the 13th of July at 5:00 pm outside Curly Bill's Bed & Breakfast
in Tombstone. The annual event that was started 6 years ago by
Jerry (Curly Bill) Alves, was about to set off for the 125th anniversary
of the death of John Peters Ringo. The cavalcade of vehicles was
led by Jerry Alves, Colin Taylor and Derek Carew. Taking Davis
road, they braved fierce thunderstorms on their journey.
arrival at Jerry Saunders ranch, on Turkey Creek Road, the party
proceeded through the gate and walked to the grave overlooking
Turkey Creek. A photograph of Johnny Ringo was set at the head
of the grave as a focal point for the ceremony about to commence.
After group pictures were taken, the party spread themselves around
the grave and the Reverend Whiskers prepared to deliver the eulogy
with his usual reverence and aplomb.
was followed by a reading of Emma Bull's poem about Ringo and
a new poem, written the day before especially for this occasion,
by Colin Taylor. After asking if anyone else wished to speak over
the grave, Jerry Alves produced a bottle of Old Overholt whiskey,
known to be the preferred drink of the deceased, and commenced
to give the first shot to Ringo, poured into a natural cup shape
in the large rack at the head of the grave. The Old Overholt was
then passed around for all to toast the memory of Johnny Ringo.
Everyone was now free to take pictures and talk about the occasion.
There were some who had made the trek before and some enjoying
it for the first time. All agreed it was worth the effort.
The event was only marred
by the arrival of two latecomers who reenacted the inaccurate
shoot-out from the movie Tombstone, between Doc Holliday and Ringo,
culminating with the firing of blanks. Since they had not sought
prior permission to detonate their guns on private property, this
angered both Jerry Alves and the owner of the property Jerry Saunders.
Whether this behavior will stop further treks to Ringo's grave
has yet to be decided, but the main party who attended the whole
ceremony conducted themselves with the proper respect due at such