I drug myself back to the Arctic Fox this morning tired, sunburned, and happy to be home. But being home doesn't sync up with my blogging so you're going to have to pretend that I'm still on my mini-vacation and I won't be home for another day .
As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday I stopped in Glenwood Springs on my way back from Grand Junction and went to Doc Holliday's grave site, at least some people call it Doc Holliday's grave site. Since I used to study Western history back when I had a few memory cells left there's actually three different stories as to where Doc Holliday's body really is.
Story number one, and this is the one most people believe. Since Doc died penniless, had no family in the area, and very few friends, a collection was taken up from some local saloons and they got enough money together to bury Doc Holliday. He only had a wooden marker for his grave which quickly disappeared therefore the true location of his grave disappeared along with it.
Another story says that since Doc died in the winter the small wagon trail that goes to the top of the hill where the graveyard is, was slippery with snow and the horse pulling the wagon couldn't get up the trail, so Doc was hastily buried in a shallow grave at the bottom of the hill with the intention of re-burying him in the cemetery next spring. But next spring came and went and since Doc was not a hero or a likable figure like he's portrayed today everybody forgot about him and now he's under one of the many houses that have been built at the bottom of that hill.
The last story I heard is no one could come up with enough money to give Doc a decent burial so some of his gambling buddies buried him in the basement of his favorite saloon. Nowadays if you tried that the health department would have a cow. The saloon owner was all for this thinking that he could make a buck or two from people that wanted to have a drink where Doc Holliday was nearby, but time moved on and everyone forgot that Doc was interred in the basement where he may still reside.
It's hard to say which of these stories, if any, are true, but having walked up the trail where the wagon had to go to get to the cemetery I can easily see how a horse might not be able to pull a wagon up a twisty, steep hill like that if there was some snow on the ground. And I can understand how when Doc died normal people considered him to be a murderer, a gambler, and a ne'er-do-well who deserved nothing more than a shallow unmarked grave.
But times change, stories are written, movies are made and a man who allegedly killed his first person when he was 13 years old, becomes somewhat of a hero. The grave marker that's there now was placed in the 1920s long after Doc was dead.
The cemetery I visited is called a Potter's Field which is a biblical reference to a free place where the poor can be buried. So the folks buried there back in the old days were too destitute to afford a normal burial. In the 1920s a local civic group put some of the marble markers you see in my pictures over the graves that could be identified, but there's reportedly well over 100 people buried there and only a couple dozen have markers.
So if you want to channel Dr. John Henry Holliday you'll have to settle for being somewhere in the general area because no living person knows for sure where his body lies.