Looking for Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp's GraveI went looking for the grave of Wyatt Earp. Turns out, he’s buried around the corner from the Volkswagen dealership just south of San Francisco — an unexpected place for a legend to end up. Sure, plenty of California luminaries are there keeping him company. Levi Strauss, Joe DiMaggio, William Randolph Hearst. But I doubt any of them suspected they’d be rubbing elbows one day with Target, gym supply stores, and shady taco joints.

I wonder what Earp would think if he saw this place now. The freeways and high rises are new, but he might still recognize the mountains and the bay. How would he feel? How did we do with the world he left behind? Maybe he’d get a kick out of where he ended up. Earp always courted the unexpected. He was a myth maker. Most people know him as a lawman, but he was also a gambler, a pimp, a boxing referee, a miner, and a screenwriter. Despite his role in the famous OK Corral shootout, he never took a bullet in his life, and he was happily married for over forty years.

Life is whatever story you make of it.

People leave shot glasses at his gravesite. People like me, I suppose. Dreamers. We stand around his grave and raise a toast to the strange business of life and the passing of time.