Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Boot Hill

So as I was leaving Tombstone for the two hour drive back to Tucson (see earlier post) I passed Boot Hill graveyard, where the guys who were shot at the OK Corral were buried. A few weeks before I'd been in Jerusalem, walking along the Via Dolorosa and waggling my arm around in the hole where Jesus Christ's cross was fixed up. Whatever you might think about the religion that followed, there's no argument about the fact that he existed, and these are the locations where his final days were played out. So it is with Tombstone. That's where they fell, mortally wounded, just by that piece of sidewalk. That's where they were buried, a few hundred yards outside town.
It's a place of history, so I span the car round and went back for a closer look. What a place to wind up. Overlooking a desert plain, it's a dry, dusty, barren place where a gravedigger is going to have to work up a sweat to get you six feet under. A pile of rocks to keep the coyotes out and a cactus for a headstone. And there's no standing on ceremony: 'Two Chinese' (not even names); 'Teamster - killed by Indians'; a jailbird lynched by a mob from the nearby town of Bisbee, now a ghost town.. four bad 'uns who were legally hanged. And then this grave, of Lester Moore, with a poetry which would appeal to my former colleagues on the country music show...

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