Monday, September 1, 2008


by Pa Rock

The road to Tombstone is clearly marked by large billboards featuring Kurt Russell in his Wyatt Earp garb pointing the way. It is with those signs that historical fact and fiction begin to merge.

Tombstone is a lot like Branson and Silver Dollar City, except that it doesn't have the rides, the country stars, or the shows. Well, in all honesty, it does have a show: The Gunfight at the OK Corral.

I parked my little car with its Obama sticker along the main street of Tombstone. In fact, that is where all of the tourists park. Old Tombstone has been recreated one block behind the main drag, and cars aren't allowed back there. It looked like it might rain, so I hurried off toward the town's primary landmark, the OK Corral. It was easy to find, only about one block from where I parked, but it was impossible to see. A ten-foot wall had been built around the small property, and anyone who wanted to view it had to buy a ticket to the show and then be ushered into the historic lot through a local business.

I decided to pass on the show. I did get to see all of the locals who were involved in the production as they sashayed around the fake town in all of their historic finery. I was especially taken with the hordes of saloon floozies, many of whom were my age or older, and my weight or heavier! Gotta love those old gals with some heft to 'em!

I made a trip through the local city park where many of the actors were having lunch. I stopped by a restroom in the park. Other than the one at the Lanagan City Park in Missouri, the one in Tombstone was the nastiest that I have ever had the misfortune to enter!

I did enjoy the shops, particularly the book shops that specialized in Old West and Tombstone lore. There were also shops specializing in western wear, gambling, jewelry, and crafts. I saw some beautiful pieces of horsehair pottery, including the modern variety that bears lots of colorful designs.

It rained while I was walking the streets of Old Tombstone. I took shelter in the shops and chatted with the wet floozies who were also chased in by the rain. The main street, which was dirt, quickly became mud, and the stagecoach quit running. But it was Arizona, after all, and we were all glad to see the rain!

(Statistics and political errata: Tombstone is 209 miles from my apartment, 418 miles round trip. During that drive on a major holiday weekend, I saw one RV (unfortunately I was stuck behind it for several miles!), and one political sticker - an Obama sticker on an SUV. I have yet to see a McCain bumper sticker anywhere in the state of Arizona! What's up with that?)

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