OK Corral

O.K. Corral

I was a Border Patrol Agent (IPI) in Buffalo Sector in 1970 and I was detailed to Douglas, Arizona for 60 days to work on a detail that I believe was entitled "Operation Hold the Line" This was a Nixon era strategy intended to restrict entries from Mexico and only succeeded in pissing off the Mexicans and the American businessmen who depended on free movement at the border for their businesses. Douglas was a real backwater where the ONLY place to stay was the 4 story Gadsden Hotel, which gained notoriety in the early 1900s as a hangout named after the Gadsden Purchase. Not much had changed at the hotel in the intervening years as, for example, air conditioning was still a rumor. I had food poisoning twice in 60 daysand ended up eating most of my my meals in Agua Prieta, Mexico

During the detail I was assigned to 4-12 traffic check just south of Tombstone, Arizona, home of the famed "OK Corral" Our checkpoint was just a spot on Highway 80 where 2 cars could pull off the road.  There was also a big double billboard at that spot that cast a little light on our point and stop signs. We were getting relieved one night by a regular Douglas P.I. and his detail partner. This Douglas P.I. had the reputation of occasionally carrying a Thompson sub machine gun and this night when he got out of his car he brought that Thompson with him and opened up on the billboard there.  My partner was also a Douglas regular who had the nickname "Shaky" Shaky was halfway under the car when the shooting stopped and he jumped in the car and said "Let's go" No goodby to our relief or anything. The billboards looked like swiss cheese the next day and the OK Corral had nothing on us.This section under construction.