“Forgotten Hollywood”- Billy the Croquet Kid…

Posted on October 18, 2015 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Henry McCarty, known in Wild West lore as Billy the Kid, lived a brief and violent life, before his death in a gunfight aged 21. He lived with a gun in his hand – and it seems, a croquet mallet. An original Billy the Kid photo would be the holy grail of Western Americana.

billy the kid


   In a surprising historical moment, a second photo of McCarty ever to be authenticated shows him and his posse, The Regulators, playing croquet in New Mexico in 1878. The faded image was among a pile of photos inside a cardboard box at a junk shop in Fresno, California, unearthed by a collector in 2010. Randy Guijarro paid $2 (for the image, which is now estimated to be worth millions of dollars). The only other confirmed photo of Billy the Kid, from 1880, sold for $2.3m in 2011.

   The photo was authenticated by a San Francisco-based Americana company, Kagin’s, which identified Billy the Kid along with several members of his gang, as well as friends and family. It was taken after a wedding in the Summer of 1878, just a month after they  took part in the brutal Lincoln County war. Kagin spent a year investigating the photo, and even found the location where it was taken in Chaves County, New Mexico. There they unearthed the remains of the building in the photo. A National Geographic Channel documentary on the find is scheduled for broadcast this week.

   Liz Larsson, from the UK’s Croquet Association, said the series of photos from the scene left little doubt what game was being played. The first croquet club in England was founded in 1865, the same year the game was immortalized in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Thom Ross, a United States artist specialising in historic scenes, has previously painted Native Americans and cowboys playing croquet. All types of Americans played, including famous folks as General George Custer.

   I never imagined that I would be blogging about Billy the Kid, General Custer, and croquet in the same story.  And, so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 at 12:24 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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