Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Did Billy Fire Back?

July 16m 2014
   Still cleaning in studio and found this old T-shirt idea celebrating Billy the Kid in Bonita, Arizona, the date marking his first "kill." Lettering by Bob Steinhilber. Thought the folks in Bonita would love it, but they did not. I believe the woman who owned the bar there in Bonita (1991) was named Dottie and she had an annual celebration of sorts on the date of the Cahill shooting. I worked up this design and asked her if she wanted it to sell and she said, "No, we don't like it." She never said why. I always thought it was kind of cool in a specific to the Kid kind of way. Never got around to developing it farther, although I have another painting of the Kid as a "Country Jake" and I'll post it tomorrow.

Billy In Bonita, T-shirt rough design by Dan Harshberger

   And speaking of the Kid, Mark Lee Gardner forwarded me a very interesting new find. As I mentioned a couple days ago, Pat Garrett, Pete Maxwell and, I believe, both McKinney and Poe thought they heard three shots when Pat shot the kid at midnite in the darkened bedroom on July 14, 1881. They allegedly looked and looked and never could find another bullet hole to prove it. That's what makes this newspaper item, from the Clovis Evening News, May 31, 1937 rather interesting:

Interview with Buster DeGraftenried in Clovis Evening News, May 31, 1937

   Now the problem with Buster's story is Garrett didn't dive out the window, plus, he tells a bunch of other windys (trading horses with Geronimo near Vaughn, New Mexico and the like), but he was in the area at the right time. Hmmmm.

As Mark puts it: "There's no way to prove, of course, that the bullet "mark" was made by Billy's gun, and the old guy might have just been telling a windy, but the story certainly is intriguing."

"Let is all go and have a life that isn't dictated by the past."
—Old Vaquero Saying