No OK Corral Gun Game At Phoenix Festival

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As we celebrate the violent removal of the King of England’s rule over the colonies which was won via shooting lots of guns and cannons and which my ancestors fought, we do this via Chinese-style fireworks which is funny in itself.  Let us not forget who invented gun powder!  Well, politicians in Arizona have decided celebrating Arizona’s infamous past gun battles is evil so it is now going to be wiped off the face of the earth.  So take that, great grandma Steele, the lady who killed people herself back when Arizona was a wild territory and her Calvary husband was off chasing ‘terrorists’ back then.


I always wondered why no hot shot in Hollywood made a movie about my ancestor who also killed rattlers and was one of the Lady Temperance League leaders 125 years ago.  She would whack drunks with her umbrella, for example.  HAHAHA.  Love it.


Anyways, 99% of the people living in Arizona today are not descendants of the US push to colonize and 100% of the native tribes in Arizona were there since the end of the last Ice Age or even earlier.  But the rest including people from Mexico, are late comers and most of these came in the last 50 years or less.


So some of these City Folk or as we used to say, Greenhorns, 90% of whom showed up after air conditioners were invented.  I lived there without air conditioners.  You get acclimated to the climate if you live with the climate.  So, here is the news that amuses me no end:  Old West-style shooting game rejected by July 4 festival in Phoenix| Daily Mail Online


The Independence Day festival, in its 31st year, will be held at Steele Indian School Park. The event includes vendors, interactive exhibits and two stages.


School named after my ancestor.  When we were building the Kitt Peak observatory complex, we lived part time on the mountain there which is on the Tohono O’odham Nation‘s property and my father negotiated the right to use Kitt Peak for observatories by brining all us kids along with him and as we played with the kids of the tribal leaders, they decided we were OK and let him build.


When, in an internal dispute about Kitt Peak, my father resigned, the tribe closed the road to Kitt Peak to the other astronomers and they had to negotiate a new deal which involved the Real Rulers putting up a big fence cutting off the Tribe from their Mountain which still pisses them all off today.


Gregg Bach, a spokesman for City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, told the Prescott Daily Courier it was a straightforward decision for the organizers. And he insisted the shooting arcade was rejected before the Orlando attack.


‘The planning committee was not comfortable with an exhibit/game that presented guns in a fun or glorified way,’ he said.


A rejection letter stated: ‘Everyone agreed that you have a great exhibit, but the City of Phoenix is very conscious about the perception of violence given the current climate.’


HAHAHA.  When the Tribe closed the road to Kitt Peak, they rode their horses and used rifles.  I grew up around guns, they are useful tools.  For example, when I was still legally a child under the age of 14, I used a gun to stop some violent criminals who wanted to attack our ranch.  It was great fun for me.


As they tried to break into the ranch, I ran around from the back and came at them from the desert side and cut them off from their escape car and yelled, ‘You are under arrest’ and it was my very first citizen’s arrest.  I made at least 100 arrests after that day, most of these in New York City where I was not allowed to use a gun.


NYC has strict gun laws and crooks know this since they use illegal arms and know that most people they attack are unarmed.  The only reason I could do all those arrests in NYC was due to being used to using guns to do this in Tucson.


One spectacular arrest I and two of my friends made when we all lived next to the University of Arizona back in 1972 was when a car with four Hispanic males grabbed a young female student walking past our house when we were sitting on the front porch and one of us was cleaning his Luger gun, and I jumped the railing, grabbed the student with both arms and using my legs, pushed off of the car which was beginning to speed up, and my friend with the Luger slapped it together and shot out the passenger side tires while I rolled on the ground hugging the screaming girl.


The car ran out of control and crashed and we put them under arrest threatening to shoot them dead if they so much as twitched.  Yes, this really happened.  Didn’t make the news and this was because we were ‘hippies’.  No nice news about hippies back then, we were supposed to be weaklings and drug addled.


Today, still, Arizona’s gun-death rate among the worst in U.S. many of which are suicides.


As of October, Phoenix and Tucson trailed only Houston for the number of federal licenses allowing the sale, resale, manufacturing or importation of firearms, according to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As a state, Arizona ranked 16th in licensed gun dealers. Texas was first.


Tucson ranked first among the nation’s cities for licenses specifically involving the manufacturing of firearms, and Phoenix and Mesa were in the top four.


Why do all these newcomers to Arizona commit suicide?  Well….ahem…half of the year, Arizona in the desert parts especially Phoenix and I once lived in Scottsdale which is part of the Phoenix mega-complex…is like hell.


My grandfather told me this funny story about a criminal being asked by a Judge, where did he want to go?  Get hung and go straight to hell or go to prison in Yuma.  The guy said, ‘Hang me, it is less painful.’  So…when I was child and running around in places like Death Valley during the nuclear bomb tests or Yuma or Phoenix and or Tucson, I was warned to not go barefoot or my feet would be melted to the pavement.


I experimented with barefoot in the desert and did harden my feet so I could run barefoot in the desert. Not on the streets.  This proved useful when I had to jump out of the swimming pool and run to a neighbor’s ranch when their child came running to me screaming, ‘Mommy is dying’.  I saved her life (her leg was cut by a big water bottle that broke on her and I used a tourniquet).


The desert is DANGEROUS.  Ahem, you can get hit by lightning a lot there.  I have!  People die every day going out in the heat.  Just this last week, half a dozen tourists died of heat stroke.  I used to rescue heat stroke victims when I belonged to Search and Rescue.  The desert is something you can’t take lightly.


Many shoot them up cowboy movies were made in Old Tucson Studios which burned down 20 years ago-


Old Tucson was originally built in 1938 by Columbia Pictures on a Pima County-owned site as a replica of 1860s Tucson for the movie Arizona, starring William Holden and Jean Arthur. Workers built more than 50 buildings in 40 days. Many of those structures are still standing.


After Arizona completed filming, the location lay dormant for several years, until the filming of The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Other early movies filmed on this set included The Last Round-Up (1947) with Gene Autry and Winchester ’73 (1950) with James Stewart and The Last Outpost with Ronald Reagan. The 1950s saw the filming of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958), Cimarron (1959) and Rio Bravo (1959) among others.


Old Tucson didn’t look like Real Tucson, it was a Hollywood fantasy construct.  The original Tucson was mostly adobe buildings.  I rebuilt one of these.  Very thick walls which are great when it is very hot.  I also lived for three years in a Railroad Worker shed building of three rooms.


It was wooden and it was cool, too, only because of all the trees planted around it 120 years ago.  The city fixed this historic building by ordering me out and tearing it down to build a parking lot.  Yes.  A parking lot.  Then a Saudi pilot flew a jet into it so I am glad I moved.  Thanks, Tucson newcomers for kicking me out.


I was so pissed about all that, I left the city for good.  Today, Arizona isn’t like in my hardy days or my ancestor’s time.  Everything is refrigerated!  I hated this, it was like going into Siberia, going to stores and other people’s homes.  Brrrr.  Also, way back in my childhood, we had no air conditioners in school so the Tucson schools had the shortest year in the entire US.


Still does today.  Back in the old days, it was because it was too hot starting June 3rd and to Labor Day.  Arizona doesn’t have Daylight Savings Time, either.  When this went national when I was age 13, I had to get up at 4:30 am to go to school and in April, this meant getting up at 3:30 am and I went to Barry Goldwater and told him I was going to go insane if they did this to me.


I was going to sue the school for forcing me to get up at an insanely early hour.  So the state voted to opt out of Daylight Savings Time  and I gave a speech for the media saying, ‘The last thing we need in Arizona in summer is longer days!’  For night was a relief.


Those of us who didn’t use air conditioners don’t eat dinner until after sun set for good reason, you just can’t eat all that much when it is very hot.  Which is why so many fat people live in Arizona now, air conditioning is one of the main causes of this.  Our Ice Age inheritance means cold, chilly weather eggs our minds into thinking we better eat a lot of blubber and other fat things to survive an Ice Age winter!


So even Hispanics from Mexico get very fat living with air conditioners.  I warned girls about this when I was younger but they didn’t believe me, they wanted to be cold like they were living in Upstate NY where I live today and it seldom gets above 85 degrees F and often is below 0 F in winter.


ΩΩΩ  I just came across this recent story from the Tribe at Kitt Peak, in an online news service for native Indian tribes:  Tohono O’odham Seek to Heal Following Vandalism –


On the morning of April 7, 2016, members of the San Xavier District, one of the 11 districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation, found graffiti such as “666,” “Hail Satan,” and “BK” – an alleged gang sign – sprayed on the walls, pillars, and an archway of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a Catholic church located within the district. A nearby tribal cemetery was also hit.


In an interview with ICTMN, tribal member Troy Parra, who resides in the San Xavier District and lives across the street from the church, said he was shocked when he discovered what had happened.


“I’d woken up and I instantly checked my phone. I received some text messages asking if I saw or heard what happened here,” Parra said. “I said no. Then I received some pictures of some of the taggings, and living across the street my whole life, I was just kinda … more like a what the hell, like really?”


…When asked how the community plans to move forward from this incident, Parra said many people in the community are Catholic, so they held a Rosary the evening of the incident.


“I’m pretty sure everyone’s ready to move on from that, forgive,” Parra said. “Try to take things if something like this happens, you know, remind them not to let the anger take over. Forgive them, pray for their families. Us Natives, a big thing in our lives is praying. That’s what we do here.”


It always surprises people at how ‘laid back’ the Tribe is on this particular reservation outside Tucson (the church is outside the city and on the reservation).  It takes a huge lot of nastiness to get these people angry.  They are very, very easy going and descended from people who farmed the desert since the end of the last Ice Age.


A wonderful people and very quiet, generally.  Booze is a grave danger to them, alas, it is very addictive but even drunk, they are laid back and quiet in general.


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10 responses to “No OK Corral Gun Game At Phoenix Festival

  1. tio

    My first trip to the USA was to Phoenix, the heat was amazing but the offices were unbelievably cold. Fond memories.

  2. emsnews

    The indoors are freezing cold because nearly everyone comes from NY and NJ or Mass. or Wisconsin!!! HAHAHA.

  3. tio

    I had (have) no clue what was going on. I ended up ordering a side salad for my evening meal at the hotel, it must have contained at least a pound of cold meat. Sitting in the pool at night with a cold beer watching the stars is an enduring memory. All this without a plastic card, imagine.

  4. Funny about that booze and. Indian thing , it’s now regarded as myth.

  5. emsnews

    Yes, isn’t that stupid? One of the jobs of my great grandpa was to prevent the sale of booze to the Tribes because it was so destructive. My great grandmother was a prohibition campaigner.

    So much of reality is being erased due to political correctness. Everyone wants to be flawless while savage destruction tears up everything. For example, increasingly in poor communities, marriage is vanishing.

    This began with welfare rules that punished married women and rewarded teens who gave birth out of wedlock. Poor people took the bait and now the marriage rate in the slums is around zero! And the destruction this is causing for families is immense and lifelong.

  6. Jim R

    It’s because the Euopeans and Asians knew about booze for millenia and had evolved the ability to tolerate it, but native Americans never knew it until our ancestors arrived.

    Also, the high calorie European diet with bread from wheat flour tends to cause type II diabetes among the native Americans. But it’s very hard to go back to eating prickly pears, once you’ve started on the bread.

  7. Petruchio

    The Gunfight at the OK Corral. Of course, the traditional story of what happened is mostly BS. There was NO actual gunfight AT the OK Corral. The Earps, along with Doc Holliday confronted Ike Clanton and his crew of Cowboys in town, NOT at the OK Corral. A lot of folks living in Tombstone AR at the time figured the Earps got away with murder for what went on that day. It IS really strange though. What REALLY happened that day in AR between the Clantons and the Earps–and what went on AFTER the big gunfight at the OK Corral is, imho MUCH more interesting than the myth. I doubt this information is popular in Arizona though.

  8. emsnews

    Um, my great granddaddy dealt with all the cowboy violence by the military taking over when they got too rowdy and this included them hassling the natives.

    This is why the Papago tribe was so nice to my family back in the 1950s, they remembered my family previous to that, fondly.

    Ziff, about the ‘myth’ of Indians and booze: modern booze is terrible for them all. They are not accustomed to it. It is bad for everyone else but the people who got plastered and died young during the last 300 years are culled already and the Indians haven’t been culled this way except for the last 50 years since selling drinks to tribes was illegal until recently.

    Even so, most tribes forbid the sales of booze on reservations precisely because the elders are worried it is killing the tribes. They take this all very seriously.

  9. PFO

    Hello Elaine,

    Sitting here in 85F muggy Boston your column reminds me of my half decade in the Southwest.

    I lived in the old movie colony in Palm Springs for a year across the street from the old Jack Warner estate. At sunset I opened all the windows and doors [Screens closed.] and went to bed within the hour.

    Sunrise woke me and I’d stroll the house with morning coffee closing the doors/windows and shades. The temp inside was usually 75 – 78F and with one or two fans never rose above 80 – 84F during the day, tho it was 115 – 125F outside.

    NOPE no AC for me, I couldn’t afford to run the old ‘swamp-coolers’ in the backyard under the eucalyptus trees. So my monthly utility bill never topped $40.00 and the water in the hot water heater remained tepid with just the pilot light.

    Moved to Scottsdale in 1994 and spent a lot of time in South Phoenix, which was THE wild west at that time. The destruction of family went on before my eyes even in pious Roman Catholic families.

    Then spent a year in Geronimo’s old stomping grounds in Catron county New Mexico. Amazing scenery and great people, but very little to do except subsist.

    Visited after 15 years in 2009 and 2011 and found a medicated society tethered to their computers or ‘dumb-phones’ with no idea and no hope.

    I pray for the lights to go out.


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