Photo by Steve Nguyen / The Daily Wildcat
Tucson, Arizona, is a small city with a big blue sky and wonderful warm temperatures when the rest of the country is still shivering from a too-long winter. So we were glad to get away from chilly Atlanta in March to sunny Arizona and the Tucson Festival of Books, an annual celebration of all things literary, with author speakers and signers and over 100,000 eager readers.
Tucson is also the place where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday left their days as lawmen and became outlaws. They had come to Tucson honestly enough, escorting Virgil Earp and wife to the California-bound train after the murder of Morgan Earp by the cowboys in Tombstone. Virgil had been attacked a few months earlier and was still recovering from a crippling gunshot wound; now it was clear that Arizona was too dangerous for the Earps, and Virgil would need to do his recuperating elsewhere. Was it only a coincidence that Frank Stilwell, one of the suspects in Morgan’s murder, was at the train station, too, skulking around the tracks? Wyatt Earp didn’t wait to find out. According to some stories, Wyatt put a shotgun to Frank’s belly and blew him to hell. The coroner’s report on the body of Frank Stillwell, found the next morning along the railroad tracks, doesn’t support that single-shooter scenario, placing the blame on an assassination-style attack by several assailants, including Doc Holliday. According to witnesses, they had “never seen a man so shot up.”Continue reading