Monday, May 11, 2009

The Quest Continues

I continue my quest for the ultimate example of Bandit photography. This one comes close. Who is the man on the horse, you ask . . . it is of course Pancho Villa. So, we have a good subject, an essential element of a good Bandit photograph. Secondly, we have a rugged skinny horse, another important element. The hat is of proper size, and is exquisitely positioned on the head. Yes, this is getting close, but, and I must say this is a big "but", on this particular day, Mr. Villa is wearing both his bullet belts across the same shoulder, instead of one on each shoulder, as we would expect and hope for. If only he had worn one on each shoulder and crossing in the middle of the chest. The quest continues.


  1. George:

    Congratulations on your many accomplishments.

    Apparently, you did not read my previous post carefully enough.

    I am not suggesting that you write better; I'm merely suggesting that you should should stop correcting the author's grammar on this blog. The purpose here is to comment on the photos and the era(s) they represent.

    Instead, why don't you channel your grammar obsession into something more productive, such as teaching a desperately-needed class in same.

  2. PJM:

    This is the best Bandido photo to date. I love the horse.

  3. PJM:

    Your writing is fine as far as I'm concerned. Keep it up.

  4. Mr Villa seems to have a problem with his bullet belts. He has got three of them; the third goes around the front of the saddle.

    He is propably thinking, how to put it on so that he kan keep the balance.

  5. The position of the rifle really bothers me. It's so tight up against the horse; hope it can't accidently go off and shoot the poor thing.

    SmartGirl, you sound so much like my sister it's scary! Must be something about being born in 1953. Reading your posts always make me smile!

  6. Hi, Heather:

    Well, I've always said we're almost like sisters.

    It must be a cosmic thing.

    You're right about the horse, the rifle is poking into his side.

    Pancho certainly doesn't look like anyone you'd like to meet in a dark alley, does he?

  7. There is just "no good" place to put a rifle, that big on a horse.
    I'm more concerned about the use and abuse these horses endured while fleeing or chasing the enemy.
    Sometimes they had to keep running without food and water and rest for many hours, maybe even days. To stop running could mean death to the bandits in some cases.
    I'm sure they wore-out and broke down many horses and had to get (maybe steal)fresh horses often.

  8. Anon:

    Sadly, you're probably correct. It's likely that the horses were abused all the time.

    In one of the past photos, the horse appeared very malnourished.

  9. Seems to me wearing the bullets across the left shoulder and on the saddle horn works well because they are easier to reach in order to load the rifle.

  10. My great-grandfather is buried on a high bluff overlooking the Rio Grande at Langtry TX. He died in 1911.
    I just have bits and pieces of his history. His sons were always having a war over stolen horses and cattle with the Mexicans across the river.
    I think his sons would cross-over and get their cattle and maybe pick up a few of the Mexican's livestock for punishment.
    There was often some shooting during this transfer of ownership thing.
    I've been told that the boys killed several Mexicans.
    Jesse,my cousin got shot up, but made it back across the river and survived.
    This was during Pancho Villas' time butI don't know much more of the story.
    I think the family moved on to New Mexico and Arizona.
    One of my uncles came to visit my grandfather back in the early forty's. I wish I could have asked him a few questions.

  11. Raoul Walsh, as an assistant to D.W. Griffith made a movie of Pancho Villa, starring Pancho himself - "The Life of General Villa".

    Pancho wasn't born yesterday -as mentioned in IMDB..

    "Under his contract with the Mutual Film Corporation, Pancho Villa received a $25,000 advance and was promised 50% of the profits from the film for agreeing to let the company shoot his battles in daylight, and for re-enacting them if more footage was needed."

  12. Yesterday's picture showed me a hard man not to be trifled with. I looked up a little about P. Villa thanks to the blog, and as Ross from Maine states, it looks like he had an appreciation for the camera. Today's picture kind of confirms it.

  13. It is said a white man will ride a horse till it is about to drop, a Mexican will ride a horse till it does drop but an native american will ride a horse till he gets where he is going.

  14. That horse is young, lean, and healthy. It looks like a working horse should look.

  15. Hey I hope you dont mind but I add a link to your blog from my blog. I like what you are doing.