Friday, December 15, 2017

HOW, White Man!

December 16, 2017
   For a town that I've never really liked, I sure am finding myself painting the local scenery around there lately:

Daily Whip Out: "Dust Storm Over The Needles"

   According to Olive Oatman's map that accompanied her best-selling tell-all, "The Captivity of The Oatman Girls," the Mohave Captivity location is shown on the east side of the Colorado River, which would put her in Arizona (actually New Mexico at the time of her ordeal). This map indicates her locale as being closer to Topock, than Needles, California.

The Captivity Map in Royal B. Stratten's book

   Of course, we now know the Tonto Apache Captivity site is completely wrong. At the time of Olive's capture and subseuqent release five years later, it was thought that the raiding party who massacred the Oatman's were Apaches. Any time an arrow flew in that time period, it was invariably blamed on Apaches. Turns out the raiders were more likely Yavapais, who were sometimes called Yavapai-Apaches.

   Most historians now believe the site of Olive's second captivity was right on the spot that became Needles, the town. And speaking of the name of towns, I just discovered that Topock was originally called Mellon, after this guy:

Captain Jack Mellon Museum in Yuma

Oh, and what's with White Guys dressing up like In-dins?

And speaking of White guys playing In-dins:

HOW, White Man!

   HOW! Indeed? As in—how in the hell did we end up at this crazy place in the long history of this country?

"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt."
—Herbert Hoover

The Mapinator And The Nude Duel That Will Not Die

December 16, 2017
   This is what happens when whores and gamblers meet in the park late at night.

Daily Whip Out: "The Nude Duel That Will Not Die"

   I did a Classic Gunfight on this famous "duel" that came off between two Soiled Doves in Denver. Allegedly the two stripped to the waist so as not to inhibit their shooting ability. One poor bystander got it in the neck (see scalawag grabbing his neck, at right). Turns out the whole thing is a myth, but it's such a Good Myth, it gets repeated almost every year in the Denver Post, and every year the historian Clark Secrest sends the real version and every year the Denver Post runs a retraction. May I suggest a headline for this coming year?


The Late, Great Gus Walker, The Mapinator

   Gus passed in November of 2014. We really miss him and his wonderful maps. He was the best.

The Loco-Boze

   Taken at the Scottsdale Museum of the West shortly after their opening. They had this giant blow-up of a scratchboard of mine, which you ran into if you were on the way to the bathrooms. Needless to say I was very proud of the placement. It has since been replaced with other artwork, but this is a proud memory.

"There is no truth, no history—there is only the way in which the story is told."
—Richard Avedon

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Olive Oatman High Above The Needles

December 14, 2017
   Got serious this morning about the Olive Oatman story. Going to be on the cover of the next issue and I want it to be good. She deserves that.

Daily Whip Out: "Olive High Above The Needles

   Did she leave two children behind on the banks of the Colorado when she was "liberated" back into "civilization"?
   Kathy Sue had an observation when she saw the latest version of our next cover on the kitchen table. She recommends these cover heads:

   Rescued? Or, Kidnapped Again?

   If you read the story carefully, you realize the Mojaves were threatened with annihilation if she wasn't returned. Kathy feels like she lost her second mother. At any rate, the person who saved her life, more than once, was this woman:

Daily Whip Out: "Aespaneo, Queen of The Mojaves"

   I'll discuss her at length in the article. If there is a hero in this story, besides Olive, it is Aespaneo. But, first let's go back to her family of origin:

Daily Whip Out: "Olive And Mary Ann"
Both were taken captive

Daily Whip Out: "Lorenzo Oatman, 15"
Beaten senseless, but survived.

Daily Whip Out: "Royce, Jr., 11"
and Roland, 3. Both killed.

Daily Whip Out: "Charity, 5 and Mary Ann, 38"
Both killed.

Daily Whip Out: "Lucy, 17 and her father Royce, 41"
Both killed.

"This is the last I shall see of you. I will tell all about the Mohave and how I lived with them. Good bye."
—Olive Oatman, shaking the hand of Tokwatha (Musk Melon) at Fort Yuma on the day she departed, in 1856

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Little Love for Barren Pretentiousness

December 13, 2017
   Sometimes, when I see photographs of the Southwest taken in the first half of the Twentieth Century it makes me happy all over.

Barren Pretensions in Albuquerque

   The lonely sign, the disinterested dog, the lone house in the mid-distance with no vegetation, or fence even, gives me a warm feeling for a time that is gone forever.

   So much of New Mexico and Arizona looked like this when I first saw it, or rather, when I was old enough to remember seeing it. I have a hunch the feelings this photo produces in me were planted at an even younger age. We traveled often between Kingman and Iowa for the better part of three decades and I saw many scenes like this. In fact, I'm sure we drove right by this sign, or, where this sign was, because it's on old Route 66.

   Of course, Nob Hill today is a Hipster address on East Central and looks a lot like Silver Lake, California, or Fourth Avenue in Tucson, or Mill Avenue in Tempe, or South Beaver in Flagstaff, or, well, you get the picture. There are still plenty of barren places in the West but as I totter into my seventh decade, I damn sure miss the ones that have been swallowed up by urbanization.

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grab Bag City & Mickey Free Engulfed

December 12, 2017
   Grab bag city. Engulfed in dust, Mickey Free rode on across the dry lake towards Los Muertos.

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Free Engulfed"

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Free In Dust Storm"

   Of course, Mickey knew who was waiting for him there. . .

Daily Whip Out: "Rudolpho Contrastoso"

Daily Whip Out: "Pancho's Wife #3"

Daily Whip Outs: "Panel Studies & Tombstone Whining"

Swaying backwards and forwards, sweeping high and low.

Daily Whip Out: "Midnite In The Mining Camp"

   The original of this hangs in Deena's room and I was in there this morning looking for a pair of pliers (long story) and noticed it on the wall and thought to myself, "How in the hell did I capture that little snippet of memory?"

"It's the good girls who keep the diaries; the bad ones never have the time."
—Tallulah Bankhead

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dude! Where's My Postcard?

December 11, 2017
   Carole Glenn was cleaning in the office (we are getting new carpet) and she found a couple large boxes of True West promotional postcards. We used to send these out every month to advertise the next issue, but with the rise of digital, we discontinued the practice about five years ago. Some of these little boogers were quite groovy, especially this little sucker:

Promotional postcard, July, 2006

   Some were quite risque and I can't quite imagine sending them out today:

Promotional postcard, December, 2005

   We did a cover story on Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005. Needless to say, we got some interesting phone calls after it hit the streets and our subscriber's mailboxes.

More Promotional Postcards, 2002—2005

   If I sent you one of these recently it's because I like you and thought you'd get a kick out of them. If you want some for your own, to send to people you like, they are a dollar a piece, while supplies last.

"You can't hate someone whose story you know."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Friday, December 08, 2017

Happy Accidents And Cole Younger's Toe Nails

December 8, 2017
   Special thanks to my curator, Kristi Jacobs, who retrieved a half dozen "failures" out of the garage yesterday. This is a painting I started about 16 years ago and gave up on it. Shows Cole Younger after his capture at Hanska Slough. Added some detail, stripped aways some passages and here it is. Not bad.

Daily Whip Out: "Cole Younger's Toe Nails"

   This was part of a story I wanted to tell about Cole's 25 years in prison and his last years as a celebrity and legend. Still may revisit this in a feature for True West and as a book.

Words to Live By

"My pictures are of no value, though of course they cost me a great deal, at times even my blood and my brain."
—Vincent van Gogh

"A hasty study might be more effective and alive than the finished painting."


"Art runs parallel to nature."

—Paul Cezanne

"Paint without hesitation, be simple, be direct."

—Old Vaquero Saying

"The secret of success is constancy of purpose."

—Benjamin Disraeli

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Rumble On: Three Chords And The Truth

December 7, 2017
   I remember exactly where I was when I heard those "dangerous and transgressive" chords for the very first time. I was in downtown Kingman, on Beale Street, in front of Mohave Electric and a cheap speaker was blasting out onto the sidewalk this revolutionary distortion—and I knew immediately, it just HAD TO BE ILLEGAL!

   It took a while, but that distortion paved the way for the Stones' "Satisfaction" (1965) and almost every song Led Zeppelin ever did. 

   Oh, and the entire Metal catalogue. 

   Hard to believe, but this powerful, but simple riff, was created by an In-din boy named Link Wray.

Link Wray And The Wraymen Get Down

"In 1958, the guitar riff known as 'Rumble' shocked audiences. Its use of distortion and bass made it sound dangerous and transgressive to audiences at the time."

—Lulu Garcia, Weekend Edition, NPR