Thursday, May 24, 2012

This blog is for the birds

It's nesting season for bald eagles so I'm back to one of my favorite pasttimes - watching nest cams. For several years I was an avid follower of the Hornby Island eagles, but that cam has been taken off-line. This year I've switched my attention to the White Rock Eagle cams. This nest has two web cams: a close-up cam that offers a great view of all the activity in the nest and a wide-angle cam that includes a stunning view of the nest and of Boundary Bay, south of Vancouver, BC. I nabbed this screen cap from the wide-angle cam this morning, while both parents were away from the nest.
This year the White Rock eagles have two eaglets that viewers have affectionately named Echo and Foxy. A couple of weeks ago, to everyone's amusement, one of the parents brought a stuffed toy animal into the nest. Here's a screen shot with one of the parents providing some shade for the eaglets. You can see Stuffie at 10 o'clock.
Stuffie has been moved around in the nest bowl but he's still there. It's hard not to anthropomorphize about the parent's reason for bringing the toy into the nest, or how sweet it is when one of the eaglets is snuggled up on it!

Happy eagle watching!

Until next time,
The Daddy Project (Dec. '12)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Etta Place

This month at All My Heroes are Cowboys, I've blogged about one of my all-time favorite movies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).  Since today at my blog I'm featuring the Sundance Kid, I thought Etta Place, the notorious woman who hung out with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, deserved her own blog appearance.

Life with the Sundance Kid

According to a Pinkerton Detective Agency memorandum dated July 29, 1902, she was " be from Texas," and in another Pinkerton document dated 1906, she is described as being "27 to 28 years old", placing her birth around 1878. This is confirmed by a hospital staff record from Denver, where she received treatment in May 1902, which reports her age as "23 or 24," (therefore again, c.1878).

Even her real name is a mystery; Place was the maiden surname of the mother of the Sundance Kid, Harry Alonzo Longabaugh.  Longabaugh's mother, Annie Place, is recorded in various sources as Mrs. Harry Longabaugh or Mrs. Harry A. Place. The one instance where she is known to have signed her name, she recorded it as "Mrs. Ethel Place." The Pinkertons called her "Ethel", "Ethal", "Eva" and "Rita" before finally settling on "Etta" for their wanted posters.  It has been suggested that her name became "Etta" after she moved to South America, where Spanish speakers could not pronounce "Ethel".

Actress Katherine Ross

In February 1901, Etta Place accompanied Longabaugh, whom she may or may not have married, to New York City, where at Tiffany's jewelers they purchased a lapel watch and stickpin and where at a studio in Union Square on Broadway she posed with him for the now famous DeYoung portrait, one of only two known images of her.

The mysteries of Etta Place

Those who had met Place claimed that the first thing they noticed about her was that she was strikingly pretty, with a very nice smile, and that she was cordial and refined, but an excellent shot with a rifle. She was said to have spoken in an educated manner, and she indicated that she was originally from the East Coast, although she never revealed an exact location.

Eyewitnesses indicated years afterward that Place was one of only five women known to have ever been allowed into the Wild Bunch hideout at Robbers Roost in southern Utah, the other four having been Will Carver's girlfriend Josie Bassett who also was involved with Parker for a time, Josie's sister and Parker's longtime girlfriend Ann Bassett, Elzy Lay's 's girlfriend Maude Davis, and gang member Laura Bullion.

There have also been claims that Place was first the lover of Parker, becoming involved with Longabaugh later, and that she met them both while working in a brothel as a prostitute. Both of those claims are possible, as members of the Wild Bunch gang often alternated girlfriends.

In the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Etta Place is depicted as a schoolteacher and played by actress Katherine Ross.  Hop over to All My Heroes are Cowboys to learn about a interesting trivia fact that happened to Katherine during the shooting of the movie.

So who was your favorite outlaw in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid—Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) or the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford)?  Cast your vote at All My Heroes are Cowboys. (Look for the poll in the sidebar of my blog)

Happy Ever After...The Cowboy Way!

Marin Thomas
Arizona Cowboy Rodeo Rebels (Feb 2012)
A Cowboy's Duty Rodeo Rebels (Aug 2012)
Beau: Cowboy Protector Harts of the Rodeo-Born to Ride! (Nov 2012)