Whisky and Gunfights – the story of Doc Holiday
‘Although he sometimes drank three quarts of whiskey a day, he was the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw.’ Wyatt Earp describing Doc Holiday in a 1896 article
There’s something about old Western Tales that draw you in. It’s the allure of the Wild West, the stories of frontiersmen, gunslingers, gamblers and pioneers. Like the fish that got away, the stories get bigger in the re-telling and that only makes them all the more interesting.
Doc Holiday is one of those great tales. He was either one of the deadliest gunmen that ever lived, or a drunken gambler with a fiery temper that got involved in all the wrong fights. Either way he lived a fascinating life that was both short, wild and infamous. A dentist by trade, he was best known for the historic gunfight at OK Corral in 1881 where, according to legend, 30 shots were fired in 30 seconds. Doc survived and he continued to gamble and drink his way across the West while roping up a romantic involvement with the tough and hot-headed “Big Nose Kate“.
At the end of his life he sought the healing waters of Glenwood Springs in a final attempt to save his body from the ravages of consumption (tuberculosis). Alas, it was too late and he died and a few months later, after a final shot of whisky, at the ripe age of 36. They buried him somewhere on the hill in Linwood Cemetery above town. In keeping with the mystery of it all, no-one knows exactly where his body is buried but you can take the 1/2 mile hike up to the graveyard, see his marker and immerse yourself in the wild, crazy history of it all.
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