Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
					Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

Legends of the West

Text and photos by Sharon Heist


The lore of the West is resplendent with the legends of heroes and outlaws, tales of derring do, fierce battles, lost treasure and more. Who does not know of the Earp brothers, Geronimo, the gunfight at the Ok corral, Butch and Sundance or the lost Dutchman mine?? But in all those stories, there is no group that inspires more awe than the infamous Cowtown Cowboys.

Riding into the heat and dust of SW Arizona, each with their own skills, they brought new meaning to the term "Cowboy," and fluttering to the hearts of the local ladies, sending dread to the heart of the porcine hordes that ruled Cowtown, whose dusty streets still echo with the sound of their whoops and the beat of their horse's hooves.

Led by their fearless commander-Cavalry 1st. Sgt. Linus Hinton they galloped into town one hot spring day. Now, Sgt. Hinton knew his men-he had come up through the ranks-and was already a legend for his skill with the bugle.

Their scout is none other than the storied George Taylor-rattlesnake wrangler par excellence-fearless in the pursuit of scaly varmints, meting out impartial justice with his boot heel.

Brian Barham with his Cherokee ancestry was quiet, but one to be relied on in a crunch, the backbone for the more flamboyant members of the group-with an unerring ability to cut through to the meat of a problem.

Along their travels, the core group added two more; members that would fit as comfortably as their worn boots and Sgt. Linus famous black hat. Tony Dorty/aka July Red Johnson showed his bravery early on the first day-attacking renegade prickly pear cholla without mercy or regard for his own flesh. No monster growth of the spiny enemy was safe from his charge.

And finally, the legendary Bobby Brown-whose exploits have livened many a campfire, destined to grow in fame and tall tales. The selfsame Bobby Brown-who was so tall he just whistled for his horse and stepped over him into the saddle. The much envied cowboy who could ride like he was part of the horse and still woo the ladies with love songs like he was born for the stage. Every skittish horse and boogery steer knew and feared his name and his lariat.

These were the five that rode into Cowtown that day for the honor and glory of cowboys everywhere and as an inspiration to young and old alike. There to do what good cowboys have always done-and help out the needy-in this case, town founder Ed Keylocko.

Sgt. Hinton maintained good order-ensuring that a proper camp was set up, picket line established and all gear in battle-ready condition. Though a strict spit and polish leader-he provides inspiration in the way of song and bugle. As a horseman, he leads his troops in maneuvers-never delegating this job to others, thereby inspiring loyalty in his men. Seegar in one hand as he instructs his men through snatches of song-there is no need for yelling here, each man knows his job and does it well and automatically. Even horses exhibiting refined palates and snubbing the alkaline water in the horse trough were encouraged to imbibe while being cooled down and groomed.

As the sun rose on that Friday morning, the boys rode off to a chorus of pig, canine and human approval. Riding tall in the saddle with looks on their faces that should have struck fear in the most battle hardened steer; off they rode-these five brave men-into the unknown wilds of mesquite and cholla to return covered with the dust of their adventures. Other voices have spoken of their trials on the trail, here in town and as they ride on to new adventures. Whereever cowboys gather, and maidenly hearts sigh, they will speak of the Cowtown Cowboys and the legends will grow.

Category: Western Frontier | Subcategory: Cowtown Keeylocko | Tags: There are no tags defined for this page
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: Arizona, Cavalry, Cherokee (Indians), Mesquite, OK,