Real Life Cowgirl!

Submitted by May Water

Miss Annie Oakley (Little Sure Shot), Calamity Jane , Georgia Duffy ,Della Ferrell, and May Lillie. Just a few of my favorite flashy gals of the Old West. They were skilled horsewomen, sharpshooters, could  pose on horseback(while the horse was galloping) and  shoot an apple out of poodle’s mouth. They entertained the masses with a lot more than their looks. Those gals had talent! I wish I was around back then to ooh and ahh with the rest. One of them really spoke to me during my research for Maddie Catalan, the heroine in my LASSOED LOVERS series. Her name was May.
May Lillie, born Mary Manning on March 12, 1869 in Philadelphia. From what I’ve read, she was a proper city girl from a big family. Until she met George, whom she married  at the age of 17  in her parents home. His wedding gift to  her was a .22 target rifle and a pony. May was a natural. They travelled the country where she became known as Champion Girl Horseback Shot of the West. May was also verbal about women breaking out of the norm. In a speech to a women’s group in Chicago she said “Let any normally healthy woman who is ordinarily strong screw up her courage and tackle a bucking bronco, and she will find the most fascinating pastime in the field of feminine athletic endeavor. There is nothing to compare, to increase the joy of living, and once accomplished, she’ll have more real fun than any pink tea or theater party or ballroom ever yielded.” May and Gordon settled down with a bison herd on their ranch in Oklahoma. She  was passionate in their endeavor to preserve buffalo. She died at the age of 67, from injuries received in a automobile accident.
May was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2011. Here’s their link: http://www.cowgirl.net/home/

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