Monday, October 24, 2011
THE COWBOY & ELLSWORTH
Last Thursday I met The Cowboy, AKA Jim Gray. We met in Ellsworth which was a trip I would recommend to anyone who would like to see the Flint Hills in their autumn glory. The grasses are all in shades of rust and deep violet, interspersed with carved rocks revealing their layers of Kaibab Limestone, Hermit Shale, Bright Angel Shale and ending with Tapeats Sandstone. The kaleidoscope of shades competes with the grasses now growing naturally in these flint hills which are trying to come back to their original beauty. When we finally reached the little town remaining in Ellsworth we found the Government Buildings to be in generally good shape but every other store front downtown seemed empty and screaming for recognition earned by the forefathers and foremothers known in the 1860s as America’s Pioneers. As the railroads and other landholders have had their way with many towns not garnering what they consider to be enough “Bottom Line”, the few families related to the original Pioneers and others testing living in a small town are clinging to a rope that seems greased and guarantying eventual death of not only ideals but a frontier washed in the history and frontier morals now mostly ignored by those who could insure these monuments to our past are honored with the survival such as the windmills pushing up to the heavens by GE and VESTA are attempting.
Jim and I exchanged books, signing our names and wishes to one another as my husband and mother gathered up information provided for the few tourists and we all enjoyed a delicious lunch at Padens where we couldn’t talk quickly enough to share our historical finds which lace both our books.
We definitely will return to spend more time checking the gravesites and family Homesteads and hope that our next trip finds the area more populated and growing rather than in such decline.