Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Grouper Girl And High Five Riders On Sandy Beach

February 22, 2020
   I'm doing a story that takes place in a Mexican border town in the 1970s. So I went out today looking for photo reference, of a dusty, old school neighborhood in Puerto Penasco with a stray Mexican dog crossing the street. I didn't have to look far:

Why did the Mexican dog cross the street?

   It's just good business.

   Not far from there I ran across this vaquero coming down the street. This is not faked or prompted in any way. He really stood up in the saddle and rode past us. I shot this right out the window as we drove by:

High Five Rider

   Rocky Point has great restaurants and yesterday we ate at one of our favorites, high up on the point with a spectacular view of the entire town and beaches.



Grouper Girl High On A Hill

   Heading home tomorrow. It's been fun but are done.

   Jim Cross sent me newsstand rack position for True West magazine at Albertson's at 19th Ave and Northern in Phoenix, Arizona. Face out and he didn't move it. Thanks Jim.

True West magazine, face out
at Albertsons (bottom row, right)

"To be original, write from the body…from how it experiences existence. The body
never lies. Sometimes the head is lazy."
—Red Shuttleworth

Friday, February 21, 2020

Home of The Exposed Rebar & The Razz Revue Redux Extravaganza

February 21, 2020
   One of the things I love about Mexico is this:


Mexico: Home of the Exposed Rebar

   So a dune buggy pulls up to the beach next to our condo and these horn players get out and start playing triplets while a guy sings into a phone. I swear, it sounded like the start of a noir movie. I had to go down and take their picture.


La Banda del Charko
on Sandy Beach, Mexico

   Speaking of snot-nosed musicians, Gary Billey has renovated this old 1977 video:

The Razz TV Special

   Check it out.

"The artist's job is to be witness to his time in history."
—Robert Rauschenberg

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pendejos En La Penasco

February 19, 2020
   It's off season and nobody's here. Got the place to ourselves. Allows me to get some work done.

Daily Whip Out: "El Pendejo In Green"


Daily Whip Out: "Pendejos In Firelight"

   Of course when we are south of the border it isn't just sketching and working all day.


BBB at The Point in Puerto Penasco

   When I'm on vacation, I often look for inspiration. I found it here:

   "People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band."
—Charles Portis, who recently passed

"This paragraph is telling you exactly what this book is going to be: funny, harsh, comically dignified and based entirely on the internal struggle of a dry, haughty, extremely badass fourteen-year-old girl."
—Emily Temple, extolling the virtues of the first paragraph of "True Grit"

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On The Beach With El Pendenjo?

February 18, 2020
   Having fun in the sun with the beach all to ourselves.


Another Day, Another Empty Beach

   Lots of free time to sketch and enjoy the solitude.


On The Beach With El Pendenjo?

   Yes, misspelled Pendejo with an extra "n." A near miss, as it were. That is Steve Canyon inspired lettering. Could work.

   Meanwhile. . .



My Board of Inspiration

I'm reading a couple of beach books. "The Dept. of Speculation" by Jenny Offill, and "The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and The Last Years of Hollywood" by Sam Wasson. Both are inspiring and instructive. Jenny builds a narrative based on snippets (Kathy calls her "The Sentence Lady") and Wasson is pretty profound himself as he spins out the Roman Polanski-Sharon Tate tinged tragedy. This is a good example.


"They were golden, their friends were golden, and with so much gold to go around, all were happy at one another's shine."

   Wasson also has an ear for summing up eras like this:

"Dreaming you're in paradise and waking up in the dark—that's Chinatown. Thinking you've got it figured out and realizing you're dead—that's Chinatown."
—Sam Wasson paraphrasing Robert Towne

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Harrows of A Narrow River Landing

February 16, 2020
   So I'm flying this small airplane and I need to land it on a narrow river and I'm going pretty fast and I'm debating whether to put the landing gear down, or not. Will it slow the plane down enough to walk away, or will it catch on a sandbar and flip the plane over? And, did I mention I have never flown a small plane? Or, any plane, for that matter.

Daily Whip Out: "Narrow River Landing"

   And then I woke up.

   David Mamet maintains we dream about things we can't resolve with our rational mind. Perhaps the dream had something to do with this:

Diane Harris Moves True West
to front row at Books A Million

   Or some aspect of this:

Empty Beach Except for Babe In Lava Bed

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people."
—Virginia Wolf



Friday, February 14, 2020

Moon Over The Crow's Nest

February 14, 2020
   After a crazy, hectic couple of months, we have had a few nice, quiet days on the home front.


Moon Over The Crow's Nest

   One of my pet peeves in Westerns is that invariably everyone is wearing the same style hat, and often the same size hat (same brim, same curl, etc). This is usually because they come from one hatter, or wardrobe tends to stock the same kind of "cowboy" hat. Well, take a look at these gents in the wild.



Hayden Survey, 1871

   And look at the crown on the clown sitting down. Ha. Sorry, I'm being too harsh. He is not really a clown, but, you have to admit, a rodeo clown from 1956 would be very excited to find a hat with a crown like this.

   Meanwhile, we are doing an insightful piece on what war does to kids. Or, more specifically, how brutal 19-year-olds are. Case in point:

When Boys Go to War

Imagine the things this boy has seen.

Prairie Rose Rising

And now for something completely different:

Arizona Diamond Fields

   Which were a complete fraud by the way. But, welcome to Arizona, home of the big con job.



This is an update on the Ds updating their Christmas card and finding the same saguaro they posed under back in 1978. We made a special trip down to the Eastside Saguaro National Monument in December but we couldn't find this monster. Now Darlene found these pictures taken at the same time that point more towards the campsite, picnic area of the park. Hmmmm.


BBB at Janey's



"We still have dreams, but we know now that most of them will come to nothing. And we also most fortunately know that it really doesn't matter."
—Raymond Chandler, in a letter to Charles Morton, October 9, 1950               




Thursday, February 13, 2020

Standing On A Saguaro In A Desert Called Sonora

February 13, 2020
   Here's a photo that makes me happy:


Standing On A Saguaro



   Standing on a saguaro in a desert called Sonora, such a fine sight to see. It's two dudes on the arms who jumped up there from a flat bed Ford. I know, it needs work, but take it easy on me.

The Duke of Dust vs. Mr. Mud
   One of the aspects of my artistic journey is the wrestling match I constantly have between letting go and holding on, or as those .38 Special rockers put it, "hang on loosely." Two cases in point:





And then there's this:





   Overworked and overwrought, the Duke of Dust vs. Mr. Mud, that is the story of my life in that arena. I take some solace in the words of Miles Davis.
"Do not fear mistakes—there are none."

—Miles Davis