October 31, 2006 Bonus Blog
Here's our crew decked out in Halloween gear. Left to right: Sue Lambert (La Seniorita), Carole Glenn (Gypsy Queen), Stephen Hawking, er, BBB (Beach Bum), Bethany Braley (Geisha Girl), Meghan Saar (Peasant Girl), Abby Pearson (Fortune Teller Girl).
"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions [in photos]."
Bob Boze 11:36 AM
October 31, 2006
Halloween in the office. I came dressed as a Mexican beach bum. Grabbed a pair of parachute pants out of my studio morgue (I keep odd clothing for photo reference), a Corona straw hat, a Salsa Challenge T-shirt (complete with salsa stains), harachi sandals and white socks and sunglasses. I know, pretty weak, but it was a last minute deal.
Staff photo to come.
Competing With Myself
Sometimes I compete with myself—and lose. We put together a comp cover for our upcoming Resource Book, which goes to press this Thursday. I hated the cover art and intended to do a better version for the final. Yesterday was my first chance at attacking it, and I spent about two hours at lunch whipping out a "better" version. There is only one problem: everyone in the office, likes the first one better! The clincher: Robert Ray says the new one looks like R.G. So I lost, competing with myself. Here's the two images:
"My hated figure is the Western hero who rides along looking like a transvestite, strumming his guitar, nasally singing a synthetic ballad, and looking for all the world like a fugative from a cheap circus."
—John Meston, the head writer for the original radio series Gunsmoke
Bob Boze 9:34 AM
October 30, 2006 Bonus Blog
Finally got the photos to load. Here they are. First up, I took a photo of the opening crowd at the Bella Union, and that's Jeff Morey, at right, talking about Tombstone and the O.K. Corral:
Next up is the wild scene in front of the O.K. Corral on Allen Street, and a bullwhip artist cracking his wares to and fro:
Helping me at the True West table were Joel Klasky (left) and an unidentified saloon woman, and that's Trish Brink (left) and Samanth Somers, who helped move books and sell posters and collect money. We had it down to a science.
Artist Thom Ross (below, right) and I displayed our artwork in the foyer of the Bella Union. That's Rusty York with the great Sugarloaf sombrero at left, and that's gunhandler Joey Dillon doing his patented moves to a standing room only crowd:
And finally, that's MC Timothy Fattig, at left, standing, on one of our sessions with Paul Cool seated at right:
"When the legend becomes fact, nit pick the legend."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 10:06 AM
October 30, 2006
Back in office. Trying to catch up with twin deadlines. We are going out the door with a massive 176 page source book (which will go to subscribers free) on Thursday, then the January issue goes out the following week. All things considered, we seem to be in good shape.
Having trouble posting the Tombstone photos. Will try later.
"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions."
Bob Boze 8:43 AM
October 29, 2006
Kathy and I spent the whole day going over a new budget. We call it the Bisbee Miracle Budget, after the manner in which it came to us (at 1:30 in the morning I said, “Are you asleep?” and she said, “Nope,” and we got up and went over our sorry financials and made a vow to clean up our act).
Meanwhile, here’s a few comments from the Email bag:
“What the hell is a ‘performance’ hat? Do you wear it in the bedroom, and does it help?”
Yes it does. Especially when I’m working the missionary financial angles.
“I told you awhile back that I wouldn't pester you anymore but I lied. My cousin, 'Bullshit Jim' from Chandler sent me a newspaper article about True West which includes a picture of you and the Brinks. I was quite pleased to find out that the magazine is doing so well. I got out my magnifying glass to check out Mrs. Brink (My eyesight isn't what it used to be) and she sure is a fine looking lady. I didn't bother with you nor Mr. Brink. I did notice however, that someone had cut off the lower part of your necktie. My wife and I were planning on going to Michael Hickey's Book Expo this past week but her stones started rolling again so we had to cancel. Major disappointment. It sounds like you did quite well selling books.”
—Daniel J. Patterson, Arroyo Seco, CA
Yes we did and yes, Trish Brink is a fine looking lady. And she’s not a bad publisher either.
“We need pictures for those of us who couldn't make it to Tombstone. please.”
Photos coming tomorrow, including Mrs. Brink.
“My copy of True West arrived yesterday and I love the Classic Gunfight, especially your artwork and map. It's a great one.”
—Tom Bicknell, our historic consultant on the Ben Thompson gunfight
“PS. Maybe in a year or two we could do another Ben or Billy Thompson gunfight. I'm thinking maybe Ben's Christmas night Capital Theatre shootout.: after he survived that one a lot of people in Texas thought he was living a ‘charmed life.’”
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.”
—Esther de Waal
Bob Boze 8:16 PM
October 28, 2006
Just got in from down on the border (8 p.m.). Kathy and I checked out of the Rose Canyon Suites in Bisbee, at noon, drove down to Tintown and had a great Mexican food lunch at Gaviota's (The Sea Gull), a great little dive that Kim from Va-Voom turned us onto in 2004. We were the only people in the place and it was peaceful and delightful. Had a bowl of menudo soup and two carne asado tacos. Kathy had the mole chicken burro. Just a ten all the way around. Ordered a dozen flour tortillas to go. Bill came to $17! Left $25. Man was it worth it. For the most part, the food on this trip was excellent:
• El Dorado, South Fourth Avenue, Tucson (Tampiquenia), 8.7
• Cafe Roka, Bisbee (roasted duck), 9.5
• Bisbee Grill, Bisbee (tuna steak), 7.2
• Gaviota's, Tintown (menudo and carne asado tacos), 10
On the negative side, I was invited to join Sherry and Larry Monihan, Thom Ross, Rusty York and The Top Secret Writer for lunch at a new place in Tombstone called the Depot. I was signing books in front of the O.K. Corral and told them I would join them as soon as I could. About twenty minutes later, I walked briskly up Allen the ten blocks to the Depot, got inside, found out it was a buffet sponsored by Michael Hickey. Everybody was gone, including my lunch party. Grabbed a buffet slice of cheese crisp and walked the ten blocks back to town. Found out the above mentioned Bastards had decided to eat somewhere else and never bothered to tell me.
• The Depot Buffet, Tombstone (slice of cheese crisp), 2.35
From Tintown, Kathy and I drove down to Naco and walked across the border and got into a running firefight with narco-traficantes in a black Excursion with tinted windows. I finally kicked in the driver's side window with my new boots (from Johnny Weinkauf, $650), and pulled this rangy son of a bitch out on the tattered pavement and yelled in his face, "Habla Ingles Chinga-Dinero?!"
No wait, that was yesterday in Tombstone when I met Ben Traywick at Fourth and Allen, and wished him well.
Speaking of making peace with mortal enemies, one of my most vociferous critics on the web, walked up to me in front of the O.K. Corral and said he was tired of feuding and wanted to call it off. I told him I never considered it a feud and if it was, it was a one-way feud. What a town.
I posed for so many photos with fans I felt like Roy Rogers (or at the very least like Gabby Hayes at a homeless convention). One fan I met from California, said he finally brought his wife and his six-year-old son over to Tombstone several years ago. His son had been studying my Wyatt Earp book and when they got into the corral, the son looked around and said, "This is so wrong." We laughed and laughed. That is so priceless. Another Maniac in the making.
Actually, Bob Love has really gone out of his way to make the O.K. gunfight site more accurate in the last two years, but in the old days it was pretty funky to say the least (and actually that was part of the charm).
I'll post some of my photos here tomorrow.
"If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it just about every time."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 8:38 PM
October 27, 2006
Another stellar day in Tombstone. I gave the opening remarks at the Bella Union, then walked over to the O.K. Corral to meet Sam and Trish for another go at selling books, posters and T-shirts. We sold about 60 Classic Gunfights, by my count. Signed many, many posters, both ours and the official 125th poster, plus posed for pictures with a whole bunch of people who see me on the Westerns Channel. I was rather shocked at just how much coverage those True West Moments have given us. Also, people really love the magazine and went on and on about how they weren't sure when we first took it over, but that they just love it now. Very encouraging to say the least.
The crowds were quite large, certainly in the thousands. I imagine Saturday will be even bigger. Bob Love, the owner of the O.K. Corral, told me there were some 450 in the corral yesterday to see the 125th Anniversary reenactment. That would make it about four times bigger than 1981.
At two p.m., master gun handler, Joey Dillon came into the Bella Union and, to a standing room only crowd, knocked everybody out. Really dazzling. Marty Cove, the actor, even came down to see Joey take apart the cup-spinning scene from Tombstone. There must have been a dozen kids, all wide-eyed and excited to see Joey do his magic.
Michael Beihn (sp?) the actor who played Johnny Ringo in Tombstone, was in town and it would have been wonderful if we could have gotten him to come in and do his gun tricks from the movie with Joey playing opposite him. I couldn't get it done. Tried, but there were too many people and I couldn't find Sir John.
Loaded up my paintings at 3:30 and headed for Bisbee. Met Russ and Wendy Shaw for a late lunch at the Bisbee Grill. I had the homemade clam chowder and a Corona ($65.57, Kathy bought). Kathy and I walked up to Optimo Hatworks, where I left my "performance" hat to get a deeper dent in the front brim. Grant and I laughed about all things headgear. He's going to do a documentary on Panam Hats and is going to Ecuador to film in November.
Meeting the Top Secret Writer for dinner at Cafe Roka in about an hour. Very cool here in Bisbee. I think it was in the forties last night at about nine and with the wind it was uncomfortable to a flatlander like me.
"He that lives in hope danceth without music."
Bob Boze 5:38 PM
October 26, 2006
Well, wish I had a dime for every time I wrote this date, today. Trish Brink and Samantha Somers drove down from Cave Creek to help me sell my Classic Gunfight book in front of the O.K.Corral today and we sold a ton of books, and of course I signed the books with my name, the date, and the fact that it was signed at the O.K. Corral. Tombstone was mobbed with people, probably four times as many people as when I attended in 1981.
Most memorable moment was being in the corral at 2:30 for the reenactment and Bob McCubbin and I were looking straight at the gate where the Earps were going to arrive, and as they came down the street, literally dozens of cam corders being carried by the faithful outside on Freemont Street, came stumbling into view. A guy carrying a boom mike stumbled and fell (this is all we could see, but it presaged the Earps arrival and seemed to be a perfect moment to capture our time). The reenactment was about what you'd expect, but the Greek chorus of video cam corders, a literal wall of electronic gear, is the memory I'll take away from this, the 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral fight.
More later, wanted to post this ASAP. Another big day tomorrow.
"You sons of bitches have been looking for a fight and now you can have it."
—Wyatt Earp, 125 years ago, today
Bob Boze 6:01 PM
October 25, 2006
Got into the office at 9:30 and loaded up a dozen Wyatt Earp-Tombstone-O.K. Corral paintings with the help of Ron.
"I've usually seen it spelled wussy or wussies."
Well, that may be, but this is how I spelled it in 1978:
And here are a couple shots from last night's light show:
And before I forget, here's that study of White Eye:
I'm off for Tombstone! Hope to see you there tonight at the meet and greet: Bella Union. I'll roll in about eight.
"I'm your huckleberry, that's just my name."
Bob Boze 11:23 AM
October 25, 2006
Woke up to a cool morning. The air is very wet. Last night I got up in the crow’s nest and shot several dozen photos of a majestic sunset. It was quite a light show.
A Woosie On Woosies
“What is a woosie? You say that ‘only woosies ride Harleys’ Thanks and we enjoy your True West Moments."
—Pete and Linda Souza, Tampa, Fl
First of all, let's put that in context: what I said was if you want to get your butt beat, go into a biker bar, jump up on a pool table and yell out, "Only woosies ride Harleys." A "woosie" is a cross between a wimp and a pussy. It's a toned down version of the latter, kind of like Crime-anie is to Christ, or Gol-darned is to God-damned, sort of a fudge against swearing. This saying was born, at least for me, when I was rooming with Carole Compton and Kathy Radina in an old farm house at Seventh Avenue and Indian School, deep within the Beast. I was doing my weekly installment of Honkytonk Sue for New Times and I had a gag where Sue calls a couple cowboys “the one word they can’t stand,” and of course the word was “pussy,” and this upset Carole and Kathy and they didn’t want me to use it and one of them, I think it was Carole, suggested “woosie,” and I went with it and my readers loved it and thought I was a genius. Ha. Prior to that (1978) I had never heard of the term, but I assume Carole had heard it in Texas, perhaps. Today I hear it quite often, and I often wonder if my obscure little old comic strip helped spread the usage.
”When in doubt, listen to a woman. When without a doubt, listen even more.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 7:25 AM
October 24, 2006 Bonus Blog
It's still trying to rain here, but so far, nothing but light sprinkles. Steve Lodge tells me they got hit in southern Cal, with the same storm, but they weren't expecting it.
We've got a new poll up: Do you think Larry McMurtry's the greatest living Western author? Vote here.
I had Robert Ray help me re-scan the cavalry photo at a higher dpi, then reduce it for web usage. Jim Hatzell still swears he can see guidons near the back of the column, but I think what he's seeing are spots on the photo. Here is a closup of that area:
Meanwhile, Gus Walker, The Mapinator, wonders if the dark line behind the lead horses is a fort. It certainly is man made, and appears to be a line of tents, corrals, or buildings of some sort. Whatever it is, it changes the caption that the troops are coming back from an Indian campaign. It looks more like a photographer showed up and said, "Can I get a shot of you riding in formation like you're coming back from a hard fought campaign? Oh, and one more thing: please hide the guidons. I want to mess with future generations heads."
"Seeing is believing."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 4:43 PM
October 24, 2006
Cloudy out this morning. We had a chance for rain but it didn't materialize. Air is cool and nice. Our highs are mid seventies.
I have been studying a cavalry photo with Jim Hatzell and Alan Huffines, both army experts. The photo in question was run in the new Michael Blake book Indian Yell and purports to be a photo of the Seventh Cavalry. This photo (below) is also in our True West photo archives but ours says it's a photo of the "famed 8th cavalry, as it returned from the famed engagement that put a stop forever to the Indian uprisings." Here it is:
The question I have is, where are the guidons? I don't see any. They should be in the middle of the column. There appears to be some possible flags on the sides of those horses, perhaps being carried across the pommel? Not sure. Need an expert opinion. Here's a closer look:
"An idea is a kind of wonderful seed. It can be planted again and again, and is always ready for future use."
—Dr. Myron Allen
Bob Boze 12:15 PM
October 23m 2006
Busy week coming up. Need to finish my issue obligations by tomorrow. We're going down to Tombstone on Wednesday for the big 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral fight. I need to bring 25 paintings. Sam and Trish are coming down with books and posters and T-shirts and coffee mugs. Joel Klasky is bringing down the banners, Dave Daiss is bringing his construction expertise and Wonderful Russ is bringing down just his body.
Here's a photo sequence from this weekend, showing the chicken condo in progress (the big adobes in the background are the tractor garage (at left) and the pump house (on right). That's J.D. measuring the plywood off the old chicken house and you can just make out Peaches in the shade at right:
Next up, J.D. is loading the nailgun and I'm holding the bandolier style nails:
And finally, J.D. spits nails with the nailgun as his assistant farts around taking pictures when he could be helping:
"Truth can be outraged by silence quite as cruelly as by speech."
—Amelia E. Barr
Bob Boze 9:57 AM
October 22, 2006 Bonus Blog
I had a good day. Went over to Bryan Newmeister’s at 3:30 to try out some of his new equipment. He is such a pro. He and Marshall Trimble just won a Rocky Mountain Emmy for their show “Back Roads Arizona.” The specific show that won was one on Tombstone (I was a talking head in it).
“You know I find your blog very interesting! And of course its about you and your interests. That's what makes it Your Blog! Notorious outlaws, lawmen, cavalry, In-jun! But every once in a while I get to feeling defensive for the Real Folk who settled the West! The women who managed to live life there without going crazy, or maybe in spite of going crazy! The average guy who managed to not run into your notorious gun toters or too many rattlesnakes or a case of blackleg picked up from the cow herd. The folks whose main success was that they endured. Endured hardship and boredom, bad weather and huge distances and the sight of very few other than the immediate family or crew. Seems we don't hear much about them because they weren't photographed or written up. It's why I like to read Mari Sandoz (fiction and non-fiction) and Sandra Dallas (fiction that seems possibly believable). And actual letters from folk of the times and places of the Western past. Not to discourage you from your area of expertise! Hang in there! Would just like to find someone with your concentration and dedication that focuses on those other folk."
I’m sure they’re out there and I’m sorry I don’t know where to send you. I’m too busy being an immature male who is still crazy about the violence and the un-PC part of the West. I’m not mocking you, it’s just the truth. Good luck, Sharon, maybe you should write a blog about “those other folk.”
“Maybe when I retire, which is closer than I hate to admit.”
“Commitment is never an act of moderation!”
Bob Boze 6:59 PM
October 22, 2006
Cleaned out the tractor garage of pack rat crap this morning. Had to wear an extra shirt pulled up over my nose to ward off that rat virus that’s so deadly. Didn’t enjoy that. Cholla spines everywhere. They ate an entire Jones & Boze banner. Really disgusting (rat’s taste, that is).
Spent most of yesterday and about two hours today, organizing all of my art reference for the Top Secret Project. Put all my photos and tear sheets in files, cross referenced by scene number. Pretty amazing, for me.
I need to shift gears today and work on a couple Wild Bill Hickok paintings for the next issue’s Classic Gunfights. I’m dong the Phil Coe shooting and I have excellent reference shot out at Pioneer Living History Museum about seven years ago. Jerry Terrentino (sp?) was my model for Hickok and he is quite striking in his resemblance to the Prince of the Pistoleers.
Movie World Preferable to Reality
“Why can’t you leave the true stories of how the West was alone? Westerns are entertainment and we know that it’s the world of make believe. Yes, the movies do not show how it really was, if they did, it would be boring. And you would lose a lot of viewers. I have been watching movies since the mid-1940s and the costumes are great. Even if they were not the original garments worn. Surely, you can continue doing your thing on the Westerns Channel. I have a cousin who had a dude ranch in Greely, PA and his partners name was Bob Bell. I doubt it very much if you are the same person. My cousin’s partner dissolved the partnership and the ranch was sold.
“All my life I have been watching Westerns and I like them the way they are. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral with Burt and Kirk was a great movie and the clothes they wore were more colorful than a standard black outfit that they wore in the real story of their lives. The movies is the world of make believe and it happens to be interesting because the directors add life to them, they make them exciting to watch. Please understand my viewpoint. I rode a horse with today’s Western attire. I follow the styles of the actors and if you want to change to a real way it happened, I assure you I will still watch the oldies and still enjoy them.
“Bob, do your thing and whatever you tell the viewers, only the young will be educated of how it really was out West, us old-timers already know the true history of the Old West. Many books have been written and can be viewed at libraries and bookstores. Please accept this letter as friendly. I’m just a make believe type of person.”
If only the young could be educated of how it really was out West, then, I would say, it will have been worth the effort.
“Don’t forget until too late that the business of life is not business, but living.”
Bob Boze 2:15 PM
October 21, 2006
J.D. and I put in two hours last night, nailing chicken wire along the bottom of the side boards. This morning we hit it at eight and pounded up plywood sections for the maternity ward (egg laying area).
While pounding nails, it dawned on me that I’ve been in the media trench for a long time. Earlier this week I was astonished to see J.D. pull out a nail gun. Man, those suckers are amazing. Of course, I had heard of them, but I had never seen one in action. J.D. was somewhat disgusted with my ignorance, shaking his head and saying, “Nail guns have been around for 25 years at least. Where the hell have you been?”
Drawing, talking on the radio, getting a mohawk, buying a magazine, yacking about True West Moments. So I missed a few innovations.
Of course, like most kids growing up out West, I worked summers in my dad’s gas station, on survey crews (rear chainman) and a brief stint on a construction crew (1966) building a Phillips 66 gas station on Highway 93.
As the work progressed this morning, I thought about the fact that there are men of action and then there are men who write about men of action. Many male writers like to fancy themselves as men of action. Hemingway, Jack London, Mickey Spillane and Hunter Thompson come to mind. They talked the talk and walked the walk. But it seems to me that is an exception (also, I think three of them committed suicide, which may speak to unrealistic ideas of self-worth, or not).
This is a tempting generalization (that a good writer might also be good at some line of “work”) and involves other lines of work as well. The Cowboy Artists (who had their opening in Phoenix last night) like to posture that they are real “working” cowboys who also just happen to paint cowboys. Of course this is about half true, with most being commercial artists who sort of know how to ride a horse—but it sure sells paintings!
One of my favorite sayings is: “When all you have is a big hammer, all your problems look like nails.” And that was literally true today as we pounded nails all morning. J.D. got irritated with me because too many of my nails became “bend-overs”, meaning I don’t get them in straight and flush, they have a tendency to start bending over and this really bugs a good carpenter (i.e., man of action) like J.D.
As we worked, I recalled that I was pretty worthless on a construction site when I was a kid and I really hadn’t changed. I wanted to help, but as J.D. was pounding out old nails on an overturned board (the pointed parts sticking out the bottom and he was pounding them down, so he could turn it over and then pull them out with the crow bar part of the hammer), I jumped in to help, with him on one end and me on the other. As we turned the board over, he attacked his end and I yanked the long necked nails on my end, and as I jerked away from myself, one of the nails came loose, and my hammer with a lethal, rusty nail on the end of it, swung up and just missed his face.”
“That’s enough of that,” he said with reserved disgust. So, I ended up watching him do the rest, and thinking about how to write that up.
That, my friend, is the difference between a man of action and the man who writes about action.
“It takes hard writing to make easy reading.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Bob Boze 11:48 AM
October 20, 2006 Bonus Blog
My friend, screenwriter Steve Lodge sent me to the following website. Check it out, very good photos of the various styles of Apache headbands that I was referring to yesterday:
Also, the official San Carlos Apache Historian Dale Miles concurs with my observations on Apaches and their portrayal in movies:
“I read your blog on the two movies that you've watched and I think you made a good observation of them, Geronimo and Ulzana's Raid. You were good in the assessment on Ulzana's demise. I don't know why the movie makers put it in; maybe they felt it would make him more human or dramatic to mourn for his sun in such a way. Most Apaches love their children very much but they often accepted the way life could be in their world which was often harsh and cruel. The death would have really made Ulzanna even more hateful than he was by making him go out and kill about fifty white people in revenge for the loss. (Geronimo's life was almost based on revenge.) Now that is more Apache because there is nothing an Apache better understands than revenge—even today. Believe me I know and some time I'll tell you the story of how one of my brothers was shot by another Apache (he lived) and what happened. It is an interesting study of what I just told you but only in the modern sense.
“Also not done in the movie is that a Chiricahua war party like this would not be tracked by just one patrol but by several sent out from all the different posts in Apache country—that is if the Apaches didn't cut the telegraph wire which they often did in such a way so that it looked like it wasn't cut. Early on Apaches learned that the wire meant fast communication and cutting it was one of the first things they did. Fighting Apaches was hard, dangerous and bloody work and most civilians of the time let the army do it—that's what they got paid for. Oh yeah, Richard Jackael as the sergeant was very good; this fine character actor doesn't get enough credit for his role. I loved his line to the Lt. about chasing Nana: 'We chased them for days and ya know we never got one look at those murdering bastards!' or something like that. Chatto's raid of March 1883 is another where the hostiles lost only one or two men and always stayed ahead of the army so that the troopers were mostly a burial detail on that one.”
“Texas foreplay: ‘Brace yerself Darlin.’ "
Bob Boze 11:10 AM
October 20, 2006
Exciting night in Scottsdale last night at the annual Art Walk. Big crowds, had to park three blocks away. True West had two tables on the north side of Main in front of the Rain Bird Gallery. Live music, milling celebs and blond trophy wives on prominent display. Saw Bill Ridenour (from Kingman), Flnt Carney and Tammy, Jessi Colter and Dan Duffy. Jessi has a photo spread in Vanity Fair. They posed her outside the Alamo, dressed in a Nudie original. Dan and I talked a bit about Pischke’s. They are broke and need help. Janice LaRue from New Times. She has been there for 25 years. Allen and Hedi Fossenkemper who brought along a Dutch teacher who is exchanging his class in the Netherlands for her class. She will go teach there, while he teaches here. His name is Harry (which he pronounces Har-EE). I took the opportunity to have him give me the Dutch pronunciation of Van Gogh, which came out somewhere south of Vun Gaughghghth. I tried to repeat it, but he never was satisfied with my gutteral attempts. Also, Rembrandt is more like Rem-brundt and Vermeer, well, it was off the chart. Personally, I'll go Dutch.
Got home at 10:30, feeeling tired but inspired. I walked around and looked at all the art and I made a vow to redouble my efforts. There are some people doing very good things. Besides, I like what that ol' gal Janet Erskine Stuart says:
“The great thing, and the hard thing, is to stick to things when you have outlived the first interest, and not yet got the second, which comes with a sort of mastery.”
—Janet Erskine Stuart
Bob Boze 9:40 AM
October 19, 2006 Bonus Blog
In addition to Geronimo: An American Legend, I have also finally watched Ulzana's Raid (thanks to blog reader C. Neil). I enjoyed the cavalry side of the story but thought the Apaches were too slow and sluggish. They trotted and kind of mosied here and there. I wanted them to be quick and agile. The best sequence in the film, to me, is the scene where the U.S. scout MacIntosh (Burt Lancaster) rides down the two Apache boys with the stolen horses. He pulls his Winchester at a full run, cocking it in the air (this entire scene is copied almost shot for shot in the Geronimo film with Robert Duvall doing a pale imitation). The horse falls were also spectacular although I imagine a few horses did their last day of stunt work if you know what I mean, and I think you do. I also didn't buy Ulzana's demise, but I won't spoil it for you if you want to see it.
Seeing these films, good and bad, inspires me. Here's a study for Curly, one of our characters. One of the things that all the Apache films miss, is that warriors had numerous headband styles, not just the scarf effect that virtually all the actors wear from Fort Apache to The Missing. If you look close at old photographs you'll see very inctricate wrap styles, with thick, wide effects, almost East Indian in style. But in the movies everyone gets the same, thin, gangsta wrap. That's a shame and in our story, the full phat head dress will get its due:
Joel Klasky and I are going down to Scottsdale tonight for the annual Cowboy Artist's Art Walk. Always inspiring as well.
"Good writing is like poison gas. It should bring tears to your eyes. It should excite your nervous system. It should knock you out."
Bob Boze 4:25 PM
October 19, 2006
Beautiful morning, very cool and clear. Bike ride was a delight. J.D. and I wailed on the chicken house last night and got most of the framing done. I dug out the footings to put in the chicken wire and we'll whip that out tomorrow night.
Carole Glenn and I went to lunch today at Saba’s Greek Grill up in Carefree. Went over budgets and staffing. Good working lunch ($25, plus $5 tip, biz account).
If Looks Could Chill
“Are you the only one working as a spokesman for cowpokes? I see you everywhere! You’re all over my TV and all over my True West magazine. By the way, did you know that the older you get the more you look like Robert Redford! Or is it the older Robert Redford gets the more he looks like you!! HAHA Take care and thanks for all you do.”
“If the gentleman in yesterdays blog with the mustache is Al Sieber, you might want to check your family tumbleweed. He looks a great deal like a Bell. I would like to read some more about Mr Sieber. Unfortunately, I can find only one out of print book about him. It's on Amazon for a cool $100. I don't think so. Do you know of any books that might be available where he is discussed? By the way, my John Wayne painting looks real nice in my office.
—Hugh Howard, Maniac# 9
I’m assuming the book on Amazon is Dan Thrapp’s classic book on Sieber. I think I paid $60 for mine, and it was worth every penny. What an amazing story. Sieber shows up in almost every book on the Apache Wars and Geronimo, but the Thrapp book is the one to have. And by the way, the Burt Lancaster character in Ulzana's Raid is based on Sieber, and the Top Secret Writer thinks it is a perfect portrayal of Al.
Speaking of the Apache Wars and the TSW, a Hollywood friend of mine warned me yesterday that The Top Secret Project is going to be a tough sell in Hollywood. He said that no major Western star (Selleck, Elliott, Costner) will touch a story that involves fighting Indians. The last movie that tried was The Missing, which bombed terribly. Which takes out half the stories! He also told me that the only commercial subjects left in a Western are cattle drives (Open Range), horse drives (Broken Trail) and anglo lawmen arresting other anglo outlaws (3:10 To Yuma). That’s it. Yikes!
To be honest, I kind of freaked out about this and so I called the Top Secret Writer, who is sick and in bed, and said, “Do you think we’re pissing up a rope here? I heard heavy coughing and cussing on the other end, then: “If I wasn’t sick I’d come over there and wring your neck!” Ah, it's so nice to be understood, and by someone so distinguished. The doctor then reminded me that he lives in the PC world and that nobody knows it better than he does, and to stop being wimpy and quit doubting our story.
So I got down off the ledge of the crow’s nest and came back inside and went to work on my six drawings for the day.
“Doubt takes you out of action.
Action takes you out of doubt.”
Bob Boze 2:03 PM
October 18, 2006 Bonus Blog
Kathy bought me the new Beck album. The coolest thing about it is you get to design your own CD cover. Beck put a whole bunch of stickers inside, and you pick the images, the hat, the typeface, etc. you want and put it all together. Here's my art direction BBB version (notice the twin Beck typefaces):
I constantly learn a bunch by copying the masters. Here's two studies of Maynard Dixon-ish scenes. He really had a knack for southwestern color, and he is a big influence.
I hate when I get car fever and I really hate the distraction but it sometimes can't be helped. Last week, a neighbor parked his Ford pickup out at the end of Cahava Ranch Road and I drove by it several days, but then he moved it across to my side of the interesection and of course I couldn't resist, I stopped, checked it out: he wants $9,800 and it is in cherry condition. There's only two problems. It has 140,000 miles on it and I don't have the $9.8 K. I called the owner anyway and he said, 'How much can you offer?" And I said, "Nothing, sir, but I have car fever and I had to call anyway." That's my humble, little Ranger in the foreground (100,000 miles) and Big Brother in the back:
"“We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level and imagine most vividly.”
Bob Boze 3:39 PM
October 18, 2006
I woke up to another spectacular sunrise this morning. Makes me wonder how you could live here and not be an artist:
Worked last night off a new photograph of Tom Horn, this one taken in Denver. It's being offered by Cowan's Fall Historic Americana auction. If you want to see the actual photo for yourself it's at:
Dan Harshberger's sister Charlene was cleaning out her late mother's belongings and found this gem of a photo, taken of Dan (at left) and the future Skinny Little White Ass, at White Hills ghost town in 1959, or so. Dan's parents took us out there on a Sunday picnic and we played cowboy in the old buildings (they are long gone by now). I seem to remember that Mattel made these very authentic Winchesters, which we are both carrying, in addition to the requisite "Fanner Fifties". Note that Little White Ass is already wearing mocassins, no doubt getting ready for his warrior journey even back then:
"Twenty-four-hour banking? I don't have time for that."
Bob Boze 11:18 AM
October 17, 2006 Bonus Blog
Went home for lunch and finished two paintings. The first one is another "Blue Boy" and it's called Moon Over Mickey. It's quite subtle, hope you can make him out:
The second one is called Al Sieber's Regret and I think I captured the old boy. He was a tough SOB, played by Robert Duvall in Geronimo: An American Legend, which I just finished watching on my office computer. They sure had a great premise and I heard that John Millius, who wrote the original script, quit in disgust when they started adding all the PC baloney. And they sure added a bunch. For example, when Geronimo (Wes Studi) confronts Chato for being a scout, G-Man says derisively, "I see you are wearing the blue coat." What they didn't say is that Geronimo himself was for a short time a reservation policeman, but of course that undercuts his righteousness. I really hate that PC crap, and I'll bet old Sibi (Al Sieber) would as well:
"Must be Texans. The lowest form of white men there is."
—Robert Duvall (playing Al Sieber in Geronimo, referring to who may have scalped a group of poor, defenseless Apaches)
Bob Boze 6:00 PM
October 17, 2006
Woke up to a spectacular sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge. I was coming back on the bike and it really opened up on the eastern horizon. Looked fake. Ran to my truck and got my trusty little digital. Of course, it wouldn't open. So much for trusty. Jiggled it, kicked the dog, it came on, got this photo (which is not as spectacular as the version I first saw, but you get the idea:
Got into the office at 8:30 and had several meetings. The first one to determine just how we are going to accomplish twin deadlines in the next three weeks, and go to Tombstone for the 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral. Going to be tight, but we have been in this situation before.
Here's two images in a series I call The Ascension of The White Hat. They were studies for Attorney's General Terry Goddard and both have a nice patina.
"Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be."
Bob Boze 10:42 AM
October 16, 2006 Bonus Bonus Blog
Went home for lunch and heated up some spagetti. Had an apple and butterscotch pudding. Sat out by the pool and perused the English Esquire (Bob Brink always brings me his copy). Went into the studio and tweaked a landscape called "Bisti Badlands." I believe "bisti" is Navajo for "bad." So it would be Bad Badlands (really Bad!).
I also worked on "Al Sieber's Regret," but it still needs a tweak or two.
My good friend Johnny Weinkauf asked me if I still had the Charlie Russell parody, "The Actual Outcome of A Bronc to Breakfast"? I looked around this morning and found it. I did this painting twice (not unlike Charlie himself, who must have painted variations of this theme at least four times, that I know of). The first version was done in the late 1970s for The Razz Revue, a humor magazine created by Dan Harshberger and Skinny Little White Ass. The second version was created for a parody I did on the Cowboy Artists of America's annual showing in Phoenix in 1984. This one ran that year in New Times and it is signed Russ L. Remington. Get it? Ha. I had to shoot it through glass. Hope you can make it out:
"Employees make the best dates. You don't have to pick them up and they're always tax-deductible."
Bob Boze 2:43 PM
October 16, 2006 Bonus Blog
I was hoping some of my Native American experts would weigh in on the lack of facial hair theories and I’m not disappointed:
“I read on your blog that somebody asked about Indian facial hair. You can tell him that the tradition for the Northern Tribes was to pluck ALL facial hair—and that includes EYEBROWS!!! Look at some of the old high resolution portrait photos taken of the "old timers". I have some Indian friends today that have grown wispy moustaches (that they shave off when doing Westerns.) Some day a Director will insist on authenticity and do the shaved eyebrow thing. That would be cool.
“Keep up the good work. I plan to get on the marathon Illustration kick myself when the snow flies...but duty calls. I got a phone call from New York a few minutes ago from a Producer wanting me to do a location scout in the Badlands of South Dakota. I guess I will have to break down and finally purchase a digital camera.”
I finally made the transition to digital not long after I went to Meade, Kansas in June. I shot six rolls there, then had to beat cheeks to a Wal-Mart in Wichita (the only photo developer open on Sunday within 150 miles) at seven at night to get them developed before I got on the plane to come home, almost didn't get them back, etc. Fast forward a month and when Paul Hutton and I went to Fort Apache and San Carlos, I stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought a new chip that will hold 1,000 photos on my little digital. I still took six rolls of regular film but quickly ran out (sound familiar?). So all I had was the digital, as a backup and I shot everything. Out the window, nightime, I was fearless, because I had so much room on the new memory card. Got home and uploaded the digital stuff in my computer, killed all the bad shots (many), but printed out all the cool ones on my office printer and I could alter those, zooming in and out, pushing color, changing, cropping. I haven't used my 35mm since.
• If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink
• I'd rather be rich than stupid.
• If you were a poor Indian with no weapons, and a bunch of conquistadors came up to you and asked where the gold was, I don't think it would be a good idea to say, "I swallowed it. So sue me."
• He was a cowboy, mister, and he loved the land. He loved it so much he made a woman out of dirt and married her. But when he kissed her, she disintegrated. Later, at the funeral, when the preacher said, "Dust to dust," some people laughed, and the cowboy shot them. At his hanging, he told the others, "I'll be waiting for you in heaven--with a gun."
• If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."
• The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.
• I wish I lived back in the old west days, because I'd save up my money for about twenty years so I could buy a solid-gold pick. Then I'd go out West and start digging for gold. When someone came up and asked what I was doing, I'd say, "Looking for gold, ya durn fool." He'd say, "Your pick is gold," and I'd say, "Well, that was easy." Good joke, huh.
• Many people think that history is a dull subject. Dull? Is it "dull" that Jesse James once got bitten on the forehead by an ant, and at first it didn't seem like anything, but then the bite got worse and worse, so he went to a doctor in town, and the secretary told him to wait, so he sat down and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally he got to see the doctor, and the doctor put some salve on it? You call that dull?
I thought you’d like some of these!!!!
—Beth H., ‘scooter ANGEL’ on the True West Forum
True West Maniac #1334
Mark Boardman weighed in with his suggestions for possible Classic Gunfights for 2007. Here’s his list of nominees:
1. Frank and Gladys Hamer vs. three thugs. TX 1917. Two books on this—I’m Frank Hamer and Manhunter. Randy Lish also an expert on this.
2. Jim McKinney vs. lawmen. CA unsure of date. Subject of books by Harold Edwards and Joseph Doctor (Shotguns on Sunday).
3. Red Lopez vs. lawmen. Bingham, UT 1913. Two books on subject, but Randy Lish is probably the expert on this.
4. Harry Tracy/ Dave Merrill escape from Oregon Penitentiary 1902. Dullenty’s book on Tracy. Check for other sources.
5. George Scarborough vs. John Selman. El Paso, TX 1895. Bob DeArment’s book. Maybe Metz.
6. McCartys vs. townspeople. Delta, CO 1891. Maybe Dullenty book. Check with Dan Buck.
7. Nick Ray and Nate Champion vs. Wyoming invaders. KC Ranch, WY. Bill O’Neal’s book on the Johnson Co. War.
8. Frank Canton vs. Bee Dunn. Pawnee, OK 1896. Probably DeArment’s book on Canton.
9. Alvord-Stiles Gang vs. Jeff Milton. Fairbank, AZ 1900. Maybe Haley’s book.
10. Wood Hite vs. Robert Ford and Dick Liddell. MO 1882. Maybe Ted Yeatman’s book, or Jack Koblas.
11. Kid Curry vs. lawmen. Green River, UT 1900. Check with Dan Buck.
12. Ruggles Bros. vs. stagecoach crew. Redding, CA 1892. ?
13. Evans and Sontag vs. lawmen. Tulare Co., CA 1893. Koblas book, maybe Harold Edwards book.
14. Rattlesnake Dick vs. lawmen. Auyburn, CA 1859. Maybe Secrest or Boessenecker.
15. Black Face Charlie Bryant vs. US Deputy Marshal Ed Short. On a train in OK, 1891. ?
16. Rube Burrow vs. Jim Carter. Linden, AL 1890. ?
17. Hilary Farrington vs. William Pinkerton. KY 1870. Maybe Sharon Cunningham?
18. Ben Kilpatrick and Ole Beck vs. David Truesdale. TX 1912. Buck? McCubbin?
19. Killin’ Jim Miller vs. Bud Frazer. Various places in TX 1894-1896. Jim Wright says someone is writing a new book on Miller….
”The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobsters, anal sex and picnics.”
Bob Boze 12:09 PM
October 16, 2006
I've been finding some sweet little paintings that were lost in my morgue. Here's one of Billy the Kid playing cards at Casa de Patron, with handcuffs on. He reportedly said to a new player, "Don't try to take my jewelry," meaning his handcuffs.
And I found a Lt. Gatewood portrait (from a 1994 Geronimo project), which was kind of horsey, so I repainted and blended the edges, adding some of the excess paint into his skin tones and hair. It's much nicer, and quite haunting if I do say so myself:
And, as promised, here is an image of the protagonist for the Top Secret Project. He wears a poncho/serape that is a quilted hodge podge of Mexican and Navajo blankets, and oh, yes, part of a discarded American flag. One more hint: he's yearning to be free:
And finally, sometimes I just can't help painting beautiful women, in this case Sienna Miller:
"A magazine is the nursery of genius."
Bob Boze 9:39 AM
October 15, 2006
Still cloudy, but very nice out. I worked most of yesterday in the studio, on several twilight images for the Top Secret Project.
Today I really got on a roll and worked on 40 images. Yes, that’s not a typo, forty paintings! Granted, many of them were color studies, slamming paint all over the place and trying to get something (anything!) going, but this is why I’ve been doing the six drawings a day (and by the way, the forty doesn’t count the six sketches), trying to discipline myself for the marathon, while waiting for the muse to show up. It’s safe to say, Ms. Muse is in the house, and I’m in the zone.
Some of the images I worked on today:
• Apache Twilight II
• The B.S.er
• Billy the Kid Peers Out
• Alchesay Stays
• Alamo attackers
• Sienna’s Conceit
• Curly Ponders Apache Tradition
• The Ascension of The White Hat (four versions)
• Lt. Gatewood (portrait)
• Peaches (portrait)
• Rides Like Apache
• Al Sieber’s Regret (old age portrait)
And here's a photo of 30 of them spread out on my studio floor (note the "Western" sign at top, which I got from a Goldwater's store that went out of business at Park Central):
Hairless In Seattle
“Do you know why Indians do not have any facial hair? Or do some tribes do?
—Steven Dubeau, North Carolina
The theory I have always heard is that Native Americans plucked out their whiskers until they stopped growing. I assume this must have been over many generations. That said, there are exceptions. I was just looking at several Navajo photos last night and some of the warriors have wispy mustaches. I know other tribes had some facial hair (for example those British Columbia tribes like the Kwakiutl), but not much, certainly not like the hairy Europeans or for that matter Africans and Asians. This question deserves more research. When I find out something definitive, I'll let you know.
“Hair of the dog sounds good, but it makes a lousy subject matter for painting.”
—Vincent Van Google
Bob Boze 4:52 PM
October 14, 2006
Rained on and off all night last night, and this morning it really started coming down at about eight. Got a phone call from J.D. calling off our daily chicken house work session, although he said he may come down this afternoon and survey the damage.
Snuggled in and made breakfast on the new stove, called the kids. Tomas was on a delivery in Philadelphia, and Deena was in her condo in Scottsdale after a long week on the road. T. Charles told me about a new group he really likes called TV On The Radio, or is it the other way around? (these kids and their loud music, ha.)
Went out to the studio and finished another Blue-Boy study. This one is called White Eye. And when you see it you'll understand why. Iimagine if some Apache had the name White Eye and every time his friends said, "Don't trust the White Eye," he would cringe and say, "Come on, Man. I don't like that saying. Stop it." Or, at least that is what I'd say if I was In-din and my name was White Eye.
Actually, if I was an Apache I'd like the name Skinny Little White Ass, because then when someone said, "Bell, get your skinny, little, white ass in here," I could say, "Thankyou for calling me by my full name."
I know, I know, that is so Jack Handy.
If you have been paying any attention to Skinny Little White Ass's postings you should by now know the name of the Top Secret Writer and the subject matter of the Top Secret Project. And, although I have been holding back on showing images of the Top Secret Protagonist, there have been sneak peeks of that person as well. And some of you have already guessed the identity (Gus Walker correctly guessed it last week, but then he used to work at True West and has seen and worked on my long list of characters and treatments). For those of you who haven't worked at True West and guessed it yet, I will be posting some significant clues in the next several days. Eventually, this will all make sense and you can say you shared in the process of discovery as much as anybody.
"Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed. As the monks continued on their way, one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. 'Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!' 'Brother,' the second monk replied, 'I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.'"
?Old Zen Saying
Bob Boze 12:50 PM
October 13, 2006
Carole Glenn is in Texas attending her high school reunion this weekend. J.D. and I are making progress on the chicken house, although he keeps stepping back, looking at it and saying, "It's alright as long as you don't show it to anyone." Ha. Carpenters! And I though artists were persnickity.
Speaking of persnickity artisits, I went home after lunch (ate at China Joy, $10 includes tip) and whipped out another Blue-Boy study. Once again, this is inspired by the 1931 New Yorker cover of a dark Manhattan skyline. I scanned the cover out of the book, but I'm not sure you can see the logo at top (a subtle shade of green). Meanwhile, my little scene spoke to me and this is what it said, "The moon sparkled and spoke through the molted clouds as he rode on past the sporadic fires and the bleached bones of a hundred battles."
After work I went to Bashas' for groceries ($36.95 house account, saved $1.98 with Bashas' card) and as I walked in front of the meat department I met another guy with a shopping cart, who strolled by in front of me as I cased the shrimp, he passed, and pointing at me, said, "Maniac Number 1,200," and kept walking. We both laughed.
At 5:30 Kathy and I met our old friends Mike and Fran Douglas at the AZ Wine Tasting up in Carefree to sample a series of South African wines. Afterwards we walked over to the Spanish Tapas restaurant in Spanish Village and had a nice meal out on the patio ($60 for our half, paid cash, includes tip). As we got ready to leave it started to rain and we ran to our separate cars, yelling goodnight as we scurried along. A couple sitting outside AZ Wine said, "Nice hat," as I fumbled with my truck keys, and I said, "Use to be." And they laughed as I drove off in the wet night.
"The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience."
Bob Boze 3:07 PM
October 12, 2006 Bonus Blog
As I mentioned this morning, I have been getting some odd Email requests. Let’s take a look:
Curtains for Jones & Boze Morning Show
“So, when is that curtain coming down? Do you remember that phrase? You used to say it on KLSX.”
The curtain is down. Turned off my studio cooler during the night two weeks ago, wore long pants on my early morning bike ride for the first time since early May—last week, and wore a sweatshirt this morning. When I was on KSLX, every morning in early October I would challenge listeners to predict when the fall weather “curtain would come down.” In Arizona, in spite of our lack of seasons, there is usually a day when the summer dies and the curtain comes down. This year it was October 7th (BBB evaluation based on Old-Man-Wing-Ding-Machinery, your curtain may vary).
Monsters of Memory Moderation!
“Thank goodness for the net. You can find anything with a google search nowadays, even you!
“In 1991 I was visiting Phoenix and happened to pick up a copy of New Times. I was so taken with the Monster of Moderation / The Seven Deadly Sins of Political Correctness (III) piece titles "Bimbo Womyn" that I had it framed. I still have it today on my home office wall.
“At the bottom right corner it says, coming next, Those Wacky Injuns. Were there more Monsters of Moderation done? Is it possible to get copies?”
“I visited your website and saw the reference to a blog as ‘Raw and uncensored. Some of it enlightening. Most of it embarrassing’. When I saw the Bimbo Womyn drawing (in the New Times August 21-27 1991 Issue) I figured that was raw and uncensored too. I identified with the satire of it on a personal level.
“I'll bet you could sell a bunch of those Monsters of Moderation drawings for that very reason, the same reason so many people identify with the radio talk show hosts who rail against the relentless inane drivel we're all subjected to everyday.”
—Jim DePorche, North Las Vegas
The short answer is, I don't remember. For some reason, that period, when I was doing both the morning radio show on KSLX and my weekly cartoons at New Times, with two kids and a hefty mortgage, it’s all a vague mirage. I would guess I did do more, but finding those suckers is a tad tricky. They're all in the garage in some pile (which I have started to go through by the way) and if I run across them, I'll let you know.
A Froggy Proposition
“Did you ever see the Aussie Western The Proposition? I liked it. Hard to believe the lead Guy Pearce is the same clean cut cop in L.A. Confidential. I’m quoting USA Today in their review of the movie ‘not much of a date movie unless your steady is Belle Starr’. Froggy Howan-out!”
—Minnesota Mike Melrose, Arizona Republic, Automotive Account Executive
For the record, the correct spelling is Froggy Hauan (a Norwegian farming legend from Thompson, Iowa, and a distant relative of mine. Melrose loves the name and uses it all the time to rib me).
“Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.”
—Thomas a Kempis
Bob Boze 4:37 PM
October 12, 2006
Good day in the office. Mark Boardman is here and, along with Meghan, we got some creative ideas going for next year's travel issue, events coverage and various Classic Gunfights to cover, not to mention the details for our big Tombstone event coming up in two weeks. People have been calling and asking when and where I'll be for the 125th Anniversary of the Gunfight Behind The O.K. Corral and the answer is:
• Thursday, October 26, I will be signing my books and posters, at the O.K.Corral itself, at noon.
• Othewise, all day Thursday and Friday I'll be at the Bella Union (Fourth Street and Fremont Street) where we will be having heavy discussions and good entertainment into the night.
This morning I was cleaning in my morgue and found this sweet little dittie, one of the paintings for The Topless Gunfight featured in Classic Gunfights, Volume I. Jennie Smith was the model and, while she isn't totally topless, this should have been the cover, instead of the one we used.
I went home for lunch and got inspired to do some dark clouds. I was cleaning before work and uncovered a book on classic New Yorker magazine covers, and this one from the 1940s really grabbed me. It was of the Manhattan skyline, very dark with just select lights giving hints of the landscape of the island. The logo was in dark green, barely visible (try that today!). I went over to my art desk and whipped out a dozen dark skies and at about the ninth one, this happened. I call it Apache Midnite. Some decent nighttime effects, no?
For my money, one of the best caricaturists working today is Philip Burke. You see his edgy stuff in Rolling Stone, Esquire, etc. and he really pushes color, utilizing the oddest hues, but his wild renderings are dead on. This is me stealing, I mean emulating, Mr. Burke's penchant for pushing color. I call it Burke's Boys:
The web has been turning up some odd requests at my door. Those tidbits tomorrow.
"The shoe that fits one person, pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
Bob Boze 2:52 PM
October 10, 2006
I met J.D. again last night after work to work on the chicken house. He had already put in most of the corner posts and was plumbing the last post as I walked up with my camera and caught him:
I thought about Chris Pischke's suicide all day yesterday. He was a friend of Steven Spielberg and I remember when the movie legend was turning forty, his friends sent a crew over to Scottsale to film Chris's memories of growing up with Spielberg, who filmed his first movies in Phoenix on 8mm and Chris was in the war one, I can't remember the name of it. I think Chris told me they called the birthday gift "Citizen Spielberg" as a take-off on "Citizen Cane." We used to do all of our radio planning sessions at Pischke's and I have always thought Chris's cajun chicken caesar salad to be the best I've ever had.
On April Fool's day in 1988, my son and I received mohawk haircuts live, on the air, at KSLX radio. The radio stunt was pulled off by two haircutters, one on each side, shaving my head while I did the news. Afterwards, Tomas and I went to Pishcke's for breakfast and as we got out of the car I remember a construction crew working on the street, giving me the evil eye, and I thought, "Why is that guy giving me the look like he's going to come kick the snot out of me," and then I realized we had mohawks and he was probably livid that I would do that to my son. He wasn't alone. One of the mothers in Cave Creek started a club: Mother's Against Mohawks, to ward off the unwanted begging of Tommy's friends coming home and asking for mohawk haircuts. This was strange because most of our friends had survived the sixties "hippie hair" wars, when you could would get hassled over your hair and now, it was coming home to roost. During breakfast Chris came over to our booth and took a photo of us, which he proudly hung above the bar for all to see.
After breakfast at Pischke's Tomas and I drove down to Ralph Rippe's photography studio and he took this classic photo of the punked-out Bell clan:
On saturday (after the haircut), I was the grand marshal of the Cave Creek Rodeo Parade, and Tomas and I rode our neighbor's palomino and as we came down the street in cowboy hats, the old women would wave and we would pull off our hats and wave back and you could see their collectively mouths drop open. Ah, the mohawk memories. It was a hoot and a half.
"Success can make you go one of two ways. It can make you a prima donna, or it can smooth the edges, take away the insecurities, let the nice things come out."
Bob Boze 1:07 PM
October 10, 2006
I had bad dreams last night. The-tired-and-trying-to-find-a-resting-place kind. I was driving an old car with rusted fender wells, packed with stuff and there was no place to pull over, so I coasted into the narrow medium of a desert highway and got out, went up front to open the hood, and before I could get it open a mean tourist-bully-type pulled in behind me and starting pushing my car with his car. I was helpless to do anything and before I knew it we were going faster and faster. Fortunately I was wearing roller skates, but there I was going fifty, backwards, down old Route 66 and no way to stop. Or rest.
My dream analysis expert (Kathy) laughed and told me the car is me, my numerous projects are my “stuff” and the mean tourist, well, take your pick: True West, The Westerns Channel, my staff, Bob Brink, Jesus, George Bush and, or, Tri Star. Oh, and don’t forget J.D. Nelson, my chicken house job boss.
Last night I got home from work at 5:30 and there was J.D. working in the back yard with all the post holes dug for the chicken house, except one. He said his wife had company so he came down early. As I grabbed a shovel and proceeded to dig the last hole, he told me a story and it went something like this:
“My back hurts. Can’t work like I used to. After the war, I was datin’ this ol’ gal lived on a ranch south of Kingman. Every month I would take off four days from the inspection station and go visit my folks down in the Gila Valley (Safford). I wanted to take her with me but her mama didn’t want her to ride that far in a car (too dangerous), so I rented an airplane. On the way back, we had to land in Cottonwood and as we came in I didn’t realize there was a cross-runway, and as I came down, I saw it too late and there we were, goin’ 85 right into the desert, and she’s yellin’ and screamin’ and she told me later I said, “Dammit, shuttup and let me think.” And we went out into the desert, collapsed the nose landing gear, I put my foot through a new radio I just bought and my face slammed into the instrument panel. When I woke up, there she was hanging upside down, screaming bloody murder. We walked into Cottonwood, waited at a little ol’ hospital for about two hours, but they wouldn’t do anything, so we took the bus to Prescott, waited there for two hours, then took the bus to Seligman and while we were trying to sleep this old gal up front starts singin’ and I went up there and I said to her, “You keep this up and we’re gonna stop this bus and put you off.” Afterwards I went up front and told the driver what I did and he said, ‘Thanks.’ About two weeks later, the mom calls me and says, ‘What’d you do to my daughter? She’s cryin’ and carryin’ on about crashing an airplane.’ So I borrowed an airplane from the Kingman air base and took off, and circled around a canyon behind their ranch house, and came up a draw and went right over the front porch at full throttle. Her mom went right up the wall. Later I was in Wickiup, and was standing in line for something and this ol’ gal was in front of me, and she turned around and it was her, only she was pregnant. That’s the last time I ever saw her.”
By this time, the last hole was dug and I said, “J.D. what was her name? I probably went to high school with the kid she had.” For the life of him, he couldn’t remember, but he told me that's how he got the bad back.
Speaking of Bob Brink, he is in New York attending the grand opening of the new Hearst building, as a guest of honor. Last night he met Oprah. The Hearst Corp build the state-of-the-art building and paid cash ($500 million).
This morning Deena called at 6:30 from Mankato, Minnesota, and said that her boyfriend Frank had just text messaged her (while driving to work on the 101) that the owner of Pischke’s has commited suicde. I got up and went out and got the paper. It’s true. Chris Pischke, the owner of one of my fave restaurants, was evidently depressed over the slow demise of his classic restaurant, drove to a mortuary on Sunday night and shot himself. Monday was the twentieth anniversary of the cafe.
“I got the John Wayne painting. Thank you again for allowing me to have it. Is it oil or watercolor? [no, gouache] I'm obviously not gifted in this arena. I plan on framing it and hanging it on my Western wall in my office at work.
“I have really enjoyed the blog recently. I like the guy who was upset that the blog was all about you. (?) I thought that is what a blog is, autobiographical. Oh well. I have especially enjoyed the new "Dung Nazis". I have enjoyed the discussions about hats and saddles from the appropriate Nazi Faction but this latest is the greatest. On a personal note, I have never thought about it one way or another. I will say I'm not offended that I don't regularly see it or see a risen horses tail. I pretty much have been able to get along with just the animals themselves.
“I will say that any ‘Dung Nazi’ should enjoy Ulzana's Raid. It is an excellent movie that I throw in my top 15 all time westerns. I had to expand from 10 a few years ago. Not only do you get to see horse dung but it is picked up and sniffed. This should please the over the top realists. The movie has been out of DVD production for several years. I was not familiar with it until the Westerns Channel showed it awhile back. I wish they would reissue the DVD. I'm not interested in paying 100 plus for a copy.
“There is another good Burt Lancaster western Valdez is Coming. I don't remember if there are any good scenes of horse dung but is well worth watching”
“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?”
Bob Boze 10:44 AM
October 9, 2006
More rain last night. Left the truck window down and drove in this morning with a wet seat (both). This time Buddy Boze Hatkiller broke in the side door and parked himself in the hallway (to escape the thunder), until Kathy got up and shooed him out. Meanwhile, Peaches cuddled by the radio speakers in the studio and listened to NPR jazz (I’m not making this up, as I went out and checked on her).
Here's a couple photos of JD and I working on the site for the new chicken house on Saturday. And that's Peaches helping (she's actually seeking pack rats).
Henry Beck, our author on the Tombstone bombshell story, sent me a link to a Hollywood website column that followed up on Henry’s cover story in our mag. Some of the ensuing postings are mighty interesting, like this one:
“Tombstone's greatness is 80 to 90% owed to Doc Holliday. Didn't Val Kilmer's performance do for that movie exactly what Johnny Depp's did for the first Pirates of the Carribean movie? You gotta love a western where one of the best showdowns isn't done with guns but by a Latin-off.”
Check it out right here:
Nekkid Lady Question
“I am a huge fan of Western Movies. I always find your tidbits [on the Westerns Channel] very informative. I am trying to find a picture that is usually hanging in a bar. It is a picture of a reclining lady in a state of semi-dress. My husband wants this picture or a print or any information about this. We have been married for 17 years and this is the only thing that he will ask for his present. Any information will be greatly appreciated.”
—Shannon G.Roberts, Asheboro, N.C.
The short answer to your question is: which one? Requesting a picture of a reclining lady in a state of semi-dress, usually hanging over a bar in a saloon, is like asking for a magazine that shows cleavage, and provocative women. They are too numerous to mention.
The semi-clad lady was painted hundreds, if not thousands of times, in any number of poses and styles. Of course, it was mandatory in any good saloon, and there were many artists anxious to sell one. You can find these images all over the country in antique stores and on eBay, I'm sure. Good luck.
By the way, does he have a subscription to True West? We cover these paintings from time to time in our Collecting the West department.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
"As a longtime hairboy, I applaud your salute to our shaggy ancestors. Commodore Perry Owens has long been a personal hero, for nothing more than the length of his mane. Speaking of pioneer styles: Have you ever seen a photo of a hatless Custer? He had a seriously ugly comb-over.
“As for hair styles changing not only over time, but shifting culturally, consider that in the 1950s what passed for long hair -- not much, admittedly -- was chiefly worn by the working class rebels. (E.g., THE WILD ONE) In the 1960s (which as you well know was the late 1960s through the early 1970s, the early 1960s being culturally closer to the 1950s), long hair flowered among hippies, bohemians, and the anti-whatevers. But today, chances are you might find a pony tail on the head of a (male) poet, construction worker, or patent lawyer.
“Flag apparel has similarly migrated. What got Abbie Hoffman arrested several decades ago is today ubiquitous. Construction workers and motorcyclists, to name two, are partial to flag bandanas. Politicians favor flag ties (and other errors in good taste too numerous to inventory).”
—Dan Buck, Washington D.C.
“The artist must make posterity believe he never lived.”
Bob Boze 9:47 AM
October 8, 2006
Worked almost all weekend on Apache studies. Whipped out a dozen images, some decent, some goofy and some just plain bad. I’ve got one study I’ve taken a couple stabs at, called “Apache Twilight,” and I can see it perfectly in my mind, but the effects are so-so. And, of course, the one with the best sky effects, the silhouette of the foreground character doesn’t look Apache. Maybe he does if you think Bruce Springstein is Apache. The second one is definitely In-din, but I’m not happy with the composition or the sky.
Went up to Home Depot this morning to buy screen door stuff to fix our front door. Cooked our first meal on the new stove (scrambled eggs). Very nice countertop burners, with space-age flat grill area, no coils.
I’ll post some of the new artwork in the morning. I feel like I’m tapping into some new power, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I wonder if that phone guy knows:
“What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it."
—Alexander Graham Bell
Bob Boze 6:20 PM
October 7, 2006
Last night, Kathy and I drove down to Phoenix College to attend an art opening for Fran Douglas. Very nice show and she’s quite talented. Afterwards we drove to Scottsdale to have dinner with Russ and Wendy Shaw at Claim Jumpers. Place slammed, half-hour wait. Russ had the prime rib and I had the top sirloin, while the girls did their usual "healthy" salad thing. Over dinner I told the story about being out with the Laib-Man and how he cornered the manager at El Encanto and basically told the guy, “How come you don’t do more for the locals who support you in the summer months before the season comes back?” and the manager sent over three supreme shots of tequila, on the house. This inspired Kathy and she stopped our waiter and said, and I quote, “The meal and the service was great but we want to talk to the manager about getting free chocolate cake.” He laughed and left, and 45 seconds later, Robert the Manager, comes to our table and says, “What’s the problem over here?” and Kathy repeats the exact request and the manager says, and I quote, “Would you like free ice cream on that free chocolate cake?” I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t witnessed it with my own eyes (and mouth, the cake was fantastic!)
I got up this morning at six, and my neighbor J.D. came down at seven to work rebuilding the chicken house out behind the tractor garage. We dug six post holes in the back yard and it was slow going with all the rocks and caliche. Felt like chain gang work, with picks and shovels. We got two poles in and quit at nine, and made plans to work during the week after work.
Kath and I drove up at 9:30 with the recycling and dropped it off, then she borrowed the True West dolly to drive out to Mesa with Deena to buy two stoves (one for Deena and one for us). Both are dinged seconds and are on sale for $400 each.
A Nichols Worth
“In your Oct. 2 blog you feature a picture of a pretty young lady and the following: ‘That's me on stage with Miss Arizona 1982, Jenny Nicols (her father was TV anchor Bill Nicols).’ Did you mean to say Dave Nichols, of Ch. 10 and Ch. 3 fame? Or am I confused (wouldn't be the first time). I also found an entry on another site where she's listed as ‘Jennifer Nichols.’”
Yes, you are probably correct. I was simply aping Joel Samuel’s spelling.
“My mother passed away on September 30, 2006. She did not suffer and passed away in her sleep. It was her time, and it will always happen, even to the best of us. If you click on this link below it will take you to her obituary, if you would like to read it. Thank you.”
Old Cowtown Update
“I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that the 'tide may be
turning' in our pursuit to 'Save Old Cowtown'.
“We are far from being soundly afloat financially, but response from
recent press [and local press itself] has been extremely positive.
“There is a palpable groundswell of support that I can trace from the
point of True West's statement of support to preserve and protect Old
Cowtown Museum from the fickle winds of local politicians' narrow
agendas. The National Day of the Cowboy, Chronicle of the Old West and
a number of other parties have joined in lending us their support.
Preserving the legacy of the Old West is important to all Americans. It
is part of our birthright.
“The November issue of True West is just now on the newsstands and we
are already hearing voices of support from a national audience.
“The very day that the Museum received official notification from the City of Wichita that
the Museum was in violation of numerous code violations, our rooster 'flew the coop'. The presence of a rooster at our 19th century Living History farm apparently violated city code [along with not having a smoke detector in the chicken coop - seriously]. We were not overly surprised to receive these notices as the City had within a two week period detached to our doorstep inspectors from the Health Department, Fire Marshals, City Water Department, general City Inspectors, Animal Control, OSHA and EPA.
“I don't know if pre-war Iraq had that many inspectors looking for WMDs.
“Although the city's intent was to close the museum under the guise of not properly maintaining the facility by terms of our lease, city officials now have 'egg on their faces' due to the public's rejection of those claims.
“Again, I credit you and True West with reminding our community that Old Cowtown is a heritage that belongs to all of us. When I was growing up there was an embroidered sampler I saw every day.
“The message was simple:
“‘A Friend in Need Is A Friend Indeed!’.Thank you. You're a good friend.
“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”
Bob Boze 11:22 AM
October 6, 2006
A second thunderstorm rolled in at about midnite last night (we got hit yesterday afternoon as well). Heavy thunder and rain. I woke up several times in the night and heard dogs breathing nearby. I imagined it was all part of a dream, or was a window open? At about four I heard a yelp from the bathroom. Kathy had gotten up and gone in there to find Buddy Boze Hatkiller lounging around the commode. Peaches was on my side of bed, curled up on my shoes. Both had evidently jimmied the front door (dog burglers!) and got in during the thunder.
Speaking of rain and doggin' it. . .
When It Raids It Pours—Ulzana
“Ulzana's Raid is scheduled to play on Encore Westerns: (all times Eastern and Pacific)
• 10/6, 8 pm
• 10/7, 2:05 am
• 10/12, 3:45pm & 10:20 pm
• 10/16, 3:40 pm
• 10/22, 10 pm
• 10/31, 1:10 pm & 10:20 pm
“It plays again in February and July of 2007, so this might be the time to work up a couple of True West Moments about cavalry and Natives.
Thanks Jeff, and thanks to Alan and Jim and C. Neil, I'm going to check out this Western with new eyes. And if I know myself, you can expect a slew of cavalry images on this site in the near future.
“There are two classes of people who tell what is going to happen in the future: those who don't know and those who don't know they don't know.”
—John Kenneth Galbraith
Bob Boze 8:49 AM
October 5, 2006 Bonus Bonus Blog
I drove down into the Beast for lunch today. Met with Ron Bergamo of AZ-TV and a producer, Ramon Plaza. They are recommending I do a TV show based on the elements of True West. We met at Capital Grill, at 24th St. and Camelback, a notorious watering hole for bigtime media tycoons and industry leaders. The head of something at APS came by our table, glad-handed Ron, who introduced me, to which the APS fathead said, “Yes, I see your pithy comments in the paper all the time.” For some reason this really irritated me. Pithy? Really? Well, I fumed about this all the way back out to Cave Creek. And all the way up to now, when I finally looked it up and saw that it means, “condensed, terse, and forceful.” Never mind. What a nice gentleman. One of the smartest CEOs I’ve even encountered in Phoenix.
Ha. (Oh, the ridiculous vanity of a certain blogger!)
Unearthing The Ultimate Ulzana
“Ulzana’s Raid has played on the Westerns Channel. Maybe Jeff Hildebrandt will make you a copy.”
“$120.00 for a copy of Ulzana's Raid???? You need to call the people you work with on the Westerns Channel and get them to broadcast it and then you can tape it for free. I agree with Alan that it is the best Cavalry film produced during that era and Burt Lancaster's scout is fantastic (as good as Robert Duvall playing Al Sieber in Geronimo) Most good westerns have a few good set scenes in it, but "Ulzana's Raid" has so many good scenes in it, it would be hard to list them. Richard Jaeckel is also real good as the grizzled NCO but I just wish they had taken the damn hat cords off.
“If you keep talking about this movie in your blog and nobody can get a copy....somebody will have to release it. I do believe that it is as good as the John Ford Cavalry films.”
“Señor Bell, Just read your dilemma regarding Ulzana’s Raid. Huffines is right: It's a humdinger of a cavalry flick, free from the P.C. pig shit of modern movies and devoid of Golden Age Hollywood schmaltz. I can't believe an Apachephile (is that a word?) such as yourself hasn't seen it.
“I have nearly every post-WWII, big-screen Western put to disc--some 400. That's not a brag, mind you. I'm a past master of the oater—the kind of obsessive Westerner who prioritizes movies over groceries. I'd be happy to loan you Ulzana’s. I could mail it to TW's offices from here in Glendale. All I ask is that you give your word as a Hat Nazi that you'll treat it as your own, not loan it to anyone else, and return it when you're done.”
—C. Neil Williams
Wow! Several people, who I am close to, constantly question the value of this blog and the time it takes out of my busy day to write in here, and to them I say, “See, this justifies writing the blog right here. I’ve been paid back in full for every word I’ve written, in one fell swoop. Thank you C. Neil Williams, fellow Hat Nazi, anti-PCer and obsessive Westerner who prioritizes movies over groceries.”
Last night I was searching for a drawing and ran across a sketch pad from 1985. Check out this nude study taken from life in a drawing class at Scottsdale Artist’s School. Very clean, and simple, need to get back to this pithy style.
”The right to offend is far more important than the right not to be offended.”
Bob Boze 5:06 PM
October 5, 2006 Bonus Blog
Of the twelve sketches and assorted paintings I did yesterday, I couldn't help but go in and tweak the Crazy Horse Monument painting. I tried to nail the cheekbones a bit stronger, and while I think it nudges the imagae toward the In-din visage, it still isn't the warrior we all want, is it?
"Every artist needs another artist to stand behind them, and hit them over the head repeatedly, before they work a painting to death."
—Vincent Van Google
Bob Boze 10:25 AM
October 5, 2006
I had a very successful day yesterday, forcing myself to paint in the office. I had this very strong urge to go home to my studio where I can utilize my tools (code for tracing projecter!), but I stayed with it and finished two paintings for Classic Gunfights. One is of Billy Thompson, surrounded by swirling shotgun powder (and don’t forget the winds of controversy), and the other is of Four Jacks and a Joker, which is how the Ellsworth, Kansas pioneers described their early lawmen, four of whom were named Jack. I had excellent photo reference from Wichita’s Old Cowtown when we were there last month, and I started to do a backdrop of the train station with the word “Ellsworth” on the side of the building replacing "Wchita," but I misspelled it as Ellsorth (I was working backwards and got lost). So, I overpainted that, kept missing effects and slopping paint. I failed again and again, until I took the mess into production to scan the dang thang, for position only (FPO), with the idea of going home and starting over, and as I walked by Robert Ray he said, “That’s nice.” Ha. Too funny.
On The Missing Ulzana’s Raid DVD
“I checked at Amazon for Ulzana's Raid. You can have your own copy if you are willing to pay $120. It is no longer in production and only available from third party private sellers.”
“ULZANA'S RAID is hard to find in DVD and then it is only a full screen job,
which being a wide-screen snob, is why I don't have it. I do think it is the
best cavalry film ever made with SOTMS [Son of The Morning Star] being a close second.”
“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, relief, joy.”
— Pema Chodron
Bob Boze 8:53 AM
October 4, 2006
I tried to order Ulzana's Raid from Netflix but they don't have it. Very disappointed. They have had everything else I've requested. Got one of those "We get so many requests, don't hold your breath" customer response Emails.
More Guides On Guidons
"And the familiar Red and White Cavalry guidon is so because it depicts the colors of St. George, the only saint depicted as mounted. You need to check out Stephan’s THE HORSE SOLDIER series. It will provide you with the highest detail for your cavalry work."
Got a phone call from Clay Thompson of The Arizona Republic who got a question for his column about Sore Finger Road. He Googled it and this blog came up, regarding Vince Murray and I going out to Wyatt Earp's Sore Finger Mine last year. It seems to me, the cross references are getting quite surreal, no?
We are doing a feature on the big South Dakota Crazy Horse monument that I referenced last week in my diatribe about In-din cheekbones. As I mentioned at the time, the facial structure doesn't seem In-din enough, and I think it's because his face is too narrow in a northern European kind of way. In fact, he seems to have more in common with George Washington than Crazy Horse. I did a sketch of the same view, only with enhanced cheekbones. Not sure if that makes a difference. I also think the high hairline doesn't help either, but I'm just throwing rocks here:
Finished my December editorial and picked out a Honkytonk Sue punchline. Robert Ray is shoe horning it in even as I type this. We had two different couples come in this morning, the first was Bill and Thelma Diamond of Cottonwood. Bill has been a subscriber since 1953 and has every issue. Thelma rolled her eyes and said, "He won't let me throw any of them out." And I said, "Thelma, you've got to get used to the idea that Bill is a genius. Imagine how much money these will be worth." She asked how much, and I said, "many, many ponies."
"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open."
—Alexander Graham Bell (no relation)
Bob Boze 10:24 AM
October 3, 2006
Last night I finished the last page in my second sketch book (page 100). I've done six drawings a day since last November without missing a day. Of course, the drawings on this page are for the Top Secret Project. The waterfall is in the Sierra Madre Mountains, deep in Taharamara land (it actually falls another two ledges, but I didn't have room), the bottom sketch is of Captain Pierce and Curly (based on reference photos shot by Jim Hatzell) and the Apache woman at right is for a "faces of anguish" page I'm doing for the opening of the story.
Speaking of Jim Hatzell, I have noticed that in cavalry movies like Fort Apache the soldiers move out with full color guards, U.S. flag flying and guidons as well. But in the many sketches and paintings by Remington, who was out here in Arizona in 1886-88, he depicts no guidons on the scouts he rode with and depicted. I asked Jim, who is an expert on all things military, why the discrepancy? Here's his answer:
“The guidon is used when an entire company of Cavalry is in the field. This is a tool used for keeping the line straight during a charge and a rally point when the trumpeter blows recall. Remington may have been illustrating small detachments. By the way, Hollywood always wants to place the guidon at the front of the column but it should be in the center. If you check out Michael Blake's new book Indian Yell there is a photo I've never seen published before of the 7th Cavalry in the field. They are riding with a guidon.
“Also, keep in mind that during the 1880's the US Army began using the red and white guidon again. That was what they used back during the early Dragoon days up to the early battles of the Civil War. It was confusing that the Federals and Confederates were both using the same guidon so the US Army went to the guidon with a Stars & Stripes motif. This was especially irritating to the Rebs because the stars reflected that the South was still part of the country. This was used during the Indian Wars just after the War and up to the Apache conflicts. Beginning in the early 1880s, during the Geronimo time frame, the red & white guidon was used again until the US Cavalry was disbanded.”
Jim Hatzell is having a photo art opening this weekend. You can check it out at:
Why Isn’t Camp Verde A Fort?
“Hey BBB! According to Ray Brande’s Frontier Military Posts of Arizona, Camp Lincoln was established in January 1864 on the east bank of the Verde River about 1 mile north of the juncture of the Verde and Beaver Creek in Yavapai County. On November 23, 1868 the post was renamed Camp Verde and renamed Fort Verde on April 5, 1879.”
“Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they are actually both products of the same process.”
—Roger von Oech
Bob Boze 11:38 AM
October 2, 2006 Bonus Blog
I went home for lunch and had reheated burger and cottage cheese and an apple. Whipped out a study called "Renegade Wickiup." And yes, this is the same background from the "Beauty" painting. I am trying to perfect the white-ish coral striping of the strata around San Carlos. I noticed the same geological phenom at Camp Verde, and my suspicions are they are both exhibiting the same mineral reaction. Ironically, all the Apaches were first put on a res at Camp Verde, then later moved to San Carlos. And for some reason Camp Verde never became a fort, while Camp Grant became Fort Grant. Not sure what prompts that designation.
If you can't spot the renegade wickiup, it's right here:
"Anger, like milk, should not be kept long."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 2:15 PM
October 2, 2006
I just got the word that Dan Harshberger's mother, Denise, passed away on Saturday. A graveside memorial is being held this Saturday, in Kingman at Mountain View Cemetery.
My son, Thomas, shares a love for all things drummer-related. I got this partial text message this morning: "I am a drum major. I am a ragtime rhythm section. I am a wild animal knocking rocks on the hard shell of mother earth, the prehistoric paradiddle. I am nerves and muscle gaining strength. Sufan Slevins on oldest drumming memory. . ."
Prehistoric paradiddle, now that's a hoot.
In case you have wondered just how long I have been dressing this way and acting this way, here's two photos from 1982. Videographer, Joel Samuel sent me the following two images from a taping at Graham Central Station, a big Urban Cowboy nightclub in West Phoenix. That's me on stage with Miss Arizona 1982, Jenny Nicols (her father was TV anchor Bill Nicols). I believe I'm about to launch into "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zep, but I could be wrong. It would be typical of me though:
"Way down inside, woman, you need love."
Bob Boze 11:34 AM
October 1, 2006
My first speech yesterday was in the Glendale Main Library Auditorium. Had a full house to hear about publishing books (it was an all day seminar featuring many speakers). I was telling them that they somehow, someway have to get past the crowd at the foot of the ladder. I told them how we all have been trained to get in the back of the line, and not speak out, but wait for someone to recognize our talents and how that rarely, if ever, works. As I'm finishing this point, a Native American Woman down front stands up and says, “I have been researching and researching and I want to write for True West.” She reaches out and hands me her card, which said, “Theda Goodfox Kresge” and I thanked her and looked at the audience and said, “And that’s a perfect example of how you get past the crowd at the foot of the ladder.”
After lunch at Earl’s with Betty Radina and her friend Jo Jo (and admiring Brad’s new paintjob extravaganza on the interior of the restaurant), Kathy and I drove to Mormon Lake (south of Flagstaff) for a speech to the Arizona Trail Association. This is a group of 700 volunteers who are building and connecting a trail all the way from Coronado Point, below Sierra Vista and right on the Mexican border, all the way to Utah. They were celebrating another link in the trail near Mormon Lake and invited me to come up and regale them with all the stories about all the historic characters who crossed the trail. I gave them the laundry list, from Cochise to Geronimo, from Billy the Kid to Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Big Nose Kate, and from Elvis to Ev Mechem. We had fun and many laughs. Kathy was so inspired she wants to do the entire trail (we heard several stories about people spending ten weeks to do it). They also need more members and I told them we could help them with that. They are doing a great thing to preserve the heritage of Arizona and it’s a perfect fit for the magazine. Here’s their website if you want to check them out:
Came back this morning by the backtrail, via Clint’s Wells and Camp Verde. Got back here at about noon. Went down to check on Rob but he’s out getting “transportation.” Said he’d see me in the office tomorrow.
The leaves were just starting to turn orange up on the rim and it was quite stunning. As I drove down the winding back roads I pondered my own artistic trail and wondered how I will ever find the truths I seek.
“If you really want to discover profound artistic truths I’ve found one of the best ways is to cut off your ear and give it to a prostitute.”
—Vincent Van Google
Bob Boze 6:40 PM
September 30, 2006
I’ve got two speeches today. The first one at the Glendale Public Library, then a speech tonight up at Mormon Lake. Let’s catch up on the mail:
More Good Horse Dropping Sightings
“There is a very excellent Robert Aldrich movie released in 1972 called Ulzana's Raid with Burt Lancaster (and if you look closely, you will see stunt man Richard Farnsworth). Anyway there is a scene where the US Cavalry is chasing Apaches and the young Lieutenant played by Bruce Davison examines horse droppings to try to figure out how far ahead the Indians are. I recommend that you check this film out as it is very good and right up the alley of what your ‘secret project’ is all about. One criticism though, they have the Cavalry wearing hat cords. Otherwise the look is great!
“The rumor is that when we were working on the film Geronimo; An American
Legend that the original screenplay written by John Milius was similar in
nature to Ulzana's Raid but that it was toned down quite a bit by the
time it was made. The Burt Lancaster film is very brutal!”
“Hello Mr. Bell, my name is Herb Smith and I live on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. During a visit to the doctor's office, I came across an issue of your True West magizine and found it to be quite interesting. Using a Yahoo search, I managed to locate your website and found it to be very interesting also and am looking forward to placing a subscription for True West. My wife and I are in our mid 50's and we have been told by our physicians that a change of atmosphere would greatly assist us in relieving some of the symptoms that we suffer due to arthritis and other medical problems. They suggested, since we are both retired, that a move to the American Southwest would do us a lot of good.
“We have done a lot of searching and reading of information on the internet but cannot quite find the type of information that we are looking for. We are tired of putting up with the hustle and bustle, traffic and rushed life-style out here in this area. We are looking for an area of smaller towns where things are more layed-back, where life moves a lot slower and I thought, who better to ask than someone like yourself who has been there and seen it for yourself.
“Are there any places left where you can find horses, wagons and buggies used alongside of modern vehicles in daily living? Are there any places left where the stores and shops and the towns in general are more like life used to be in the late 1800's? Since my wife and I are retired, we could live pretty much anywhere. Would you have any suggestions that we could research and look into? Any information would be useful and let me thank you now for your time and assistance.”
Herb, you need to read our Top Ten Western Towns issue (Jan. 2006), but unfortunately it's sold out (you can read the article on our website here). However, in each subsequent issue we have been running a column called “What’s it like to live there?” And you will find plenty of towns to move to. Based on your requirements though, I would recommend a.) Lincoln, New Mexico, or b.) a Mennonite community. Good luck.
The Adam Doesn’t Fall Far From The Family Tree
“I just wanted to confirm what some folks have already told you. You do look like your Great Grandfather Adam! In fact, when I first glanced at the photo on the blog I thought it might be one of those staged, "old-time", photos of you and some of your family taken a couple of years back at some festival or another. Also, I wanted to comment on ‘Beauty’. What an outstanding job, amigo! A truly gorgeous study of a truly gorgeous subject. Bravo!”
—Chris Casey, Maniac #946, Sierra Vista, AZ
“Hey BBB! That guy with the gallouses behind the wheel of that car does look like you. looks like he’s even wearing a hat and has a moose stash.
“Enjoying your Apache stuff. my favorite bad indian portrayal in a movie by a non-indian is Rock Hudson who plays Young Bull in Jimmy Stewart’s Winchester 73.
“Hey glad to hear I am alive and well in the TW archives. hope RR used the Cave Creek map showing where TW is located.”
—Gus Walker, The Mapinator
Yes he did.
“You don't have to stay up nights to succeed; you have to stay awake days.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 12:37 PM