Last night we indulged in our yearly ritual of paying homage to the memory of the “Bad Man” Soapy Smith. Formally named Jefferson Randolph Smith II, Soapy was famous for as a confidence man specializing in just about every known form of bunco (and he made up some new ones too). Working his way through the West, Soapy built up one of the first true crime syndicates, first in Denver and later in Skagway.
Unfortunately for Soapy, he met his demise at the ripe age of 38when on July 8, 1898 when he was shot and killed in a confrontation with Frank Reid and a mob of vigilantes over allegations of having cheated John Douglas Stewart out of a sum of money.
Held yearly at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, the event commemorates Soapy’s passing and gives the rest of us a chance to raise a glass and toast what was, no doubt, one of the American West’s most colorful characters (although if you were one of his victims, you might think differently). 🙂
Here are some pictures of us:
We were not able to stay for long but what time we spent there was nice and we’re looking forward to next year already! 🙂
For information on the life and times of Soapy Smith, I high recommend Soapy Smith’s Soap Box.