How Calamity Jane Came by Her Name

This story is a family story that was published in
the Basin Herald newspaper in Basin, Wyoming
1943. A story told by Tobias Borner to a
newspaper reporter Lylas Skovgard. Tobias
was the nephew of Martha Jane
Canarie and Norma’s great
grandfather. He said he was
given his information from
Martha and her sister Lena
Canarie Borner. The
story explains how
the Canarie family
came West and how
Martha Jane went to
South Pass City,
Wyoming and came
by the legendary
name Calamity Jane.
Norma goes on to
tell of her own
family’s history and
her heritage. She also
talks about her road to
portraying Calamity
Jane and talks about her
leather-fringed trousers
and beaded leather vest
that are patterned after
clothing believed to have
been worn by the real
Calamity Jane.


Calamity Jane’s Love Story

More of an entertainment kind of a story than history would allow.
However, Norma tells it the way she
feels Calamity Jane would
like it told
and does it
with a lot of
heart as a
related woman.
Norma ends the
program with
some of the
“rest of the story”
found through
research. And she likes to say, “No matter
what really happened twixt the
two, it makes one heck of a western love story.”


Norma as Calamity Jane tells about the different ways she made a living in the days of the Wild West. She also elaborates about her so-called cantankerous nature. She talks about times she had to stand her ground to get what she felt she deserved in a world dominated by men. With a long-barrel 22 pistol she shoots blanks during a couple incidents during this story. After the story Norma likes to tell about Martha Jane’s ability to have a good time and her quest to make money off her legendary fame and also about how she died. But the story doesn’t end there. For Norma tells about how Calamity Jane appears in books and movies still today, as people are not only intrigued by Calamity Jane’s gain of fame in the Wild West, but also want to try to find the truth about the real woman behind the legend.


Partial Program List

For complete list of programs and songs please contact us.


Over the years of portraying Calamity Jane, endless bits of information have come Norma’s way. In this program she shares the “bits and pieces” of information she has collected over the almost two decades she has portrayed Calamity Jane. People want to know what Calamity Jane looked like, what she did, and more about who she really was. Shared in this program is all the information, “fact” and tale, to be judged by the listener as to what they feel might hold the most truth. Pieces of information as it has been found – interesting and entertaining in its own right.

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Copyright 2010

Listen to a sample on our Merchandise page linked below.




Norma is often accompanied by her 16.2 hand Quarter Horse, BlackJack. Born to be a horse for the modern day Calamity Jane, he has accompanied her at many shows and has been a big part of the entertainment. Norma was there when he was born and at the age of two he began his career as Calamity Jane’s horse. He thinks bullwhips, gunshot, and crowds are just a part of life.