No, I haven’t struck gold. But I found something I’ve been looking for — an old episode of Death Valley Days.
A year ago or so I found out that John Bidwell featured in the episode The Lady With the Blue Silk Umbrella, broadcast on television on January 9, 1953. I looked for it, but at that time very few episodes were available for viewing. Now there is a pile of them on YouTube.
Stories on Death Valley Days were taken from true events, and this one is based in fact. Sort of. It’s full of errors, the worst being that Bidwell in 1850 was not a fifty-year-old general in the U.S. Army. He was much closer to the (fictional) young and handsome Lt. Hastings. However, the outline of the story is factual, and it’s fun to travel back in time — to 1953 — and see what was on TV.