The Legend of Sheriff Reno Hamilton
They first met in the gold mining town of Tucumcari, New Mexico in 1890. They were drawn there by rumors of gold, stayed because of the kindness of the women of the town, lingered too long in spite of the prevalence of gun play and then left under a curse that had something to do with a banjo, a gypsy woman and a bar tab.
In the late evenings during their brief stay in the bustling town they would gather around campfires, or occasionally around the hearth of a man with the bad judgment to leave his wife unattended, and play haunting and lively music that caused some to weep bitterly, others to stare into the middle distance and most to laugh and dance and sing along.
Cursed by the gypsy woman to be “scattered across the earth like leaves before a hurricane” the men of Sheriff Reno Hamilton walked the planet … each alone in his own adventures … but still connected by the timeless, ancient, healing music they played together during their happiest times in the high desert. They wandered separately for decades.
Cursed with immortality they sought love and light in the known world while they scratched out a living however they could. One became a builder of intricate wooden structures while another plied his craft as an expert surveyor. Still another trained trick ponies for carnival impresarios. Two of the men, brothers as fate would have it (making their separation doubly painful), found work as itinerate musicians in traveling minstrel shows with their gifts buried beneath hackneyed arrangements and presented to drunkards and hooligans.
One by one, their wanderings brought them to Nashville where, on Saint Crispin’s Day in the Year of Our Lord 2014, they each attained perfect consciousness and were brought together by sprites and demons into the company of a powerful sorcerer. The mystic awaited them in a lightning-scorched and abandoned church where he asked them to kneel and then with incantations, invocations, supplications, entreaties and petitions broke the spell and reunited the band. The joy of their reunion was tempered when they realized that the sorcerer, spent from his efforts to break the spell, now lay dying before them. As he passed he challenged the men to meld their memories and create music “to heal our tired and broken land.”
And thus it came to pass that Sheriff Reno Hamilton lives yet again in another gold dusted town. Making their music into the late hours and enjoying each other’s company once again while being careful to steer clear of gypsies and bar tabs.