NO MAN’S LAND

NO MAN’S LAND

“NEVER THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAS A MAN

WHO LIVED A LIFE OF EASE LEFT A NAME

WORTH REMEMBERING.”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

You have probably just heard wild tales of No Man’s Land, the area known today as the Oklahoma Panhandle. Were the stories just fiction dreamed up by some western Hollywood movie writer.

Nope.

The tales of those days when there was no authority in No Man’s Land are as wild or wilder that a novelist can conjure up. People had to take things into their own hands when even the federal government just stayed away from jurisdiction of the area.

The approximate 38 mile strip was created by the Missouri compromise so that when Texas was annexed into the Union that strip was cut off from them because of the no slavery clause.

How did No Man’s Land become a part of Oklahoma? Well I could tell you this but wouldn’t you rather hear the stories from the families who settled this place? You have your chance on October 12th.

I have edited and produced a newsletter for a historical organization now for several years. I am also on the Board of Directors of the COWBOY STORYTELLERS ASSOCIATION OF THE WESTERN PLAINS.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had contact with people who would like to have the ‘troupe’ visit a location. The name should be evident but seems to throw some people. Now pay attention.

In 1992 there was a group of farmers, ranchers, and cowboys drinking coffee in a cafe in Seiling Oklahoma. The stories about the old days were going hot and heavy when someone stated that when this group dies out there will be no one left to tell the stories anymore. These stories do not get recorded in most history books and just die out with the old folks. It takes the young folks getting older to wish they had the stories that they just ignored when young and dumb.

Right then and there the group organized and chose the name. A board of directors was chosen and they started meeting four times a year in places that you would have to look at an old map to find.

This group is not a traveling troupe of entertainers. We find a local sponsor who makes arrangements for a location, and lines up local people to tell the stories of their heritage as close to original source as possible.

This time in Page Oklahoma at noon on the 12th of October group will meet at the community building and stories from the past will be told about the area and the families that settled here and lasted through the bad days, the hard days, dust bowl days, and today.

The morning will start off with coffee and doughnuts from 8-10 am and the board of directors will meet at 10:30 am. At noon the lunch will be catered by a local cafe and afterward around 1 pm the meeting will start and the stories will fly.

If you want to eat your order has to be in a week in advance. Laurie’s Cafe 580-934-2671. After the meeting (around 3:30 or 4 PM) there is going to be a music jamboree and a fish fry  to support the Gate Museum.

Gate Oklahoma is 3 miles west of the Harper and Beaver County line on Highway 64. It is not hard to find if you keep going west from Alva or go south from Dodge City to Highway 64 and west.

If you want to hear history from the horses mouth and not some writer who was never there, this is the place for you.

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