Still wrestling with the truth about Wyatt Earp. Why is it so important to me? My mother's side of the family doesn't even like him, so it seems weird on a certain level to be so obsessed with what he did and what he did not do.
John Gilchriese said to me, "You won't like him. He's not who you think he was" And, by the way, Gilchriese knew John Flood intimately.
We now know Earp was invovled in prostitution, to what degree it's hard to say, but when a newspaper says, after his second arrest, that he's "an old offender," you kind of have to admit where there's smoke there's usually a smoking, paid for, vagina.
He took credit for a variety of things he didn't do. He didn't kill John Ringo. He didn't disarm Ben Thompson. He didn't stand off the Johnny Behind The Deuce mob all by himself. He may not even have killed Curly Bill.
Still, when he was in his prime he was bold and by all accounts, a ladies man. All of this played into the painting I finished this morning.
I really shouldn't like him. I hate historical fakery with a passion, but, Gilchriese was wrong: I have a very good idea of what he did and didn't do and, in spite of that, I like him. For starters, we love the same thing. In the Flood manuscript, he tells us twice what he loves, and here it is for the second time:
"The same desert that thrilled him through and through, at old Tucson, and the same blue sky: there isn't any blue like it anywhere, and Wyatt Earp loves it, and the sunshiny sun and the sands that blow upon him"
—John Flood on the last page of the 348 page manuscript on Wyatt Earp