Tombstone, Arizona: A little history, a little kitch, and a lot of atmosphere. This once violent town attracted the resourceful, the greedy, the desperate, the lawless, the opportunists, the sociopaths. “Listen Mr. Kansas Law Dog, law don’t go around here, savvy?”
[Sidebar: The first novel I ever wrote (as an adult) was a western. This was decades ago, I was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming and inspired by all the big sky and tumbleweed and occasional real live cowboys I served while working part time at The Hitching Post
(which someone set on fire last year.) I entered it in a contest, it didn’t win. But it was the first of several practice novels. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll write another western…]
Tombstone is both a real place and a myth. It’s apocryphal, like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Shangri La, Sodom and Gomorrah. The name is a metaphor and the place can never live up to its name.
Tombstone is like a movie set but people actually live there. Some of the residents walk around in period costume, just because they want to. I’d wager most of the tourists are die hard fans of the 1993 movie Tombstone, (the one with Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton, Joanna Pacula, Micahel Biehn, Powers Boothe, et al…written by Kevin Jarre, directed by George Kasmatos) of which I am one. Fan, that is. The movie Tombstone is considered a classic in our family. There is a quote from Tombstone that fits just about any life situation you can think of.
Here are some postcards from my recent journey to Tombstone:
Below is the cute little cowboy who served me my beer and burger. Note the pistol he’s packing. Originally weapons were banned inside the town limits, so this sidearm is probably a prop. Then again, this is modern day Arizona. A lot of everyday people are packin’ heat. Better leave him a nice tip…
Bartender at Big Nose Kate's
"Why Johnny Ringo! Madcap!"
"Hell's comin' with me."
The outcome of the shoot-out at OK Corral