Archive for July 29, 2010

Cowboy Kris, Lasso Louie & Daniel Boone

July 29, 2010

They say we don’t change much as we grow older:

That’s me  (with a bigger cap gun than I showed you in the last posting!)        Our personalities, outlooks, and interests stay with us throughout the years.    I wrote in my last posting how delighted I was to find a man who is as interested in the West as I am.     I tend toward pioneering and exploring,  he is more into cowboys,   but we “understand” each other!  This  last portion of our Road Trip was a big interest of mine.

So come along with us, on miles and miles of roads like this;  narrow two-lanes with names like “O”  and “FF”  and “D”  and they all intertwine up and down winding hills.   I guess you have to be a SCOUT like Daniel Boone to get where you want to go!And we found it:   his last home where he lived on his son’s estates in Defiance, Missouri.    After Boone left Kentucky in the late 1700’s,  the Spanish government who owned  the Northern Louisiana Territory granted him 850 acres along the Missouri River to help develop and draw more settlers to populate the wilderness.(I re-post the lovely Boone countryside photo.)

Given that it was a hundred degrees these days while we traveled, Hubbie and I marveled that Daniel Boone was 65 years old when he made this move — and then helped build the home and all its furnishings, while at the same time hunting for the family’s food and fending off the unfriendly Indians! 

This is some of his lovely farm.   Way in the back you can see a spire from a church which has been in business for several hundred years.   You can still reserve a day to get married there:

For some reason, as we walked along, I thought this was very, very important, but I didn’t know why:It just seemed to have a feel of “people.”     It had to do with water, which I know is important to a pioneer home.    It turned out to be indeed a waterway catching some of the spring water which overflows at times from the original spring used by Daniel Boone, his wife and children and friends.   

At last we came to his home.    (I say “at last” because my shoes had worn off the skin on the top of my feet and each footstep was….noticeable!)  The Marker for his house: 

I didn’t step back and get a picture of the whole Georgian manor house that they built from their own quarried limestone and hewn lumber, but I got this close-up for a reason:It really was a lovely home.   That is just one-quarter of the front, to the left of the front door.   But I focused on it so you can see the little square holes next to each window.    Those are gun holes, for defense when they are under attack by the Indians. 

The guided tour was not an eye-popping, heart-stopping movie-entertainment type of experience, but it was just quiet and leisurely enough to give you time to think about the people who lived here and what their lives might have been like, day to day.    Gun holes by my front windows…..   No, they had a lot of different kind of issues to deal with….

No picture-taking allowed inside the house, but you can imagine what it looks like:  a lot of beautiful floors made of red oak planks;  hand-hewn beams overhead;   carved and decorated wooden doorways, cabinets, furniture;  “old” implements all over for everyday living;  hand-crafted, special made personal items, bedspreads, curtains, clothes.   Everything made with care and elegance, everything uplifting the human experience above the mere utility of the object.   Nothing impersonal and mass-produced.   That means a lot…..

Here is the man himself.   Daniel Boone (or an actor who looks quite close to the portraits of Boone at this age):There was a good, short, informative film of Boone’s life.   One scene showed him sitting under what became known as The Judgment Tree just outside his house.  People came from all over the Territory for him to hear their cases;  the Spanish government had given him the authority to make judgment in their behalf.   The actual Tree still exists….sort of:Oh !!   It looks tiny in the photo.    It isn’t.    It was a Dutch Elm which succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease of more than a century ago.   People thought they could preserve its diseased life if they poured a kind of cement into its trunk, but that only killed it faster and made it heavy enough to topple over.     To the bottom right of the picture, the dark green is a depression which goes down into the spring which you saw from its other end.    That part of the spring had water bubbling up into it:  the Water Descendant of the water the Boones drank?

Many of us grew up with stories of Daniel Boone.  As a girl I especially liked the story of his daughter Jemima who wandered too far from home with her girlfriends.  They were captured by Indians, but being pioneer girls, they knew how to attract attention and leave a good trail.    Here’s their capture:Always a “scary moment” for me in the story!    After a few days, they were rescued by Boone and friends.

Well, they built “Necessaries” too.         Here’s a peek into one of them:

Glad they didn’t “modernize” it!

There was a nice butterfly garden, abounding with all kinds of  richly colored flowers and butterflies — of the most reluctant kind….or else I’m not a very good nature photographer.  Got one, though:

I would have stayed there longer with my camera but I was getting a small crowd around me, cheering my picture-taking (or else rooting for the butterflies) — but it was apparent the  butterflies scattered just when I thought I had a good angle!   

That’s all….I’ve put away my beautiful cap gun years ago, but it helped me share some of Daniel Boone’s experiences.   Now I’ll go search out more information about him and his life from an adult perspective, at my local library.

I took away from this visit to his home a deeper appreciation of those Americans who came before us.   I know they would be astonished and somewhat ashamed at how we live today.  We are de-emphasizing the necessary virtues which built up this country, but we still know them and we can still choose to imitate the good qualities of these early Americans.   I think we must.

I took away something else…totally “useful,” of course, but  a good likeness of perhaps something the Boone girls could have used:

Pretty, no?    I couldn’t decide on the color, so I chose this one because it had both colors, front and back:

Brown and white;   winter coat and summer coat.   

Oh –  I said it was “useful.”   So:

It’s certainly a handy pouch to protect such a thing as this from the bottom of my purse!

I’ll always remember Daniel Boone.