Stories

Born To Lose: The Outlaw Life & Death of Elmer McCurdy:

Elmer McCurdy was known as the bandit who wouldn’t give up. He probably should have. He had a little trouble finding his niche. His occupations included plumber, lead miner, alcoholic and train robber. When McCurdy’s last job went south, due in part to his own bumbling banditry, he was implicated, tracked and finally shot and killed. Then his story really begins… Listen to Part 1 & Part 2 Now


The King Of Calabasas:

Many people today are only aware of a little town in Southern California known as Calabasas, because of reality television’s “The Kardashians,” and former resident Justin Beiber or Showtime’s fictitious character, Ray Donovan. And while all of these folks are famous, they are nothing compared to the Basque immigrant sheepherder Miguel Leonis who became the “King Of Calabasas.” But how did he earn that name? And if he was a king, then who was his “Queen.” And how did he manage to run himself over with his own horse and wagon? Truth proves stranger than fiction in this haunting look at one of the most active sites in Southern California for paranormal activity – and this bedroom community renowned for being embroiled in controversy. Listen to Season 1 Episode 3 now.


Bodie Ghost Town:

        “A sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion.”

 — Reverend F.M. Warrington said of Bodie, California in 1881

This lawless boom town just east of the Sierras was far more famous for it’s crime and debauchery then for the gold that made it possible. Bodie is a ghost town suspended in “arrested decay” making California’s best preserved example of the old west. Now a California state park, even the park’s own description says it’s a town “visited by tourists, howling winds and the occasional ghost…” In it’s heyday, Bodie boasted two banks, 6 hotels, a mile long Main Street and 65 saloons!  While other boom towns are remembered for the gold that made them famous, Bodie was feared and renowned for it’s lawlessness. In our continuing adventures to through the landmarks of the past, we’ll visit Bodie to get to know the people of this mining town and the ghosts they left behind. And we’ll find out if there’s any truth to the rumor of “The Bodie Curse.” Listen to Episode 4


Virginia City, Nevada & The Comstock Lode: 

In this two part story, we begin by following two brothers on their journey from the peak of the 1849 Gold Rush through 1859, when America’s largest Silver strike was made. While the Grosh brothers’ journey is a remarkable adventure in itself, the news of the Comstock Lode explodes into a sea of deceit and deception. Even Comstock himself was said to have bullied his way into history. Soon stock scams were as common as the rain and who should step right into the middle of it all but a burgeoning literary luminary and humorist, Samuel Langhorne Clemons who came to Virginia City as a miner and left as “Mark Twain.” He also freely admits to the manipulation of the press to enhance or depress stock values. But this amazing western boom town isn’t quite done with it’s past. When the saloons and museums close and the store front lights go out along the streets of Virginia City, there is a very interesting night life and it’s not the kind for the faint of heart. Explore with us as we discover this haunting this historic town. Listen to Episode 5 & Episode 6 and Episode 7 now!


Whiskey Talkin’ with Reid Mitenbuler

Author Reid Mitenbuler joins us to discuss the history of whiskey in America. From it’s humble beginnings on the American Frontier to the American Revolution, The Civil War and even through Prohibition, the history of America’s Native Spirit is an incredible story and Mr. Mitenbuler is an amazing storyteller. Listen to Episode 8 now.


Wendigo Psychosis

First Nations People had a legend of a flesh eating creature called the Wendigo, who was brought about by greed, cold, howling winds and famine. This so-called folklore was first documented by Jesuit Missionaries, early settlers and Hudson’s Bay Company Fur Trappers who told of first hand accounts with this cannibalistic being. Soon a term was coined to provide the condition with a medical definition: Wendigo Psychosis. Was this what happened to the Donner Party?  And later in this episode, we learn the strange true tale of Big Nose George. Its Vigilante Justice gone awry! We have special guests join us and lend their voices from Audioblivious Productions, too! Listen now to episode 9.


Fear

With our final episode for October, there are 4 different stories all relative to fear in some way. We start with Coyotes, perhaps the west’s most iconic animal, should be feared or at least respected. Next we hear a story of a woman gripped by fear and the horrible price exacted by a fearful heart. Then a light-hearted cowboy poem written and performed by our host and finally a mysterious Civil War legend – proven to actually exist by a high school student researching the mysterious Angels Glow of Shiloh. It’s all a part of our trickster and treat episode. Listen now to Episode 10. 


Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean called himself “the law west of the Pecos” but he was far more outlandish than the cantankerous character we think we know. He was quite the lady’s man in his younger days. He was also killer, a scoundrel, an escapee and was even hanged for his escapades with someone elses fiance. Fortunately for Bean, the woman cut him down. Get the story in Episode 11 and enjoy the incredible voice acting from the cast from Audioblivious Productions who help bring this episode to life! Listen now to Episode 11


In EP 12, Few men enjoyed the kind of epic career of Bat Masterson. He was friends with Wyatt Earp, Ben Thompson and Buffalo Bill Cody and many other famous gunfighters of the day. In the first 30 years of his life, he became a lawman, a gunfighter and a legend in his own time. In the next 3o years, he became a celebrity sports writer, a deputy marshal and close personal friend of President Theodore Roosevelt. Listen to Episode 12 now.


In Episode 13, Bat Masterson was a lawman in Dodge City. But that was just the beginning of his storied career. We’ll learn what makes a good gunfighter and we’ll hear it from Bat Masterson himself – in his own words. Bat talks about the three qualities it takes to be a successful gunfighter and we’ll also learn about his gunfighter friend, Ben Thompson. Listen to Episode 13 now!


In Episode 14, Doc Holliday was one of the two best known gunfighters of the Old West.  The deadly dentist may have been diminutive but his reputation made up for any any shortcomings. But was he as bad as the rumor mill said? Did Doc do these terrible deeds or was he the man who spread the rumors? Listen to Episode 14 now!

The true story of Wyatt Earp isn’t you’re probably familiar with. Thanks to Hollywood, Josephine Marcus and an author named Stuart Lake, what we think we know is that this famous lawman made his bones with the gunfight at the OK corral. But what really made Wyatt Earp famous may surprise you. It had nothing to do with gun play. Still, the true story of this American icon is no less fascinating. Listen to Episode 15 now!

In Episode 16, The flood of immigrants into the United States during the 1860s brought all kinds of newcomers and fortune seekers to our shores. Among them was the daughter of a Hungarian doctor, who would one day stow away aboard a river boat headed to St. Louis, Missouri.  Apparently, she had a thing for dentists and a big nose and she would soon become the common law bride of one of the west’s most notorious figures. Her name was Mary Katherine Horony but she was known as Big Nose Kate. Next time it’s one for the ladies as we look into the life and times of one of the wildest women of the west. Listen to Episode 16 now!

EP 17: Josephine Earp is as nearly a controversial figure as Wyatt Earp and though she doesn’t get the same attention in history that her famous common law husband did, the story is no less interesting. Was she the reason for the shoot out at the OK corral? Some historians think so. But even if she wasn’t the cause of that now infamous gunfight, she certainly helped to craft the legend of Tombstone’s most famous lawman. Listen to Episode 17 now!

EP 18: Black History in the old west reveals some amazing characters. Among them was a man whose storied career is one of triumph over adversity, relentless dedication to his craft and a brilliant example of respect, honor, humility and humanity in a world and time when very little existed.  Bass Reeves was no ordinary lawman and his legendary career is marked with stories that will make you smile, squirm and thank your lucky stars he isn’t coming after you. Listen to Episode 18!

EP 19: Deadwood Dick or Nat Love? The most famous cowboy of color was made famous by himself. Are the stories true? Does it even mater? As we learn more about the rich history of the old west, we find tall tales and legends aren’t always false and the stories themselves can reveal great truths. Listen to Episode 19 now!

EP 20: The six gun is perhaps the west’s most iconic hardware. We trace the origins of the revolver from it’s unlikely source of inspiration to the point at which it won the west. Along the way we’ll learn about the triumphs and tragedies that surround the developers of the six shooter as well as those who lived and died by the gun.

EP 21: A man flees his past to become a trapper in the wilderness. He takes an Native American bride but she and their unborn child are killed by another tribe. He vows to take vengeance against them and wages a 20 year war against the Crow. He earns the nickname “Liver Eating Johnson.” Is the story true? Listen to EP 21.

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