High Plains Chautauqua 2023 - Character Portrayals
By Angel Vigil Mariano Medina, born in Taos in 1812, was a Mountain Man, Guide, Scout, Fur Trapper and Entrepreneur. He was the first non-Indian to settle in what is today Loveland, Colorado in the Big Thomson Valley and historians credit him with the founding of Loveland. Friend of Kit Carson, Jim Bridger and other notables of the day he was respected among the best of the mountain men. He was the equal of John Fremont as a mountain guide and explorer of his day.
Chautauqua Scholar Spotlight - Angel Vigil
Angel Vigil is Retired Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department and Director of Drama at Colorado Academy in Denver, Colorado. Angel is an award-winning author, educator and storyteller. He has appeared at national storytelling festivals throughout the United States.
His awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, a Heritage Artist Award, a Master Artist Award and a CO Visions Recognition Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts, the Mayor’s Individual Artist Fellowship and the Colorado Theatre Educator of the Year Award.
Angel is the author of six books on Hispanic culture and arts. His book on the cowboy west is Riding Tall in the Saddle, the Cowboy Fact Book.
Thomas Jefferson lived in a predominantly four mile an hour world during his life time, 1743 – 1826, and yet he sailed the Atlantic Ocean twice and travelled throughout several kingdoms of Europe during his five years as our nation’s second Minister Plenipotentiary to France. Thomas Jefferson learned more about the places he had never seen through many whom he commissioned to explore on his behalf. The Expeditions of Lewis and Clark; Capt. Zebulon Pike; William Dunbar and George Hunter, and the extraordinary success of Robert R. Livingston’s commission as Minister Plenipotentiary to France, all helped President Jefferson learn more about the world.
Nellie Bly was known for giving ‘voice to the voiceless.’ She wrote of the working girl’s plight for The Pittsburgh Dispatch. She had herself committed to the insane asylum at Blackwell’s Island and wrote an eyewitness expose of the lunatic asylum there. Published in 1887, Ten Days in a Mad-House dramatically reformed the treatment and care of the mentally ill. Nellie Bly literally circled the globe. Following in the footsteps of Jules Verne’s Phineas Fogg of Around the World in 80 Days, she embarked on a round-the-world-tour for The New York World. Traveling by ocean liner, steam engine locomotive, on foot and rickshaw, she set a new world record of 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds.
by Doug Mishler Sponsored by Ernest Shackleton’s story of his many expeditions to Antarctica capture the soaring spirit of exploration that infested European manliness at the turn of the 20th century. To seek out the last unknown places on earth became a mania that drove men like Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton to repeatedly risk their lives in the horrid cold of Antarctica supplied only with primitive clothing and equipment. They flocked to a cruel continent which one man described as “the last place on Earth,” but which was better labeled by another explorer simply as “the worst place on Earth!”
The Legendary Ladies
Lillie Hitchcock Coit by Lillie Hitchcock Coit was courageous and eccentric. At age 15, she assisted San Francisco firefighters in rescuing children from a burning hotel. The volunteers from Knickerbocker Station #5 hailed her as their “good luck” mascot. After that, she rode on the fire wagon, fighting fires alongside the men. Lillie was instrumental in changing the system from volunteer status, to salaried firefighters, employed by the city.
Klondike Kate by Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell, better known as “Klondike Kate,” traveled North and South America as she worked at jobs from kindergarten teacher to chorus girl to dishwasher. When gold rush fever hit so she headed North. Kate traveled through Skagway, Dawson, then back to Spokane, and Texas on the vaudeville circuit.
Alice Ramsey by Before highways, maps, road signs and filling stations, Alice Ramsey left New York City in a 1909 Maxwell Touring Car and headed for San Francisco. Driving every inch of the way through knee-deep mud, rutted trails, overflowing rivers, steep mountain passes and endless deserts, she arrived in San Francisco two months later to become the first woman to drive coast to coast, earning the title Woman Motorist of the Century.
Paul Robeson, a true “Citizen of the World” was one the most well-known African-Americans of the mid-20th century here and abroad. A Renaissance man of the highest order: World Renowned Singer, Major Stage and Film Actor, Scholar, Social Activist,
All American Athlete, Linguist, Humanist and Advocate for International Peace. Robeson was also a forerunner of the modern day Civil Rights Movement and a major casualty of the McCarthy era.
Robert Ripley was the most traveled man of his age (or perhaps any other). He visited 201 countries over a 35 year period leaving a journalistic record like no other.
Though still known for his daily Believe It or Not! cartoon feature, he also shared his fascination for the odd, the unusual, and the exotic through successful radio programs, movie shorts, bestselling books, a television show, and crowd-filled exhibition halls called Odditoriums.
The legacy of Robert Ripley continues today with Ripley Entertainment Inc. which has become a worldwide, publishing and entertainment superpower.
Chautauquan Scholar Spotlight - Larry Bounds Larry Bounds has served 35 years as an award-winning classroom teacher with a Bachelor's degree in theatre and a Master's in education. Larry has appeared in Chautauqua productions across the nation since 2002 portraying Einstein, Churchill, Disney, and Cronkite, among others. He has also performed as a professional magician presenting shows for thousands of public, private, and corporate events as well as eight years entertaining for Ripley's Believe It or Not! In 1972 he witnessed, in person, the dazzling sight of the mighty Saturn V rocket launching against a night sky on the last manned flight to the moon. He never suspected that 50 years later no one else would have followed them; Wernher von Braun never suspected that either.
In 1985 Rick was selected to be a Mission Specialist Astronaut. He flew on three shuttle missions. For most people, his most well-known flight was the maiden voyage of Endeavour, which was built to replace the lost Challenger Space Shuttle.
15.The 1992 Endeavour flight was a satellite rescue mission that involved a number of high profile spacewalks, culminating in the first and only three-person spacewalk where Rick and his colleagues captured a 9000-pound satellite in their spacesuit gloved hands. They then attached the satellite to a booster rocket, and released it, sending it safely on its way to the originally intended orbit. In addition to being the only three person spacewalk in history, this held the record for more than ten years as the longest ever spacewalk, at just under eight and a half hours.
El Vaquero Timeline 11th century: Spanish ranching originates on the Spanish peninsula.
1493: On his second voyage to the New World, Columbus brings the hardy Andalusian “black cattle” to the Caribbean Island he called Española, today the Dominican Republic and Haiti. This was the introduction of cattle and Spanish ranching practices to the New World.
1519: Hernán Cortéz arrives in Mexico and brings 16 Andalusian horses, 11 stallions and 5 mares, thereby re-introducing the horse to the New World.
1521: Gregorio de Villalobos transports calves from the Caribbean islands to mainland Mexico.
1598: Spanish settlers, led by Juan de Oñate, move north, establishing ranches and introducing cattle to the El Paso area and north of the Rio Grande.
1600s: Cattle graze and multiply north of the Rio Grande.
Early 1700s: Vaqueros migrate from Mexico with Spanish missionaries to California and Texas.
1721: Marqués de Aguayo opens the South Texas cattle industry.
1748: José de Escandón develops the cradle of the western cattle industry by establishing ranchos in the huge expanse of land called the Nueces Strip, from the Rio Grande to the Nueces River.
1769: Franciscan monk Junípero Serra begins establishing missions from San Diego to San Francisco. Native Indians working on the missions become California’s first vaqueros.
Late 1700s-Early 1800s: Vaqueros drive cattle from East Texas to Louisiana and Mexico.
Early 1800s: Anglos begin to arrive in what will become Texas and find Spanish-Mexican ranching traditions well-established. Texas vaqueros teach the Anglo settlers the skills and craft of handling horses and cattle on the open range.
1821: Mexico declares its independence from Spain.
1820s-1830s: Slaves and freemen learn horse and cattle skills from the vaquero - roping, riding, and branding.
1848: Mexico loses over half its country to the United States. This land becomes the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and California. Spanish-Mexican vaqueros continue to work in their new country, the United States.
1867-1887: The primary era of the great cattle drives. Anglo cowboys utilize the cattle practices learned from the vaqueros to drive hundreds of thousands of cattle across great distances. Vaqueros, along with Black cowboys, make up approximately one-third of the cowboys working the cattle drives. It is during this period that American cowboy culture developed based upon the centuries-old skills and practices of the Spanish-Mexican vaquero.
1887: The era of the great cattle drive ends.
1880s: William Cody produces the Wild West Shows, beginning the myth of the American cowboy. Vaqueros perform in the Wild West Show amazing audiences with their roping and riding skills.