My Place in the World

Where is my place in the World?
Where is my home?

burl
Is it deep in the forest
where redwoods are burled?
gnome house
Or far in the garden
protected by gnomes?
crashing waves.jpg
Could it be by the ocean,
where waves crash the rocks?
Lake Moraine canoe rental
Or how ’bout the notion
of boats by the dock?
Biltmore Castle
And why not the castle
that touches blue air?
TSQ traffic
Or maybe the hassle
of crowded Times Square?
Banff
Could I hike to the mountains,
reaching higher and farther?
Charleston waterfront.jpg
Or lounge by a fountain
with views of the harbor?
villa.jpg
Might I stroll through a villa,
grapes ready to prune?
Kate's
Or sip sasaparilla
at a Western Saloon? 
Salton Sea.jpg
Can I conquer the valley’s
remote isolation?
Theus Bonaventure.jpg
And weave through an alley
of tombs and cremation?

My place is a harvest
of everything listed.

No one place defines me, lest
l ever existed.

Western Decivilization

It was late afternoon, golden hour, and the town was aglow. We rolled into Tombstone, AZ with the tumbleweeds, and got out of town by morning, but not before taking a sun-soaked stroll down Allen Street past the O.K. Corral, tracing the footsteps of a by-gone time.

wagon (3).jpg

The Old West town was unusually quiet this day,

boardwalk

as if its residents were hiding out, bracing for yet another round of random violence, when claim jumpers, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, prostitutes, and gamblers challenged the moral fiber of a nascent society teetering between greatness and greed.

Despite the fear, there were some who dared to venture out…

Allen Street

and walk the dusty planks of a fragile peace, with their trusty sidearms at the ready.

local color (2).jpg

Yet it was business as usual at the Bird Cage Theatre,

birdcage theatre

where wanton women plied their trade at twenty-three bucks a pop,

27-01.jpg

in their boudoir quarters…

dressing room

boudoir

…beyond the catwalk over the saloon,

catwalk

while high-stakes poker flourished under the stage,

stage curtain

with a $1000 minimum buy-in.

poker table.jpg

But outside on the street, trouble was brewing.

Slide 1.jpg
The Earps had heard that “The Cowboys” were gathering at the O.K. Corral making threats and spoiling for a fight.
Slide 2.jpg
Rounding the corner of 4th and Freemont, the Earps headed west to the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral for a date with destiny.
Slide 3.jpg
When the fight begins, Town Marshal Virgil Earp (with cane) says “Hold on, we don’t want that,” as Frank McLowery and Billy Clanton take the first bullets from Doc and Morgan.
Slide 4.jpg
Billy Clanton (2nd from right) draws his gun and begins to fire back as his brother Ike begs Wyatt Earp not to shoot him. Morgan and Doc are concentrating on Frank McLowery and the game Billy Clanton who, though mortally wounded, continues to shoot. Frank and Tom maneuver their horses as shields.
Slide 5.jpg
As Ike Clanton flees, Virgil Earp and Tom McLowery bring their guns into action. Doc Holiday turns to fire at the fleeing Ike, while Morgan continues to fire at the wounded Frank McLowery.
Slide 6.jpg
Frank McLowery maneuvers his horse into the street and fires back under the horse’s neck as Holliday pulls a sawed-off shotgun from under his coat. An anonymous shot, possibly from Billy Claiborne is fired from within the O.K. Corral, diverting the Earps’ attention.
Slide 7.jpg
Frank McLowery still manages to hang onto his horse for cover as his brother Tom, shooting over his saddle, hits Morgan Earp. Billy Clayton (nearing death) returns fire at Virgil and Wyatt. A shot from Frank hits Marshal Virgil Earp in the right leg.
103742_0.jpg
Thirty bullets are fired in a thirty second outburst. When the smoke clears, Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers lay dead in the street. Ike Clanton, claiming that he was unarmed has run from the fight, along with Billy Claiborne. Virgil, Morgan, and Doc Holliday are wounded, but Wyatt Earp is unharmed.

Certainly, death was big business for the Tombstone Undertakers.

coffin ad (2).jpg

funeral carriage

And on occasion, death was high entertainment for the townsfolk.

invitation to a hanging

Cochise County Court House

courthouse gallows

hanging noose

standing coffin

mission bell

And as the sun sets on Tombstone…

sunset over tombstone (2)

we remember the lawlessness of the Wild, Wild West,

City Hall

but we celebrate the triumph of a Town Too Tough to Die…

old town set

…a worthy consideration while we soaked away the stress in a hot spring along the Rio Grande the following day in Truth or Consequences, NM.

morning soak by the rio grande .jpg