I visited some central Texas areas, not too long ago, and go to see a lot of my favorite state on the long drive. Believe it or not, the Texas countryside is largely unmolested by modernity and its beauty rivals that of any place I’ve been. (I thought that the Italian countryside that I saw last year was slightly more beautiful, but while driving through Texas I decided that I had been wrong.) On the way back home we got to check out some infamous Texas lore – the resting place of Billy the Kid. (Maybe.)
In town’s like Hico (which are near the Dr Pepper bottling plant) they have ‘Dublin Dr Pepper’ on tap. On. Tap. This was at Dairy Queen. I think the town should adopt the motto, “Visit Hico, Tx. Come for Billy the Kid – stay for the Dr Pepper!” Of course, some of you are scratching your head and wondering what a Dublin Dr Pepper is. I’m sorry to tell you that you’re missing out. It’s made with cane sugar, but there’s something else special about their mix that I can’t figure out. Other places have used cane sugar in recent years to make my favorite soda, but the results are not the same.
This sign was in the bathroom of a Cracker Barrel. It made me laugh.
William Henry Roberts claimed that he was Billy the Kid, and he had been living under a false name in Hico (sometimes calling himself “Brushy Bill) ever since faking his death. No one is sure if he was telling the truth, but he knew a lot of details about the life of Billy the Kid that were not published and not easily accessed. His grave is well kept by the city and looks very new.
And, for some reason, people put pennies on his tombstone. I don’t know why. And someone puts flowers out, too. Perhaps it’s like the Poe Toaster
, but since it’s a small town no one ever sees him. I’m sure if he every rises from the grave (zombie Billy the Kid…now that’s a good idea) he’ll use the pennies to by a Dublin Dr Pepper and will say, “If someone had invented this drink in my day I wouldn’t have killed so many people.” Alas.
According to Wikipedia, this is the real grave of Billy the Kid (it’s located in New Mexico). More than one source claims he faked his death, so we’re going to call it the “official” grave so that we can keep things interesting. And what does Wikipedia know, anyway?
Equally amusing was this nearby tombstone which was obviously set up by a religious fanatic who is certain that their father has gone to Hell. (Or, it’s the grave of the guy who first started saying, “dadburnit.” My Texas History contacts haven’t returned my calls.)