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​King and Queen of Cowtown

Date: 10/5/2017
Contact: Angela West |

For our first Volunteer Profile blog, we chose our current reigning King and Queen of Cowtown, Russell Dodd and Darlene Jolly.

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Russell Dodd

Russell Dodd is not only the reigning King of Cowtown, but he is also one of our longest tenured volunteers. Russell began volunteering with his parents back in 1975. He would only come out occasionally, but for the last 29 years, he's been a full-time volunteer. Russell is part of the Cowtown Cowboys, one of the gunfighting re-enactment groups here at Cowtown.

In addition to gunfighting, Russell also like to draw, do woodworking, and he makes custom pistol grips for 1872 Colts. When we asked Russell what his favorite part of volunteering is, he said, "Being able to educate people about Wichita's history. And course, the Halloween and Christmas events, because it's all about the children."

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Darlene Jolly

[Reigning Queen Darlene Jolly (left) and former Queen Jeanne Thompson]

Darlene has been volunteering at Cowtown since 2002. As one of the leaders of the Dixie Lee Saloon Girls, Darlene gets to have a whole lot of fun while entertaining the guests in style. She was crowned Queen at our Celebrate America event on July 1, 2017, ending the reign of fellow Dixie Lee member and long time volunteer, Jeanne Thompson, whom she is pictured with above.

Our Volunteer Coordinator asked Darlene 5 questions, her answers are below:

  1. What do you do at Cowtown?
    Rule, I am the queen! When I'm not ruling, I dance with the Dixie Lee Saloon Girls.
  2. How long have you volunteered at Cowtown?
    Volunteered dice 2002, ruled a few months.
  3. What do you enjoy doing outside of Cowtown?
    Sewing and walking the pony, I mean dog.
  4. What is something quirky/unique/interesting about yourself?
    I'm the queen of Cowtown! Also I am the baby whisperer. Oh and I can pop my hip out of joint!
  5. What do you like most about working at Cowtown?
    Ruling and wearing feathers! 
  6. What is your favorite memory of Cowtown?
    I loved doing the Cowtown Calamities and doing Christmas shows on snowy nights!