|On Wednesday (2/23) we drove about 90 miles down to the legendary town of Tombstone. It’s just one of those places that we had to visit. They have kept the original layout of the town intact, rebuilt building previously damaged by fire, and restored some buildings that have stood since they were constructed in the 1880’s.
We entered the Bird Cage Theater just to look around. It was originally a brothel, saloon and gambling establishment. The ladies charged between $0.25 and $1 and plied their trade in 8X10 rooms above the saloon. Entertainment in the saloon was provided by such legendary performers as Lotta Crabtree, Lilly Langtree, and of course everyone's favorite belly dancer, Fatima. A very large portrait of Fatima still hangs in the bar and has 8 bullet holes in it supplied by rowdy cowboys.
This was also the site of the longest running poker game – 8 years. Gamblers could buy in for $1000 and cash out when they wanted. Players included Doc Holiday, Bat Masterson, and Diamond Jim Brady. Rumor has it that over 10 million dollars pass through that game with the house taking 10%.
We had lunch at Big Nose Kate’s – it was named after Doc Holidays lady and was originally the Grand Hotel. I took a picture of our waiter, John the gunslinger, who said after delivering the bill and drawing his gun “just leave your money on the table cowboy”. He did smile after the picture was taken and we left him a nice tip. During our lunch we were entertained by “Rusty and Mick” who played some classic western tunes.
After lunch we moseyed down to the OKAY Corral and watched a re-enactment of the famous gunfight. Very entertaining, enlightening, and well worth the admission price. I took a picture of the men who portrayed Doc Holiday and the Earp brothers, then asked if we could improve the shot. Nancy then slid in between Doc and Wyatt for another photo – much better photo IMHO.
We walked the streets a bit more watching the period actors who remained in character, we ducked into a few shops and eventually visited the Tombstone Epitaph. The Epitaph’s original owner once answered the question – why that name? – with “seems to me every Tombstone needs one.”
On the way out of town we paid a visit to Boot Hill. It was only taking customers until 1884 and most died a violent death. Not much to see but we can say we’ve been there.
Interesting observation: Nancy thought going to the Biosphere 2 (constructed in the 1980’s) on Tuesday, followed by a visit to Tombstone (constructed in the 1880’s) gave us a great perspective on how far we have advanced in 100 years.