Historically, there have been many tours that forged the economic growth of our country, paved the way for change and sought to bring a sense of relief from everyday troubles…. And then there’s the “Road to Remember Tour,” created by Monica Caison and her colleagues nine years ago at the Cue Center for the Missing in North Carolina, who take honor, respect and remembrance of the missing to a whole new level….
Joint this writer on a historical retrospective of “the tours” from cattle herders, to entertainers…to the vastly important crime victim advocates who do a most honorable and necessary task.
We’ve “saved the best for last” Read and enjoy through the end… And…. please do SUPPORT Monica’s Tour for the missing….going on now! [**Note: Ladyjustice gives her opinion of the value of the CUE Center and their Annual Conference too!
HISTORY: “The Tour” Cattle Herding
- Long-distance cattle driving was traditional in Mexico, California and Texas, The Spaniards had established the ranching industry in the New World, and began driving herds northward from Mexico beginning in the 1540s.
- As early as 1836, ranchers in Texas began to drive cattle along a “Beef Trail” to New Orleans. In the 1840s, cattle drives expanded northward into Missouri. In the early years of the Civil War Texans drove cattle into the Confederate states for the use of the Confederate Army. In October, 1862 a Union naval patrol on the southern Mississippi River captured 1,500 head of Longhorns which had been destined for Confederate military posts in Louisiana.
- The first large-scale effort to drive cattle from Texas to the nearest railhead for shipment to Chicago occurred in 1866, when many Texas ranchers banded together to drive their cattle to the closest point that railroad tracks reached, which at that time was Sedalia, Missouri .
The Chisholm Trail was the most important route for cattle drives leading north from the vicinity of Ft. Worth, Texas, across Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to the railhead at Abilene.
- Cattle drives were a tricky balance between speed and the weight of the cattle. While cattle could be driven as far as 25 miles in a single day, they would lose so much weight that they would be hard to sell when they reached the end of the trail. On average, a herd could maintain a healthy weight moving about 15 miles per day. At that pace, it would take as long as two months to travel from a home ranch to a railhead.
- To herd the cattle, a crew of at least 10 cowboys was needed, with three horses per cowboy. Cowboys worked in shifts to watch the cattle 24 hours a day, herding them in the proper direction in the daytime and watching them at night to prevent stampedes and deter theft.
- The typical drive comprised 1,500–2,500 head of cattle. The “outfit “consisted of a boss, ten to fifteen hands, each of whom had a string of from five to ten horses; a horse wrangler who handled the horses and a cook who drove the chuck wagon. The wagon carried bedrolls and tents – a luxury. The men drove and grazed the cattle most of the day, herding them by relays at night. Wages were about $ 40 a month, paid when the herds were sold. [Monica Caison takes no salary.]
- Smaller cattle drives continued at least into the 1940s, as ranchers, prior to the development of the cattle truck and stockyards for transport to packing plants.
HISTORY: “The Tour” of Circus Life
- The circus came to the United States on April 3, 1793. John Bill Rickets, an English equestrian rider, used a ring and added acrobats, a rope walker and a clown to his equestrian act.
- Initially, entrepreneurs put individual wild animals on display and charged admission. As time went on, exhibitors began adding more animals to their shows. By the early 1820s there were 30+ traveling menageries touring the eastern US. It wasn’t until the late 1830s that promoters figured out a way to combine the menagerie with the circus.
- Eventually, menageries began using equestrians and clowns to present performances in circus rings, so the distinction between circus and menagerie gradually faded. They traveled at night in wagon trains over country roads often a foot deep in mud, covering only two or three miles an hour. These were the so-called mud shows. The longest distance they could cover was 10 or 15 miles. A hostler rode ahead of the wagons to find the shortest route and to “rail” every fork and crossroad by taking a rail from a farmer’s fence and placing it across the road that was not to be taken so that the wagons would avoid making a wrong turn.
- An advance agent “ballyhooed” the show, arriving on horseback about a week ahead of it. On circus day, a clown would come into town a couple of hours before the circus enticing the townspeople with acrobatics, clown antics and jokes followed by the arrival of the wagons. The regular members of the troupe split the profits, with each expected to perform several jobs. Owners seldom paid salaries.
- Circus “roustabouts” are people who “get sweaty and they’re proud to do so.” They dismantle the show and build it up again in the next town their jobs consisted of the physical act of carrying the “big top” and rigging to the empty lot for set-up, called, “the haul.”
- Joshua Purdy Brown, a native of Somers, New York, put up the first circus tent in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1825. [The CUE Center is located in Wilmington, North Carolina.] The perfect innovation was the simple idea of a canvas tent that was easily portable, yet kept both rain and blazing sun off performers and spectators.
- The 1850s ushered in the golden age of the circus. By 1852, about 30 circuses were touring the US. The decade of the 1850s represents golden age of the river, an era when river traveling in general and showboats in particular were at their height. Charles W. Rogers built the first circus showboat, called the Floating Palace, for $42,000.
- Circuses could also choose which towns to play. Previously, a show was limited by how far its baggage stock horses could walk overnight. Many times this meant having to stop in towns that gave only limited patronage. As time evolved, trains carried circuses to towns hundreds of miles away, offering performers a good night’s sleep. Though P.T. Barnum took credit for it, it was William Cameron Coup’s [one of the co-founders of the Barnum & Bailey Circus]. idea to design a special circus train.
And Who Could Forget….Willie Nelson and Family Old Farts and Jackass Tour….On The Road Again…
- The Old Farts and Jackass tour began in Durham, NC on January 18th, 2013 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. On Saturday night, Willie Nelson and family performed in Bowling Green, KY at the Performing Arts Center before heading south to the Tabernacle in Atlanta.
- After the annual bacon and egg luncheon, the Presidential Inaugural Swearing Ceremony took center stage. Willie stepped forward and placed his hand on the Bible. The Joint Congressional Committee spoke of the logistics of presenting such a presidential event in an old church and security concerns plaguing the event from the beginning.
- Fast forward to today… in October 2013, Willie is 80+ years old, [born April 29, 1933] and just keeps on rollin’…. LJ counted 30 tour dates from October 15th through the end of the year… Whew! http://willienelson.com/tour/
AND NOW… the 10th “On the Road to Remember Tour”
In the Beginning…
The CUE CENTER Annual Tour was created to generate new interest in cold cases of missing people across our nation. The inspiration came in 2004 from the case of North Carolina college student Leah Roberts, who went on a cross-country trip of self-exploration. Her wrecked and abandoned vehicle was found. However Leah is still missing to this day… Leah’s case went cold and interest faded until CUE volunteers began a grueling 14-day trip to retrace her route informing the media of her case and all those who were missing along the path of the tour. In the years to follow, interest was strong to keep hope alive for other families across the country who requested help and who supported the concept and vision of the tour. (http://ncmissingpersons.org)
Each year the tour covers a different route. This year the following states are featured: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama offering the opportunity for all families with missing loved ones, or those who advocate for them, to participate.
2013 marks the TENTH YEAR for the CUE Center for Missing Persons ANNUAL On the Road to Remember Tour spanning thousands of miles across the United States to bring awareness to missing persons and unsolved cases, many which have never been featured in media.
Anyone can volunteer to sponsor a rally stop in their community held in various venues including public parks, churches, schools, law enforcement departments or any location in which media can partake. It is vital that the media ha the opportunity to provide information about the missing persons represented at each rally stop. Each stops lasts about an hour with Founder of the CUE Center, Monica Caison, other CUE CENTER representatives and family who assist in obtaining media coverage of their event,
Examples of creative past events: balloon/butterfly/lantern releases, candlelight vigils, prayer circles, safety events, guest speakers and any variation of events to draw public attention, and needed CLUES from the public! RESULTS: In 2008, this event assisted in solving a cold case of twenty eight years!
It Takes A Village! Monica’s philosophy is that all investigations require the efforts of the public, volunteers and the media working in collaboration on cases involving missing children and adults, it is only when such collaborative efforts take place, that cold and inactive cases have the best chance to finally be resolved and bring resolution for families.
For daily updates on the current tour see posts from Monica at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CUE-Center-For-Missing-Persons/136501784957?sk=app_57675755167
To Donate: PO Box 12714 Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 343-1131 / (910) 232-1687