In case you haven’t heard – famed lawman Wyatt Earp has died. In fact, he died on this day in 1929 at the age of 81. His reputation as a fearless advocate of frontier justice in the Wild West was fictionalized soon after his death, and facts are hard to track down. It’s known, however, that from 1878 to 1879, Earp served as assistant marshal of Dodge City, Kansas.
Earp then left Dodge, eventually moving to Tombstone, Arizona, where he worked as a saloon guard and did a lot of gambling. The legendary 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral, the product of a feud between Wyatt, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, their friend Doc Holliday, and five men known as the Clanton Gang, left Billy Clanton and two of his cohorts dead.
Morgan Earp was fatally shot in 1882, and Wyatt killed at least two of the suspects. Facing accusations of murder, Wyatt Earp fled west. In California, he supported himself with police work, gambling, mining, and real estate deals.
There was no bigger legend of the Wild West than Wyatt Earp. I love his famous quote – “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”
That’s a good lesson on life. In our microwaved culture, with drive-thru restaurants, fast cars, and instant coffee, we live life fast – perhaps too fast. But we can’t seek truth that way. We better get it right.
Wyatt Earp was right. Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.