I don’t know who this person is, but this is a photograph of a photograph that I found hanging on the wall at the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California. If you’re ever in the area, say driving on Route 395 down the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada (I consider this the most beautiful stretch of highway in America), do stop in Independence and visit this small but fascinating museum of Owens Valley history.
And be sure to stay at the Winnedumah Hotel, an old and atmospheric place where the cowboy movie stars like Gene Autry used to stay while filming in the nearby Alabama Hills. (Right across the street is the Inyo County Courthouse, where Charles Manson was arraigned for the murders of Sharon Tate and several others.)
At any rate, hanging on the wall of the museum for many years was this photo of “Hominy’s famous Jewish CHAMPION of the Lariat and Saddle.” A Jewish cowboy! But I had to laugh, for he looks just like a yeshiva bocher stuffed into ill-fitting cowboy clothes.
Sadly, when I went back to the Museum several years ago, the photo was gone, and nobody remembered it. I begged them to find it so I could have it, but no dice. The Jewish Champion Cowboy is lost to history.