Have you seen the TV show Top Shot? The show is shooting competition style presentation with various weapons, and these folks are good! Shooting competitions have been around forever it seems. We're all likely familiar with the story of William Tell and shooting an apple off his pals head. Robin Hood won Maid Marion's heart while winning an archery competition, and even the military gets into the shooting sports with annual shoot 'em ups with their tools of the trade.
So what brings the above to mind is our trip to Buffalo Bill's Scouts Rest Ranch in North Platte. If you have not been there, you should go! The old ranch house offers a self-guided tour showing antiques, and photos and memorabilia from Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show.
The grounds are owned and maintained by the state of Nebraska, and it's an interesting trip into history. After exiting the house, we strolled towards the large barn that was filled with more photos and some equipment from the traveling show. There is also an old log cabin that Bill owned that has been moved onto the grounds for display.
As we were finishing our stroll around the grounds, Margie noticed an information sign we'd missed about the old barn. I guess looking at old barns has become old hat to me as I completely overlooked a couple very unusual exterior appointments. It seems Bill wanted to incorporate a bit of his old Wild West Show into the barn, and I think he did a great job! The barns rafters are all trimmed like rifle stocks, and Annie Oakley's trademark Ace of Spades with a bullet hole in it logo is used as the end cap on the barns roof peak.
Do you know about Annie?
I hadn't thought about Annie Oakley in years and decided to do a bit of research on this amazing lady. Turns out she is often described as Americas first female superstar. It is rumored she got her start in show business as a target holder for a "sharpshooter". At one performance, the "expert" couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and a spectator yelled out "let the girl shoot" and the rest is as they say... history.
So the next time you stumble across that Top Shot TV show, think about Annie Oakley doin' with an old lever action 22 caliber rifle what today's sharpshooters are doing with big buck weapons.
Click this link for a short history video about Annie Oakley... http://youtu.be/a24cjGIbBY0