Butch Cassidy was born on April 13, 1866 in Beaver, Utah as Robert Leroy Parker. His nickname “Butch” may have later come from working in a butcher shop.
Cassidy was first arrested at around the age of 14 when he left an IOU after taking a pair of jeans and a pie from a store for a pair of jeans. After a jury acquitted him, he pursued various jobs throughout his youth, including work on ranches.
Cassidy’s first bank robbery occurred on June 24, 1889 in Colorado. While he continued to do some ranch work, his illegal activities increased.
He formed his “Wild Bunch” gang of criminals after getting out of prison in 1896. After that, it was not long before he added Harry Alonzo Longabaugh — “The Sundance Kid” — into the gang.
Of course, it would be the association between Butch and Sundance that would inspire the classic 1969 movie directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The fate of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid remains somewhat of a mystery. Two bandits were killed in San Vicente, Bolivia as shown in the film. But many debate whether those two men were actually Butch and Sundance. Some speculate they returned to the U.S. where they lived out their days.
The eagle looked down on the river below, And he wrapped his wings round him and he fell like a stone. And the big salmon fought but the talons held true, And he shuddered as the world turned from silver to blue. I stood there in awe though I’d seen it before, I was born in these mountains and I’ll die here for sure
Press play above to see a live feed of a bald eagle nest in Iowa (you may have to watch a commercial first). More information about the feed is available at the feed’s website.
“Me and the Eagle”
The lyrics above are to Steve Earle’s song, “Me and the Eagle,” which is from the soundtrack of songs from and inspired by The Horse Whisperer. This song perfectly captures the horse whisperer character that Robert Redford plays in the movie. The movie is pretty good, and the the soundtrack album is excellent, including songs by Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Dwight Yoakam.
The film also featured the song “A Soft Place to Fall,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song (and should have won). “A Soft Place to Fall” was co-written by and performed by an outstanding new artist who many years later would marry Steve Earle, Allison Moorer.
I like that people post their own versions of songs on YouTube because there is something especially democratic about it. And occasionally you find nice gems. Below is John Fullbright’s rendition of Steve Earle’s “Me and the Eagle.” I had not heard of the guy until seeing his videos on YouTube, and he does a moving cover of this song. Check out the young Oklahoman’s website. I am going to have to listen to more of his music.
Some mornings will find me up above the timberline, Lonesome don’t seem like much once you’re this high. When it’s all said and done I usually find, Me and the eagle are of the same mind.