American Idol

For nearly fifteen years, Steve Friesen has lived and breathed the lore of Buffalo Bill (aka William F. Cody) as director of Lookout Mountain landmark the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. And he’s proud of the collection of artifacts he’s so lovingly curated during that time, so much so that he finally decided a couple of years ago that it was time to plumb the museum’s archives to compile a definitive history of the man he calls “visionary” through photos of the physical ephemera Cody left behind when he died.

“A lot of stuff has come out about Buffalo Bill, but most of it is text-heavy. And it’s wonderful stuff, but I wanted to cover new material, so I took more of a material approach by using the stuff of his life,” Friesen says of the highly photographic tome. “Buffalo Bill had an amazing effect on American culture, and people don’t know about that,” adds Friesen, who will find a way to connect the Western icon to the invention of jazz and rock and roll, if you give him a soapbox and half a chance. And, as if to prove a point, every penny of the book’s royalty earnings will go straight back to the museum.

Friesen will discuss and sign the finished Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary during a series of metro-area readings, including today’s 7:30 p.m. event at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder (call 303-447-2074 for details). He’ll also discuss the book (and the ongoing controversy about whether or not the Wild West showman is buried here or in Cody, Wyoming) at 2:30 p.m. June 6 at the museum, 987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road, Golden (303-526-0744); on June 10, he’ll hold forth at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, at 7:30 p.m. (303-436-1070).
Wed., June 2, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd