Thursday, March 04, 2021

Touring Tombstone's Sights and the Audie Murphy/Medal of Honor Museum

 Today I drove into Tombstone to take a look at this tourist town in Arizona.

There's basically a main street lined with period looking building facades, all basically hawking the theme: The town that was too tough to die.  Obviously, the big wild west names and events such as "Shootout at the O.K. Corral", Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and their portrayal in movies create the context and imagery that draws one to this town's sights.

Yes, it's a bit of a tourist trap, but I liked it.  Perhaps it was the lack of crowds, perhaps the laid back attitude of the vendors or the jewel I found among the westerns-oriented merchandising and paraphernalia.

So first, walking up and down main street:

The first place I went into....though I only perused the lobby's offerings.

A beer company putting out historical scenes?  

A cool musical device of yesterdays

Not sure if Doc Holliday was really associated with this bar...
it had a nice interior decor though.  I could drink a beer or two here.

Check out the signs on the upstairs offices

I believe Big Nose Kate was a friend of Doc Hollidays.
I just thought it was a great name for a saloon.

Next stop was attending the 11:00 AM showing of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral.  Yes, it was campy but was worth seeing.  I especially liked the interaction of the actors with the audience, nicely done.  Before the show, I toured the exhibits that included such items as carriages, wagons, a blacksmith's tool-filled shop and old west sights.

Tombstone's Founder

In case you didn't know where
Red Light Districts came from...

The re-enactment itself was well done I thought, with doses of humor throughout by amateur actors and supplemented (at Doc Holliday's request) with cheers and boos from the audience as the "good guys" entered or left the stage and the "bad guys", the cowboys did the same.  The guys doing the acting did seem to enjoy what they did, I'm pretty sure it isn't for the money.

After the shoot out, I walked a couple of blocks to the Audie Murphy/Medal of Honor Museum.  The creation of  William (Billy) Gray, it features of course photographs, paintings and memorabilia/militaria associated with WWII's most decorated soldier: Audie Murphy, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor among many other military awards.

Audie's subsequent entry and starring in the movies are also detailed in the display of the associated movie posters.  

In addition, the museum displays memorabilia, medals, pictures and displays of other winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the US military.  Though a small museum, little known outside of Tombstone itself, it's very nicely put together and well worth the time to visit and learn something.

Bill, the owner, is a fount of knowledge on Audie Murphy and we chatted at length on Audie's war actions, his life after the war and some of the things in his life.  I learned a lot of new details of Murphy's life and heartily recommend a visit if you're ever in Tombstone.

Below is Audie Murphy's most prized military award, given to him by the French Army Alpine Unit, members of which Murphy's unit rescued in battle, patched up and refit, enabling the French soldiers to rejoin the war.

Another Medal of Honor winner whom I've admired since learning of him while in the Army, the commander of the 20th Maine Regiment during the U.S. Civil War.

The only motorcycle content, a Honda Dualsport

Here's a link to the museum's website:  LINK

Billy, along with two fellow veterans, run and maintain this small museum.  Definitely not in it for the money, for them it is obviously a labor of love.  Go see it!  

I returned to camp to cool temperatures and sunny skies, not much else to report for the rest of the day.

The mountains which provided a stronghold for Cochise and his band of Apache.

The post-sunset colors were pretty nice though:


Unknown said...

A really great and in-depth review of our great little town. Subjects covered very well and great photos show just what it is like to live in Tombstone.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Unknown...though I suspect I know who you are. ;)

SonjaM said...

Tourist magnets (or traps) sans tourists... it doesn't get much better than that when visiting. Come to Heidelberg now, it's awesome to be here almost on your own.

Oz said...

I never knew an Audie Murphy museum was out that way. I live 30 miles from Greenville, TX, 7 miles from Farmersville, TX - both claim him as having been a resident when he was growing up. There is a museum and monument in Greenville. There are highways and roads in the area named after him. My dad served in WWII and new all about him. Great information you have provided.

redlegsrides said...

Heidelberg without crowds, throw in a little schnitzel a little beer and it would be heaven!

redlegsrides said...

If you ever get a chance Oz, check out this museum it is done well.

CCjon said...

Like you, try to avoid tourist traps, but now your description of Tombstone makes one want to go check it out. Thanks for filling in our empty knowledge gaps.

redlegsrides said...

You're welcome CCjon, the museum is worth visiting while in Tombstone, sadly the younger generations don't even know who Audie Murphy was or what the MOH means.