So, I am in the process of writing a weird western story with Sherri Dean which has as its locale the 1893 Chicago Exposition and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show which included a “Congress of Horsemen from Around the World”. These included the Cossacks of Russia. In the course of research (which is my way of totally avoiding writing problems) I discovered a full copy of the program book to the Wild West Show in the Library of Congress archives. I was reading up on this Cossack band, since one of the victims of murder is a Cossack. I came across a name that many of those in Tulsa will recognize from the late 70’s.

“The Prince and his comrades, it is interesting to the public to know, belong to the same branch of the great Cossack family, the Zaporogins, immortalized by Byron’s “Mazeppa”. Mazeppa was the hetman, or chief of the Zaporogian community of the Cossacks of the Ukraine”

Whether it was Byron, or Buffalo Bill, I think I now know where Gailard Sartain’s Mazeppa Pompazoidi’s Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meetingn got its name. This was a Tulsa late night movie show hosted by Gailard Sartain just prior to him being hired on as a Hee Haw regular. This was also the first public showcase of Gary Busey who commonly played a character called “Teddy Jack Eddie”.

Here is a link to a clip from the show:

Aint it weird how stuff comes together. Now we know that Mazeppa was truly the Pompazoidi master of the Zaporagians!


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