|Catalog Number||1983.32.01 a-b|
|Title||I AM AN OLD HORSE RANGLER--ONE OF THE HAS BEENS|
|Object Name||Letter, Illustrated|
|Artist||Russell, Charles M. (1864-1926)|
|Dimensions||H-16.5 W-8.437 inches|
Sam McDowell worked the cattle range years after Russell no longer did. He earned the nickname "Sarpy Sam" as a result of filing on a homestead in 1909 in the Sarpy Creek area east of Hardin. However, McDowell did not take to farming, and he ultimately sold his homestead and returned to punching cattle. McDowell invited the Cowboy Artist to visit his cattle outfit. Although Russell very much appreciated the invitation, he declined the offer, blaming the infirmities of his advancing age.
The text reads: "March 14 / 1926 / Sam E McDowell / Friend Sam / I am writing to thank you for the kind invetion to your wagon[.] as you know I am an old horse rangler[--]one of the has beens[.] / In this day of caned music I would trade it all to here the bells of a saddel band[.] / like most men of my age my harte lives back on trails that have been plowed under by the nester[.] most of the men I knew and worked with on the open range have crowsed the tall range[.] good ore bad it seems to me now when my memory driftes back that they were all good enough[,] so when it comes to my cash in I want to go to thair wagon[.] An if the Injun is right when he says hosses go to[,] I want my same string. / (p. 2) Sam no body [would] like more to join you than I would but the last fiew years old rheumatism has stove me up till I wouldent be as good as a loos pack horse around a cow outfit [.] / Im thanking you just the same and hope you will allways find a cow country with an open range[.] / good luck to you and all other cow men and punchers / Your friend / C M Russell / I am camped now at 6816 Odin St / Hollywood / California / you see Im near the moovie Cow boys."