The other night when I was channel surfing I came across one of my all-time favorite movies – “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” I watched the entire movie, and I was reminded of how much I love this flick, especially because it has so many real-life connections to Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.
Of course I’m far too young to remember when this classic movie first came out. I’ll save you the Google search. It was 1969. But my parents were big fans, and whenever it was on TV my family would try to watch the movie. I have a great, comforting memory of curling up with my parents on our red fake-fur couch, sipping Coca-Cola and being allowed to stay up past my bedtime on a school night to watch the movie. Back then, I recall being in love with Robert Redford (let’s be honest…who wasn’t?). And I was struck by the huge volume of mascara the ladies in the Old West must have had to wear, as evidenced by Katharine Ross’s thick, globby eyelashes. Funny, the things you remember as a kid.
Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country has at least three terrific connections to Butch Cassidy.
Old Trail Town is one of those connections. Among this great collection of authentic frontier buildings from the 1890s, there’s the Hole-in-the-Wall Cabin in Old Trail Town and a Wyoming saloon building, both which were used by Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and their “Wild Bunch” of outlaws. I visited recently on a warm summer day and walked its rough wooden boardwalks from end to end. The buildings are positioned along two boardwalks with a wide path of hard-packed dirt in between. You can often see tumbleweeds rolling right down the middle of the roadway. It’s not that hard to imagine Paul Newman strolling out of one of these buildings, his heavenly blue eyes twinkling in the sun.
Last week when I drove to the nearby town of Meeteetse to get my chocolate fix at the Meeteetse Chocolatier, I also visited a couple of other real-life Butch Cassidy haunts. Butch Cassidy lived in Meeteetse in the 1880s. He was arrested once outside the Cowboy Bar, which is still frequented today by locals and visitors alike. The Meeteetse Museum, sometimes called the Bank Museum, is, as the name suggests, a one-time bank building. This isn’t just any bank, though. This is the place that Butch’s friends banked, assured of safe banking because Butch promised he wouldn’t rob it.
These days there aren’t very many good-looking, bank-robbing, mascara-wearing villains in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, but it is fun to know some of real-world colorful characters who walked through these towns.
Until next time, I’m lovin’ life and safely banking on good times here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.