Like most children I was fascinated with Cowboys. Roy Rogers, Whip Wilson, Gene Autry and the like, were great for my young soul. I was decked out with a Cowboy hat, chaps and boots: riding on a broom stick for a horse with my pearl handled cap pistol blazing away.
At what age I don't remember but, I was told stories of my Great Grandfather who supposedly rode with and was, an actual Outlaw himself. (Using a term of today, that just blew me away). I had my very own outlaw relative….holy smoke!
As several years past, un-like most kids my age that picked up the more modern heroes like Superman, Batman and Robin and all the rest of the Comic Book heroes; I clung to being a cowboy type. It suited me then and it more than suits me now.
I of course, don't necessarily walk around with my "holster and Colt 45" strapped to my hip, nor do I go around "itching" for a gun fight because someone cut me off in traffic but, riding my horse across the open plains or along the mountain side with the wind in my face and the scent of nature all around; well, the good Lord does bless us in so many wonderful ways.
The fact is I always wanted to be a Cowboy.
About a million years past by but, I always had in the back of my mind to some day, pretty soon, one day, I'm going to get to it: I'd do some research and see what I could find out about my Great Grandfather.
In 2004 I finally could take it no longer and started a search for him and all that pertained to him…..no matter what I might find, I wanted to know all there was to know about my "personal relative, the outlaw".
The world is filled with "facts": death, taxes, sunrise, billions of stars but more appropriately, love for your family, your children and grandchildren. These facts cannot be refuted. I will offer to you a new fact. Is it earth shattering, will the world become peaceful ……no, but, it is a "history changing "fact" and one that has impacted me and my family forever.
Fact………my Great Grandfather, William Henry Long "was the gun slinging outlaw known as, the Sundance Kid" and of course, the close friend and cohort of Butch Cassidy.
Fact………Butch and Sundance did not die in Bolivia in 1908 as is conventional thoughts due to the Academy Award winning Movie (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) depicted. They returned home to America's Southwest and died many years later.
Fact………Harry Longebaugh was a real person that "Bill Long" (as my outlaw great grandfather was commonly called) used as one of his eight to ten alias names.
Fact……...William Henry Long was "framed" as a horse thief and railroaded into serving 18 months in the Sundance, Wyoming jail. (Naturally, that's where he got the distinguished name of Sundance).
Fact………Contrary to the Movie with Sundance free wheeling with his girl friend, Sundance had a wife and eight kids at home in Utah. Surprised…….so was I.
Fact………There are more turns, hills and valleys here that's going to have you saying, oh my, is this for real? The answer is emphatically……….yes!