Sunday, May 28, 2017

Observing Memorial Day Is Right And Good

I've written most of this before. I've talked for years about how Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day.

If you haven't read it on here before, I've certainly written how Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who were killed n action, those who died while serving our nation. How in contrast Veterans Day acknowledges and celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, I'm mentioned how it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was established specifically to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for us.

I've talked about how when people say "Freedom Is Not Free," they are talking about the price paid to preserve our freedom and our liberty. It is the blood of the free who fought for it. That is the price of freedom.

I've tried to impress upon people how Memorial Day is that one day a year set aside to remember and give our grateful thanks to those who made the supreme sacrifice and were killed in the defense of our nation, all for us. How Americans use Memorial Day to acknowledge, to say "thanks," to the One Million Three Hundred Twenty One Thousand Six Hundred plus men and of our military who have been killed while serving our nation.

You've heard me say how those men and women died serving in the performance of protecting and preserving our freedoms, our liberties, our abilities to live the way we do. Yes, I've talked before about how they died for us. And I've talked about how observing their sacrifice on Memorial Day goes to the heart of our responsibilities as United States citizens.

Granted there are a few "officially" recognized responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. Such as:

• Support and defend the Constitution.
• Stay informed of the issues.
• Participate in the democratic process and vote.
• Respect and obey the law.
• Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
• Participate in your local community.
• Pay taxes.
• Serve on a jury when called upon.
• Defend the country if the need should arise.

But really, there are other responsibilities as well. Such as:

•  Supporting those who are presently serving in our military
• Thanking those who have served with honor.
• Providing care for our wounded.
• Remembering those who have died for us.

So yes, I've written about how we as a people must never forget those who have died for our nation. How it's another responsibility of ours as citizens, and how it goes to the heart of who we are as a people and our individual sense of self-respect.

I've talked about every American taking a moment to say a prayer, raise a glass, salute, or just close our eyes and whisper "Thank you!" And yes, I've done this because observing Memorial Day is doing that which is right and good.

So yes, let's all remember to wish God's blessings on those who have died in uniform. Yes, those who have paid the highest price for freedom.

And from me to you, I hope and pray God blesses you for remembering them.

Tom Correa

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My VA Doctor Is Leaving And I Will Miss Her

Doctors come and doctors go in the world of the Veterans Administration. But frankly, I'm sad to see my recent doctor go. And since I told her that I was going to write a post to thank her for all that she has done for me, and she only asked that I withhold her name, I'm not going to mention her name in this article. At least not now while she is still at the VA.

But frankly, while I've written other articles about nurses who have preformed their jobs above and beyond the norm of what's out there, I think the VA should know who their better doctors are. Yes, in the same way that they should know who their worse doctors are.

Since starting my healthcare at the VA back in 1995, I have had at least a dozen doctors as my primary physicians. As for my urologists and other specialized medicine doctors, I lost count years ago.

Yes, I've been seen by a lot of doctors at the VA. I've seen a lot come and go. And while there have been way too many for me to remember them all, sadly the bad one's are the doctors that I've found myself and others talking about. Yes, at least talked about more than the good ones. Yes, sadly that's the case.
I've only asked to replace one doctor in the last 20 plus years. I remember how he walked into the examining room that I sat in and never looked at me. He went right to his computer and worked there for almost 15 minutes before telling me that he reordered my medication and would see me in 6 months. Never looking at me, even after he stood up and said, "Thank you," as he walked out.

While he was an extreme, a number of the doctors at the VA have behaved in similar ways. Maybe that's why a lot of Vets feel the VA is just a sort of production line? Production line medicine where you're just a number in their computer system.

That's probably the reason that I was sorry to hear that my doctor at the VA Clinic in Modesto California, had retired. He was the doctor that I'd seen the longest of everyone. He was as professional as can be expected, but he was also friendly and personable. And to me, that made him a great doctor.

Someone reading this is going to write to say that he or she knows a grouchy curmudgeon who is a wonderful doctor. And really, that's fine. I'm not saying that grouchy doctors, doctors who are very friendly, aren't good doctors. But for me, for what I like, for my taste, I see don't like going to see a doctor or going to a hospital, so when I get there I like courteous neighborly receptionists, a friendly staff, and a doctor that is interested in what ails me.

I've had the "all business, take a number, sit down, go here, you're time is up, see you in six months" type of doctor's visit. And friends, I don't like it. No, like most of us, I really don't like it. Call me old fashion, but I like the doctor who at least can give the appearance of caring.

After I blew my back out and went to vocational rehabilitation, I returned to college to obtain a degree in inspection technology. While training to be a welding inspector, during a practical examine, my instructor failed me even after I breezed through the process that I needed to preform for my certifications. When I asked my instructor why I failed? He responded that I would be a better inspector if I included "the magic." And yes, I learned a great lesson that day.

Yes, it was about "the magic". In other words, the process, the show, the ability to demonstrate why I have the credentials that I do, the reason that someone has hired me, the ability to show a client that I give a shit about what I'm inspecting, the thing that people want to see no matter whether it's calling in an inspector, going to a barber, or going to a doctor. People want the magic.

My old doctor who retired from the VA in Modesto understood giving a patient the magic. And yes, my doctor who is now leaving understands the same. And yes, like the doctor who retired, my doctor who I will certainly miss gives the one the magic. It comes naturally with her caring personality.

Within this last year, this doctor has taken a hard look at the medications that I take. And for her, the status quo was not good enough and she changed my medications and adjusted my routine on taking certain meds. And in doing so, my treatment plan has been changed for the better. Yes, because of her, I feel better.

She had me make a followup appointment to go over the changes, looking for any adverse reactions, weighing the benefits of the changes, and taking a look if any other changes were needed. All with feedback from me.

After our last followup, I told my wife how impressed I was with her care and concern. Her dedication and extra effort. I also told my wife about how she was leaving the VA.

Even though I know the odds are against her being my doctor again, I hope she returns to the VA one day. I know real well that the VA and other Veterans will benefit greatly from her being a part of the VA healthcare system. We have too many doctors who appear cold and uncaring, or tell Vets how limited they are. We need doctors that take the extra time. We need doctor's who understand that a great bedside manner combined with a positive attitude inspires patients to have more confidence in them and the VA in general.

Advice, reassurance, a positive attitude, and real support from a doctor goes a long way when it comes with dealing with patients. Especially with a patient who is reciprocal by being honest and forthright. A patient with a positive attitude who is willing to trust their doctor. Yes, a patient that actually wants to follow his or her treatment plan. A patient who doesn't walk out saying, "I don't care what the Doc wants me to do."

And sadly, I've known a few who were that way. They didn't like their doctor, or they felt their doctor didn't understand what they were going through, so they opt to being their own doctors. In almost every situation, a patient does more harm than good acting in that way. And the truly sad part about that is, it could probably avoided with a little communication.

To me, as in marriage, communication with one's doctor is vital to making life better. In a doctor–patient relationship it's great to know that your doctor cares. The relationship between a doctor and a patient in central to the practice of healthcare. In fact, it is said to be essential for the delivery of high-quality health care. And yes, even more than that, the doctor–patient relationship forms one of the foundations of contemporary medical ethics.

For a patient, at least for me, finding a doctor who is empathetic, sincere, open to options, someone who listens and is engaged, is a big deal. This doctor has been the first in a great number of years who had actually asked me probing questions to help adjust my medications so that I can get the highest benefit from what I'm taking. Not just there to issue refills and send me on my way, but really help me. Imagine that.

People have called me all sorts of things. And yes, I can assure you that some of those things have never passed for blessings. But if there is one thing that no one will ever be able to call me, well that's "ungrateful."

And this post, well this is post is me saying, "Thank you, Doc!" 

It's my way of saying that I can't thank you enough. And yes, that I will surely miss you. Yes, you've been that great a doctor. You are that caring. You are not what we have many of at the VA. And yes, because of who you are, you will be missed.

As for those in her future who will be blessed enough to have her as their doctor, I remind you to be grateful. She is not someone who will shove you out the door when your time is up, or say things just to pacify you. She will be who she is. She is kind yet no non-sense. She is an old fashion caring physician who will talk to you straight, and not beat about the bush. She will certainly find out if you're sincere about you working your wellness program. And yes, she will help you fight what's ailing you because she has the ability to understand what you are going through.

The fact is, in your efforts to get well, she will give you the advice and knowledge you need. All as professional as the day is long. All while caring about your medical needs.

Yes, you need to be honest with her and she in return gives you what you need to get well. No, not as some paternal figure. But instead, as an ally in your fight to achieve what you need to be healthier than before you walked into her office. Some call this collaboration by this name or that, but I like to think of it as an alliance that benefits both you the patient and her the doctor.

You benefit from her wisdom, experience, education, and interest in seeing you well. She benefits because you didn't withhold any information, and that makes her job easier. For me. my not withholding what she needed to know gave her all of the variables she needed to find the right medication and create the right treatment plan for me. Yes, communication and information benefits both you and her.

So be grateful that she's your doctor. Be grateful that you have found a doctor that cares. Because frankly, you will gain immensely from her being your treating physician. She is definitely someone with the knowledge and expertise a patient needs. With a willingness to be honest with her, having her as your doctor is having a great ally indeed.

And yes, that's just the way I see things.

Tom Correa  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wyatt Earp -- In The News 1870 to 1880

Wyatt Earp

In a recent post, I talked about how Wyatt Earp really became know on a national level as a result of him becoming the center of controversy in the fixed Fitzsimmons vs Sharkey Heavyweight Championship Boxing Match in 1896.

As I stated in my other article, Wyatt Earp -- Not Mentioned OK Corral Gunfight Reports, "he wasn't very well known until he took part in the fixing of the Fitzsimmons vs Sharkey Heavyweight Championship Fight in 1896. Fact is, during the post-fight investigation, Earp's wrongdoing as an accomplice in fixing that fight made him famous -- if not infamous."

Now that's not to say that he wasn't mentioned in a newspaper here and there before that, he was just not the center of attention. On a national level, in nationally syndicated stories, the Fitzsimmons vs Sharkey Heavyweight Championship Fight made him the center of attention from coast to coast. Not as a lawman, but as a desperadoes, a con artist, and crook.

After that prizefight, Wyatt Earp was in all sorts of articles connected to that prizefight. There were articles about his shady past, his arrests as a horse thieve and a pimp, his arrest for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in San Francisco, and even articles about how he was picked to referee the fight, as well as an article talking about his having to appear in a San Francisco court which ultimately declared him a penniless vagrant incapable of paying any imposed fines.

In the article Wyatt Earp -- Not Mentioned OK Corral Gunfight Reports, I looked at how Wyatt Earp was hardly even mentioned in accounts of what took place at that lot near the OK Corral. Below are a few examples of Wyatt Earp appearing in newspaper articles before the OK Corral:

South-West Missourian, June 16, 1870 -- "One of our citizens had a brother from a distance call to see him on Monday last . . . they started . . . to have a good time . . . . Taking aboard a good supply of 'forty rod,' . . . Constable Earp found one of them . . . incapable of taking care of himself and took him down to the stone house . . . . As Mr. Earp was turning the key . . . the other came staggering up enquiring for his brother. Mr. Earp opened the door and slid hm in. . . . Mr. Earp met another hard case . . . a tramping butcher, who asked Mr. Earp to purchase him a pencil in place of one he alleged Mr. Earp had borrowed . . . he shared the same fate of the other two." 

Wichita Beacon, December 15, 1876 -- "On last Wednesday Policeman Erp found a stranger lyning near the bridge in a drunken stupor. He took him to the 'cooler' and on searching him found in the neighborhood of $500 on his person. He was taken next morning before his honor, the police judge, paid his fine for his fun like a little man and went on his way rejoicing. He may congratulate himself that his lines, while he was drunk. were cast in such a pleasant place as Wichita as there are but a few other places where that $500 roll would ever had been heard from. The integrity of our police force has never been seriously questioned." 

Wichita Beacon, Janaury 12, 1876 -- "Last Sunday night, while policeman Erp was sitting with two or three others in the back room of the Custom House saloon, his revolver slipped from his holster and in falling to the floor the hammer which rested on the cap, is supposed to have struck the chair, causing a discharge of one of the barrels. The ball passed through his coat, struck the north wall then glanced off and passed out through the ceiling. It was a narrow escape and the occurence got up a lively stampede from the room. One of the demoralized was under the impression that some one had fired through the window from the outside."

A June 8th, 1878 article in the Dodge City Times mentions the salary of that city's police department. Along with others on the department, Earp is mentioned as being paid $75 a month as Assistant City Marshal to Charlie Bassett who was the City Marshal. Bassett is listed as making $100 a month.

From that article, the things that I found interesting is that it was only a four man police department. The two others listed as policemen on the force were John Brown and Charles Trask. Surprisingly John Brown made the same salary as Earp did even though Earp was listed as the Assistant City Marshal. Charles Trask is listed as making $52.50. And no, I don't know why such an odd amount.

Tombstone Daily Epitaph, July 29, 1880 -- "The appointment of Wyatt Earp as Deputy Sheriff, by Sheriff Shibell, is an eminently proper one, and we, in common with the citizens generally, congratulate the latter on his election. Wyatt has filled various positions in which bravery and determination were requisites, and in every instance proved himself the right man in the right place. He is a present filling the position of shotgun messenger for Wells, Fargo & Co., which he will resign to accept the later appointment."

Tombstone Daily Epitaph, October 31, 1880 -- "From Deputy Sheriff Earp we learn that the man who killed Marshal White is an old offender against the law. Within the past few years he stopped a stage in El Paso County, Texas, killing one man and dangerously wounding another. He was tried and sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary, but managed to make his escape shortly after being incarcerated. The facts leaked out in this way: On the road to Tucson, Byoscins (sic) asked Earp where he could get a good lawyer. Earp suggested that Hereford & Zabriske were considered a good firm. Broscins (sic) said that he didn't want Zabriskie, as he had prosecuted him once in Texas. Inquiry on the part of Earp developed the above state of facts." 

As for those newspaper articles regarding the shootout at the OK Corral where Wyatt Earp was mentioned in The Salt Lake Herald, October 28th, 1881, in a small article entitled Battle with Cowboys on page 2 near the bottom stated "Wyatt Earp was wounded slightly" -- which of course we know he wasn't.
All misspellings and errors were not corrected for these articles.

Tom Correa

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I'm Suspended From Facebook For 30 Days

Dear Facebook Friends,

Because of a comment that I made on a political meme that I shared, I have been suspended from posting on Facebook for 30 days. While I'm fine with Facebook's decision on my personal  timeline, I don't agree with Facebook suspending me from posting history and other educational material on my American Cowboy Chronicles' wall.

But since now I have 30 days off from Facebook, I'm planning a number of things to take up my time. For example, I'm thinking of training for a shot at Mount Everest, maybe going on a cruise to the Panama Canal, or maybe go up to Wyoming and visit with friends and take in a rodeo or two.

Maybe I'll go out to Arizona and visit my brother, or take a trip back home to Hawaii and visit my Uncle Herbert. Maybe get more work in on my BLM Mustang, and get her to the point of being handled easier. Maybe get in more Cowboy Action shooting.

Then again, I could go up to Twin Falls, Idaho, and visit my nephew. From there I could go up to Yellowstone. I've always loved Yellowstone. Of course, from there I could go visit a friend or two in Texas. You know them, they're your friends who always say to drop in when I'm "in the neighborhood" while knowing full well you live in another state.

Yes, being suspended from Facebook for 30 days actually gives me a number of options. I can get away from this damn computer more. I can actually go and talk with friend face to face, hear every inflection in their voices and take note of every expression on their faces. Yes, the inflections and expressions are what speaks volumes that one can't get when talking over the phone or when "chatting" on Facebook.

My confession is that I've used Facebook to fight the Fake News, the horrible slander from the Left, the hate for America by those ungrateful Liberals out there who have had everything handed to them. Like many others, I've voiced my anger at the refugee, economic, and social problems created by the Obama administration during the last eight years. I voiced my disdain at Democrats who put the concerns for their party ahead of the concerns and needs of our nation. And yes, as for my blog, I've used Facebook to distribute my articles in an effort to get real factually correct information out to people. Yes. all while loosing a lot of sleep in the process.

So there you have it. Here you go! During the next 30 days of being suspended from Facebook, I'm going to get more sleep for a while. I'm leaving the good fight up to those who I know are also voicing their anger at the problems created by the Obama administration. Who are also voicing their disdain at Democrats who demonstrate no love for America.

Realistically, I know that I was just one little voice among the many out there who are raising up. And though I'm suspended right now, I know I will be back. And with that, I want to say good night to my Facebook friends. See you in 30 days.

And until we meet again, stay vigilant.

Tom Correa

Monday, May 1, 2017

Red Beard vs Rowdy Joe Lowe -- The Gunfight

On Thrusday, October 30th, 1873, The Wichita Eagle reported that "a melee Monday night between the proprietors of the two dance houses in West Wichita resulted in Rowdy Joe being shot in the back of the neck and Red Beard being wounded in the arm and hip."

Now before we get into this tale of the Old West, let me just say that there are many accounts of this gunfight. No kidding, this is one gunfight that you can pick and pull which story you like the best and just go with it. With saying that, let's get into this story about two saloon owners who went at it.

Edward T. "Red" Beard, who was said to be born sometime in 1828 was a gambler and saloon keeper. And yes, as stated in the Wichita Eagle, he was the son of the man who first settled Beardstown, Illinois. Being originally from Illinois, Red struck out on his own and soon settled in Virginia. It's believed that he was considered "a man of wealth" while there, that's because he's also said to have married well.

Then in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War, Red Beard left his life behind and moved west. Some say he was run out of Virginia one step ahead of a rope, but then who knows since that's only speculation since he left so swiftly.

After Virginia, he travel to California, and then onto Oregon and into Colorado where he is said to have developed a reputation as being a man with a bad temper who was supposedly good with a gun. That mix made him a nasty individual. And no different than today, knowing that meant that men facing him didn't take any chances. Folks knew it was a kill or be killed fight if faced against him.

By 1873, Red Beard settled in a boom town across the Arkansas River from Wichita, Kansas. It was there in Delano that he opened a saloon which is said to have been pretty successful for a time.

Of course that all came to a stop on October 27th, 1873, when he became angry with a saloon girl who worked next door at the saloon owned by "Rowdy Joe" Lowe. She was in his place and he wanted her to get out and go back to Rowdy Joe's.

Joseph Lowe was born in 1845, so Joe  was 17 years younger than Red. While he was also known as "Rowdy Joe" Lowe, because some say he was a gunfighter, most agree that he was just a gambler and saloon owner who had a reputation with his fists. Yes, Rowdy Joe was said to be a brawler.

Just like Wild Bill Hickok and the Earps, and like Red Beard, Rowdy Joe Lowe was originally from Illinois as well. Lowe and his wife Katherine, who believe it or not was known as "Rowdy Kate," moved to Kansas a few years after the end of the Civil War.

In 1871, the couple moved to Newton, Kansas, where they set up a saloon and brothel. Then in 1872, Rowdy Kate is said to have left with a pimp who was starting up a competing brothel. Rowdy Joe found her and the pimp, and just shot him.

The folks in Newton didn't like that much, so the citizens committee there forced both Rowdy Lowes to get out of town and take their attitudes with them to the Wichita area. That's how they came about buying their saloon in Delano, Kansas.

Supposedly the Lowes made good money with their saloon. That is until Red arrived in town and built a saloon 50 feet from the Lowes' saloon. While competition was said to be friendly at first, tempers flared when a few soldiers destroyed Red’s saloon.

That incident took place one evening when a young soldier had shot a woman from Beard’s saloon. In response, Beard opened fire on all of the soldiers. The soldiers supposedly retaliated that night by burning his saloon down.

Red Beard rebuilt his saloon, but he had animosity toward the Lowes because they profited from his place being burned to the ground. Things went from bad to worse when after a day of heavy drinking, Red decided to shoot Rowdy Joe right through the window of his saloon. Rowdy Joe returned fire and that gunfight ended with both surviving to tell the tale. The same outcome didn't happen on after their encounter later. 

On Monday, October 27th, Red Beard was again drinking heavily and getting angrier by the moment. At one point, he accused one of his prostitutes, a saloon girl by the name of Jo DeMerritt, of stealing from him. In response, DeMerritt threw a bottle at Red and immediately fled next door to Lowe’s saloon. 

So now, you're saying, but you said that the saloon girl worked for Lowe? And I did, but this is how such stories work out. Some sources say she worked for Red and fled to Rowdy Joe's, while others say that DeMerritt worked for Lowe.

Either way, Red Beard storms into Lowe's saloon and starts shooting at Jo DeMerritt who is also said to be one of Lowe's "girls". Point is that Beard shoot another of Lowe's girls by mistake.

Yes, the drunken Red Beard followed DeMerritt. He then barges into Lowe’s saloon. And in the smoke-filled saloon, Red mistook another prostitute, Annie Franklin, for DeMerritt. So Red fired a shot which struck Annie in the stomach.

When he saw this, Rowdy Joe immediately goes behind the bar and grabs a shotgun. He then exchanges shots with Red. It's said that one of Red Beard’s bullets grazed Rowdy Joe's neck. After that, a stray bullet from Red Beard hits one of Lowe's customers Bill Anderson in the head. Anderson was standing at the bar, and his said to be blinded for life.

After hitting Anderson, Red Beard runs with Rowdy Joe right after him. Now this is where it gets even more interesting, there is on story that says both men grab horses and race out of town in what then becomes a running gun battle.

Yes, both men are mounted and shooting at each other. And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm as surprised as you are that neither man shoots the other's horse.
Soon enough Rowdy Joe catches up with Red Beard. And then near the river bridge, when he comes into range, Rowdy Joe Lowe opens up and unloads both barrels of his shotgun into Red Beard. 

Red Beard was found critically wounded bleeding like a stuck pig from his arm and thigh. He was filled with buckshot. And even though that was the case, Red is said to have clung on to life for the next two weeks. But then finally, because of a loss of blood, he died on November 11th, 1873.

On Thrusday, November 13th, 1873, The Wichita Eagle reported that "E. T. Beard, better known as 'Red,' the proprietor of one of the dance houses across the river, paid the penalty of his misdeeds with his life on Tuesday  morning [November 11th]. It will be remembered that he was shot in a row at his dance house some two weeks since."

The article describes the post-mortem, which was attended by Rowdy Joe, who was charged with shooting Red. The articles stated, "He was formerly from Beardstown, Illinois, which was laid out and named after his father, who was wealthy. He was well educated, had Christian training, and has three children, two daughters and a son, nearly grown, who are now attending school in the east and know nothing of their father’s wild life in the west. Age about 45."

OK, so there is another story to this that says after chasing DeMerritt across the street, Red entered the Lowe Saloon where he accidentally shot and wounded a patron and another girl. That story says that Rowdy Joe grabbed his shotgun from behind the bar, went around to get behind Red Beard and opened up with both barrels. For me, I like the horse chase!

So now, according to one source, after the shooting near the river bridge, Rowdy Joe Lowe rode back to town, remember he's atop a horse, where he turned himself in to the local law. But did he turn himself in?

The reason that I ask is that a few weeks later on Thrusday, December 18th, 1873, The Wichita Eagle reported, "Notice offering $100 reward for the apprehension of one Joseph Lowe, alias 'Rowdy Joe,' a fugitive from justice from Sedgwick County, Kansas. He is about 28 years old, 5'9", heavy set, dark complexion, black hair and heavy black mustache, gruff manners, formerly proprietor of a dance house. Had a scar on right side of neck from a pistol ball."

Now while I have a hard time believing that a newspaper with print a notice of a bounty on someone if that person has already turned himself in, another source says that Rowdy Joe Lowe stood trial a few months later and he was found not guilty. In fact, some reports say that most in Delano, Kansas, considered what Lowe did as having done the town a favor. Yes, really more good than harm. From what I gather, getting rid of Red Beard was seen that way even though the newspaper didn't think so.

And as for Rowdy Joe Lowe and wife, well their saloon is said to have been extremely profitable at first. But things changed after the gunfight with Red Beard.

Of course that's the problem with shooting someone in places like a saloon. Some customers say it doesn't bother them as long as the booze isn't watered down too much, while others say the Hell with that place and go find another more quiet watering hole amongst the many that were available. And friends, unlike the movies where an Old West town only has one saloon, that is not the way it was. Usually boomtowns had a number of them. For example, Tombstone was home to more than 100 saloons within two year of their boom in 1879.

But, because of a number of complaints about cheating and under-handed card deals, word started to go around that the place was only shaking down people. Soon Lowe's saloon began to go down hill quick. The couple decided to cut their loses and moved to Texas.

Some say they rode with the Sam Bass gang. Others say they spent some time is Dodge City, but were eventually told to get out of town. They then supposedly travel to Tombstone, Arizona, where they may have set up a bar and brothel with Big Nose Kate.

That place is said to have had a reputation for ruthlessness. The no rules places had but one rule and that was that "no man should leave with money in his pockets." Some said the price of their drinks varied with how drunk you were, and it's also said that big time gamblers, the high rollers, might be drugged, robbed, and tossed in a gully out back. Because of this, the couple began drifting, gambling and occasionally working in saloons in various towns.

Then on February 11th, 1899, Rowdy Joe Lowe was drunk in the Walrus Saloon in Denver, Colorado. He began insulting police officer E.A. Kimmel. It was very apparent that Lowe was trying to goat Officer Kimmel into a fight.

Because Officer Kimmel had already heard about Lowe's reputation as a killer, even if it was of just one man, he knew better than to take chance when up against a known killer. So without hesitation, Kimmel drew his pistol and shot and killed Rowdy Joe Lowe.

Some say Lowe was unarmed, it's believed that he had a derringer on him. And as for Rowdy Kate? After Joe Lowe was shot dead, she disappeared and was never seen again.

You might find it fascinating that another Wichita newspaper, the short-lived The Wichita City Eagle, ran a story about how Rowdy Joe Lowe was killed in October of 1874. Yes, 25 years earlier than when he really was shot dead. That newspaper reported that Rowdy Joe was attacked by Indians en route to the Black Hills. They said that he was hit by three bullets and died instantly. Imagine that.

Tom Correa