Watch out for Rex!

 

Another unique concept we see while traveling through Canon City, Colorado is ———wait for it!

Canon City dino-1

Public art of dinosaurs?

Yep, and a long-horn sheep.  Colorful at that.

Canon City ram

Canon City even has a Dino Daze Instagram Contest to find the 11 sculptures around town. Details are at http://www.canoncity.org/residents/public_art.php.

Canon City dino-2

Canon City dino-3I wondered why the sculptures are placed around – particularly dinos?  As I researched a little further, I noticed the Colorado area is known for dinosaur fossils.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, fossils of well-known species of large dinosaurs have been discovered in this area over the last 120 years. Many of the dinosaur fossils discovered at Garden Park area are on exhibit at museums around the country, including the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Fossils of two-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur tracks have also been discovered in the Garden Park Fossil Area. In addition to dinosaur bones, Garden Park contains 2 significant, rare plant species, Brandegee wild buckwheat and inch milkweed.

Garden Park is a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Area of Critical Environmental Concern, a Colorado Research Natural Area, and a National Natural Landmark. More information is available at https://www.blm.gov/visit/garden-park-fossil-area.

Glad you are with me as we experience this together.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

 

Go or Stay?

hurricane Ivan slams pier, Navarre Beach
Waves hit Navarre Pier hard during Hurricane Ivan’s approach – Navarre Beach, Florida.  Hurricane Ivan was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. It made landfall on the U.S. mainland in Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16th, as a Category 3.  (Photo credit: Florida archives by Chris Duval)

Go or stay, when in harms way?  To me, that’s a no-brainer.  If my life and family is at risk for loss of life, do you think I would stay in a threat environment without making a change?  For sure – NO.

However, many people choose to remain in the main threat area during catastrophic weather – such as Hurricane Michael churning in the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida Panhandle. (Update: Now that Michael has made landfall the decision was made and people have to live with that decision; however, those still in the path of Michael into Georgia and northward can still make an informed decision.)

I’m watching Michael and it brings back memories of Ivan.

I recall working in Florida’s State Emergency Management Center in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan attacked the Florida Panhandle area that borders Alabama.

 

Hurricane Ivan image
National Weather Service image of Hurricane Ivan.

The Category 3 storm struck with a fury, pushing the ocean on shore and blowing structures apart.

Hurricane Ivan damage, Navarre Beach
Just imagine someone staying in these structures and enduring the deafening sounds of wind and debris.  (Photo courtesy: Florida archives by Chris Duval)

The general public probably doesn’t understand the concept of all the work going on behind-the-scenes in so many emergency planning teams and centers when a disaster strikes.  I know!  I’ve been there and observed firsthand.  It is AMAZING all the dedication and countless hours performed by government employees and volunteers.

Preparations for Hurricane Michael remain similar to those crises of years past as thousands prepare, respond and recover.

People can help.  Local emergency management teams know the areas best and they have studied their areas in detail.  If they say to evaluate or take certain precautions, please do so.  Once the main threat of a hurricane is underway, emergency response teams can’t respond.

I recall a phone call I received during Hurricane Ivan.

A dad called from California stating he was talking on the phone with his daughter who was in a condominium on the beach near Pensacola, Florida.  She was in her room a few stories above ground level.

The dad said his daughter mentioned the winds were picking up and she could see the ocean pouring in at the bottom floor.  He pleaded for her to take cover and protect herself.

Then … all of a sudden… he heard glass breaking and whirling wind.  He had no sound nor response from his daughter.  He provided the address to me and asked for an emergency responder to check on her.  I advised they will not be able to check until conditions subside.  He seemed desperate.

I told the dad I would pass his information to our law enforcement emergency support team and they may be able to relay information to the search-and-rescue teams when they begin their mission as soon as conditions permit.

– Ron Tittle

So…if you have loved ones around the potential impact areas, please encourage them to listen to local authorities and heed their advice.

Also, continue to monitor local and national news.The Weather Channel is excellent at  keeping the public updated.  https://weather.com/

FLNG Soldier providing security
Enter a caption

Everyone should also understand how so many agencies are poised and respond immediately when safe to do so.  Currently more than 1,500 Florida National Guard troops are placed in active service by Florida’s governor with thousands on stand-by.

The Guard typically performs planning and staging missions beforehand to ensure their resources are properly placed and ready to move in immediately to the impacted areas.

Hurricane Ivan house destroyed - SFGate - photo by AP, Phil Coale
The owner of this house on Cape San Blas kneels to pray in front of the rubble.  The home was destroyed by the winds and waves of Hurricane Ivan.  (Photo by AP/Phil Coale, posted at https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ivan-is-worst-U-S-hurricane-since-99-Death-2724367.php

Many military missions will include helping with search-and-rescue, security, aviation support, moving supplies and equipment, and so many other responsibilities as determined by the State Emergency Operations Center.  Usually hundreds or thousands of Guard troops come from other states, along with active duty federal military, Coast Guard and other agencies.

 

Hurricane Ivan surges onto Ft. Walton Beach, 2004
Police car and storm surge during Hurricane Ivan’s landfall – Fort Walton Beach, Florida. (Photo courtesy: Florida archives by Chris Duval)

State agencies conduct similar planning and response.  Fish and Wildlife Commission teams do quite well in search-and-rescue along with various law enforcement agencies and fire/rescue teams.

 

 

 

Hurricane Ivan roadway destruction - Pinterest.com
Photo courtesy: Pinterest.com

The Florida Department of Transportation has emergency operations centers working in conjunction with the states’s emergency management center.  They have professional engineers who have already been studying the potential impact of the storm and anticipate how they will respond quickly to assist in recovery.   Once conditions permit, teams will provide a damage assessment to ensure bridges and roadways are safe for the public to use.  The traveling public must be patient.  It takes time to provide sufficient assessments.  All of the response efforts are coordinated with the State Emergency Management Center to ensure the most effective and safe response to, within and from the impact areas, and so the proper resourcing can be provided.  They also coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

 

Hurricane Ivan and I-10 bridge section collapse
Interstate 10 span disappears from the force of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, taking a truck cab and driver with it.  (Photo courtesy:  AP)

Similar to Hurricane Ivan, I suspect many roads will have some of their structure base washed out or damaged in some way to prevent vehicles from crossing.  The repairs could take some time.

So!  Do you risk it with your life or family?  After all, our protection and safety is the primary responsibility of government.  Yet we have to take responsibility as well.

Be prepared! Be safe! Be patient!

Blessings!

Ron

 

 

 

Gunfight – Part 3 – Finale

Gunfight layout with figures
Museum figures of those involved in the gunfight.

The day has come!

The restless cowboys and presumed outlaws have decided there would be a showdown.  They began forming at O.K. Corral and had their guns prepared.

According to a timeline by John D. Gilchriese, writer and collector, these are the major events of the gunfight:

The Street Fight – October 26, 1881

Earps and Holliday head to gunfight

After meeting and wondering what to do about The Cowboys forming at the O.K. Corral and making threats, the Earps and Doc decided to head there.  Rounding the corner of Fourth and Freemont Streets, the Earps head west to the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral – and a date with destiny. (Photos by RonLin Photography from images posted in the Gunfight at O.K. Corral Museum.)
Gunfight 1
Town Marshal Virgin Earp (with cane) says “Hold on, we don’t want that,” as Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton take the first bullets from Doc and Morgan.
Gunfight 2
Billy Clanton (second from right) draws his gun and begins to fight as his brother Ike begs Wyatt Earp not to shoot him. Morgan and Doc are concentrating on Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton, though mortally wounded, fights back.  Frank and Tom maneuver their horses as shields.
Gunfight 3
As Ike Clanton flees, Virgil Earp and Tom McLaury bring their guns into action.  Doc Holliday turns to fire at the fleeing Ike while Morgan continues to fire at the wounded Frank McLaury.
Gunfight 4
Frank McLaury moves his horse into the street and fires back under the horse’s neck as Holliday pulls his sawed-off shotgun from under his coat.  (The researcher who commissioned these paintings believes a shot was fired from within the O.K. Corral at this point, which shows why the Earps are giving their attention to that possible threat at the moment.)
Gunfight 5
Frank McLaury still manages to hang onto his horse for cover as brother Tom, shooting over his saddle, hits Morgan Earp.  Billy Clanton (who is already dying)  returns fire at Virgil and Wyatt.  A shot from Frank hits Marshal Virgil Earp in the right leg.
Gunfight 6
Morgan Earp goes down, shot through the shoulder muscles.  Tom McLaury’s horse, grazed by a bullet from Wyatt, finally bolts, leaving Tom exposed to Holliday’s “murderous” shotgun blast.  Billy Clanton, still firing, begins to slide down the wall.
Gunfight 7
Tom McLaury, mortally wounded, has stagger out of the picture.  Frank’s horse finally bolts, leaving him exposed.  His last shot strikes Doc Holliday’s holster, producing a painful but not serious wound.  Though seriously wounded, Morgan turns and fires, killing Frank with a head shot.  “I got him,” says Morgan Earp.  Billy Clanton would spend his last breath begging for more cartridges.

The gunfight lasted about 30 seconds.

According to Gilchriese, Wyatt Earp, when asked about the “Gunfight at O.K. Corral,”  stated: “It was a street fight between my brothers, Doc, and myself and those who believed they could shoot down the Earps.”  Wyatt apparently had a chuckle about the allusion of the “gunfight” at O.K. Corral, that was probably created by fictional writers to make it more exciting.

Wyatt also drew the locations of the shooters as he recounted the scenario.

Gunfight locations according to Wyatt Earp

Gunfight locations according to Wyatt Earp-2

The exact location of the fight?  Freemont Street, south side and east of 3rd Street

Who fired first?  Frank McLaury and Wyatt Earp

Who died?  Frank and Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton

Who was wounded?  Virgil and Morgan Earp

Where did each man stand?  (as drawn by Don Perceval)

Gunfight layout image - 2 by Don Louis Perceval (1908 - 1979)
Don Perceval’s rendition located in the O.K. Corral Museum.  Note O.K. Corral sign on the upper, far left.

Did the fight start in the street?   No, for six seconds the antagonists were in the vacant lot before they backed into Freemont Street

Where is Sheriff John Behan?  Behind Fly’s Boarding House

Where is Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne?  Hiding in Fly’s Boarding House

More photos by Gilchriese are viewable at  http://kbbooks-tucson.com/Photographs.htm.

A photo showing the town layout, during the gunfight, developed in the Tombstone Fly Studio based on research from John D. Rose,  is at https://www.wyattearpexplorers.com/ok-corral.html.

How would the Earps escape this eventual tragedy?  They wanted to prosper in the thriving town of Tombstone, mainly due to the silver ore that was being mined and the businesses developing in the west.

Tombstone Epitaph location

I have to wonder where the town’s people stood on the issues.  Did they not care enough to get involved to help those who were there to protect them?

There is an old saying (paraphrased) that for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

What about the families of the Clantons, Claibornes and McLaurys?  While there is evidence they too wanted to be business affiliates, but also were entangled with the criminal element, I wonder how their side of the story goes?

Here is a link for further information about the McLaurys.  http://www.worldcat.org/title/mclaurys-in-tombstone-arizona-an-ok-corral-obituary/oclc/806040205&referer=brief_results.

What about Curly Bill Brochius?  Do you know his part?

There is another previous outlaw who was friends with Wyatt Earp in Dodge city – Sherman McMasters.  What was his involvement?  (He had also stolen a valuable thoroughbred in Tombstone).

This is a link with a few more details about the Clantons.  http://clantongang.com/oldwest/ganlaury.html

Who knows how Tombstone could have flourished during the day had the Earps succeeded in business and built the town as they had envisioned?

Tombstone Saloon

Regardless, things could have turned out differently had the various factions worked together to resolve their conflicts.

Tombstone Billiards where Morgan Earp was shot
Modern-day photo of the billiards where Morgan Earp was shot in the back and died at midnight.

I’ll close this post with words mentioned in the video clip – what Wyatt Earp said in his last words:  “Just suppose.”

(Don’t forget to check out the video re-enactment below, which was performed just off Freemont as they tried to replicate as much as possible.)

Blessings!

Ron

 

Gunfight – Part 2

Tombstone - Wyatt, Morgan Earp talk with Ike Clanton, re-enactmentWell, as things escalated in Tombstone, Arizona it was becoming inevitable there would be a major clash between outlaws such as The Cowboys and former, as well as present, law enforcers.

It seems like a lot of people were wearing badges but they were having to be replaced regularly.  Also, who could you trust to uphold the law honestly?

Tombstone - Wyatt Earp re-enactment

Wearing a badge as sheriff, deputy or U.S. Marshal apparently wasn’t an easy task, and in reality placed a target on each one.  It appears the Earps sure tried their best to not get involved.

The Earps didn’t want trouble as they came to Tombstone to make a profit with their business adventures.  They even left their enforcement career behind, hoping to start over, living in prosperity and happiness.

Tombstone - Doc Holliday confronts Ike Clanton, re-enactment, faded lookWhen Doc Holliday came to town he apparently wanted to refrain from conflict too, particularly at the request of the Earps.

However, the provocation of the outlaws continued and he had no choice.  Tombstone - Doc Holliday confronts Ike Clanton, re-enactment - 2

Isn’t that also like life today.  People want to disrupt our efforts at home and abroad to better their agenda and disrupt efforts to benefit families, peace and prosperity.

Here is a video clip of Part 2 as the scene continues to build toward the eventual, deadly showdown at O.K. Corral.

Blessings,

Ron

Tombstone

Tombstone Stage Coach 3When you hear the word Tombstone, what comes to mind?

To me, the first thought was where one is buried and an inscription over the site is written in stone.

Next, I think of Tombstone, Arizona.  Have you been there?

Also, my mind goes to the movie “Tombstone.”  According to Wikipedia: “Tombstone is a 1993 American Western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre (who was also the original director, but was replaced early in production[4][5]), and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam ElliottBill PaxtonPowers BootheMichael Biehn, and Dana Delany in supporting roles, as well as narration by Robert Mitchum.

The film is based on events in Tombstone, Arizona, including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Earp Vendetta Ride, during the 1880s. It depicts a number of Western outlaws and lawmen, such as Wyatt EarpWilliam BrociusJohnny Ringo, and Doc Holliday.”  Here is a YouTube link to a short clip of the movie.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTWYKf5hXIg

Well, this post is primarily about Tombstone, Arizona.

During our travels through Arizona we ventured south through Tucson. I had previously been to Tucson and enjoyed the area then so due to time constraints we decided to visit Tombstone.

According to Wikipedia, Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States.  It was founded in 1879 by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who was briefly a scout for the U. S. Army headquartered at Camp Huachuca. He frequently searched wilderness areas looking for valuable ore samples.  Before the Tombstone name was developed the area was called Pima County, Arizona Territory.

In 1877, Schieffelin used Brunckow’s Cabin as a base of operations and began surveying the area.  After many months he found pieces of silver ore.  It took months to find the source.  According to reports, Schieffelin’s legal mining claim was sited near a grave site.  In September 1877 he filed his first claim and named the stake Tombstone.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone,_Arizona for details.)Tombstone StreetThe town was established on a mesa (flat-topped hill) above the Goodenough Mine. Within two years of its founding Tombstone had a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. I’m sure the ice cream parlor was the favorite.

Tombstone Longhorn Restaurant
Longhorn Restaurant that provides a good menu of food at a fair price.  It provides a realistic western town feel.

 

Tombstone became one of the last boomtowns in the American frontier.

Tombstone bird cage entertainment signThe businesses were situated among, and on top of a large number of silver mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house.  Miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre and brothel.

The town grew significantly into the mid-1880s as the local mines produced millions in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years.

At the Santa Rita mines in nearby Santa Cruz Valley, three superintendents had been killed by Indians. When friend and fellow Army Scout Al Sieber learned what Schieffelin was up to, he is quoted as telling him, “The only rock you will find out there will be your own tombstone”,[7] or, according to another version of the story, “Better take your coffin with you, Ed; you will only find your tombstone there, and nothing else.” [8][9] [references through Wikepedia)

Tombstone CourthouseTombstone’s Courthouse today provides a good collection of authentic interpretive exhibits, including: the period Sheriff’s Office, artist drawings and interpretations of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp, mining exhibit area, saloon and gaming room, period lawyers office and courtroom, ranching, and residents of Tombstone. (More information at https://tombstonecourthouse.com/history-of-the-courthouse/)

Tombstone Courthouse Gallows
Outside the courthouse in the courtyard is a reproduction gallows, the site where many convicted murderers met their fate.

 

Tombstone Courthouse Jail Door
Original jail doors being held up with modern framework.  One has to think of the types of criminals who passed through these doors.
Tomstone Courthouse Chair and Desk
Much of the original furniture is still in the courthouse – parts of the sheriff’s office as well as the lawyer’s office.  There is an old courtroom there as well.

Life was similar to what one would think as reflected in the western movies.  I imagine Tombstone was pretty rough with the mix of the rowdy, criminal, mischievous and law-abiding guests and residents.  Additionally, the town was far removed from larger towns where the “rule of law” prevailed.

Tombstone Stage Coach
Guests can ride on the era stagecoaches and receive excellent information about the town.

Tombstone - Bronco Trading sign

Tombstone street art
Street art reflects life in the 1800s.

Tombstone street art 2

Tombstone - OK Corral
Photo of gunfight near the O.K. Corral.

Eventually, with the wildness of the territory, there becomes a showdown.  The next post will highlight that historical event.  

Love and blessings,

Ron

  1. Beebe, Lucius Morris; Clegg, Charles. The American West: the Pictorial Epic of a Continent.
  2. “Across Arizona”. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 66 (364). March 1883.
  3. Bishop, William Henry (1888). Mexico, California and Arizona. New York and London: Harper and Brothers. p. 468. Retrieved May 29, 2012.