March 29, 2011

Words of experience


Got an email from Harold Stewart, an experienced descendant of another outlaw warning me not to expect too much from Hollywood when it comes to Soapy. Harold writes,

Jeff, it’s great that your grandfather will be a character in a new movie. However, you better prepare yourself for a complete fabrication, or at least twisting, of what you know about him. I was tickled to learn that my great grandfather, Doc Scurlock, would finally be portrayed as a major character, which he indeed was, in the story of the Lincoln County War. Then, when I saw Young Guns, with Keifer Sutherland as Doc, I found they played my great grandmother, Antonia Miguela Herrera, as a Chinese love slave. I have no idea where they could have come up with such a screwed up idea, since she and Doc were married and had two kids at the time of the movie’s setting. The Oriental angle came totally out of someone’s imagination. I had some female cousins who were ready to go to war with Hollywood, literary license be damned!

Good luck.
Harold Stewart

I surely appreciated hearing from Harold Stewart and wrote back the following.

Hello, Harold.

Nice to meet a fellow descendant of a bad man. Like you no doubt have, I have met many descendants of other bad men over the decades. Seems like we share a common bond.

Thank you for the warnings. I remember seeing Young Guns and although I knew very little of Billy the Kid and the gang, I knew not to trust the film for historical facts. I and my family are well aware of Hollywood's history of messing with history. The first film with Soapy in it was in 1913. Clark Gable played him in 1941 and Rod Stieger in 1979. None of the films were even close. My hope/goal is not for accuracy, but rather to propel Soapy's name upwards in the ranks of known old west characters. People that seek the truth about the man can read my book.
Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith


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