What is the Corral about?
Well, simply, it is a place to round-up ideas, thoughts, comments and anything else you may like to hear about. My original intention was to have a forum but the time to manage such a gathering is really beyond me at this stage. But via email I can gather up your input and get it into the Corral.
So, would you like to make comment?
What is your favorite western story, either as a book or a movie?
Want to tell us why?
What are you currently reading, watching or listening to (regardless if it is a Western or not)?
What do you want to see in future Western stories (grit or romance, maybe both, gunplay or justice, grim reality or happy endings)?
Anything you would like to see in one of my stories?
Another year is upon us, but what happened to the last one? It seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Maybe it’s just me, and getting old! But whatever it is, it’s scary just how quickly these years pass by.
I had a wonderful surprise by which to end 2013. I was given tickets, as a Xmas gift, to see Cavalia. My horse-loving granddaughter had seen the show and I think she may have had a word or two with her mother and father, so lucky me.
The Montreal based company has brought its massive big top to Australia and to our west coast capital of Perth. This is no mean feat as we must be close to one of the most isolated cities in the world; therefore the logistics would have been enormous.
This particular touring show is titled, ‘The Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse’, and magical it was. With 43 horses, 36 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians, it is spectacular in every sense.
For someone who loves the Western, but whose backside hasn’t dusted a saddle in years, it was a rare opportunity to see the magnificence of fine horses and horsemanship (and ‘horsewomanship’ too as many of the expert riders were women).
The spectacle made me pause and wonder if what I was seeing might have resembled the equestrian skills that were on display in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show that toured North America and Europe for some thirty years from 1883 to 1913? So, I did a little follow-up research of eyewitness accounts from the period, and in fact it seems that the Buffalo Bill show may have had a lot in common with Cavalia that was devised by Normand Latourelle of Cirque du Soleil fame, and in which he has incorporates a salute to the Old West.
Buffalo Bill’s shows celebrated the winning of the West with the adventure of wild animals, trick performances, and theatrical reenactments. And boy was it ever popular with over ten million spectators in two years. It appeared as a command performance for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 and at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. But was this spectacle based on facts or just mythology and legend? I guess the answer was a mix of all three and may well have contributed to the accepted image of the Old West, as glorified a little later by the fledgling film industry in Hollywood.
Cavalia had many memorable moments of showmanship, skill and daring, and seeing Quarter horses at full gallop with trick riding was a real thrill. If you get a chance to see it, do so, you won’t be disappointed and it may be the only chance in a lifetime to get close to the thrill of the Buffalo Bill show.
As we embark on a new year, may I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for 2014 and may it be a happy and prosperous one.