An Inspiring Painting

I was really inspired by the painting of Wild Bill by N.C. Wyeth. It was on the cover of a compilation of western stories I owned back when I was in college. The guy at the back of the painting caught my eye. He looked the way I imagined Doc Holliday should have looked back in the day. Perhaps it’s one of the side-effects of loving the film Tombstone. Now I’m not sure Doc would have looked quite like that, but one thing’s for sure, that painting inspired me to write the following gambling scene in A Wicked Little Town.  Continue reading “An Inspiring Painting”

Doc Holliday and the Latin Duel

One of my favorite scenes in Tombstone has to be the Latin duel. It’s that moment when Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo meet for the first time and realize that they are perfectly matched combatants. The insults fly, but in Latin not English. Ringo pulls some fast moves with his gun that are mirrored perfectly by a very drunk Doc Holliday juggling his tin cup. I know you have questions about the scene. I did the first 100 odd times I watched the movie. Would you like some answers to those questions? Then read on.

Continue reading “Doc Holliday and the Latin Duel”

The Spectacular Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

I sometimes wonder what Doc Holliday looked like. In fact, if I’m honest, I think about it quite a lot. Everyone knows what Val Kilmer looked like in the film Tombstone, but what did the real John Henry Holliday look like? You’re probably thinking that he was tall, skinny, well-dressed and had a mustache and you would be right, but did he wear glasses? “What?” you say, “Now hold on just a second.” Well yes, there’s a chance, albeit a slim one, that Doc may have worn specs.  Continue reading “The Spectacular Doc Holliday”

Dodge City Tales – The Dead Lawyer

Dodge City has some fantastic stories, especially regarding pranks that some of the gamblers would play on unsuspecting citizens. The Dodge City Gang as they were referred to included well-known names such as Luke Short, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. One of my favorite stories is about a  prank that was played on a lawyer that had recently arrived in Dodge City. After getting drunk and passing out, he awoke to find himself laid out in a casket with a funeral service underway. I couldn’t resist this story and chose to include it as part of my Doc Holliday book, A Gentleman in Hell. Continue reading “Dodge City Tales – The Dead Lawyer”

500 Must Be a Peach of a Hand – A guide to gambling in the Old West

Poker is the most famous type of gambling that’s depicted in western movies. Who can forget Doc Holliday’s opening scene in Tombstone where he stabs Ed Bailey before raking in a fortune of coins and jewellery. It’s not just the movies though, Wild Bill Hickock’s unfortunate departure from the world while clutching aces and eights only helped to fuel the stereotype of the western gambler, but what was it actually like to be a gambler like Doc Holliday? Continue reading “500 Must Be a Peach of a Hand – A guide to gambling in the Old West”

Assassins in Tombstone

On the night of December 28, 1881 things in Tombstone were far from peaceful. It was only two months after the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral and despite a month long coroner’s hearing at the behest of Ike Clanton, the cowboy faction of Cochise, Co. were not granted the murder trial they’d hoped for. Judge Spicer suspended Virgil Earp of his duties as town Marshal, but had simultaneously cleared the Earps and Holliday of any murder charges. The cowboys sought revenge. Close to midnight, a barrage of gunfire echoed into the night. Virgil Earp almost died from the blast and the city police did nothing to chase down his assailants.  Continue reading “Assassins in Tombstone”

“You’re a daisy if you do!” – A Guide to Doc Holliday Slang

“You’re a daisy if you do” and “You’re no daisy. No daisy at all.” are two Doc Holliday lines that people love to quote from the 1993 film, Tombstone. It’s lines like this that make Tombstone so memorable. Here’s a question for you though. Did you know that the real Doc Holliday used this phrase? Continue reading ““You’re a daisy if you do!” – A Guide to Doc Holliday Slang”

The Death of Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday's Death in Tombstone

Dying in bed at the age of 36, Doc Holliday is said to have taken a final drink of whiskey and looked down at his feet and said “This is funny.” After fifteen years of moving from cow towns to mining towns gaining a mostly unfounded reputation as a gunfighter and desperado, Doc Holliday died. Perhaps he found it strange to meet a peaceful end rather than die in a gunfight. He certainly had seen a fair share of action over the years and had been shot and beaten on several occasions. One fight in Texas left Holliday in such a bad state that the local newspaper reported that he’d died afterwards – this of course was not true. Continue reading “The Death of Doc Holliday”

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

On Tuesday, October 26, 1881, one of the most famous gunfights in western history occurred, The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We’ve all seen the films. Some of the fight scenes are epicly long as in Gunfight at the OK Corral and others are short and more historically accurate, as in the 1994 film Wyatt Earp. But what actually happened? We won’t ever fully be able to understand but perhaps by breaking it down to the bare facts we can get an idea. Continue reading “The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”