This isn’t an Old West wanted poster.
It’s me wearing my favorite cowboy hat.
” I’LL NEVER FORGET THE DAY
I FOUND ‘PISTOL PETE’S’ MEMOIR . . .
. . . BECAUSE THAT DAY COULD’VE BEEN MY LAST “
My name is Jim Huebner.
I’m a city slicker living in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
But I’m a cowboy at heart.
And I’m crazy about the Old West as it really was. In particular, the gunfighters fascinate me.
And maybe like me, you’ve read lots of material written ABOUT the real Old West.
But, none of it gave you the feeling of actually being IN the real Old West.
Well that changed for me when a bizarre series of events led me to stumble across this long forgotten, extremely rare, memoir by an Old West gunfighter and lawman that reveals the brutally honest details of what it was like to live – – and die – – in the real, raw, Wild West of the 1870’s.
Long Lost Memoir Found Hidden Away Near Of All Places . . .
Disney World In Modern Day Florida !!!
Here’s the story of how I dang near died while finding “Pistol Pete’s” forgotten memoir. It only takes 1 minute 53 seconds to tell (yes, I timed it). Then I’ll tie it together with “Pistol Pete’s” own bazaar story.
It all started when I was spending the weekend at a working cattle ranch in the center of the state in an area the locals call “Yeehaw Junction” living a dream of mine of doing real “cowboyin’.” (I got to wear the cowboy hat I have on in my photo there in the left column. Yes, I really look like this)
There was an old barn on the ranch that had been there since the early 1900’s. But, it’d been abandoned for many years. It was going to be torn down ’cause it was in right the path of a new irrigation canal being dug (Florida was in the second year of a drought) to water the cattle and I wanted to see the old place before it was demolished.
One of the ranch hands – – “Skeeter” is his name – – said he knew a shortcut and he’d take me over to the old place.
“Skeeter” ” worked cattle using a special cow whip he always carried wound around his shoulder or hooked to his belt just like the old timey Florida cowboys that were called “cow hunters.”
What makes the cow whip special is its short length- – only 10-12 feet – – compared to the 14 to 16 feet “Indiana Jones” style bull whip. This shorter length gives the cow whip more swing room for its backlash in Florida’s thick vegetation.
And the distinctive “crack” of the shorter cow whip is the reason the first white Florida settler’s came to be known as “Crackers.”
The old barn was surprisingly dark and cool inside. “Ahh” what a relief it was to get out of the blast furnace heat of that summers’ day.
A hole in the roof let in enough light that I could make out a big, very old stagecoach trunk with leather hinges and tarnished brass fittings under a pile of caved in roof debris.
Curiosity got the best of me and I started clearing away the roof’s rotted wood.
But “Skeeter” and I weren’t the only ones glad to be in the dark and cool of the barn.