|As a kid, I loved Westerns. My favorites included The Wild, Wild West, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Laredo, The Rifleman, and The Cisco Kid. (Anyone with me here?) I am sure there were others, too.
As an adult, I loved Western themed films like Tombstone, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. So, I got excited when it was planned for us to visit Tombstone, Arizona.
I expected that history would refute much of what I had learned about Tombstone from the movie that starred Kurt Russell; however, the movie was fairly accurate in its portrayal of major events. I saw photos of the lovely women of the bird cage and the Bird Cage Theatre, which was home to a bordello and gambling den. Josephine Marcus worked in the theatre (and some say, in the bordello) and won the heart of first, the mayor of Tombstone, John Behan, whom she later dumped to be with Wyatt Earp, the new marshal.
We attended an outdoor play that humorously portrayed the tension between the Cowboy gang and the marshal. It became even more fun when a family member was picked to join in on the mayhem.
Lunch was had at the Crystal Palace- the place where Virgil Earp was wounded. The OK Corral is just down the street, and while we didn't go see the re-enactment of the famous "30 shots in 30 seconds" shootout, we walked inside the entry and had a look around.
We stopped at Boot Hill Cemetery where sheriff Fred White and the McLaury brothers are buried. The headstones to the graves are very telling and well... much more colorful than you'll read in many a cemetery.
Everywhere we went, there were signs of history, and with a history of so much violence, the town is reportedly very haunted. We didn't experience anything paranormal, but we did experience a bit of history and I'll never watch the movie Tombstone in quite the same way again.
Labels: Arizona, Tombstone, Westerns