First off, I want to say Happy Birthday to Butch Cassidy. He would be 152 years old today and just so happens to play a role in FALL, Book I of the AngeLore Saga.
Including Butch Cassidy in the book, FALL, never entered my mind after I had completed the rough draft of the book. It wasn’t until I had taken a trip to Torrey, Utah (where the story is set) and met with the real owner of the Torrey Schoolhouse Bed and Breakfast, Ty Markham, that the idea came to me to include him in the story. I had seen the movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when I was very young, but I had no idea his stomping grounds were in Torrey, Utah and the surrounding area.
So, when I went to see Ty, she was gracious enough to not only give me a grand tour of the Bed and Breakfast, but told me a lot about old Butch and his escapades. Ty has a section of wall in the great room at the B&B devoted to Butch Cassidy and his gang. Ty has a photo of Butch on her wall and I do have to admit, he is a handsome guy. The more I dug into the stories about him, the more I came to appreciate the kind of life he led. His real name was Robert LeRoy Parker and was born on April 13, 1866 in Beaver, Utah. Robert’s family was one of the earliest Mormon pioneer families that settled the area and he was the oldest of 13 children.
He was a notorious Bank robber and train robber. He was supposedly killed in Bolivia on November 7th, 1908, but rumor has it he returned to the United States under an alias and lived out his days quietly.
Ty shared with me that as she researched the legend of Butch Cassidy, she encountered an elderly female resident of Torrey who had told her that when she was a girl she had seen Butch at a dance held in the school-house.
There are also stories of Butch playing the role of a modern-day Robin Hood – sort of. Instead of robbing the rich to give to the poor, Butch would give money to the poor to pay off the bankers who had come to foreclose on their farms or ranches; then Butch would rob the bankers before they could get to the bank with the money.
After reading up on Butch and even visiting Cassidy’s arch a few miles outside of Torrey, I decided I needed to include the Butch Cassidy element into the book. His role in the book was in redeeming himself for all the wrongs he committed in his life, although, I can’t reveal how he did that in the book. You’ll have to read it to find out. Although, I promise you it’s not what you’ll expect.
Needless to say, there is a reason why there is a family of characters in the book with the last name of Parker.