Gunfighters

Welcome to the Gunfighters of the American West wiki page!

On this page, we'll be brainstorming about how the gunfighters can be involved at the American West Heritage Center throughout 2007. This is an idea page, so feel free to join the site (see the link at left) and add your two bits.


Introduction

The Gunfighters have been a fun and vital part of the American West Heritage Center for many years. They include not only gun-wielding men and women, but also frontier townsfolk, tradesmen, and other folks often associated with the Old West. In the past, they have joined us at festivals and have done skits and gunfights for the enjoyment of all. Sometimes, they have been involved with reenactment as cowboys, townsfolk in a frontier town, and other appropriate venues.

Fun and safety are the overriding concerns for the Gunfighters. If you are a gunfighter and you carry a gun, you must abide by Gunfighter rules and by rules at the American West Heritage Center. Rules will be posted soon for the safety and enjoyment of all. For starters, however, no live rounds are allowed at the Heritage Center—only blanks.


Goals and Plans for 2007

Here are some goals and plans for the coming year:

  1. The AWHC may like to have gunfighters as special guests once a week. This is still in planning and undecided whether or not we'll actually do this, but we might do it this year. We only need two at a time or so, but if we all took turns, we can do this. Bus tours come on Wednesday afternoons at around 3:00, so 3:30 - 4:30 would be good times. To sign up, just put your name below or contact David Sidwell: dsidwell (at) awhc (dot) com or (435) 764-2006. As of early January, we're still not sure whether or not we will be doing this in 2007; we may have to wait a while, perhaps 2008)
  2. There are also a few dates in which the gunfighters are the Special Guest Artists during our Daily Adventures summer programming (dates will be announced soon). You'll have an hour or two in the afternoon to do some skits and act as interpreters for the gunfighter site.
  3. Oh yeah, we need to start planning a frontier town site, to be built in the next year or two. We'll need volunteers to help put this up. We have lots of lumber, so all we really need are warm bodies who can wield a hammer.
  4. As cast members for the Heritage Center, the Gunfighters' main goal is to interpret history: to let folks know in a fun and engaging way about the people and practices of the late 19th century. Skits are one means to this, but we also want some "scripts" that help visitors explore the dozen or so main points about gunfighters. Our current thought is to explore how the gunfighter of Hollywood was created, and contrast that version with the real thing from the past. The Old West is a mythic place like no other, and it all centers around gunfighters and cowboys. How did the myth get started? How did it progress? As a society, we perpetuate this myth even today; why? Why is it important? These are the kinds of questions that we see great value in exploring at the Heritage Center.
  5. As part of the activities at the Gunfighter site at the Heritage Center, some ideas are to #
    1. manage BB-gun shooting for visitors
    2. interpret the past by discussion and demonstration
    3. have quick draw competitions
    4. do cowboy stuff
    5. have interactive skits that allow some audience members to participate
  6. One thing we really need to do is create new scripts that have only two to four cast members. This will allow us great flexibility.
  7. If prepared, the Gunfighters can do shows, and get paid, at Big Horse Adventures. Performers there usually get $10/night.
  8. Gunfighters are all invited to be part of the Rendezvous Creek Players, a performance troupe that will perform for Big Horse Adventures and at special events. They did a wonderful performance of Romeo and Juliet wild west style in 2006 and hope to do the more violent Wild West Shakespeare: Macbeth in 2007—BUT THEY NEED CAST MEMBERS! So please audition. Auditions will be held in March.
  9. We would love it if some gunfighters who were adept at history could join us some afternoons for our History meets Hollywood. We're showing shows like Gunsmoke and The Wild Wild West and giving running commentary about the historical accuracy of the shows.

Special Events

  • We'll be having a Spring Gunfighters Pot Luck on February 10 at 6 pm. It will be a fun meeting for us all, and we hope to recruit new gunfighters for the cause.
  • Don't forget the Intermountain Living History/Re-enactors Conference on Mar. 9-10. This is a family event and fun for all. The Heritage Center, This Is The Place and the Oregon Trail Center are teaming up to make it happen. It will be held at This Is The Place Heritage Park.

Other Ideas

(Put your ideas here!)

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