Dec 29, 2015

Young Pony Express Riders...The Job Of A Lifetime

It was a dangerous job, at any age, but almost all the riders were very young.
One was 11 years old. This was before everybody had birth certificates. They were recruited with this newspaper ad....

“Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”

Young men I would love to have known ...

The Pony Express Riders...Boys Who Were Men
                        Rayburn Blair
He took this job cause he was bored with plowin
And he wanted to prove he was much of a man
He was tired of "Yes Sirin" and scrapin and bowin
So he would show them all that he had sand.

His Grandpa's rifle hung from his Dad's old saddle
His hand-me-down pistol in his calloused right hand
He rode day and night in a desperate skedaddle
Just barely ahead of a scalp huntin band.

They had run him for miles, his mustang a tirin
But he had given his word and he had it to do
His pony worn down was stumblin ... expirin
Still runnin for his life and for his rider's too

They were the Pony Express carryin mail on the fly
From rider to rider day and night to the Coast
Eighteen hundred miles in ten days live or die
"We rode the West down" was their pride and boast.
Rayburn Blair at 85
I was born a little too late to make the cut.

This year is the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express which ran continuously, day and night, rain, heat, snow, ice and Indians, from Missouri to California, in ten days. Each rider rode about 75 miles a day and changed horses about seven times. They were very young, but almost men, tough as leather, adventurous survivors. These boys played their part in opening the west by carrying the latest news and saddle-bags of mail. RB

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