(Roughly) Daily

The wages of age…

Aging, we Baby Boomers are finding, is a lot like having ever-less-selective….  what’s the word?…

Well, happily there’s Tip of My Tongue, a site that allows one to type in partial spellings, fragments of meaning– whatever– and discover that missing definitive…

Oh, yeah:  ageing is a lot like having ever-less-selective amnesia.

(And poke around creator Chirag Mehta’s site for other nifty devices.)

As we make mounds of minute memos, we might recall that it was on this date in Tombstone, Arizona, at about 3:00p, that  Wyatt Earp and his brothers  Morgan and Virgil, and John H (‘Doc’) Holliday had the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne.  The 30-second shootout left both McLaurys and Billy Clanton dead and Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday wounded.

All that said, the gunfight actually took place in a vacant lot near the intersection of Third Street and Fremont Street– behind the OK Corral, next to C.S. Fly’s Boarding House and Photo Studio (which just didn’t have the same ring to it).

Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were arrested for murder; but at the hearing following the gunfight, it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

The fundamental conflict was between Cowboys (the Clantons, et al., who were seen as rural criminals) and the “City” (as embodied by the Earps, et al.– Virgil was city marshall, and deputized his brothers and Holliday– who were interested in civic peace… and were accused by some of using their power to advance their gambling and mercantile interests). In the event, the Law– the City– won…  a pattern repeated (albeit not always so violently) throughout the West.  (While many films/books have memorialized the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, your correspondent recommends John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as the definitive film on this “civilizing” phenomenon; it is to the U.S. what Lampedusa’s The Leopard is to Italy.)

Newspaper report of the gunfight

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 26, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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