Sunday, March 15, 2009

Charles Goodnight

I woke up this morning--you probably think I'm about to say "with an erection", but actually--with the half-remembered name of some cute young girl I used to know, way back in my twenties in Austin, Texas. She seemed like a very nice girl at the time, but you know young men--I was easily impressed in general at the time! I regret to say that almost the only thing I recall about her, other than her appearance being attractive, was that some ancestor of hers (her grandfather?) had been Charles Goodnight, onr of the founding figures of all kinds of things in Texas, from cattle ranching to cattle drives to inventing the chuck wagon (or a special sidesaddle for a new young wife later in his life). He was a cowboy, fought Indians, joined the Texas Rangers, and was the source of some of the details used in Larry McMurtry's saga, Lonesome Dove. A fictionalized version of him is trotted out in those books, but aside from being a character in the books, some of Lonesome Dove's details were taken from Goodnight's real life, such as Woodrow Call's hard trip carrying the body of Gus McCrae back to Texas, as promised. Goodnight did the same in real life to fulfill his promise to his deceased business partner. I was always a big fan of the Lonesome Dove books, so this was all of some interest to me and it was a surprise that I hadn't encountered the information earlier! But, anyway, to top it all off, I wonder what happened to that young girl I used to know? I used to use the Internet to track down friends, but none of those people were glad to hear from me, at least not for very long, so I think I'll leave Susan (?) alone. Hope she's still alive, though it wouldn't matter to me!


  1. That's interesting - about Goodnight and the transporting of the partner's body, in connection with "Lonesome Dove". I love that book and the TV series. I must have watched recordings more than a hundred times. I used to be so sad when it finished that I'd go straight back to the beginning and watch it all again!

    That was when I lived in the UK. Never dreamed I'd be almost nextdoor to where it all started!

    We visited McMurtry's book store in Archer City last year - amazing place, spread over at least 4 premises.

  2. Yes, by great good luck the TV version was almost as enjoyable. I've seen 'em too many times, yet still have trouble turning away from it when I channel-surf past some great scenes in it!


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