Even though in 1994 I lived in Burbank, California, I went back to Texas to buy a car, or compact pickup truck as it turned out.
My sister wanted to visit so we drove back together, intent on taking it nice and easy, enjoying the sights of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Deborah didn’t care what sights we saw, with one exception.
The movie “Tombstone” had just been released the previous December, and … well, my sister had a huge crush on Kurt Russell … and Val Kilmer … and Bill Paxton … and Michael Biehn … and Sam Elliot. Having seen “Tombstone,” she just HAD to see Tombstone. Not to mention that the movie “Wyatt Earp” would soon be released. And Deborah had a huge crush on Kevin Costner … and Dennis Quaid … and, you get the idea.
Though the day was extraordinarily hot, even by Tombstone standards (pushing 120 F), we had a marvelous time. We chased the ghosts of the McLaury’s and Billy Clanton through Boot Hill, and even took each other’s picture beside my favorite tombstone in Tombstone or anywhere. (See the picture)
Though my baby sister was thirty-three, she didn’t realize all of the entertainment the Bird Cage Theater offered.
“This was a cat house, too?” she asked.
I laughed. “Among other things.”
But the best of it all for her involved chasing the ghosts of the Earps and Doc Holliday six lots down from the O. K. Corral, along with that of Marshal Fred White who had been killed the year before by Curly Bill Brocius.
Me? I loved it all and couldn’t help marveling that, were it not for thirty seconds around 3:00PM Wednesday October 26, 1881, Tombstone, Arizona might have become a ghost town.
That thirty seconds is what folks call “The Gunfight at the O. K. Corral.”