Greetings Fellow Travelers,
By now we know I am a fan of things on four wheels, but I have been known to cut down to just two. I like anything of the bygone era, especially when related to transportation.
Today, I bring you a picture of a Native American who was a horse wrangler for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, sitting atop of an Indian motorcycle. How do I know this? My grandpa, who you all have met, knew him and worked with the man behind the inspiration as a wrangler as well.
Pat Fitzsimmons, to me, Grandpa Pat, was a shirttail relative of Buffalo Bill Cody. His sister was married to Ed Cody, Buffalo Bill’s half-brother. Pat befriended Buffalo Bill, who asked him if he wanted to join up with the show and participate. My Grandpa decided to help by wrangling the horses and livestock for the show.
As a young man, Grandpa traveled to many different states with the show, curious about new places and new experiences. By this point in the story of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the show stayed in the mainland of the good ol’ USA and did not travel abroad as it once had. My grandpa told me of a story of a Native American who worked as a fellow wrangler. As he had a form of dwarfism, he stayed behind the scenes. Grandpa always said the Indian’s facial features were stoic and reminded him more of a Native American Chief than some of the other Indians who were in the show. This fellow told my grandpa that he was saving his hard earned money up to buy a motorcycle, an Indian Scout. To this, my Grandpa replied earnestly that he figured he would have one someday soon.
Several years down the road, after Grandpa had left the show, and went back to farming and ranching in Vail, IA, he took a trip to Omaha with his cattle. During this trip, he came upon a rare sight, an Indian riding an Indian motorcycle. The man on the motorcycle recognized Pat and pulled alongside, stating triumphantly that he had bought his Scout. They shared the rest of the afternoon, talking of old times and enjoying a few brews.
This picture is dedicated to Grandpa’s friend and his accomplished dream of an Indian Scout motorcycle.
From the Road,
Lincoln Highway Johnny