February 26 is the birthday of JOHNNY CASH (1932), not to mention WILLIAM F. “BUFFALO BILL” CODY (1846). I say “not to mention” Cody because I wish it were instead the birthday of CARY GRANT, so I could have titled this post CASH & CARY. No such luck, but give me credit….for trying.
Now, I’m not a big fan of country music (Cash excepted), and not even a small fan of a man killing 4,282 buffalo in 18 months, as Buffalo Bill purportedly did under contract to provide Kansas Pacific Railroad construction crews with buffalo meat. That’s a helluva way to run a railroad chow line, but in the unsettled west at that time (1867-68), what was the meat alternative — prairie dogs and rattlesnakes? I suppose the RR could’ve hired vegetarian railroad workers, but the nearest vegetable stands and supermarkets were probably hundreds of miles away, so let’s not go there.
Anyway, having come this far, we may as well finish paying our Buffalo Bill respects before turning to Johnny Cash. Buffalo Bill was one of the most colorful characters of the Old West. He was a U.S. Army soldier during the Civil War and an Army scout 1868-72, but is most famous for his “Wild West” show in which many historical western figures appeared, including Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley. The show toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, where it was enormously successful and made him an international legend. At the turn of the 20th century, he was regarded as the most widely recognizable celebrity in the world by some historians. Today, we see that he was ahead of his time in his support for conservation and the rights of women and Native Americans, regarding whom I found this Cody quote: Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government.
As for Johnny Cash, I think he is of recent enough vintage that I need not detail his life here, and in any case, his music is his enduring legacy….music such as:
I suppose I should quit while I’m ahead, but Feb. 26 is also the birthday of probably the youngest HUSBAND in history, as recorded on his birth certificate: HUSBAND EDWARD KIMMEL….a name which some say lives in infamy. Husband E. Kimmel was a four-star Admiral and Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor….following which he was demoted to a two-star Admiral. There is debate to this day as to whether he was made a scapegoat for the failure of the U.S. to be prepared for the disastrous sneak attack, but there is no debating that he was already a Husband when he married (Dorothy). She HAD to know, don’t you think?