Jane Little Botkin

I Accepted a Challenge: Researching and Writing Mary Ann Goodnight’s Story

By Jane Little Botkin / March 11, 2024 /

During a visit to the Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch House Museum several years ago, I inquired if there were any books on Mary Ann Goodnight. The docent in charge quipped, “No one has written a biography on Molly Goodnight, and besides, there is only a smidgeon of information!” Then she squeezed her index…

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Wanted Miss America Pageant Poster in White

Phyllis George, the Girl-Next-Door Who Became Miss America

By Jane Little Botkin / September 4, 2023 /

It was her dimples that first drew my attention to the Miss America pageant. A more-than-passable piano player with wholesome beauty, Phyllis George could have been anyone’s big sister or babysitter. I watched the pageant every September along with my parents. Before Phyllis, we knew almost nothing about the contestants parading in pale rainbows of…

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An old black-and-white photograph of alligators

Los Lagartos Fountain, What Happened to the San Jacinto Alligators?

By Jane Little Botkin / October 3, 2022 /

(Photo El Paso Historical Society) Recently I returned to El Paso to visit my past—my classmates, Northeast El Paso’s Milagro Hills where I grew up, the Upper Valley where I last lived in the city, and, of course, Guyrex landmarks important to my newest book, The Pink Dress, Memoir of a Guyrex Girl. A pleasant…

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Jane Little Botkin

El Paso, the World of Guyrex

By Jane Little Botkin / July 2, 2021 /

Some folks claim that El Paso, Texas, should be El Paso, New Mexico. It’s true that the city sits in isolation from the rest of the state—635 miles from Dallas, 600 miles from Austin, and 551 miles from San Antonio. These same naysayers maintain that Midland, 306 miles away, is true West Texas, not El…

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Jane Little Botkin

The Pink Dress, Memoir of a GuyRex Girl

By Jane Little Botkin / February 22, 2020 /

My parents initiated a truce the year I won a beauty-queen title. Actually, I was promoted to queen, but to my mother, how I received the title was of no consequence. In effect, I moved from a dysfunctional middle-class family into a theatrical ménage of high performers, intent on managing all aspects of my life for one…

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David Street, Hollywood Actor in Films Portrait

David Street, Hollywood Actor

By Jane Little Botkin / September 30, 2019 / Comments Off on David Street, Hollywood Actor

I just returned from interviewing Jane Street’s grandson and gained a wealth of information.  He had already destroyed some of her work, and I was prepared to find little. Imagine my excitement to discover about a 1 ½” stack of her type-written writings. Poems, short stories, jokes, protest articles.  Who knew there would be so much more…

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Jane Little Botkin

My Book on Feisty Jane Street, Finished!

By Jane Little Botkin / September 3, 2019 /

I have finally finished my book on Jane Street. While researching and writing the book has been an enjoyable journey, so many of the book’s themes are, unfortunately, evident today. I first came across Jane Street, supposedly a housemaid who organized other domestics against mistresses on Denver’s Capitol Hill, while researching for Frank Little and…

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Jane Little Botkin

Always Look Under the Floorboards!

By Jane Little Botkin / August 30, 2019 / Comments Off on Always Look Under the Floorboards!

Never know what you can discover in old mining camps—under the floorboards, that is. Forget the hardware lying around, or even grains of gold. So far, my friends have found old photos, food cans (labels still-colorful), tobacco cans, and even cans of condoms. But a miners’ union entire ledger? Letters? This is a rich treasure,…

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A novel titled Big Game Rifles

Researching Wyoming’s Boedekers, Truth or Legend?

By Jane Little Botkin / August 3, 2019 /

A famous quote best describes the written lore of Lawman Hank Boedeker: “When confronted with the truth or the legend, print the legend.” Though not much is in print about Henry E. Boedeker, during the 1950s, campfire stories embellished tales of well-known past residents including Marshal Boedeker to impress visiting dudes at ranches across western…

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An old vintage sign on a dirty paper

3-7-77, On the Anniversary of Frank Little’s Murder

By Jane Little Botkin / July 31, 2019 / Comments Off on 3-7-77, On the Anniversary of Frank Little’s Murder

3-7-77. The only clue attached to Frank Little’s corpse swinging on a hemp rope from a Milwaukee Railroad trestle in Butte, Montana, on August 1, 1917. A Bureau of Intelligence agent in charge noted that the pasteboard placard warned the dimensions of a grave: 3-feet wide, 7-feet deep, and 77-inches long. If so, the warning pinned…

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