May 07, 2011
Boot Hill in Dodge City
Saundra and I drove up to work a writer's conference at Mahoney State Park in Nebraska and our trip took us through Dodge City. Of course we had to stop at the boot hill museum.
And of course I had to go belly up to the bar at the Long Branch Saloon, how could I not? I felt the presence of Marshall Dillion, Doc, Chester and Kitty as I stood there talking with the bartender. He told me he took the job as a summer job while he was in school and 14 years later he was still there. It was off season, but he said during the summer there would have been people there playing the part of the famous Gunsmoke people, and a show up on the stage. Just as well, I'm not sure I could have related to other people in those roles anyway.
I grew up with Gunsmoke and Bonanza and Have Gun Will Travel as well as Saturday Morning matinees. It is not commonly known but I played a major role in taming the west as I helped Matt and Roy and Gene take care of the bad guys. I never really got credit for it.
The original boot hill was there on the grounds although a lot of the markers have had to be replaced. There were replica's of a whole side of the town and it was just a very pleasant stroll back in the pages of my memory.
Although to be truthful, the cowboy that pushed his way through those swinging doors should have looked more like this.