Thursday, February 01, 2024

The Last Two Seconds of Tom Mix's Life & The 66 Kids Yearbook Photos

 February 1, 2024

   I'm deep in the weeds on our cover story, so if you are thinking, Jeesh, does this guy even have a life outside of Tom Mix? Well, the answer would be somewhere in between a soft yes and a hard no.

   How does a speeding, supercharged Cord come to a complete stop in two seconds?

Daily Whip Out:
"The Last Two Seconds of Tom Mix's Life"

   For some strange reason, Tom Mix does not see the barricade in front of the construction of a bridge on Highway 89 crossing a wash on the way to Florence, Arizona. He also does not heed a warning sign, the highway crew claim they had out farther down the road, that the bridge is out. Mix is going 80 in his fancy Cord, and when he sees too late the lack of a bridge he stands on the brakes (look closely) and careens off to the right down into the wash (on the bypass road for locals), hits the soft sand and the car flips over. A metal trunk stored behind him comes forward and breaks his neck, killing him instantly. The King of the Cowboys is dead.

A Sad Sentry
   This very old saguaro stands—with arms down—almost in somber tribute, pointing to the spot where Tom Mix died. It witnessed the wreck in 1940 (see car on current bridge in background).

Will Rogers and Tom Mix
at a Christmas bash in Hollywood, 1932

   It was Will Rogers who introduced Tom to his third wife Olive, mother of Ruth, who Tom later wrote out of his will, but that's another story.

   What did the 66 Kids look like back in the day? Wonder no more.

Robert "Boze" Bell, freshman
 MCUHS, Kingman, Arizona 1962

   And his best friend and silent partner.

Daniel "Harpo" Harshberger
Class of '65, MCUHS, Kingman, Arizona

   Yes, if you ever traveled on Route 66 back in the day, we want to see your high school annual photos. You just might end up in our 66 Kids year book.

The classy kids in my class, and then there's me.

"I hope when I get old, I don't sit around thinking about it, but I probably will. Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well, the time slips away, leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of Glory Days."

—Bruce Springstein


  1. I think the Tom Mix story has taken hold of you, and we readers are all the better for it- so thank you! But this is the life you created for yourself, able to carry yourself off on many a historical journey. You are a blessed man, and certainly seem to be enjoying the ride! Many people never take the chance at creating their own luck, and many more don't have the spousal support to carry it through. We're all speeding towards a dry wash somewhere, it's the time between that matters. Tom Mix created the life he wanted too, and his tragic end was an exclamation point to an adventurous life. I imagine as he floated away, he said with a grin…well, I never saw that comin'.

    1. Bradley, this is pure poetry and I salute you. May I also quote you in the magazine?


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