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The Early Years

Flatrock Fred was born in Tombstone, Arizona, on the same stormy night that a powerful cyclone sheared the top clean off Mount Baldy. He was the son of a gun-totin' preacher name of Shay and a Bird Cage Theater trollop called Long-Legged Lucy.

His formative years were spent between a bitter man with a Bible in one hand and a .45 in the other...and a tawdry barmaid hustling drinks and gamblers to the tune of a rinky-tink piano.

From time to time DOC Holliday would come into the theater and deal Faro, while familiar fixtures like Bat Masterson, Johnny Ringo or Curly Bill taunted each other in the orchestra pit near the stage. Wyatt Earp took a shine to Flatrock and taught him how to shoot. By the time he was eight, Fred could make a silver dollar dance at twenty paces.

Historic Tombstone, AZ 1882

And Then...

He was still a young boy when he witnessed the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral from behind a pickle barrel just off Fremont Street. He was only a kid but was old enough to hear the call of his true destiny.

When Flatrock reached fifteen, wanting to learn even more about handling a gun, he visited Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. There, instead of learning anything, he began to compete with some of the cavalry's best marksmen, beating them every time!

At seventeen, he made his way to Fort Smith, Arkansas where Fred became one of the youngest U.S. Deputy Marshals to have ever been commissioned in the Western District. Serving under 'hangin' judge' Isaac C. Parker, he sent several outlaws to Boot Hill. 'Though he used his guns only as a last resort, he was known to say that a lawman's best insurance was "Throwin' a lot o' lead fast and straight".

Bird Cage Wild West Theater
Historic Oaklahoma Land Rush

A Change Of Heart

By the time he was twenty-nine, Flatrock had married a woman name of Abigale Church and joined the Oklahoma Land Rush. They settled southwest of Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he served as sheriff. It wasn't long before, his skills with a gun earned him a reputation as a lethal gunfighter and evil doers rarely challenged him.

His bride gave him a crucifix for their first anniversary, which she insisted he wear around his neck for protection. On one occasion it actually saved his life, when it deflected a bullet the lawman would have taken in his chest. Fred later said, "I'd rather have the prayers of a good woman in a gunfight than half a dozen hot guns...she's talkin' to headquarters". Before the end of their second winter, Abigale died of pneumonia; he buried his heart and the cross at the head of her grave.

After that, Flatrock hung up his badge but never his guns. He began drifting and one stormy night crossed trails with The Sundance Kid in a West Texas saloon. Riding the wave of a hot hand at cards and a few Tequilas over the line,The Kid began to extol the virtues of his early days in Hackensack, New Jersey. A few months later, when his skies finally cleared, Fred found himself drawn to the Garden State. At last, he settled down...with a .45 on each hip, fifteen notches on his gun belt and a tawdry tart he liked to call "Lucy". She never knew why.

Arizona Territory in American West
Western Characters Shooting It Out
Lever Action Rifle