October 18, 2020
In my second book on the Kid, I had the last man standing as Francisco Gomez, who not only rode with Billy the Kid and on Susan McSween but he lived to experience the atomic bomb blast just over the mountains at the Trinity Site (which is between Lincoln and Socorro). He died in 1946 and at the time I published the second book I assumed he was the last guy standing who knew Billy the Kid.
Well, researcher and soon-to-be Kid book author, James B. Mills, of Australia, recently shared with me info on a guy in Fort Sumner who outlived them all.
This guy was alive in the summer of 1958 when my family was on the way to Iowa to visit the family farm. I saw the turn at Santa Rosa (Billy the Kid's grave 55 miles) but I couldn't get my dad to make the turn. If I had been able to get that stubborn Norwegian to make the turn, and we got to Fort Sumner and I had the good fortune to ask the right questions and charm the right people, I would have been able to meet and interview a guy who rode with Bill the Kid!
Of course, there was only one problem.