As an aside: It’s easy to get caught up in creating the traditional cowboy and Indian portrayals. My mentor, Fritz White, once told me, “I’m so tired of the same damn people creating the same damn things over and over.” He continued, “When you create a piece, make it so unique that no one has ever seen anything like it before.” From that one statement, I’ve come to love sculpting the fringe side o f the ‘Old West’.
After sending and email to James Nottage (Vice President & Chief Curatorial Officer of the Eiteljorg Museum) with this photo, he replied: “The picture you sent is one of my favorites. This, of course, is the Deadwood stage made famous by Buffalo Bill Cody, standing in front of the front wheel. The young man to his right is Johnny Baker, the trick shot. Show manager John Burke is the one slightly behind and between them. Buck Taylor the “King of the Cowboys” is in front of the rear wheel with his arm on the wheel. The bearded man on top with two of his children is the great John Y. Nelson, stage driver, scout, etc. The Indian woman next to Cody is Nelson’s wife with the third of their children. I wish I knew who the stage driver on the far left is. But as you say, research never ends. It is our excuse for continuing to have fun with it!”