Did a cowboy on horseback really rob a bank in New Mexico back in the 1930s?

Thomas Dancik

Cleveland, Ohio

Texas storyteller Paul Patterson told a tale about a cowboy named Gid Redding. He had a special way with rattlesnakes, taming horses, cooking grub and handling little pigs so they wouldn’t squeal.

“A tall man with his face swathed in adhesive tape (or some such) and riding a black horse robbed the bank of Hatch, N.M. of $5,000. The man turned out to be Gid Redding, a man with whom I batched on the Hoover Horse Ranch out of Buena Vista part of the previous winter,” Patterson recalled.

“In any case, the fall after we rode together, I drew my $22 in wages and enrolled in Sul Ross College, whereas Gid, harboring higher ambitions and hankering for bigger, faster money, rode in and robbed that bank. A cowboy compadre is said to have said to him: ‘Gid, if I was going to rob a bank, I’d a took it all.’ ‘But my friend,’ he replied, ‘I didn’t need but $5,000.’”

If it didn’t happen that way, it could of, or should of, happened that way. I wish I had met Paul Patterson before he crossed over the Great Divide. I’ll bet he was a good one to sit around the fire with.

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