If You Could Take One Thing Back in Time…

OzarkBelleMost of you know I’m a Cowboy Action Shooter known as “Ozark Belle.” This past weekend I participated in the Southern Missouri Rangers’ annual shoot, the Show-Me-Shootout! Besides lots of fun laughing with fellow cowboy and cowgirl shooting enthusiasts, and sending a lot of lead down-range, we spent our down time chatting, getting to know each other, and renewing friendships.

On Thursday, while waiting for the shooting to start—literally—someone asked: if you were going to be sent back in time to the late 1800s, what would you want to take with you?

Some of the answers were:
Air Conditioning
Flushing toilet & toilet paper
Electricity (that was available on the east coast, it just took a while to get west)
Running water (this wasn’t far off, either)

But the consensus was—


Don’t you wonder who might have been saved and how different our world might be if we’d had penicillin sooner?

What about you? If you were returned to the Old West, circa 1870, what would you just HAVE to have?

I’ll give away one autographed copy of either “Lassoing a Bride” or “Lassoing a Groom” – winner’s choice. All you have to do to enter is join in the discussion (and leave your email address).

Lassoing a Groom Web
PRPLassoing a Groom Web






See you on the Range!

P.S.> My fellow authors at Prairie Rose have just released a pair of Halloween anthologies, Cowboys, Creatures & Calico, Volumes 1 & 2. Don’t miss out on the creepy fun!


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38 thoughts on “If You Could Take One Thing Back in Time…”

  1. I’m going to go with one of the answers above. Toilets and toilet paper. I was talking to someone the other day and she was telling me how they grew up without a bathroom in their house. They had to use an outhouse. I am so glad I didn’t have to worry about that as I have a fear of even using a porto-potty.

  2. I would have to say toilets and toilet paper as well, and maybe Starbucks.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  3. What great answers! I love hearing about the discussion that you and your shooting buddies had and I will have to go with medicines….antibiotics, pain meds, etc.

  4. Tracy, that’s an interesting question. There are so many things I’d like to take back. I think indoor plumbing would be pretty high on my list. I wouldn’t have done well going to the outhouses in those voluminous skirts and petticoats.Or when I was sick. Or in the middle of the night. It had to be horrible. But I like your answer also. Antibiotics would’ve been such a life saver.

    Wishing you much success!

    • Thanks, Linda! Having spent this weekend using one with the skirt and petticoat and bloomers–and gun belt, which was ridiculous!–I have to agree with you completely.

    • We didn’t think of that, either, Margaret. I’ve used a wringer–for fun, of course. I can’t say I’d like to do a lot of clothes with one. And boiling shirts… No, thank you.

  5. Tracy,

    I would have to say indoor plumbing, too. My granddad’s brother, Johnny, and his wife, Myrtle, had an outhouse they used for years even after indoor plumbing became available. I was little, but I remember hating to go visit them because of that. So I can say I’ve had the “pleasure” of actually using an outhouse, but I can’t even imagine having to do that every day all my life. LOL

    Thanks for the COWBOYS, CREATURES AND CALICO Volumes 1 and 2 plug. We sure had a great time with those stories, and MISSED YOU!


  6. I too can shoot! My daddy taught me young so I could protect myself,,the one thing I wouldn’t be without if I had to go back would my my gun,,I think it was a necessary items back then even for a woman

  7. You really do have to go with medications from antibiotics to aspirn and everything in between. My grandfather on my father’s side died when my dad was 11 from appendicitis. They kept them laying on their backs for weeks after operations and I think it was pneumonia that killed him. His mother remarried to a not so nice man and my dad went to work at that age – had he lived I know my dad would have been a different man.

  8. Antibiotics would be a great choice and so would today’s bathrooms! I had to use outhouses when I was young and they were no fun!

  9. Those were all good answers… things I would think of… medications I think would be at the top of my list!

  10. Tracy, Antibiotics is a good one, but they would run out eventually. I would take the knowledge of how to make them, but then that would change history. What a conundrum. Still I loved all the answers.

    Thanks for asking the questions and what a fun time that looked to be. Doris

  11. I agree with antibiotics and other medications, but also I would need a lifetime supply of wet wipes and antibacterial hand sanitizer. I would be wiping down the whole West and probably everyone I met. 🙂

  12. I think medications would top the list but I would have wanted my iPhone! I could have used it in a lot of ways.From communication to flashlight to compass…oh the possibilities.

  13. I will have to say I would miss all of those things you mentioned. I can also say I grew up without running water and I survived but I wouldn’t want to go back to that. I guess I spent my first eight years without running water.

  14. Interesting question. Maybe not antibiotics persay but the knowledge to make medicine to treat different illnesses – that would be first on my list. Of course, indoor plumbing would be right behind it. You see, I need to use the bathroom very very very often during the day and the night. Can’t imagine myself having to go outside every couple of hours, particularly not in a snow storm or heavy rain. 🙂

  15. Even in the early years of the 20th century, antibiotics were not readily available. My mother had strep throat as a kid and, because she didn’t get antibiotics, it developed into Rheumatic heart disease with scar tissue around the 2 valves in her heart. She spent a lifetime in and out of congestive heart failure and fighting blood clots. It finally took her life when she was 54.
    So I would want those antibiotics over anything else on the list.
    You bring up an interesting conversation, Tracy. All the very best to you.

  16. Ladies, ladies! You are all readers and yet you did not take one book with you. My choice would be Kotex feminine products. I can remember my Grandmother saying she used to use rags and would wash them each time of the month.
    I can do without cosmetics, shampoos and underarm deodorant but gotta have the Kotex! Oh and dental floss and a box of books.

  17. Interesting discussion, Tracy. I have to say I’m with Doris: Medications would be nice, but the knowledge to make them would be nicer.

    I’d also have to take chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. As spoiled as I am by modern conveniences, chocolate might be the only thing to keep me from standing in front of a runaway freight wagon. 😉

  18. Oh, well, maybe mine is a silly answer, but here it is — a camera! I know they did have cameras by then, but they were unwieldy things and I don’t know that I could have lugged one around. But I sure would have wanted to get pictures if I time traveled! Of course, I’m answering with the expectation that my sojourn in the past would be short. My answer if I knew it would be for the rest of my life might be different — and I’m not sure what one thing I’d choose. I’m pretty attached to my modern conveniences! (This from a girl who grew up believing I was born 100 years too late — but that was when I was too young to care about practicalities!)

    • That’s not silly at all, Judith. And I’m with you. I don’t think I’d really want to stay there. Visit, sure, but live there? No. I’m happy right where I am.

  19. If you’re waiting on an announcement of the winner, I’m going to draw a name first thing in the morning. That will give our west coast readers a chance to chime in once work and dinner are done and the kids are in bed. 🙂

  20. And the winner is…


    You’ve won an autographed copy of either “Lassoing a Bride” or “Lassoing a Groom” – your choice!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! And thanks to everyone who dropped by to join in the fun.

  21. Thank you so very much!! I will be sending my information now. Looking forward to reading one of your stories.

  22. I’d want disposable COLD water bottles as I’m always thirsty and water is my first choice to drink. sm

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