April 1, 2009

Gunfighters battle the law in Tombstone

Tombstone, Ariz., the town made famous by Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, is once again dealing with battling gunfighters -- re-enactors.

Last year, a new mayor denied Stephen Keith and his Huckleberry Players a permit for street performances, the Los Angeles Times reports. The players' practice of walking the streets in costume to get tourists to their show was considered a street performance.

In January, Larry Talvy, a National Guard veteran of Iraq appointed marshal by Mayor Dusty Escapule, confronted four of the Huckleberry Players armed with a ticket book, not a six-gun. The permitless players could be sentenced to up to two years in jail and fined $600 if convicted.

Opinions among the residents of Tombstone are mixed. Some business owners complained that they drew tourists away from their shops while others say that they kept tourists in town later in the day.

Some in Tombstone blame the row on a curse put on the town by an Indian who said that white men would never live there in peace.

It looks like the curse is still in effect, Escapule said.