Usually, when the 14th of April rolls around I try to do something special to celebrate Butch’s birth. He was born, as Robert Leroy Parker, on April 14, 1866, down I-15 about three hours south of where I live. His birthplace, the town of Beaver, Utah, happens to lie almost exactly half-way between Salt Lake City (which lies to the north) and Las Vegas (which lies to the south.)
Beaver is not only the birthplace of Utah’s most notorious (and elusive?) native son, was also, on August 19, 1906. the birthplace of Utah’s most famous inventor, Filo T. Farnsworth, the father of television, radar, etc. And, Beaver even has another very interesting claim to fame: its has won a number of national and international awards for having the best drinking water!
A few years ago, a group of us affiliated with the not-for-profit organization, Utah Bolivia Partners, Inc. (a Chapter of the international service organization Partners of the America headquartered in Washington, D.C.) cooperated with the Beaver Chamber of Commerce to hold a home town birthday party for Butch. The birthday cake, complete with a horse riding cowboy figurine on top, looked AND tasted great! Occasionally, in the years since that party in Beaver, I’ve gotten together with friends and family to share some birthday cake in Butch’s honor.
But, today, on April 14, 2014, my plan to remember Butch’s birthday doesn’t include having a slice of cake. Instead, I will be dining on sardines and beer. Traditionally, that is the menu for my supper on the 6th of November (instead of the 14th of April.) I do that because sardines and beer was what Butch and Sundance are reported to have had for what turned out to be their last meal. Because their final shoot-out–made famous and overly dramatic by the Hollywood film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”–in the small, remote Bolivian village of San Vicente, is supposed to have begun in the early evening of November 6, 1808.