"There's a cowman who knows how to use an airplane!"
March 17, 2015 9:18 AM   Subscribe

"Prior to the explosive tragedy that turned the Hindenburg into a synonym for disaster, the famous zeppelin transported [antelope] across the Atlantic to German zoos." posted by jessamyn (10 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
There's a cowman waiting in the sky?
posted by yoink at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, the zoo-man-ity.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:39 AM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

That issue of Flying is amazing. Aside from the advertisements, it's pretty close to the modern incarnation of the magazine - amazing tales! New technology! How to not crash and kill yourself!

The ads really show how the target audience has changed. The 1940s issue has ads for training programs, want ads for jobs, and sales pitches for books and trinkets. The modern magazine has ads for Tag Heuer watches, expensive bomber jackets, and iPad accessories.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:52 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a cowman who knows
All that antlers is gold
And he's flying a zeppelin to Germany
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:03 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Belden's an interesting guy - he was given a National Geographic assignments, one of which was to photograph Tito; here's another of his photos of cowboys standing by the Eiffel Tower. He means a lot to the people of Wyoming, but at the same time he's symbolic, I think, of a kind of progression that's been lost or has been shouted down in my home state by an urgent, all encompassing strive to maintain the "western myth" at all costs. He took my two favorite photographs of Wyoming, one of which is online: Winter Cattle Drive on the Pitchfork. The other one, a photo called New Horizon which is at the Buffalo Bill museum in Cody, I can't find online but here's a close approximation. He had a few photographs wherein the cowboy was looking up at "progress" and I'd like to think that Belden himself was aware of the schism between the "myth" and the "future" that his fellow citizens would create and then refuse to cross; I admire him for forging ahead regardless.

If you'd like to read more about him, including the projects in this post, here's a link to the Wyoming Tales and Trails website [warning: automatic Home on the Range music] which has an extensive section on his biography. For those interested, Belden's Pitchfork Ranch is located east of Yellowstone in the Bighorn Basin - a bit south of Cody: the red pin on this map. It's right off the Absaroka Range.

Also as a native Wyomingite, I can tell right away if you were born and raised there by if you call these animals "pronghorn" or "antelope". It's a special animal to us. For example, although bison may be on the state flag, it's the official symbol of the Wyoming Game and Fish. Nothing says "home" to me more than seeing a herd racing across the plains; there's been occasions when, terribly homesick and finally returning to Wyoming, I've seen them while driving and had to pull over and pull myself together.
posted by barchan at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2015 [7 favorites]

Ah-ha, I found my favorite photo of Wyoming on a book cover (on a very excellent book): New Horizon by Charles Belden. The cowman looking through the gate at the airplane is just an amazing juxtaposition with all kinds of symbology that could be read into it.
posted by barchan at 10:26 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Horned animals on a dirigible? Brilliant.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:14 AM on March 17, 2015

I spent five years living in Meeteetse, a tiny town just east of the Pitchfork. There's a tiny museum there with a ton of Belden's photos and a bunch of others taken on the Pitchfork for a Marlboro ad campaign.
posted by newrambler at 2:33 PM on March 17, 2015

Oh, the bovinity!
posted by acb at 2:43 PM on March 17, 2015

Oh give me a home
Where the Nazi blimps roam
And the deer and the antelope play
posted by lagomorphius at 5:16 PM on March 17, 2015

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