On this day, 133 years ago, Billy the Kid was supposedly shot-and killed-by Sheriff Pat F. Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Whether or not this is true, no one knows. Not for sure, anyway. But no matter if he was murdered that night or not, this is the date that Billy the Kid officially disappeared. And either way, he was twenty-one years old that day. I am twenty-one years old now, and I’d like nothing more than to spend today touring Fort Sumner, reliving Billy’s possible last hours of life. Of course, that’s a long ways away from where I live and I don’t have any free time to make the trip, so I’ll be staying home. But I’ve decided that in honor of Billy’s memory, I’m finally going to pick up a copy of my own book, Me and Billy the Kid, and read it for the first time for sheer enjoyment.
My fascination with Billy the Kid started years ago, and to this day I hold strong to my belief that he was a good guy, not the villain many try to paint him as. I strongly believe that Garrett did not kill Billy, but staged his death and let him escape to live a long and peaceful life elsewhere. If I could be allowed to spend one day with anyone who had ever lived, I’d spend the day with Billy. Even if it was just for a moment, I’d love to be able to see his blue eyes, hear his voice, and watch him smile. I want to meet the man who has become a legend to me, the greatest man in the Old West and all of cowboy lore. William H. Bonney.
Here’s to you, Billy. Cheers.