His legacy is famed. Yes, I’m talking about the cowboy of the old wild west. The one who has been the topic of many movies. What in the world can we possibly learn from the notorious Billy the Kid? Here’s what I found out.
My thoughts were actually drawn to him on a recent visit to Ruidoso, NM where we enjoyed some travels on the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway. As we drove out of Lincoln, NM we passed an old cemetery and my husband wanted to pull in to see if we could spot some old graves. We roamed around the cemetery, dodging huge Red Ant beds, tall weeds and watching for snakes. But, it was on our way out that we looked over at a gravestone. Here’s what it read:
“Yginio Salazar, Born Feb 14, 1863 , Died Jan 7 1936, Pal of Billy The Kid”.
I immediately thought to myself what person would want that epitaph on their gravestone? Who would want themselves to be remembered as a “pal” to a thief and “western badman?”
It was truly puzzling to me. I knew I was going to have to research this a bit more, and so I did.
I found a wonderful website that had excerpts of several folks that were interviewed after Billy The Kid’s death.
Billy the Kid’s Legacy
A few words written about him were:
“He would scarcely have his dishes washed, until he would be sprawled out somewhere reading a book”
“I never enjoyed better company…was humorous … naturally full of fun and jollity. Though he was serious in emergencies, his humor was often apparent even in such situations. Billy stood with us to the end, brave and reliable, one of the best soldiers we had”
“Billy was a brave, resourceful and honest boy.. would have been a successful man under other circumstances. I loved the youngster in the old days, and can say now, after the passing fifty years, that I still love his memory..”
The dialogue goes on for quite a while..
I was touched by all these words of remembrances. Most of the folks seemed to truly care for The Kid.
What I encourage you to do is take this story and remember this lesson –
Live your life in such a way. Be such a person, that when someone else DIES, they would want to have inscribed on THEIR gravestone –
“Pal of (insert your name here)”
Thought provoking, isn’t it?
If you would like to read more about Billy’s legacy it’s found at – http://www.aboutbillythekid.com/Eulogy.htm It was an eyeopening read for me!
I’ve heard of a poem where the final point is about Birth and Death. There is a dash between your day of birth, and the date of death on your tombstone. It is how you live your dash that is the most important thing.
It appears, that even with Billy’s faults, he lived his dash to the fullest – he made friends – he did good – he did bad – he made enemies…
But he lived life.
So, to you, I say GO live LIFE. LIVE the moments between birth and death in such a way that someone would want to put YOUR name as their PAL on their gravestone!