Monday, July 27, 2015

Tombstone Series ~ Old Tombstone Bloody as Modern TV Version ~ October 11, 1961

I just found this newspaper column from The Arizona Republic buried inside an unmarked folder. Sometimes it pays to look twice, you could unearth a gem. 

The columnist: Donald Dedera was born March 16, 1929 in Arlington, Virginia. After high school, he enlisted in the USMC as a photographer. In 1948 he enrolled in Arizona State College in Tempe and graduated with a BA in Journalism in 1951. He worked for The Arizona Republic from 1951 to 1969 and became a daily feature columnist in 1953. His communications career spanned 60 years and includes approximately 23 books and over 2,000 journal and newspaper articles. This column came out of a conversation with my grandfather, John Sherman Bagg. 

Television struggled to become a national mass media in the 1950's, and became a cultural force, for better or worse, in the 1960's. One must appreciate the irony of the comment regarding a low juvenile delinquency rate in Tombstone. This article was written in 1961 when television was still in it's infancy, but apparently already having an influence on the children of the world. Two series stand out:

Tombstone Territory: 1957-1960 ~ "Tough sheriff Clay Hollister keeps the law in Tombstone, Arizona "The Town Too Tough to Die" with the support of his faithful deputies and the editor of the local newspaper".

Marshal Earp: 1955-1961 ~ "Marshall Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical bad guys and good guys, ending up with the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral".

Post Script: It was actually 7 months later when the family returned to Tombstone. They arrived on October 27, 1881, the day after the shootout at the OK Corral.