Monday, April 24, 2006

Give it a west!

"Go West, young man, go West."
-- Horace Greeley or John B.L. Soule (depending upon who you ask)
If you haven't figured it out, yet, it's "Wild West Week" at Dizgraceland. What that means (other than an opportunity to put my face on many lengendary characters of the West) I don't really know. As with all of the proceeding theme weeks, I tend to let my mind wander where it will go. The only difference this week is that I will start by pointing it West.

My first observation is about the little quote at the top of the page. "Go West, young man, go West," is almost always attributed to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune from 1840-1870. Greeley was the founder of the Republican Party (which should endear him to THE Michael). Ironically he was a staunch supporter of the common worker and once employed Karl Marx as a foreign correspondent.

Most sources now credit Terre Haute Express Editor John Soule for using the phrase first in an editorial in 1851. So I've already started out Wild West Week with a bit of disillusionment regarding the statement that kind of fueled the rush west in the first place. Something tells me that Wild West Week is going to be fraught with other such balloon bursting party poopers such as that.

In the process of rooting around my family tree, I did discover that many of my relatives did go west via the station wagon of the 19th century -- the covered wagon. I may be digging up a few of them (just figuratively of course) as we head west and share some of the myth busting stories of my own ancestors.

Anyway, I'll stop for now because I've discovered that five paragraphs is just about the limit of most people's attention spans on the Web (including my own). So hop on and try to keep the saddle-side up and the horse-side down as we ride off into the sunset in search of the wild, wild West (not the television series or really bad movie). Yee....Haaaaaw!
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