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Articles written by Randy Kilbourne

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 By Randy Kilbourne    Local    March 1, 2020

The Coffee House Philosopher: Faint voices from beyond the Little Bighorn – Part 4

Before his attack on the large village at Little Bighorn, Custer divided his force of less than 700 men into three groups that were roughly of the same size. Captain Frederick Benteen was in command of the first group assigned to scout several miles...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher: Faint voices from beyond the Little Bighorn – Part 3

In the 19th century, jamming of cartridges in gun breeches of military weapons happened relatively infrequently. But to a harried combatant engaged with an enemy, having a gun jam once in action would be once too often. Some weapons tended to jam...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher: Faint voices from beyond the Little Bighorn – Part 2

After decades had passed, Indian accounts of the Little Bighorn battle began to be accepted when they added to or confirmed specific events that had been previously described by reputable sources. However early eastern newspaper reports of the Little...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher: Faint voices from beyond the Little Bighorn – Part 1

While on auto trips to the west coast, Patti and I have twice visited the Little Bighorn site where General George Armstrong Custer made his famous last stand along with other members of the Seventh Cavalry. For many persons, after sundown this...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher Wonderful Aunt Blanche – Part 4

A couple of times, Aunt Blanche and Uncle Ott traveled from Wichita, Kansas, to visit our family in Hugoton, and once during school holidays we kids got to ride back to Wichita with them on a weekday. The plan was for Mother to come get us on the...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher Wonderful Aunt Blanche – Part 3

During the day, Aunt Blanche pretty well ran all selection of TV shows at her house in Wichita, Kansas. But at night she turned control of the set over to us youngsters, and we soon found that there were some great spook shows, such as...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher: Wonderful Aunt Blanche – Part 2

Otto Spradling, as Aunt Blanche’s husband, was living proof that opposites attract. Uncle Ott was a very quiet demure man who rarely said anything in the presence of others. Each day at 7 a.m. he would quietly disappear to make his bus commute to...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher: Wonderful Aunt Blanche – Part 1

While growing up, just about everyone needs an older person who makes them feel special. For me that person was an elderly relative named Aunt Blanche who loved to talk about, fuss over, and do numerous things for her relatives. Aunt Blanche must...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

The women gamblers discussed in this series were initially discovered when Patti and I made a day trip from Angel Fire, New Mexico, to Trinidad, Colorado, and surrounding towns. Being somewhat frugal and opportunistic, I happened to spot a free...

 
 By Randy Kilbourne    Local    April 7, 2019

The Coffee House Philosopher

In the late 1950s, my family particularly enjoyed watching the TV show “Maverick,” starring James Garner (a native Oklahoman) on Sunday evenings. In the show, Garner played a light-hearted professional poker player who had several antagonists,...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Two powder puff poker players of the late 1800s were anything but delicate in both countenance and deed. The women were not particularly attractive, but were strong physically, they liked to win at cards, and they did not like to be cheated. One of...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Perhaps now would be a good time to paint a general picture of the Powder Puff Poker Players with a broad brush. Scores of women in the mid-1800s chose to try gambling at cards as a way of making a living other than becoming a traditional “school...

 
 By Randy Kilbourne    Local    March 3, 2019

The Coffee House Philosopher

After the American Civil War, John Shirley sold his war ravaged business in Carthage, Missouri, and purchased an 800-acre ranch southeast of Dallas, Texas. In Missouri before the war, he had been a true southern gentleman, refined and well educated....

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr, more familiarly known as Belle Starr, was born into the John Shirley family on Feb. 5, 1848. By the time Belle was in her early teens, the American Civil War (1861–1865) had begun, and she had to deal with some of...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

After falsely implicating Doc Holliday in the Benson stagecoach robbery in 1881, Big Nose Kate Elder and Doc separated for good. She later claimed she was with Doc when he died in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, but there is scant evidence that her...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

In Doc Holliday’s day, most women chose to live out their lives as wife and homemaker, with a spouse and children. In the west after the Civil War, this type of life was generally regarded as rewarding, but highly labor intensive. In such times, a...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Lottie Deno was an extremely cool customer at the poker or faro tables in the American West during the 1870s and 1880s. Even if things were getting out of hand around her, she concentrated solely on winning a pot. One time in a saloon in Fort...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

In December of 1878, Doc Holliday and “Big Nose” Kate Elder managed to complete their winter trip over Raton Pass in northern New Mexico, and headed further south to the luxurious quarters of the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. The St. James Hotel...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

In the fall of 1878, Doc Holliday and “Big Nose” Kate Elder decided to leave Dodge City, and take the train to New Mexico. Doc and Kate had previously been in Dodge for several months, plying their trade of gambling during the peak times when...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Since Dub Garnett and Steve Waldshmidt are no longer available to spin their tales at McDonalds, some of the relatively new blood among veteran storytellers have been trying to fill the void. (And believe me, the newest blood is still pretty seasoned...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

After our group at the remote Shady Brook Cafe had waited on our food orders for more than an hour, we were becoming more than a little tired of the delay. The small talk among our members had dried up, and we didn’t particularly enjoy the...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Some people enjoy the somewhat harmless activity known as “the art of storytelling.” It’s also sometimes known as “getting creative with the facts.” Other persons become suspicious at hearing a differing account, and object strongly to any...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

One of the activities that Patti and I enjoy at our two modest homes is feeding “critters.” If you’ve ever read the story of Johnny Appleseed (actual name John Chapman), he was an easterner who traveled throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

One of Alva’s most colorful personalities from the past century is the one and only Robert R. Brown. In the past, when mentioning his name, everyone that knew him always said all three components of his cognomen (i,e, “Robert” “R” “Brown...

 

The Coffee House Philosopher

Though the ancient philosopher and teacher Socrates is long gone, variations of the pedagogical technique known as the “Socratic Method of Teaching” might still be encountered in institutions of higher education today, most notably in law...

 

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