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May 2007

5/4/2007

Simon's Record

Scott just found this, a profile of Simon's time in the Colorado House. He was on the Finance Ways & Means, Mines & Mining and Penitentiary committees. And that's about the extent of it...

-CJ


5/6/2007

Space Blongers

Fantastic Universe

This might be fun. Scott found this Blonger reference on books.google.com, snippets from the February, 1955 issue of the popular science fiction anthology Fantastic Universe.

Blonger had a wide mout [sic] and a broad jaw. He smiles what, in a normal face, would...

Also something about a "Colt's self-charger," whatever that is.

The story is He Stepped on the Devil's Tail by Winston Marks, described as "An inspirationally virginal college student becomes the focal point of Satan's attempt to spread immorality." Now, this may not be our man, but the moral dilemma implicit in the setting suggests that it well could be. We'll find out.

-CJ


5/13/2007

The Blonger Bros. and the Fine Arts.

A new section has just opened, Blongers in Fiction, describing the role of Lou the Fixer on stage, screen and in print.


Lou's Blue Card

Received today from Victoria Newman at the Museum of Colorado Prisons, at the behest of Pat Kant, Executive Director, Lou's "blue card," which is a "hard copy of a hard copy they carry on all inmates who have been in the system since day one."

Lou's Blue Card

Not much here, but a couple of curiosities:

The photo was previously unknown. That brings our collection of known likenesses to ten.

Intoxicants: No If true, it suggests that the old saloonman gave up drinking for his health in later years. We assume he was a hard-drinking man at some point. Could he always have been a tea totaler?

Cause of death: Cardio-renal disease and renal calculus I'm not sure; this may be more detail than we had before.

Glass neg2 That's a good one, though a search reveals the same phrase used to denote which glass negative was used for a photo print.

-CJ


Dan Tucker

Here's an interesting quote from author Bob Alexander (friend of the site) in reference to his recent book Six-Guns and Single-Jacks. The book is about the Silver City area in southern New Mexico and its wild and wooly reputation. Lou spent 1883 through 1887 there, apparently with gambler Frank Thurmond. This is an almost entirely unexplored period for us, but next in line for some research.

Take Silver City lawman Dan Tucker, for example, who might have stepped right out of a Clint Eastwood Western. Alexander's new book points out that even the (later) fabled Wyatt Earp once went out of his way to avoid Tucker, then in Deming: "On their flight to avoid lawful prosecution for homicides committed in Arizona Territory and, while riding on the dodge, the Earp crowd smartly forwent a quick Southern Pacific Railroad train ride and a trip through pulsating Deming. Knowledge of the posting of Dan Tucker at Deming was widespread. The fleeing Earp bunch opted not to put Dan Tucker and his steady companion, a W. Richards double-barreled shotgun, to the test."

If you're paying attention, you know that Earp, Holliday and the others came to Albuquerque, where Sam was marshal, after crossing the Arizona border down south, near Silver City. It's interesting to suggest they would have avoided Silver City because of the local lawman's reputation, and choose Sam's town instead — further suggesting, I think, that the posse was well aware of who was in charge of what town, and that Sam and Lou would be hospitable hosts for their stay of several days.

And for the benefit of the article's author, I'd like to point out that Earp was in fact fabled at the time. Newspapers all across the region kept abreast of his doings in Tombstone, and the nation watched as his posse raged across Arizona, then fled from justice. In fact, an article that appeared in Albuquerque shortly before their arrival warned readers of their impending approach (though the warning turned out to be premature by about two weeks).

Albuquerque Morning Journal, March 28, 1882

The Earps in Albuquerque.
Last night, at a late hour, a JOURNAL reporter learned that the famous Earp boys were headed for Albuquerque, and that they were on the Atlantic express which arrives in this city this morning at 6:18. In the party there are two of the Earps and five of their confederates. These men have made for themselves a name in southern Arizona which has become a terror to the entire country. They are now pursued by the sheriff and a posse, who are desirous of capturing them for the murder of Stilwell, at Tucson, last week. There is a general feud in and about Tombstone between the Earp boys and the cow boys. Virgil Earp was at the time city marshal of Tombstone, and he, with two of his brothers and Doc Holliday, shot and killed the cow boys last October. Since that time there has been a continuous war between the two factions. One of the Earps has since been killed, and Virgil has been wounded and is now at his home in San Bernardino. The rest of the party are outlaws, and fugitives from justice. It is not likely that they will remain in this city, if they stop at all, as they are too shrewd to stay in this locality. Should anyone attempt to arrest them there will be life taken, as they are, without doubt the most desperate men now at large.

Was the crack about shrewdness a ruse, meant to suggest the Earps wouldn't stay — precisely because they would (and did)? In fact, Lou was acting marshal during their stay, and he seems to have accomodated the men. Wyatt stayed in town, and the rest camped outside, but we are told that it wasn't long before the town rounders were aware of their presence. And yet no one gave them up. Both newspapers knew of their arrival as well, but were apparently persuaded to keep a lid on it, which they did, till long after the posse's departure.

During their stay, only the most minor crimes were reported in town.

-CJ


5/15/2007

Terri Maxfield

Another Blonger was lost, but is found — in Tuscany, of all places. Seems Terri used to hear stories of the Belonger brothers as a kid in Rockford. We never had the pleasure, though now we get to do the storytelling. She says she doesn't remember much of what she heard. Then again, we can get a lot of mileage out of not much. We've done it before. And you never know where that vein is going to break through.

Case in point — Van Cise never said a word about Sam being marshal of Albuquerque, or Lou acting marshal. And then the both of them being members of the Rocky Mountain Detective Association. Maybe he didn't know. Anyway, it was never common knowledge.

But it was the fanciful Armstrong account, the tales passed on from Joe in 1927, to little Mary Armstrong in 1962, through Gene Swinbank — Terri's grandfather's brother.

Anyway, perhaps there are others out there who yet remember these stories, or others. Anyway, good to meet you, cuz, and we look forward to hearing from you again.

-CJ


5/21/2007

Arizona!

It's official, the results are in! This year's winner of the national spex competition in ×rebro is Arizona!, by Johan Ragnarsson, and starring Johan Ragnarsson as Doc Holliday and Jonatan Streith as Lou Blonger. Congratulations to the cast and crew.

Johan Ragnarsson
is Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday
and Jonatan Streith
is Lou Blonger

Lou Blonger
in ATLAS2's world premiere production of

Arizona

-CJ


5/23/2007

Arizona!

Ooops.

I gave Craig some bad info. Arizona! did not win the spex competition (sorry about that, Linköping), but did win a special jury prize "for its genuine joy and commitment, which demonstrated the essence of spex: having fun."

As Johan explains:

We couldn't really compete with the big ones in song or scenography or... well... most of the categories... but it seems we had something... and that there was lacking an award for humour.
We plan two more performances of "Arizona" during the university introduction in August, so it's still not to late to see it. After that we start working on the next big project...

Congratulations to the Skövde spex cast and crew.

-SJ


5/24/2007

Shut Like Clams

Here's a classic, thanks to ever vigilant associate Soapy Smith. It ran on April 7, 1892 in the Rocky Mountain News, just after an article about a libel trial, in which a Judge Stuart was connected to the "saporaceously named shark" and his gang.

Shut Like Clams

We had seen this article quoted at the time of Lou's arrest, but it's good to have the whole thing. Thanks, Soapy.

-CJ


5/26/2007

Frozen Dead Guy

This summer Tami and I plan on going through Nederland, not far from Denver, where Lou had a tungsten mine and a hotel around the time of WWI. Too bad we'll miss Frozen Dead Guy Days.

Brought to Nederland in 1993 by his grandson Trygve Bauge, the "cryogenically" frozen body of Norwegian parks director Bredo Morstoel — who died in 1989 — remains in Nederland to this day, in a Tuff Shed, in a box filled with dry ice. Though initially displeased, the good people of Nederland eventually came to view Bauge's presence as an asset, and they now celebrate annually with a winter festival that includes coffin-sled racing.

-CJ


5/28/2007

The Battle of St. Albans

Of the Belonger boys, five were born in Swanton Falls, Vermont, and Simon about twenty miles to the south in the town of Georgia. Between the two lies St. Albans, a village with a curious distinction as the site of the northernmost confrontation of the Civil War.

On October 10, 1864, three men arrived at a St. Albans hotel, visitors from Canada on a sporting vacation. Throughout the week, other parties of similar makeup arrived at other hotels, espousing similar intentions.

On October 19, these twenty-one men, Confederate cavalrymen who had escaped capture and fled to Canada, simultaneously robbed the town's three banks, walking out with over $200,000. One townsperson was killed, but the rebel effort to burn the town failed. After fleeing back across the border, Canadian authorities confiscated the $88,000 they found on the men and returned it, but as a neutral country refused to extradite these men as their actions were under military orders.

-CJ


5/30/2007

Shut Like Clams

That 1892 article found by Soapy the other day turns out to have been mis-dated when mentioned in 1922 by a reporter covering Lou's bunko trial. It actually first ran on April 7, not May 7, 1892 — the same day Sam, Lou and their partners filed on the Forest Queen mine!

-CJ


May 2007


 

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