours of the morning, the guests danced and admired the magnificent appointments and furnishings of the new hotel, modern to the smallest detail.

The five story hotel featured three elevators, 100 guest rooms, lush velvet carpets, fine furnishings, private baths, and telephones in the guest rooms, luxuries not seen in most hotels of the time. (SOURCE: Legends of America)
My only question pertains to the card shown above and the abundance of cars parked along the streets. I wonder if all of these cars were in the original photo or did the boss at the Sanborn Souvenir Company in Denver say to his staff artist, "More cars!"

You can never have too many cars on a post card or cowbells in a song.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough, more cars do indeed make a difference. Here's a similar card by the same company. Bustling! Not bustling.


JOHN WAYNE gives it a big thumbs up!

Even if you've never read the book, you're probably familiar with the title Hondo, even if you've never seen the movie.

What's interesting about this cover is how long this illustration by James Dwyer  (1898-1973) was used. From what I can find, the image was first used on a paperback in 1953. The copy I have I think came from the late '60s or early '70s. That's pretty rare for an image to last through that many editions. Click on the links to see other Hondo covers and to read the brief information about Dwyer.

The film adaptation came out in 1953, the same year this illustration was first used. 
Hondo is a Warnercolor 3D Western film made in 1953, starring John Wayne, directed by John Farrow. The screenplay is based on the July 5, 1952 Colliers short story "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour. The book Hondo was a novelization of the film also written by L'Amour, and published by Bantam Books in 1953. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Interesting that the book wouldn't have happened had there not been a movie attached. So this book, with Wayne's praise, could loosely be considered a movie tie-in book.

Here's the poster from the movie from Wikipedia.

I'm sure it's just me, but whenever I hear the name John Wayne I first think of him standing silhouetted in the doorway at the end of The Searchers. My next thought is, well...perhaps not one you come up with. One of my very favorite movies, Smoke Signals.


If you see these guys IN A DARK ALLEY...

come up with another shortcut to take. I'm just sayin'.

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No idea who the illustrators might be.


Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, and the UNKNOWN COWBOY

A movie tie-in book. Love collecting these. Pointless, but always fun to find one.

So how would you feel to have gotten a part in the movie, your image on the cover of the book, but then no information given as to who you are? People in the movie who aren't on the cover got credit, but the lone fellow on the right is left out. I'm a guessin' he's thikin' somethin' along the lines of, "I think I'd better talk to my agent."

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Is that you DWIGHT?

It might just be another Louis L'Amour cover, but this time I'm curious about the fellow on the left. Is that Dwight Yoakam? Is it just me?

This cover came out in 1980. Dwight was not yet nationally famous, though he might have already been knocking around the Los Angeles scene. So where did the illustrator get the photo? Or is this all by chance? Not something really worth pondering, but there's no information about the illustrator so the story ends...here.


DAVID BLOSSOM'S Louis L'Amour Cover

My father had a friend who was Cherokee. The man loved to read and watch Westerns; a passion they shared. After he passed, his widow called dad and asked if he'd like to have a box of Louis L'Amour paperbacks. Dad is never one to jump to a "yes", so I said it for him. He frowned at me, but enjoyed reading all of the books.

I'll be featuring some of the covers. They date mainly back to the 1970s.

This cover was done, I believe, by David J. Blossom (1927-1995), son of Earl Blossom (1891-1970).
He was born in Chicago, Illinois but lived most of his life on the east coast, growing up in Rye, New York and Weston, Connecticut. He lived in Westport and Southport, Connecticut until 1963, when he moved with his family to Weston, where he lived until his death in 1995. 

He worked at Young & Rubicam as an art director (for the Ford Motor Company and Pan American Airways accounts) until moving to Weston, CT when he became a freelance illustrator. (SOURCE: AskArt)
He was known for illustrating Romance and Western covers.

Click here and here to see examples of Romance book covers; specifically nurses. And click here to see other examples of this cover as movie tie-in paperbacks.


FIDDLEFOOT by Luke Short

Apparently a "fiddlefoot" is a drifter. Learn something everyday, no matter how useless.



I'm certainly not the only one who gets annoyed when they see women sitting, doing nothing, looking scared when some sort of a fight is taking place. I mean, grab a rock and hit one of them on the head. Hit someone with your whip. Quit playing helpless! Drives me nuts in movies and tv. While the dame is hiding in the corner, my eyes are scouring the room for weapons. Grab the lamp. Find a heavy book. DON'T JUST SIT THERE! DO SOMETHING!

I've never been fond of the "oh poor pitiful helpless me" school of women. I'm guessing the woman in this book might not be someone I'd like.

Click on image to see it larger.

Again, nothing about the cover illustrator.



Luke Short was a gunslinger.

Luke Short was a writer.

There were two men named Luke Short. Did the second take the pen name hoping for name recognition?

This edition was published in 1950.

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As to the illustrator of the cover? No idea.



It's the 1960s; somewhere between 1964 and probably '67. If you were a reader of Datebook magazine you were shown exactly who your peers dug and hated.

Imagine such a poll today. The putrid spilling of illogical hatred would be overwhelming.

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This post will be completely off-topic. I won’t be talking about vintage ephemera, though what I’m going to discuss has a certain ephemeral quality to it.

I’m going to ask you a question I’d like you to ponder.

How would you like a future where the software you use on your computer is rented from month to month? You no longer purchase and install the software, deciding down the line if you want to upgrade when it’s convenient and affordable for you. Instead, along with your monthly utility bills, mortgage/rent payment, insurance, car expense bills, etc., you have to add in rental of computer software. Imagine all the software you use has a monthly fee you must pay. If you miss a payment or decide to stop paying you will no longer be able to open the native files you created in the software. And the actual software on your computer will cease working even though the price you have paid over a series of years is now much more than if you’d been able to actually buy the product. They promise amazing upgrades, though you know that is unlikely. And you’ll be paying for software you don’t even want simply because if you want and need certain software you have to pay for all of it.

The manufacturer promises you that it will be a set fee per month if you sign up for a year. They don’t promise that the next year the cost won’t go up 50% or even 120% or more. You’ll simply never know what it will cost from year to year. You will be at the mercy of the monopoly that manufacturers your software. And by paying for eternity you’ll have paid far far more than if you’d been able to buy it. But hey, the CEO of the company can now plan ahead about that sailing yacht he was thinking about buying.

Imagine all software being rental only. Your web browser for $25 a month. Your Office package for $45 a month. Your operating system for $75 a month. Games? Maybe $15 for low end games, but high games could be $80 a month. With prices like this you’d be paying out $2700 a year to software companies. Does this sound crazy?

Welcome to the world today, not the world of tomorrow. Adobe has decided that from now on they will not sell any new high end software such as Photoshop and InDesign. If you wish to use their newest software you must pay them a rental fee of $50 a month with a year contract. They call it Creative Cloud. They want all customers to be indentured customers for eternity. Well, you can cancel the service, but then you can’t open any of the work you created because they shut your software down. And they want you to store your work on their servers. What’s wrong with this picture? Do you want a software company to be part of your team? Do you want to be a part of theirs? Or do you just want to buy the software from the manufacturer, install it, and be left alone by the corporation. You certainly don’t want the corporation being able to spy on your usage of their product since you must have a net connection when you rent it. The contract will be very intrusive leaving the end user with no rights. It’s all in the fine print.

This is here and now. This isn’t the future. And if Adobe isn’t stopped you can bet that more and more companies will consider doing this. The floodgates of renting software are about to open. As consumers we won’t be able to stop it if Adobe gets away with this.

Think of this as my public service announcement. This has been a warning, only a warning, unless you use Adobe products, then it’s reality. The other software companies are waiting in the wings hoping to jump on this bandwagon.

If you're easily offended don't click on the video below.


NAME the "stars"

Apparently the previous post stumped everyone. This one is bound to be easier.


NAME the stars

There is a lot that divides us these days, including pop culture. People that were famous to me are now unknown by younger people. Of course, it isn't always the case because some stars continue to shine long after the glimmer has worn off or they have passed into the far reaches of the universe.

So I've decided to run some photos from the Modern Teen magazine from 1963 that I've been featuring the past several posts. I'll be interested to see if any of these former stars are recognized today.

For the first image I give you three people, each who had successful careers. Do you know who they are?



Okay, ladies and gents. This is what you've been waiting for! I've got a HUGE PRIZE here for some lucky fan. All expense paid trip to Hollywood, California and a part on Dr. Kildare! The real Hollywood. Not the Florida, Hollywood. The one with the odd footprints and handprints and paw prints in cement. The one where a guy dressed like Charlie Chaplin used to wander around Hollywood Boulevard freaking me out. THE Hollywood.

Make sure you read all the details. You wouldn't want to miss out on this one because of not crossing a "t" or dotting an "i."

Of course, some time travel at your own expense* is required. This contest IS from 1963. But on the upside, I don't see any date for when the contest entries had to be in. So don't let the fact that Dr. Kildare has been off the air for decades stop you from entering. And if you're a guy, well...times have changed. This might be the trip for you too! I'm sure we could take the skirt in with some seams and make a smart short pant suit for you.

Dream big my friends. DREAM BIG!

Click on any image to see it larger.

*This contest is brought to you by the June 1963 Modern Teen magazine. This website has no responsibility to help you with your time travel should you win this prize. If you do win this prize, or know of anyone who has, please contact the editor because MAN, I WANT TO HEAR ALL ABOUT IT! 

**My condolences to Mr. Chamberlain if he actually had to go through with this.



This one is pure heaven inside.

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Four of the following are dead. Do you know which ones?

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