March 1, 2002 - Coyote Creek

He's know only as Gen. Graveyard Fayard. Here everybody has an alias, and that's the only moniker you're allowed to use.

Graveyard put down his pistol long enough to explain why he likes participating in the shootouts at Coyote Creek. "It's reliving a childhood dream, I guess. I always loved cowboys just like all of us do. It's a chance to come out and dress up like the late 19th Century and have a good time with everybody."

You won't fine Coyote Creek on any map. It's a made up town where cowboys wear authentic clothes, pack real iron and test their aim and skill against the clock - cowgirls, too, like "Legs Brazos" of Mineral Wells, Texas. She tells me, "You get out here and have a fellowship with all the rest of the cowboys and cowgirls. That's the nice part about it."

But that's not something you expect a pretty girl to be involved in. "There's lots of us girls out there, lots of us female shooters." Graveyard explains what it's all about. "Simulated gunfights, you know -- they'll tell you you're going up against the Earp brothers or the Clanton gang or something like that or fighting off wild Indians."

The shootouts go on through Sunday, March 3, at Coyote Creek. It's on LA 1077, two miles north of I-12. That's west of Covington and north of Madisonville.