Living Color!


Depending on how old (or young!) you are, you’ll either remember this or not: “Now…in living color….”  Ah, I knew you’d remember that!

Back in the day when color televisions first started coming out, there were still quite a few TV shows that were broadcast in black and white.  When those shows started being filmed in color, they would tout this new achievement by saying, “Now…in living color” or “Brought to you in living color!”  It was pretty heady stuff.  I recall when we got our first color TV.  It was exciting!

I am not a fan of black and white movies or TV shows.  I am not, as a general rule (though it depends on the subject matter) not a fan of black and white photography.  I love color…LOTS of color, and the brighter the better (usually).

That’s why these flowers struck me.  I love the reds and the contrast between the softness of the white and the blaring, almost garish red.   I am so glad that we have been given the gift of color vision.  I am sorry for those who are color blind, but also very grateful that each day when I open my eyes, I can think, “This day is brought to you in living color!”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1882, John Ringo, the famous gun-fighter, was found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon, Arizona.

Romanticized in both life and death, John Ringo was supposedly a Shakespeare-quoting gentleman whose wit was as quick as his gun. Some believed he was college educated, and his sense of honor and courage was sometimes compared to that of a British lord. In truth, Ringo was not a formally educated man, and he came from a struggling working-class Indiana family that gave him few advantages. Yet, he does appear to have been better read than most of his associates, and he clearly cultivated an image as a refined gentleman.

By the time he was 12, Ringo was already a crack shot with either a pistol or rifle. He left home when he was 19, eventually ending up in Texas, where in 1875 he became involved in a local feud known as the “Hoodoo War.” He killed at least two men, but seems to have either escaped prosecution, or when arrested, escaped his jail cell. By 1878, he was described as “one of the most desperate men in the frontier counties” of Texas, and he decided it was time to leave the state.

In 1879, Ringo resurfaced in southeastern Arizona, where he joined the motley ranks of outlaws and gunslingers hanging around the booming mining town of Tombstone. Nicknamed “Dutch,” Ringo had a reputation for being a reserved loner who was dangerous with a gun. He haunted the saloons of Tombstone and was probably an alcoholic. Not long after he arrived, Ringo shot a man dead for refusing to join him in a drink. Somehow, he again managed to avoid imprisonment by temporarily leaving town. He was not involved in the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881, but he did later challenge Doc Holliday (one of the survivors of the O.K. Corral fight) to a shootout. Holliday declined and citizens disarmed both men.

The manner of Ringo’s demise remains something of a mystery. He seems to have become despondent in 1882, perhaps because his family had treated him coldly when he had earlier visited them in San Jose. Witnesses reported that he began drinking even more heavily than usual. On this day in 1882, he was found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon outside of Tombstone. It looked as if Ringo had shot himself in the head and the official ruling was that he had committed suicide. Some believed, however, that he had been murdered either by his drinking friend Frank “Buckskin” Leslie or a young gambler named “Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce.” To complicate matters further, Wyatt Earp later claimed that he had killed Ringo. The truth remains obscure to this day. (In the movie, Tombstone, it was Doc Holiday who met John Ringo in a grove of trees and shot him dead in a quick-draw contest.)


TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The bicycle was introduced into China around 1891 by two American travelers named Allen and Sachtleben. The bicycle is now the primary transportation for millions of Chinese. The last Qing emperor (Puyi) rode a bicycle around the Forbidden City in Beijing. China is currently the leading bicycle manufacturer in the world.


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