When out-of-towners came to visit me in DFW, I’d often take them to Fort Worth’s Stockyards. It’s what you might imagine when you think of Texas: a twice-daily cattle drive, saloons, the world’s largest honky-tonk, plenty of cowboy boots, and no shortage of sustenance for red-meat fans at spots like Lonesome Dove Bistro and H3 Ranch. It also happens to be the first place I ever rode a mechanical bull. (Not so easy!)
And while the Stockyards is plenty touristy, it still keeps in touch with its roots. For instance, on Feb. 8 of every year, a gunfight occurs in front of the White Elephant Saloon. Fortunately, the guns aren’t loaded, but that wasn’t the case back in 1887, when saloon owner Luke Short took out former city marshal Jim Courtright in what’s known as the city’s last great shootout. See it re-enacted next week in a show that blends facts and entertainment to create an engaging look at what Fort Worth used to be.
Get more details in this story I wrote for Texas Journey magazine.