"New York is the biggest boobtown there is.
They will buy any damned thing here."
So said one of the American West’s most adventurous and diverse figures.
The metal of writers is hone from every possible segment of the human experience. In his later years writing as sports editor and columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson
reflected on his life experience as a Buffalo Hunter, Scout for the US Army, avid Fisherman, Gambler, Frontier Lawman and US Marshal. (Then again reading this newspaper was part of what was known as the “whore's breakfast”, a cigarette and the Morning Telegraph)
The wellworn cliche of getting to a man's heart through his stomach never quite rung true for me. My contention has always been it was just a bit farther south...and have been known to quote Bat Masterson upon occasion:
"If you want to hit a man in the chest, aim for his groin."
Kinda ironic considering he needed a cane after he was shot in the pelvis (ouch) during a 1876 gunfight over a girl. (in case you were wondering, the other man died.)
Born on 27 November 1853 (by some accounts the 26th) this legend of the American West was born as an Irish Canadian, his father Thomas was from Canada and his mother, Catherine (McGurk) from Ireland. The farming family settled in Kansas via Quebec, New York and Illinois.
Most of you know Bat was Deputy to Sheriff Wyatt Earp in the late 1870’s in Kansas. He fought the Comanche in Texas, fought against the Rio Grande Railway in Colorado, and was documented participating in numerous gunfights in Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas. In the early 1900’s President Teddy Roosevelt (my alltime fave) appointed his friend Bat, as Deputy United States Marshal for the southern district of New York.
His life was amusingly depicted by Gene Barry in the television series “Bat Masterson” in the late 50’s and early 60’s. (I’ve never seen this show….might be one to look into)
At his desk at the Morning Telegraph, Bat Masterson died on October 25, 1921. His final words of his final column giving his final opinion were found in his typewriter.
"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I can't see it that way."
His adventurous spirit seems to have passed on to his Great Grandson Robert Ballard, the marine scientist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx. His tombstone reads:
"Loved by Everyone”
Not a bad way to be remembered.
You can read much more about Bat Masterson on Wikipedia and the Kansas State Library websites. Photos and info came from those two websites…and from imdb.com.
Morgen motivates his minions of Manic Monday at It's a Blog Eat Blog World...and the incomparable creativity of Janna provides a whole bevy of banners for Manic Monday...and anything your little heart may desire. Don't miss Mo's blog talk radio show this wednesday at 4pm pacific time...where you can share your ghostly encounters....special guest Linda...the supermom from Are We There Yet?