Monday, July 23, 2007

Back in the Saddle, So to Speak

Well, I'm back from my vacation in Oklahoma City. Had a great time with my parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. Started the week by seeing the new Harry Potter film, spent a day at the water park, and capped off the week by going to a midnight party at the local Barnes & Noble so that the kids could get the new Harry Potter book. Ate my mom's great cooking and was generally lazy for the better part of 10 days.

On the Civil War front, I didn't get a chance to sit down with Jack Welsh, but I did fit in a visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and was glad I did. I've been to a lot of museums over the years and this is one of the best in terms of modern structure, cleanliness, diversity of collection, and number of artifacts on display.

For my part, the crown jewel of the museum was the "Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West," specifically the exhibit "Instrument Of Empire: The U. S. Army In The West." The exhibit had a great display of uniforms, firearms, and accoutrement of the frontier soldier in West, with an emphasis on the cavalryman. A particular display showed the evolution and improvements in saddles - including the "McClellan saddle" - in the mid-nineteenth century.

If they haven't been there already, my friends with special interest in the cavalry - especially Eric and JD - should ride (not walk or run!) - to see the museum.

Stay tuned - I'll have a new installment in my "School of the Writer" series later this week.

Best Regards,

Jim Schmidt

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