I #amreading #oldwest #wildwest #wyattearp
I like the Wild West. Always have. When I was a kid, I used to watch Gunsmoke with my dad. Westerns were probably on their last breath then, but were still hanging on as a popular form of entertainment.
I remember the moment that it crystallized for me, that the Old West would always be part of my psyche. I was sitting in a theatre, watching Young Guns 2.
If you don’t remember, Young Guns 2 is about a man living in the 1940’s, who is very old, yet claims to be Billy the Kid. Turns out, this is a true story. Look up Brushy Bill Roberts if you don’t believe me.
What was fascinating to me was the possibility of someone from one era, The Old West, intruding into what we might consider the modern era. It was world’s colliding in my mind. The Old West for our culture is like the Knights of the round table for England maybe. These mythic figures from the wild and wooly days of the gunfighter seem so long ago that the possibility they could reach into our present (well, not my present, I mean come on) but still, the 20th century seemed to me to be as monumental as if King Arthur had shown up. Whether Brushy Bill was William H. Bonney or not, the math is right. Wyatt Earp’s wife died in the 1940’s. Wyatt died in 1929. For some reason that blows me away, the legends joining us in the modern era, so to speak.
World’s are again colliding with the appearance of a new photo, purportedly of Wyatt Earp in his later years, location and circumstances unknown. And to me it’s like seeing King Arthur walking down the street.