Sunday, June 02, 2024

The History of Nothing

 June 2, 2024

   Okay, so you saw what I wrote up yesterday about Virgil Earp being deputized while standing on a corner in Prescott, Arizona. 

Daily Whip Out:

"Virgil Earp Standing On A Corner In Prescott, Arizona"

   So, to be safe, I ran that copy by Brad Courtney, who is the unmoved mover when it comes to Prescott history. Here is part of his reply:

   "After the two bad guys bolted shooting their guns while fleeing on horseback down Montezuma, Constable Murray knew he needed some help, so he went looking for US Marshall Wiley Standefer (Crawley Dake's predecessor). Well, Standefer had just opened the Palace Saloon a month before (September 1877) on Gurley Street. This is the 1877 Palace that has been incorrectly linked to today's Palace (whose roots actually trace back to 1874--it is actually getting a new historical plaque that I wrote as well to replace the old one with incorrect information). I had always wondered why Virgil and the other three lawmen who would form the posse with Murray the constable and William McCall didn't hear all the commotion. They were inside! Fortuitously, not only was Standefer inside his Palace saloon, but he was yakking it up with Yavapai County sheriff Ed Bowers and Virgil. That is where and when Virgil was deputized. But apparently Virgil had walked into town from Thumb Butte, or Allie dropped him off while she went shopping. He had no horse, so he would have to keep up on foot. McCall and Standefer pursued by buggy. Bowers and Murray each had a horse. As you know, the buggy boys drove right by Wilson and Tullos (on the corner of Carleton and Granite where the Mile High Middle School is now). The bad guys were shot up there. As to the constable election, Virgil beat out Murray as far as vote-getting, But Prescott kept two constables at the time, so Murray got to keep his spot."

—Brad Courtney

   Well, crap, that is significantly different from the story I told, or, I should say, the version I believed was totally accurate. Which just goes to show, how damned slippery the truth is, period. There are so many tiny tangibles and so many obtuse tentacles emanating from any event that it's nigh impossible to ever get any past event totally accurate. Yes, it's depressing, especially when I've spent so much of my life trying to find the "truth." Which brings us to:

The History of Nothing

   It's true, I know a thing, or two, about Nothing.

Nothing Doing

BBB shooting a photo with a camera! And that is Carson Mell and Tommy Bell posed against a rock, across the road from Nothing, Arizona.

(Photo by Ed Mell)

Truth Be Told

   The truth doesn't cooperate and the slightest variation sends us off in the wrong direction (the movie "The Left-Handed Gun" is based on the only known photo—a tintype!—of Billy the Kid that shows his gun on his left hip.) Oh, so everything in that photo is reversed? Ay Yi Yi.


"The past changes a little every time we retell it."

—Hilary Mantel

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments