Saturday, March 2, 2013

True Story

Summer In NYC, With Horses


Hello Rose


I'm telling you a story which you are not going to believe. But it is true. I know it is because I was there and I saw it happen. New York, as other major cities, has mounted police. It isn't unusual to see a pair of horses, with police on them moving slowly through the major areas of the city. The are very good for controlling crowds and breaking up traffic jams. This story is in 2 parts. Don't read Part 2 until you have read Part 1. That way you will get the full effect of an event that defies belief but is true. For scoffers I refer you to the New York Daily News which printed a story and a photograph of the closing moments.



There used to be a restaurant in New York called "The Cattleman." It was a steakhouse that provided a special deal to patrons wanting to go to the theatre. They offered a pre-theatre dinner special followed by a ride to the theatre district That ride was in the Cattleman Stage Coach. A team of two horses would pull it through the streets of midtown and deposit the riders at Shubert''s Alley (the center of the theatre district).

One summer evening I was sitting in a bar on 45th Street, east of Broadway, the regular route of the Cattleman Stage Coach. It was a warm night, the front door of the bar was open and I was sitting near it. I heard the stage coach coming at a fast clip, probably running a little late. I watched it from the open door and just as it came into view a small yellow Volkswagen, the driver evidently unaware of the approaching horses, pulled out of its parking space and onto the street. The horse nearest it, reared up and came down on the car with both front hooves, denting the car but otherwise causing no particular damage. The teamster pulled the horses out away from the car and continued on down 45th Street, across Times Square and on to its destination.



Now here's where your sorry, skeptical disbelief might begin to set in. But with my right hand on my complete Shakespeare and my left hand raised I vow to you that what happened next really, genuinely occurred.

The driver of the Volkswagen was standing there looking dazed. But another man, near by, obviously a western movie fan, stepped out into the street, pointed toward where the stage coach had gone, looked up the street in the opposite direction and shouted ""They went that-a-way." I looked up the street and there were two New York City mounted police coming down the street in full gallop, chasing after the stage coach. It was a posse. It was Marshall Dillon and Hopalong Cassidy. It was the good guys chasing down the bad guys. It was the Wild West right in the middle of Manhattan on one warm summer evening.

It was wonderful


Dana Bate

Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up



Jon said...

That's an incredible story and, thanks to your description, I can visualize it as it was happening.
It isn't often that a full-blown western drama is played out on the streets of New York City.

I wish someone had captured it on video.

Geo. said...

DB., that was delightful. I envy your watching it from a saloon too. In my imagination there's a piano player with garters on his sleeves.

Lori said...

What a GREAT story!! And how great that you actually got to witness it. You know what first went through my head, though, when you said that the car barely had a dent in it? That wouldn't happen with most cars made these days; they are so flimsy!

Rose~* said...

I can imagine how funny that must have been at the time. The picture you described indeed brought back memories of "Gunsmoke" and times of the Wild, Wild West. Thanks for sharing!