Arizona Bill – Real Cowboy
Arizona Bill – Real Cowboy

Arizona Bill – Real Cowboy

Bill is a rancher and loves sharing the lore and secrets of the wild-west town of Tombstone, Arizona with travelers. He is one of the last real cowboys, taming an unforgiving frontier. But make no mistake, Bill is all about creating an Only Us world. Working together and showing kindness to others is a way of life for him.

“You ain’t ever going to know who’s sticking around in your life and who’ll help you up when you’re knocked down. So show some kindness and smile and be there for each other. Not just for yourself.”

It was my own visit to the dusty town of Tombstone, while walking down their dirt covered main street, that I first encountered this rugged, old man leaning against an even older wood building. While others would mind their own business and carry on, my curiosity got the best of me. 

I veered off in his direction and as I approached he met me with a smile. 

“I love your cowboy hat!” I said to him, “I was wondering if I could take a photo of you?” 

His rough voice replied, and surprised me, with an enthusiastic, “Of course!” 

Formally interviewing him weeks later as part of the Only Us Initiative, Bill shared with me what life was like “back in the day” and how he thinks we have lost our sense of responsibility in this world. What he expressed was important about that “responsibility” is that it was always about helping the whole community and never being self-centered. This was an important lesson for him growing up and why his everyday life is all about giving to others. 

“Everybody had responsibility. It was helping one another. That’s all there was to it. You didn’t expect no pay for it. You got your room, you got your clothes, you got your food…” 

This made me think of my own comfortable childhood and my constant war with having to do “chores”. I shared my perspectives and experiences about what my generation often finds “hard” and we had a good laugh and concluded that times really do change, and maybe not for the better.  

Bill shared how no one has ever really intimidated him. He sees everyone as a “brother” or “sister”. The kindness he would show to his loved ones and even complete strangers almost always came back to help him through his own dark times. 

“You ain’t ever going to know who’s sticking around in your life and who’ll help you up when you’re knocked down. So show some kindness and smile and be there for each other. Not just yourself,” Bill said. He has approached his whole life this way and never expects his kindness to be returned. 

When Bill and his family moved from Texas to the town of Tombstone, he admitted there were challenges.

“As excited as we were to live here, we really had no idea how to get started.” That’s when the locals of the town welcomed him and his family with open arms, solidifying Bill and his family into the community. 

Bill continues this welcoming culture through meeting strangers from all walks of life – whether they are a tourist or just passing by – and showing them around town.

 “This world is pretty big yet Tombstone is pretty small. It’s nice to hear how the outside world is doing from people sometimes and not just from all these smart devices.” 

Before our conversation ended, I asked Bill if he had any life advice for me or anyone growing up. “Set aside some time for each other instead of everything being all about the bills… Go sit on the porch with your loved ones, have a drink and enjoy each other.”

Arizona Bill is the real deal when it comes to cowboys. But more importantly, he’s the real deal when it comes to being someone that recognizes and lives where there is no them, there’s only us. So next time you find yourself near Tombstone, ask a stranger to point you towards Arizona Bill or checkout his website and spend the afternoon hearing some fascinating stories and experiences.