A couple of weeks ago, the Cody Enterprise ran a story with the news that William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody would be inducted into the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame in November, and that story has been the talk of the town ever since.
It’s been 98 years since Buffalo Bill died, but historians are still examining the impact he made on the town he founded as well as his business acumen.
My friends and I were discussing the story and we started speculating about what would have happened if Buffalo Bill had lived with access to our modern-day Internet. Just for fun, here are some of our fantastical ideas:
The logistics of coordinating “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” would have been a comparative breeze. The Wild West Show included hundreds of performers as well as animals, and Buffalo Bill had to make sure they were fed, housed and healthy. They also had to practice their performances, perform the shows and then pack up and move on to the next location. Every performer would have had a smart phone, and Buffalo Bill could have emailed critiques of their performances, texted their practice schedules, posted the day’s menus. Employees would use their phones to confirm that their paychecks were automatically deposited into their bank accounts, and employees could Skype with their families back home to reduce homesickness.
He would post pictures of the performance on his Facebook page, send electronic news releases to media in upcoming performance towns, tweet about his latest acts and post videos of Annie Oakley’s shooting tricks on YouTube.
He would have taken selfies of himself with England’s Queen Victoria – one of his biggest fans – and he would have visited online auctions when he needed to augment his supply of livestock and props. He would have ordered supplies from Amazon Prime and have packages shipped to the next performance town.
He would encourage his fans to post reviews of the show, and he would respond to posts with his characteristic wit and winning salesmanship.
He would be a PR machine, setting up advance interviews with television news stations along the way, and he would be a regular guest on late night television shows. And wherever he went, he’d have a book-signing in the local bookstores, because of course he would have written a book about his adventures!
But of course, Buffalo Bill had none of that. He somehow managed to produce, market, schedule and stage a show that did more for diplomatic relations between the United States and European countries than any politician could have accomplished.
My friends and I are wholeheartedly enthusiastic about our town founder’s induction into the l Business Hall of Fame, and as we talked about the “what if’s” and the “would haves,” we realized that there never has been and likely never will be a legend as large in life and death as Buffalo Bill.
Until next time, I’m lovin’ life – and imagining what Buffalo Bill’s hashtag would have been – here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.