Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tombstone's Shadow

On May 4th, L received a phone call from our good friend Tino Luciano requesting a favor.

"Laureen, do you know a scroungy, smelly, no good side-winder who wouldn't mind being killed in front of a lot of tourists at Calico Ghost Town on the tenth. Someone despicable and irrational enough to go against the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday? I mean there will be name calling, taunting and lots of shooting and he will die."

"I'll tell John not to shave for a week."

So, that is how J ended up in a fracas with the Earp Brothers and Doc Holiday (whom he actually greatly admires) on May 10th, 2014 at Calico ready to shoot it out with these renowned pistol wielding experts belonging to the Law Dogs 'N Ladies re-enactment group.

While donning his period outfit all J could say is: "I'm used to dressing up as a dandy during shoot 'em ups but today I'm unshaven, smelly and am going to die."

No sympathy from L who was dolled up in her 1880's get up looking beautiful as ever and knew before the car left the driveway that she would be the center of attention for the tourists at Calico while her husband scruffy to the point of having a Brillo pad on his face wouldn't get the slightest bit of attention.

Was J correct? The whole town of Calico seemed to stop when a group of French tourists surrounded Laureen as she prattled away in French while posing for photographs with their children, grandchildren, mothers, fathers, and strangers. The town Sheriff had to come and break the crowd up away from the parasol twirling woman.

Laureen was shameless.

But as the day drew on tempers started to build between the Cowboys and the Earps and  the town folk (tourists) knew there was a battle brewing close by.

Loud and ugly verbal taunts from Ike Clanton, the Cowboys and from J, aka Billy Clanton, were thrown at the Earps, Doc Holiday and the tourists whenever they had the chance, but it did nothing but ignite the hatred these groups had for each other (only two groups since the tourists were not armed).

Blood would be spilled in Tombstone this day - oops, Calico.

Not like a Hollywood movie set where everything is controlled, today's actions were choreographed by the wind gods with gusts of nearly fifty miles per hour at times with hats, skirts, and red sashes blowing all over the place.

Speaking of red sashes - J was wearing one (loaned by Tino Luciano) which was actually used in the film 'Tombstone' starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer back in 1993. Quite an honor to die during a gun battle with historic figures wearing a red sash that another actor died wearing while fighting other actors. Not even sure that makes sense but felt sort of cool to get bullet riddled with a piece of cloth another actor wore while getting bullet riddled.

 The shoot out went as all shoot outs do - some die and some live. In the Tombstone version (even in Calico) the Earp group killed pretty much all of the Cowboy group and as J laid in the wicked wind and hard dirt after receiving his third or fourth bullet from the Earps the only thing on his mind was: hoping the beer was cold at Lil's - the saloon not fifty yards from where he laid dead.

The beer was cold and not even Doc Holiday or Wyatt Earp could keep him from his eternal goal.

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