April 03, 2005

Facing down Billy the Kid?

You know, there is all this talk all the time about the demise of the Earth if we don't stop doing this or that ... and I say, why worry? If Battlestar Galactica has shown us nothing else, at least we now know that you don't actually need an planet to survive, you only have to be good at fighting Cylons.


Now, onto more important matters: Today, of course, as the title implies was Billy the Kid Day in the burgeoning metropolis of Hico, TX, a festival to celebrate the claim of one Ollie L. "Brushy Bill" Roberts as having actually been "the" Billy the Kid. The event was well attended. I bought a candle, donated some money to a few local charities in lieu of purchasing the assort wares*, consumed some "tater twisters" and a sno-cone,** and toured the Billy the Kid Museum.

This was not my introduction to Brushy Bill's claim to fame. I have always been a skeptic of his purported notoriety. It was, however, my first visit to the museum created in his honor. I immediately saw something that clued me in on a possible beginning to this controversy. There was a an old, though not ancient, sign that formerly welcomed people to the town which read:

Hico, Texas
Where everybody is somebody
I guess that Ollie L. Roberts tired of being nobody, so took Hico's offer to heart. He packed up his bags and moved to Hico where he could indeed "be" Billy the Kid.

I am not the only one to deny Brushy Bill's claim. See holes poked in Brushy's claim here. Also:

Tom Sullivan, a sheriff in Lincoln County, New Mexico earlier this month opened case number 2003-274, in which his office, with the cooperation of the state of New Mexico, will use 21st century technology to hopefully put to rest questions about what actually happened at shoot-outs in 1881.

Sheriff Sullivan says that DNA testing can prove where the body of the real Billy the Kid rests, and that Sheriff Pat Garrett shot him dead on July 14, 1881 in a house in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The project started three months ago after Sullivan visited a museum in Hico, Texas dedicated to Brushy Bill Roberts, who claimed in 1950 to be Billy the Kid. Claims by the museum that Billy the Kid died there suggests that Sheriff Pat Garrett shot someone other than the Kid in New Mexico and covered it up.

“That would make Pat Garrett a murderer. Now he’s our most famous sheriff — and a hero in my book — so I want to clear his name,” Sullivan said. - source

However, none other than Howard Hughes, himself, in his great movie The Outlaw, presented a picture where Garrett actually killed Doc Holliday, buried him, then worked a deal where Billy would surrender his guns to him, take Doc's in exchange, and disappear. With Billy's guns in his possession, no one could refute his claim of having killed the infamous Billy the Kid.

The Hughes story, however, is full of holes, as well. It seems there are other, witnessed accounts of Doc Holliday's death:

In May, 1887, Doc went to Glenwood Springs to try the sulfur vapors, as his health was steadily growing worse, but he was too far gone. He spent his last fifty-seven days in bed and was delirious fourteen of them. On November 8, 1887, he awoke clear-eyed and asked for a glass of whiskey. It was given to him and he drank it down with enjoyment. Then he said, "This is funny", and died. - source
The event did have one highlight, however. The Uncle Bill Roach Band did unveil their new song about Billy the Kid. I was lucky enough to get a copy of it and attempted to upload such for your download pleasure. The munu server rejected it as being a
tad bit on the humongous side. However, if you'd truly like to listen to such, I am sure you can email The Uncle Bill Roach Band and request your own copy.

This report was begun about 11:30pm on Saturday and completed more than 12 hours later. It seems that I had no sooner completed the initial paragraph than I felt a pain in my abdomen akin to having been gut shot by Billy the Kid himself. It seems that my system has been less than efficient and I had to employ a digestive assistant. I was up and down often during the night in order to monitor the progress. This activity and the accompanying gut pain highly irritated my navel, but nowhere near as irritated as it's close neighbor, who was highly inflamed as a result of this nightly activity. So now you know the rest of the story. Good day! End of report.

*Cookies, pudding, and some brightly decorated flip-flops.

**Hawaiian Ice.

Posted by Tiger at April 3, 2005 02:41 PM