Wild West Monkey

Kongo was in Southern Arizona this week on business and took an afternoon off to visit the historic mining town of Tombstone.  In the picture above Kongo meets his first saloon girl at Big Nose Kate‘s Saloon.  Kate was briefly married to Doc Holliday and she really didn’t have a big nose, she was just always sticking it into everyone else’s business as in, “Get your big nose out of my business.”

“Climb on up here, little Monkey, I’ll be gentle with ya!” was the opening line from Kongo’s server.  (You can’t make this stuff up).  After his quickie with the saloon girl Kongo went ahead and downed a BIG ASS BEER before seeing the rest of the sites.

Kongo saw a re-enactment of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, rode on a stagecoach, visited Boot Hill Cemetery and talked to a bunch of guys in period costumes who roam all over Allen Street (what used to be the main drag in Tombstone)

A supposed portrait of Big Nose Kate

One of the highlights of any tour to Tombstone is a visit to the famous OK Corral, scene of the infamous gunfight which pitted the Earp brothers against several cowboys who were in town and looking for trouble after an all night bout of drinking and card playing.  Naturally there is a hidden agenda behind the final confrontation.  Cowboys (they wore red kerchiefs) selling stolen Mexican cattle to the army at Fort Huachuca, letting off too much steam in town after  their time on the range, a holdup of a Wells Fargo stagecoach which Dock Holliday may or may not have been involved with, and trying to maintain law and order in the Old West.  The reenactment is so hokey that it is actually quite entertaining and includes drunken prose from Doc Holiday, Virgil Earp saying over and over that he “didn’t want this,” people getting bopped on the head several times with Wyatt Earp‘s pistol which was about as long as an AK-47, and Hattie Earp running in and out with a crush on one of the cowboys.  Even though the actual performance was somewhat hackneyed, after the killings everybody recovers from their wounds and wander around town and they provide a very interesting and informative account of what actually happened that October day in 1881.

Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday survey the damage after the shootout. 39 shots were fired in about 15 seconds. Holliday was grazed in the thigh. Wyatt was unscathed. Virgil Earp received a wound in the leg. Three cowboys were killed.
Boot Hill

A great way to get a quick overview of the colorful Tombstone history is to take a stagecoach ride around town with a guide who tells you everything that happened.  You learn that the first newspaper in Tombstone was the Tombstone Epithet because every tombstone deserves an epithet.  You learn about the Chinese community and opium dens, the hundreds of miles of tunnels in the hills around Tombstone, the famous saloons and dance halls, and some of the famous (or infamous) characters who used to live here.

Kongo rode on a stagecoach with Jeb the guide and the horses were Buster and Buffy.  What else?

Tombstone is about 45 minutes east of Tucson on Arizona Highway 80.  Cost to see the gunfight is $10.  Stagecoach rides are $10.  Saloon girls are negotiable.

Travel safe.  Have fun.

Big Nose Kate (Mary Katharine Horony) at age 4...
Big Nose Kate (Mary Katharine Horony) at age 40. Kate was born in 1850, which dates this photo to about 1890, making it public domain in the USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Saloon ladies on Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ.
Saloon ladies on Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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