And the skies are not clouded all day …

I suspect Dr. Brewster Higley knew of what he spoke. Who knows if he was melancholy or just inspired when he wrote “My Western Home” on a Kansas creek bank in 1872. He reportedly was married five times and Wife 4 was the one who drove the doc to drink, according to a short biography I read by Mary Barr Norris. Of course W.C. Fields supposedly said a woman drove him to drink and he thanked her everyday for it. Doc’s drinking or not drinking is neither here nor there.

What became “Home on the Range” and the Kansas state song always conjured up for me coyotes howling and cowboys sitting around a campfire discussing the latest cow gossip. You would imagine that it got awfully lonely out there on the trail.

Nonetheless it’s a pretty song with nice images. And it would’ve been thrilling to see the buffalo roaming on the range back then. Of course, if you were to see the buffalo roaming you may also have run into some non-too-happy natives out there. Or you might have come down with what is today a very curable infection and died.

Oh well. Sometimes you eat the time machine. Sometimes the time machine eats you.

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