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Address: 10711 Beartooth Dr, Cheyenne WY 82009
Bio: Chip Carlson has lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for over 33 years. During much of that time he has researched Wyoming and regional Western history, concentrating on the Tom Horn era of the late 1890s-early 1900s. The results of the research are three books Carlson authored, the most recent being "Tom Horn: Blood on the Moon -- Dark History of the Murderous Wyoming Stock Detective," which won the prestigious annual award of the Wyoming State Historical Society.
Topics: Tom Horn. Carlson portrays Tom Horn recounting his adventures and misadventures in the Willie Nickell murder case, the scandalous, politically laced trial and the yellow journalism that led to Horn's conviction. Accompanied by visuals.
Carlson's programs have been widely sought and praised for their accurate historical content, dynamism and realism.
Address: Cartersville, Georgia
Phone: 770 607 6362
Bio: Jim Dunham has spent most of his life pursuing his love of the American West. Although born in Illinois, Dunham grew up influenced by the art of Charles M. Russell, Frederick Remington and the books of Will James. Jim was a boy when the Westerns dominated both TV and the movies. As a teenager he was active in the sport of Fast Draw and became accomplished at gun spinning and fancy gun handling. He studied acting and Fine Arts at the University of Colorado and began performing a show about the Gunfighters of the Old West for service clubs and church groups.
In 1967 Jim took his act to Hollywood and was hired by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation to perform in their Studio Tour Stunt Shows. During the next few decades Jim would teach gun tricks and fast draw to movie actors, speak at conventions, work as a performer in the Chuckwagon Supper Show business, appear as a guest on national TV talk shows and perform at the Winter Olympics. Currently he can be seen as a Western historian on 4 episodes of the series “Tales of the Gun” on the History Channel.
Dunham is employed as the Director of Special Projects and Historian for the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA. Jim has recently combined his art skills with his acting ability to create a program where he paints a watercolor painting and tells humorous stories from C.M. Russell’s book Trails Plowed Under.
Topics: Jim Dunham gives a variety of different programs to entertain and educate any group. These include a humorous delivery of facts about the Old West, and a display of fast and fancy gun handling like what was a staple in the early Western films.
Dunham also presents a program of history and culture of the colorful Plains Indians of the Frontier and provides a look at the clothing, songs, and dances of these Native American people.
Taking the persona of Mark Twain, Dunham can deliver a one-man program of Twain’s humorous writings and loved stories.
Fee: To book a show, please call (770) 607-6362.
Address: 323 Morning Sun Trail, Corrales, NM 87048
Phone: (505) 980-3280
Bio: In addition to being author of the just-published Autobiography of Billy the Kid (as told to Ralph Estes), Ralph is a New Mexico State Chautauqua troubadour, singing and telling of his days as Billy the Kid's best friend in venues such as the Lincoln State Monument's annual Old Lincoln Days, Hubbard Museum of the American West, New Mexico's Ghost Ranch, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, University of New Mexico, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, Albuquerque Folk Festival, and the Western Music Association International Music Festival.
Topics: The Billy the Kid Saga: Fact or Fable, in 3 parts -
a. The story of Billy the Kid as told by Pat Garrett and in movies, TV, and song
b. The story of Billy the Kid as written by historians
c. The story of Billy the Kid as told by Billy the Kid
Fee: Appropriate to the venue and occasion
Address: Rocklin, California (suburban Sacramento)
Bio: Roger S. Peterson has studied Wyatt Earp for decades. His presentation makes no claim that Earp was an important person in American history, but that Earp was and remains a giant figure in American popular culture.
Peterson interviewed three people who knew Wyatt Earp well. He conducted a long interview with relatives of Earp’s third wife, Josephine Marcus, and often interviewed Jeanne Cason Laing, whose mother and aunt attempted to write Wyatt’s story with Josie’s assistance. Their recollections are funny and fascinating.
Peterson wrote about Wyatt for the San Francisco Examiner’s California Living Magazine (January 1982) and wrote the cover story on Earp for American History magazine (August 1994). He also organized several panel discussions on Earp, corralling rival Earp researchers who did not appreciate each other’s work.
Peterson’s presentation compares myths about the Old West and Wyatt Earp to the real deal, helping you rid yourselves of false impressions created by Hollywood.
Note: 30 minute luncheon presentation and 1 hour dinner presentation.
Topics: Wyatt Earp
Fee: Negotiable fee with expenses
Address: Corona, California
Bio: I am a great grandson of Jefferson Randolph ("Soapy") Smith (1860-1898), one of the most famous gamblers, confidence men and crime bosses in American nineteenth century history. I was raised in a household very aware of its closet skeleton. Many of the stories and swindle cons were passed down from generations past, as were most of the historic documents and letters written and received by Soapy Smith.
My childhood home had a full size saloon in a back building, complete with antique gambling equipment. I quickly learned the fallacy of honest gambling. By the end of elementary school I was proficient in the basic moves of the shell and pea game and three-card monte.
In 1985 I decided to write the biography of Soapy Smith, using nearly 100 years of family research and artifacts. 24-years later, in 2009 I completed the book.
Topics: As author of Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel, I give presentations to groups, historical organizations and events. I often perform a partial first person routine in which I operate several short cons, including the prize package soap swindle, on a traveling tripe and keister. After which I give a talk of some of the more exciting aspects of Soapy's life and criminal career, including everything from charity to gunfights. The climax of my presentations revolve around Soapy's death which occurred during a gunfight with vigilante's in Skagway, Alaska.
Soapy traveled quite a bit around the western states operating his scams. He built two major criminal empires in Denver and in Creede, Colorado. His third and last empire was in Alaska during the great Klondike gold rush.
Depending on location I often display authentic artifacts, letters and documents, including his original wooden grave marker!
Fee: Varies depending on location, presentation, and needs
Address: 9000 E. Chaparral Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Bio: Marshall Trimble is one of Arizona's most popular entertainers and has been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.” He can deliver everything from a serious history lecture to forty-five minutes of stand-up comedy. He also performs on stage with his guitar/storytelling show. Trimble appears frequently on radio and television. In 2006, he received a regional Emmy. “Trimble’s Tales” are heard daily on radio stations around Arizona. He answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine’s popular column, “Ask the Marshall.”
Trimble has taught at the college level for more than 35 years and is the author of more than 20 books.
Topics: Arizona; All subjects relating to the American West; Tall Tales and Folklore;
Songs and Stories of the Old West; Boom Town Belles and Calico Ladies: Western Women.
Bungling Burglars:Zany Tales of the Old West's Dumbest Outlaws; and more.
Fee: $1,000-$2,000 plus expenses
Address: Jonesboro, AR/Memphis, TN area
Bio: Erik Wright is a former archaeologist who was first published at age 16 in True West Magazine. His subsequent works have appeared in Wild West History Association: Journal, The Tombstone Epitaph: National Edition and Wild West Magazine. Erik counts among his major influences his father Jeff Wright and British historian Michael Wood. .
His current projects include: a biography of John Fryer, Royal Navy and Master of HMS Bounty under Bligh, the Sydney Ducks gang of gold rush-era San Francisco, Apache captive Santiago McKinn, Conquistadors Hernan Cortes and Francisco Orellana and comparative studies between American and Australian outlawry.
He is a member of various national and international historical organizations and societies including the Wild West History Association. Erik lives with his wife, Laura near Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Topics: "The Polyculturalism of Mickey Free" - details the life, times and significance of the Mexican boy turned Apache captive and later military scout/interpreter (presented to Fort Verde State Historic Park and Adobe Corral of Westerners).
"Cowards' Alibi: The Murderers of James Leavy" - details the life and times of the three relatively unknown killers of gunman James Leavy (presented to Tombstone Territory Rendezvous
Also: Apaches, Stage robbers, borderlands violence, Australian/American outlawry, Tucson history, Earp vendetta, Conquistadors, voyage and mutiny of HMS Bounty, research and writing methods for young people.
Fee: Negotiable with expenses paid