Cowboy Up!

Nebraska Stories

Air Date: 04/21/2022

Calving Season In January, one of the coldest months of the year, a process more suited to warmer weather unfolds in ranch country. It often requires a midwife who wears boots and spurs, and who can go without sleep for a couple of months. The Saddle Maker The Platte Valley Saddle Shop has been a family business for nearly 80 years and though Lyle Henderson prefers seeing his work on ranch horses, he and his wife, Lynda, make saddles for folks who live all over the world. Herb Mignery, Cowboy Artist On the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills in the small village of Bartlett is one of the largest bronze sculpture gardens in the country. With a population of 117, Bartlett may have the highest number bronze sculptures per capita of anywhere in the world. The garden started with the donation of a single monument by sculptor and Bartlett native son, Herb Mignery, and his wife, Sherry. There are 32 bronze works on display with an additional six to be installed. Mignery is an acclaimed sculptor with works in public and private collections around the world. While the Mignerys have lived in Colorado for the past few decades, the connection to home remains strong. The award-winning artist has never forgotten his early days growing up in Bartlett, roping cattle and working on the family ranch. After a recent homecoming, it’s clear Bartlett has never forgotten him. Rodeo Bullfighter As the bucking bull successfully launches the rider from its back, young Rowdy Moon quickly snares the attention of the 1600-pound beast. The athletic bullfighter steps rapidly across the arena expertly dodging the business end of an angry horn. Doc Middleton, The Unwickedest Outlaw He was a man of many names: James M. Riley, David C. Middleton, ‘Texas’ Jack Lyons, and ‘Gold-Tooth’ Charley among others; however, none gained such notoriety as Doc Middleton. As a notorious figure he was different from many folk heroes of the American West. Doc wasn’t looking for gold, glory, justice, or vengeance. He just wanted to survive. In some ways, Doc represents the death of the Old West and the dawn of the modern era.