Friday, May 31, 2024

Two More Breakthroughs In Doc & Kate's Journeys

 May 31, 2024

   If you read my mea culpa yesterday about the solid evidence that Doc Holliday most likely traveled from Prescott to Las Vegas, New Mexico in an open two-seater buckboard, well, you may be interested in how history turns on the slightest bit of reporting. Look what Stuart Rosebrook found this morning:

Santa Fe New Mexican, Feb. 27, 1880

   Doc Holliday went from Prescott to Las Vegas in the March of 1880 and returning by April. Add to that, the newspaper reports that the railroad had been completed from Las Vegas, New Mexico to Albuquerque by March of 1880 and that opens up the very real possibility that on his return trip Doc rode the train all the way to Albuquerque and then rode in a Concord stagecoach back to Prescott.     
   Based on this latest revelation, I think it's safe to say Doc might have gone over in a glorified cart but he probably came back in a gilded coach.
   Plus, you can imagine the return passengers on both coaches gushing about how modern the West was becoming!  

Daily Whip Out:
"So, are you saying that everything you told us yesterday was only half true?"

   Yes. That is totally true. See quote, below.

A Bonus Photo of Gillette

 For me, the Holy Grail of research and history writing is finding a photograph of the place in question so we can see with our own eyes what it might have been like. For starters, let me say I have been looking at old Arizona photos for over a half century and I have never seen a photograph of the mining camp, Gillette, in Arizona Territory. 

   To recap: late in life Kate told three different interviewers about traveling from Prescott to the new mining camp of Gillette, where she claimed the mining superintendent allowed Doc and her to stay in his residence for the night. What might that have that looked like? Well, thanks to Brad Courtney, we now have a photograph of the place in question.

Gillette, in the late 1870s
Photo taken by D. F. Mitchell 

   In an added bit of irony, the man who took this photo of Gillette is the same photographer who took the photo of J.H. Holliday in Prescott!

Only one of two verified photos of Doc Holliday as an adult.

"Just when you think you've figured everything out, it moves."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bucking The Open Buckboard Stage: Doc Holliday On A Fruit Wagon?

 May 30, 2024

   We've got a lively debate going on regarding what kind of stagecoach Doc may have ridden on with the Starline Stage Company that ran between Santa Fe and Prescott in the 1879-1880 era.

   Of course, when we think of Old West stagcoaches we think of the classic Concord stage like this:

A typical Concord Stage in a mining town

  So, I was leaning towards, what was known at that time as a mudwagon, the usage of which was more pronounced in the Southwest and is more funky and likely on the rough backroads east and west of Zuni.

A typical mudwagon out West

   So, Stuart Rosebrook found a photo of an early stage—in Prescott!—and I took the liberty of painting Doc Holliday in the back seat ready for his long journey to Santa Fe and on to Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Daily Whip Out: "Doc In Stage"

   Well, master researcher and best-selling author, Mark Lee Gardner, was having none of this. He sent me to a website that claims that the kind of stage Doc was riding on between Prescott and Santa Fe looked like this.

An open two-seated buckboard

   Frankly, I had to suppress a laugh. Do you honestly expect me to believe that this is the kind of stage Doc would have taken in 1879? When I barely concealed my contempt and mocked this as being ludicrous, Mark sent me this:

An "open two-seated vehicle"
Weekly Journal-Miner, August 8, 1879

   Well, I'll be a monkey's befuddled uncle. Sometimes the truth is stranger than any fiction you can make up. Imagine a Western movie where Doc Holliday gets into an open two-seated buckboard like that fruitcake-surrey-rig, above, and says, "take me to Prescott, Arizona Territory," and off they go on a 507 mile journey with him sitting between overstuffed mail bags. I would be the first one laughing and jeering at the screen.

   But then, what the hell do I know?

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Furious at Furioso & Clint Back In The Saddle Again

 May 29, 2024

   I have been following with much interest the meltdown of the entire movie theater eco-system with the recent bombing of "Furioso," the latest installment of the post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise from Australia.

   On a related note, my son, the successful basketball coach in Thailand, told us we should rewatch "Fury Road" because it's so zany. So his mother and I did just that and I had to respond to my son, like this: "Okay, your mama and I watched half of 'Fury Road' last night and we had kind of a mixed reaction. Of course, we wanted to dig it because you and Amy are rewatching it and we wanted to share the joy and zane. But to be honest, it kind of lost some its charm for me. I thought the action sequences were still over the top cool, but the wives hidden in the truck all looking like Vogue models was a tad goofy (I thought that in the theater the first time as well). We stopped it at the one hour mark and at least I intend to watch the rest today. I'll let your mother weigh in on her own. Of course, Tom Hardy is spectacular, as always. Love him."

   To which my son replied: "Pull your shit together father, get over it and enjoy the action." 

   And, to that I replied, "Sorry, I love movies too much to enjoy them."

   Some truth in that. After this exchange, Kathy admitted to me that when we first started dating she noticed I would take apart every movie we went to see and go on and on about what they got right and wrong, sometimes for hours. Ironically, our first movie date was to see Clint Eastwood's "The Gauntlet" which was mostly filmed all over the Valley and I absolutely despised it.

   That we're still married after 45 years is a testament to her tolerance for Triple B bloviating.

   Anyway, speaking of Clint, my friends in Payson are putting together a film festival, featuring his best Westerns. I told them I would come up with images they might use in their poster campaign. Here's a taste.

Daily Whip Out:
"Clint Back In The Saddle Again"

Daily Whip Out:
The Man With No Name In Silhouette"

   This was inspired by an old duotone by one of my graphics heroes, the German maestro. . .

Artist Ludwig Hohlwein Rocks a Lit Cigar


   So, Dan The Man took my version of this and made it into this:

"Fifty percent of the people want the truth, fifty percent of the time."

—Old West Conundrum

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Marshall Trimble Shows Up Alive At Library!

 May 28, 2024

   Here's the best news I've had all year.

Two Northern Arizona Ne'r-Do-Wells
gloat over latest book

   Look who lived to see the crazy book he co-wrote. Yes, and that's Marshall Trimble too, with me, outside the Cave Creek Library today at 2:45. Damn it was good to see the old boy vertical. We've all been worried about him and he hadn't seen our book yet. He warned me he has many more stories about Route 66 to tell and I assured him we were already working on volume III. He also said he probably won't be stealing any more bases for Ashfork. I told him that we should be able to work around that.

"If I'd known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

—Old Ashfork Saying

Monday, May 27, 2024

When Sadie Marcus and John Behan Shacked Up at Tip Top

 May 27, 2024

   There are several disputed photos of Josephine "Sadie" Marcus in her youth, but none of them seem to capture her alleged frontier beauty. That's why Bat Masterson's comment that Sadie was a dead ringer for a popular actress of the day is so helpful and instructive.

A Dead Ringer for Sadie Marcus Earp?

   And, by the way, while Doc and Kate were spending the night in Gillette, Arizona on the road to Tombstone, Sadie and John Behan were shacked up at nearby Tip Top.

   How 'bout them apples?

   Once and for all, what does it take to make a clean and mean short story? It has taken me almost half a century to find the answers to that question.

Daily Whip Out:

"A Century Plant at The Half Century Mark"

Free Fall

   Here's the deal: start as close to the end as possible, keep a blistering pace, suggest a backstory but don't elaborate, appeal to the five senses and edit until it hurts!

   I once stumbled upon a disturbing truth in Old West history and I got this reaction from someone I looked up to.

   "You cannot use this! You will lose everything you have fought for your entire life."

   "Why? It's the truth."

   "Come on, man. People don't want the truth. They want a plausible story, told well. I'm telling you this as your friend. You are going to lose your ass on this, not to mention your credibility."

   "Okay, you win."

   "You're not serious? You're going to give up that easily?"

   "No. I'm going to buy a magazine and print something like this in every issue."

"Villains are the heroes of their own stories."

—Sarah Gribble

Sunday, May 26, 2024

'Doc And Kate On The Road From Gillette to Globe

 May 26, 2024

   We have been having a lively debate about how do you get from Gillette to Globe in 1879?

   This is for a feature in the next issue of True West on new information from Bad Courtney about Doc Holliday in Prescott. 

   Everyone agrees that Doc and Kate came from Dodge City, Kansas to Prescott, Arizona via the Earp wagon train in the fall of 1879. The Earps almost immediately moved on to the new boomtown of Tombstone, while Doc and Kate remained in the mile-high-city.

   This is where it gets complicated and controversial. Kate ended up in the Pioneer's Home in Prescott late in life, and she told three different versions of her and Doc traveling to Gillette before splitting up, with her going to Globe and, as she claimed, Doc going to Tombstone.

A Tom Jonas Map of
Doc & Kate's Arizona Travels in 1879

   We now know that Kate was incorrect about Doc going on to Tombstone from Gillette, because he ends up back in Las Vegas, New Mexico after she says they split up.

   Also, it's not easy to go to Globe from Gillette (see her probable route, above). Of course, today you can go from Phoenix east to Apache Junction and then through the mountains to Superior and on to Globe, but Stuart Rosebrook's research shows that the main route to Globe at that time was to go south thru Phoenix to Maricopa Wells and then to Sacaton and then up to Globe from the south.

   Also, I was curious to see the approximate location of Gillette (which is long gone) on our trip to Prescott last Friday morning for our show at the Elks. The mining ghost town was located a short distance southwest of Rock Springs Station in New River. So, as we shot north on I-17 on Friday morning, and as we approached Rock Springs Cafe, I took a good look at those gullies and ravines off to the west, which are quite formidable and it makes you appreciate how rough those old birds were, being on some primitive wagon, or buckboard, traversing those rough mesas.

   There's much more to this crazy travelogue, but you'll see it when the magazine drops in your mailbox in mid-June.

Cave Creek Political Season

   Uno spotted a local election sign on our morning walk today.

'Tis The Season

   It's nice to know that at least one politician has really good taste in art!

The Three Stages of Life

1. Wanting stuff

2. Accumulating stuff

3. Getting rid of stuff

Guess Who Has Too Damn Much stuff?
"Want some? Please come take it!"
—Kathy Radina

"Every family needs that one unstable person who has no fear and is willing to go to war with whoever messes with their tribe."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Saturday, May 25, 2024

First Time Players And Forever Young Bandmates

 May 25, 2024

   As Queen put it once upon a time, "We will rock you."

BBB Still Croakin' & Still Kickin' It!
(photo by Bill Watters)

   And here is the Razz Band Crew taking a bow at the end of the 66 Kids Road Show last night at the Elks Theatre in Prescott. 

L to R: Rob Mathiash, Jack Alves, Jim Hinckley, Stuart Rosebrook, BBB, Danny Romero, Jay Keplinger and Randall Woods

   Here's the amazing part of this picture: half the dudes in this photo didn't know the other half, two hours before the show. In addition to a killer surf medley (Wipeout, Walk Don't Run, Pipeline) these boys did a call and answer Country Showdown that received an ovation. We may have been strangers when we got up on the stage but we are band brothers now.

   On the other end of the scale, Jack Alves and I have played together for a long time. How long? Before the gig I asked Jack when was our first gig together and he said he didn't remember the date but it was at the Westward Ho the night Wonderful Russ got into a fist fight on the stage with a heckler and I realized that was in December of 1977 because it was a New Times Weekly party and it was my first date with Kathy Radina. So, that's 47 years ago and Kathy and I have been married 45 years. Crazy.

The Razz Band, 1978, me and Jack at left

   Oh, and besides the music, we sold mucho books to some very intelligent people.

BBB book buyers have extremely high IQs

"May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
Forever young"
—Bob Dylan, Forever Young

Friday, May 24, 2024

In The Nick of Time A Mysterous Pallet Arrived In My Driveway

 May 24, 2024

   Look what arrived at the end of my driveway yesterday afternoon. 

That, my friend is the shipment of "66 Kids" books direct from the printing plant in Mankato, Minnesota (actually just north of there). It took Kathy and I several trips to schlepp them into the garage, but the good news is, we have books for tonight's show at the Elks Theatre in Prescott. 


The Razz Band Hits Prescott
They started in at Kentucky Bar
At the head of Whiskey Row
They wound up at the Depot House
Some 40 drinks below
They sets it up and turns around
And went the other way
I’ll tell you the forsaken truth
They celebrated hard that day

They next went to the theatre
To get ready for their show
Who should they meet but the devil himself
Sitting in the very first row

The devil he roared you True West boys
Had better hunt your holes
For I’ve just come from hell’s rim rock
To gather in your souls
Devil be damned said the TW boys
Though we might be a little tight
No devil can take a TW boy
Without some sort of a fight

From a box they took
A brand new book
And at Diablo they threw
Hit him squarely upside the head
He picked up the open text     And a page he quickly read
He screamed and ran for he could at once see
That the boys that he was dealing with
Were known to Ice Jugs Free.

—Greg Scott

"Jugs Iced Free saved my family from insanity."

—A True Family Tale, and a song lyric from "Jugs Iced Free" by Rob Mathiash and BBB

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Mucous Bad Boy Orders Salacious Book Hot Off Press

 May 23, 2024

   Nice to know some notorious bad boys are still buying and reading books.

Ande Lamoureaux, Mucous Bad Boy
(class of 1964)

   Yes, it was Ande Lamoureaux who ordered the first "66 Kids" book online at our website yesterday. Although the book is technically not available until tomorrow night at the Elks Theatre in Prescott, we cut Ande some slack since he is one of the original Mucous bad boys. Plus, he'll receive the book after the premiere so I think we are covered in terms regarding the ethics of truth in advertising.

   Found a semi-finished DWO in the garage about an hour ago. Came back into the studio and gave it a couple washes to knock it back even further than I had it on the first pass in 2018.

Daily Retweaked Whip Out:
"As Time Went On the Image of Maria Faded"

   I'm very intrigued by the fact that as time goes by things that seemed so important and solid at the time begin to fade into obscurity. This was apparent at age 30, of course, but when you get into your seventh decade, it REALLY, REALLY comes into high relief.

"The past is never dead. It's not even past."
—William Faulkner

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

My Crazy Aunt Vivien

 May 23, 2024

   Many families I grew up with had at least one aunt who was a little off. She would say stuff that even the kids in the family would look at her and say, "Are you okay, Aunt Vivien?" In our family, we had a weird aunt but I can't use her real name because, well, my mother would kill me. True, my mom's been dead for quite a while, but still, you know what I mean. Anyway, "Aunt Vivien" was, what they called back in the day, a spinster, or more derogatorily, an "Old Maid."

My Aunt Vivien

   Here is a typical encounter I vividly remember my dad having with Aunt Vivien in about 1956:

 "Someday the Boy Scouts are going to have to change their name."

   "Pray tell, why is that?"

  "Too much tent sex."

   "Oh, Aunt Vivien, that is crazy talk. Why, it's even crazier than the thing you said the last time you were here."

   "Well, what in the Sam Hill did I say the last time I was here?"

   "You said that someday Republicans will side with Russia. That's beyond the pale, Vivien!"

   "Mark my words. It's coming like a freight train."

—Aunt Vivien

Marshall Has Been Sidelined

 May 22, 2024

   The latest News on the biggest event in the history of Route 66 self-published publications.

   My co-author on "The 66 Kid", Marshall Trimble has had a serious health issue and unfortunately cannot join us on Friday night for The 66 Kids Road Show at the Elks Theatre in Prescott. We will miss his great wit and presence but he will be there in spirit and we will carry on and feature a few of his hilarious stories from the new book.

Marshall and I at the Phippen Art Museum riffing on Arizona history. Needless to say, we killed.

   Please join us in wishing him a speedy recovery and come out to celebrate his great wit on the pages of the book we wrote together.

   Orders are now being taken for the groundbreaking book and it will premiere at the Elks Theatre on Friday night. If you can't make it there, you can order at:

"We are who we are because of that glorious, godforsaken road. Join us on an adventurous road trip back in time to the 66 Kids."

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bass Reeves & Taylor Swift Side by Side & Dylan Says It All!

 May 21, 2024

   My good friend Steve Todd took this photo at Barnes & Noble in Albququerque: Taylor Swift and Bass Reeves side by side! 

   Great rack position. If you see us behind other magazines it is your job to pull us out and put us in this place. Thank you.

   Yesterday I did a riff on Jukebox Politics and had some major fun playing off the cultural extremes at play on the radio in the 1960s. This prompted Craig Schepp to chide me for not giving the Hibbing, Minnesota Bard his due:

"Oh, the history books tell it, they tell it so well

The cavalries charged, the Indians fell
The cavalries charged, the Indians died
Oh, the country was young with God on its side"

—Bob Dylan, With God On Our Side

"And I hope that you die
And your death will come soon
I'll follow your casket
On a pale afternoon

"I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead"

—Bob Dylan, Masters of War

"Outside, in the distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
The wind began to howl"
—Bob Dylan, All Along The Watchtower

"Now he's just an old man that nobody believesSays he's a gunfighter the last of this breedAnd there's ghosts in the street seekin' revengeCallin' him out to the lunatic fringeHe's out in the traffic now checking the sunAnd he's killed by a car as he goes for his gun"
—Johnny Cash, The Last Gunfighter Ballad

   The legendary Mohave Country cowboy and gunfighter, Tap Duncan, was run over by a car off Route 66 in 1946. Damn!

"Tin Soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own this summer I hear the drumming...four dead in OHIO. Gotta get down to it, soldiers are cutting us down, what if you knew her and found her dead on the ground, how can you run when you know?" la la la la la la la la...Four dead in Ohio"
—Neil Young, Four Dead In Ohio

         "The eastern world it is explodin'...violence flaring, bullets loadin', you're old enough to kill...but not for votin' you don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'? and even the Jordan river has bodies floatin' But you tell me over and over n over again my friend You don't believe, we're on the eve of destruction!"
—Barry McGuire, Eve of Destruction

   Okay, Barry, it's been sixty years since you sang that. I think, at the very least, this is turning out to be a very long evening?

Monday, May 20, 2024

Country Showdown

 May 20, 2024

   As bad as things seem these days, I'm here to tell you that in the Sixties it was just as bad, if not worse. One big difference, though, is we mostly duked it out on vinyl.

Country Showdown

    Jukebox Politics Sixties Style.

"There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there, tellin' me I got to beware. . ."

"I read about some squirrely guy who claims he just don't believe in fightin,' an' I wonder just how long the rest of us can count on bein' free. They love our milk an' honey, but they preach about some other way of livin', when they're runnin' down my country, hoss, they're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."

Redneck Mothers
"And it's up against the wall, redneck mother. A mother who has raised her son so well. He's 34 and drinkin' in a honkytonk. Just kickin' hippie's asses and raisin' hell."

"We want War! Give us more War!!"

"We don't make a party out of lovin', we like holdin' hands and pitchin' wood. We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy, like the hippies out in San Francisco do. . ."

"No stop signs, speed limit, nobody's gonna slow me down. Like a wheel gonna spin it, nobody's gonna mess me around. . .Hey, mama, look at me, I'm on the way to the Promised Land, I'm on the Highway to Hell. . ."

Highway to Hellers Sans Sunscreen

   And, of course, it wasn't all angst and seriousness.

"Yummy, yummy, yummy, I got love in my tummy and I feel like lovin' you. . ."

"Rock's not dead. It just goes to bed at a more reasonable hour."

—Creem, the rock music magazine in an ad to revive the publication

Remembering The Late, Great Frederick Nolan

May 20, 2024

   Someone kicked up this old blog entry from twenty years ago on the back end of our trip to Spain to visit Tommy who was going to school in Valencia, Spain. We took a car trip to Almeria where the Spaghetti Westerns were filmed and also up to Alhambra and further up to Toledo and back to Cuenca and Madrid. Here we are on the way home when Kathy almost got arrested. 

January 2, 2004
Kathy and I got home last night at midnite. Deena is still in Spain and will return on Sunday. She and Tomboy wanted to spend New Year’s Eve in Valencia (having seen first hand how the Spanish party, they are probably still going at it).

Frederick Nolan


Kathy and I flew from Valencia into Heathrow on New Year’s Eve and were picked up by author and friend Frederick Nolan in his classic, old style Mercedes. There were a couple of odd things: first, it was 3:30 in the afternoon and it was dark (I mean nine at night kind of dark) and second, someone had ripped out his “petrol controls” and glued them onto the wrong side of the dash. Now everyone knows that Brits drive on the left, but until you actually see the phenom it’s quite unsettling. Against my better judgement I got in on the driver’s side (American) and sat there as Fred motored out into the gloomy darkness on the freakin’ wrong side of the road! Even more unsettling, was the fact that everyone else was coming at us from the other wrong side. In England, a right turn is the dangerous one, the left one a piece of cake. Like the Spanish, the Brits also love the traffic circle and have even added a second layer to some of them to make it more interesting. Fred tried to explain to me the nuiance of the outer and inner rings as we shot through one of these like some upside down dancer in a murky mirror, but it was beyond me. Besides I had to fight the overwhelming urge to grab the steering wheel and get the beast over to the right side of the road.

Got to Fred and Heidi’s cozy and historic home tucked into the vast, lush and very wet English countryside of Chalfont St. Giles (not to be mistaken for Chalfont St. Peters, or something like that, which is nearby).

Like Spain, England is steeped in history and it oozes from every nook and cranny. Not far from Fred and Heidi’s is a barn made with the wood from the Mayflower. Yes, the boat, not the moving company. Ozzie Osborn flipped his ATV just over yonder hillock and Four Weddings And A Funeral used the neighboring Georgian-historic-style town which looks exactly like Williamsburg, but it’s the real deal.

We had tea at about four in the English tradition complete with silver tray, dainty cups and a crackling fire in the fireplace. A sumptuous dinner followed at seven, complete with vegetables from Heidi’s garden. Over wine and more wine, we solved most of the World’s problems.

Speaking of which, the papers are quite feisty over there. When Bush made his secret trip to Iraq over Thanksgiving, the Independent (Fred’s fave broadsheet) ran this headline: THE TURKEY HAS LANDED.

The next morning, Fred got us to Heathrow, Terminal 4 at 11 and that’s when everything fell apart. As we checked in, the British Airlines agent told us our luggage was not on our flight and we needed to go to terminal 1 to pick it up and bring it back. We thought this was odd, considering the distance (it’s fifteen minutes by car to the other terminals because they built terminal 4 on the other side of the runway). Well, we descended into the bowels of the earth (actually it was lighter down there than it was on the surface), got on a train, made it to terminal 1, found Iberia airlines, made the changes with forty minutes to spare, but when we tried to go back we ended up in downtown London and flat-out missed our flight. In the ensuing melee, Kathy came this close to getting arrested exactly like Adam Sandler in Anger Management, but that’s a story for tomorrow. I need to take a nap.

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”
—Peter Ustinov

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Maynard Dixon In The Cross Lighting Blind Lemon Jefferson In The Cross Hatching

 May 19, 2024

   Sometimes I am sitting with Kathy watching TV and I see this.

Maynard Cross Lighting #2

   Other times, I am at band practice and I see this:

Blind Lemon Jefferson

by R. Crumb

   Thanks to my Razz band mate "Rooster" Rob Mathiasch for gifting me the excellent book, "R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country." So dang cool. And, it's going to come in handy at the show on Friday when I do a partial list of the all time greats: Jaybird Coleman, Peg Leg Howell, "Dock" Boggs, Al Hopkins and his Buckle Busters, Frank Blevins and his Tar Heel Rattlers, Hoyt Ming and his Pep Steppers, Uncle Dave Macon and his Fruit-Jar Drinkers, Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers.

Gid Tanner Sans Any Skillet Lickers

Of course, you know his famous song. . .

"Ya Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around"

—By Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers

Saturday, May 18, 2024

A Machete In Mexico And Kate's Odd Travels With Doc Holliday

 May 18, 2024

   A machete scabbard on a Free's saddle.

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Free's Saddle" 

   Allegedly from the sketchbook of "Freddy" Remington, circa 1888, done for the graphic novel version of the search for the Apache Kid, 2008.

Well, was it?

   I had fun with this whimsical Sam Elliott illustration which ran in True West magazine a couple years ago.

Unpacking The Doc & Kate at Gillette Mystery

   As I related yesterday, Doc Holliday's feisty paramour, Kate, told a story, late in life, about how the two of them traveled from Prescott as far as Gillette, where she decided she had enough of the Earps and was going to go on to Globe and Doc, she claimed, continued on to Tombstone. She implies they split at this location. The problem with this story is, based on the maps of the day, there really isn't a route from Gillette to Globe, except by continuing on to Phoenix. So, the two of them would have ridden together to Phoenix and then she would have gone east to Superior and Globe, while Doc would have continued south to Tucson and then out to Tombstone. It is possible to go from Globe to Tombstone, but it all seems odd. She makes it pretty clear they split at Gillette. 

   Here is an excellent map by Tom Jonas showing various stage and military routes, with Gillette at the bottom, as they existed in 1880.

Military and Stage Routes To And From Prescott

   And, here is an excerpt from Stuart Rosebrook's thesis on travel from Prescott to Phoenix:

   "In Prescott, in 1880, the Southern Pacific Stage left every day at 5 in the morning arriving in Phoenix about 30 hours later. The road was a rough cut, following the natural contours of the landscape and travel on it was always an adventure. The stage would stop along the route for fresh horses, water and food. When travelers arrived in Phoenix in 1880 the would disembark at M.L Peralta's, a wholesale and retail store at the corner of Washington and Central. The stage passengers, covered and choked with dust, thirsty and hungry, bones and bodies sore and aching, were glad just to be alive. Before leaving Phoenix on the return stage at 7 in the morning, the traveler could stay at the Maricopa Hotel, have a drink, smoke a cigar, throw the dice at the Tiger Saloon, eat fresh oysters at any time of day or night at the Chop House restaurant, and buy a new suit at Peralta's."

Arizona Gazette, Nov 1, 1880; Nov 2, 1880; Nov 6, 1880; Nov 19, 1880; Jan. 3, 1881. 

   It's also interesting to note that in 1880 Phoenix had a population of 2,453.

   The bigger problem with Kate's story is that not only did Doc not go to Tombstone at that time, but he in fact took a stage from Prescott back to Las Vegas, New Mexico—a 536 mile, 86 hour excursion!—to settle up on a debt and support a friend in jail. 
   Then Doc came back to Prescott by the same stage line and shows up in the May 1880 census, and then several months after that he finally goes to Tombstone arriving in September of that year.
   So, what to make of the Kate story? She definitely was with Doc in Prescott and she did go to Globe, while he eventually ended up in Tombstone, where they got back together briefly at Fly's Boarding House and she was there on October 26, 1881. Perhaps unravelling this weird traveling is as simple as Kate left Doc and went to Globe and the Gillette episode was misremembered, or happened at a different time? Or, she in fact stayed there one time and thought it might enhance her story?

Daily Whip Out:
"Doc Even More Enhanced"

"Frankly, I wouldn't trust that woman any farther than I could throw her."
—Old Dentist Saying