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Caroline Lockhart's talented ex-boyfriends 

When I was writing The Cowboy Girl, there were dozens of tangents that I had to stop myself from going down if I ever wanted to finish. Many of these tangents involved Caroline Lockhart's boyfriends. In addition to being quite a character herself, Caroline's taste in men ran toward the unusual, the talented, the zest-for-life types.

One such was Valentin di Colonna, also known as Bill Miller, whom Lockhart described as "the son of a bona fide Italian count.” He helped draw posters for the initial Cody Stampede rodeo. I was intrigued by him, wanted to learn more. Was he really nobility? A good artist? Whatever happened to him? But their affair was incidental to Lockhart's quest, and I reluctantly set him aside.

Luckily, Roy R. Behrens has done that digging, and discovered that di Colonna served in the American Camouflage Corps during World War I -- apparently at the forefront of using protective coloration in warfare. A fine artist indeed. Behrens has the full story (to which I contributed) here.

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