Sunday, May 20, 2018

Custer Wore Arrow Shirts And Beating A Dead Horse

May 20, 2018
   It's an old joke first told by Vine Deloria, Jr. in his seminal book, "Custer Died for Your Sins" (1969). "Indians say Custer was well-dressed for the occasion. When the Sioux found his body after the battle, he had on an Arrow shirt." 

Daily Whip Out:
"Custer Wore Arrow Shirts, Idea #1"

   In terms of illustrating this joke for the upcoming article (August issue), I wanted to approach it more from an advertising angle, as if the 150-year-old clothing company was going to mount an ad campaign to promote their line of Custer Arrow Shirts.

"Custer Wore Arrow Shirts, Idea #2"

   According to a Google search, "The idea of a man’s shirt having a detachable collar was invented in Troy, New York, in 1825. Hannah Lord Montague came up with the idea as a way to keep a shirt looking fresh and crisp without daily laundering. Soon, several companies in the area began manufacturing the collars, including Maullin & Blanchard. Cluett Peabody & Company acquired the company in 1885, and soon Arrow collars and cuffs were being widely distributed."

   This is from the Arrow Shirt Co. website. Reading on, I found out this:

The Arrow Collar Man

   "Part of the Arrow collar popularity was the creation of the Arrow Collar Man by artist J.C. Leyendecker. This good-looking man, always dressed in the latest Arrow items, became one of the most recognizable brand icons of the time. President Theodore Roosevelt was among his many fans, and at the height of his popularity, the fictional Arrow Collar Man was getting up to 17,000 fan letters a day -- mostly from young women."

   Wow! A day? That is in the Shawn Cassidy-Princess Diana zone. And, to me, it just proves there is nothing new under the sun. Here is a good example of the Leyendecker look:

The Arrow Collar Stud, by J.C. Leyendecker

   I have been a longtime fan and knew that J.C. Leyendecker was a prolific commercial artist and a neighbor of Norman Rockwell (the recent biography on Rockwell outed Leyendecker). "Not that there's anything wrong with that," said the defensive artist, referring to the artist's alleged gayness, not the scumbag journalism.

   So, back to the arrow shirt concept. It's a decent parody, but is it funny? Because what I really want, is to portray the joke in the funniest way I can. One of my first ideas—first idea, best idea—was to have Custer in a Vaudeville pose, strutting across the prairie with his "arrow" shirt:

"Custer Wears Arrow Shirts, Idea #4"

  Then I got caught up in the whole hair problem deal (everyone knows Custer didn't have long hair at the Little Big Horn, yadda, yadda. . .) so I decided, okay, what if he's scalped, and still strutting?

"Custer Wears Arrow Shirts, Idea #5"

   Ben Foster, maybe, but not a great likeness of the Boy General and besides, my late mother and the still here, Paul Hutton, would hate this one.

   This is my usual problem: overwrought and under-rendered. I often beat myself up for beating a dead horse,  which is an ugly metaphor, but an accurate one, just the same.

Dead at the Post Office

   Our post office has become the go-to place to find out who has died in our small town. Here is the entrance, a couple days ago, featuring two recently passed Cave Creekers. As I was reading the details, a guy came out and saw me reading and said, "I hope I don't see myself up there."

  "Don't worry," I said with all the gravity I could muster, "You won't live to see it, but my only hope is that the graphics on mine are better than these."

"All men think all men mortal but themselves."
—Edward Young

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Bogus Cherokee Princess

May 19, 2018
   Additions to our upcoming In-din Humor issue include:

   Why do so many Americans (my own family included) persist in believing they have Cherokee blood? And why are there so many of us who believe our grandmother, or, great-grandmother, was a "Cherokee Princess"?

           My Cherokee Grandmother Princess

    Just kidding. This is actually "Zacharias Bones" and "Running White Fawn" of Wichita, Kansas, circa "recently." They illustrate a typical fantasy of many White Eyes (myself included). So, where did this In-din envy come from, and why Cherokees?

"Throughout the South in the 1840s and 1850s, large numbers of whites began claiming they were descended from a Cherokee great-grandmother. That great-grandmother was often a 'princess,' a not-inconsequential detail in a region obsessed with social status and suspicious of outsiders. By claiming a royal Cherokee ancestor, white Southerners were legitimating the antiquity of their native-born status as sons or daughters of the South, as well as establishing their determination to defend their rights against an aggressive federal government, as they imagined the Cherokees had done. These may have been self-serving historical delusions, but they have proven to be enduring."

Check out these stats:

"In 2000, the federal census reported that 729,533 Americans self-identified as Cherokee. By 2010, that number increased, with the Census Bureau reporting that 819,105 Americans claimed at least one Cherokee ancestor."

   Both quotes are from a very good article by Gregory D. Smithers, and you can read it right here:

Why Do So Many Americans Believe They Have Cherokee Blood?

"If every white person who claims to have Cherokee blood is really Cherokee, our grandfathers would not have had time to sleep."
—Old Cherokee Saying

Friday, May 18, 2018

Madame La Tule Offer

May 18, 2018
   Got a sweet little offer for just the people who read this blog:

Madame La Tule

   Her real name was Maria Gertrudis Tules Barcel√≥ (c. 1800 – January 17, 1852), she was commonly known as La Tules, and she was a Santa Fe saloon owner and master gambler in the Territory of New Mexico at the time of the U.S.-Mexican War.

Special Limited Edition of Madame La Tule

   I am OFFERING a LIMITED EDITION of fifteen (15) black and white relief prints of Madame La Tules printed with archival inks and embossed with the Santo Press chop. All are titled, numbered, copyrighted and hand-signed by me: Bob Boze Bell. Priced at $100 plus shipping and handling, the image measures 15.5”h x 7”w on 20”h x 11”w on 300-gram acid free paper.

A SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION of ten (10) hand-colored prints is offered at 
$150 each plus shipping and handling.

"Painted Lady Tules #1"

Going to go quick, so send me an email to lock down your order. Place your order to me at so I have your
email and can more readily respond to your requests.

"In truth, every person deserves a museum of his, or her, own life, because every life is so irreducibly strange, every mind so infinitely rich. There ought to be 7.6 billion little museums all over the world."

—Samanth Subramanian

The Earth Is Passing Gas, Man

May 18, 2018
    Sometimes scientists fall short in conveying to the rest of us what is actually happening on the planet.

The Best Explanation I Have Heard So Far
"That's the earth, farting, Man. All I know is, that volcano is demanding some respect."
—Rufus Daigle, 69, Klaueo, Hawaii

A ring of flowers on budding saguaro, Cahava Ranch Road

Where Do My Book Ideas Come From?
   Book ideas come to me like female hot flashes: out of the blue, often at odd hours, they burn bright, then I go back to sleep and I'm awakened by another one. Got this from my curator, Kristi Jacobs who was digging deep in my blog for a missing art piece:

"Your May 10, 2010 blog ends with. . .

"These are grave matters."
—BBB, from the forthcoming book The Fine Art of Becoming A Fine Artist
   "What ever happened to that book?"

   Oh, my, I have had so many book ideas it's not even funny. This "Fine Art" idea is one of them. I saw this quote today which pretty much sums it all up:

"It's never been easy to make something new. Inspiration strikes; insight occurs; shit happens."
—Bijan Stephen

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Duke of Dust Gets Down In The Dirt

May 17, 2018
   Back in May of 2010, Ed Mell and I, traveled to Utah on a plein air expedition. On the way home we hit a really bad dust storm at Kayenta and it sandblasted Ed's new car (he still growls about it), but I got a vivid memory of Agatha Peak shrouded like a ghost off in the middle-distance. A scene I have taken several runs at.

   This morning I was looking for something else (actually a painting called "Magic Hour" for Juni Fisher) when I came across a half-finished study of Agatha Peak painted from the memory of that trip, and I knew what it needed—a rippling, sand swept foreground to lock it together.

"Agatha Peak Shrouded In Dust"

   I also found another unfinished mesa which I gave a couple key strokes to:

Daily Whip Out: "Windswept Mesa"

   And I added a background to another piece:

Daily Whip out: "Mojave Laughers"

   And gave another one a go here:

Daily Whip Out: "Foolish Cloud People"

   Funny what you can accomplish when you're supposed to be doing something else.

Daily Whip Out: "Land of Dry Lakes"

   "Originality is the art of concealing your sources."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Snake Eyes And Miss Kitty's Dream

May 16, 2018
   Finished the Power brothers coverage yesterday morning and went home for lunch to just have some fun. 

Daily Whip Out: "Snake Eyes"

   Wanted to do a storm this morning and found some good cloud reference and sat down to see where it would go. When I was a lad I dreamed of having my own horse—Shamrock—and riding home ahead of the storm.

Daily Whip Out: "A Cowboy's Dream"

   It always makes me happy when one of my paintings finds a good home. 

   This is "Billy the Kid Laughs" and it hangs in Carole Glenn's entry way in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Her son Bill Glenn posed for it and the cat's name is Booger.

   Carole told me she's also known as "Miss Kitty."

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Report From the Newsstand Wars

May 15, 2018
   We live or die by our success on the newsstand. 

Sky Harbor Airport Newsstand

   Last Friday, Ken Amorosano and I flew to Albuquerque and as we headed for the gate I had to check out all the newsstands. I always study the layouts and placement. What pops out in a crowded field, or, more importantly, what gets lost? For me, the Fast Company cover (actually two) is the first thing I see, above, with the Rolling Stone cover a strong second. Almost everything else gets lost in too many graphics, wall-to-wall color and muddled ideas. And, of course the most painful aspect of this is that we are not even represented.

   So, it gives me some solace when we get special treatment, at places like this:

Special Treatment

   This is the Buffalo Bill Museum Gift Shop in Cody, Wyoming where we have our own special rack, all by our selves!

   Thanks to John Langellier (who wrote the Grant cover story in the rack) for sending this along. John also tells me the Wild Bill issue is all but sold out. This makes me very happy.

"Location, location, location."
—Old Real Estate Advice

Black Bean Revolt

May 15, 2018
   If you want to get my wife's panties in a wad, take her to a Mexican food joint that serves black beans.

   She don't like it. She will let you know.

Kathy in happier times,
where they DON'T serve black beans.

   Turns out, my wife is not alone.

"If I walk into a Mexican restaurant and I see one single black bean, I turn around and walk out. They don't belong in Mexican restaurants except in the Caribbean, but it's become this thing now, I want pinto beans, refried in lard."

—Steve Earle

Monday, May 14, 2018

Don Dedera: "Society is on trial. Our way of justice has an issue before it."

May 14, 2018
   It was sixty years ago that my friend, Don Dedera, started the wheels of redemption rolling with these simple words: "Society, I believe, is on trial. Our way of justice has an issue before it."
   Don's subsequent columns in the Arizona Republic resulted in the Power brothers being released from prison after serving more than forty years behind bars.

Don Dedera and the love of his life,
Nance, back in the day.

   Heidi Osselaer first came to this story in the summer of 2012. She spent over three years researching and interviewing everyone she could find. She even rode horseback into the rugged site of the shootout and, in retrospect, she says, "The journey helped me realize that the posse was pure lunacy. It just wasn't rational to undertake such an operation for men charged with non-violent crimes". 

In 2014 Heidi Osselair rode horseback
out into the rugged Galiuro Mountains so she could stand where the fight took place at the Power cabin.

   Heidi's book has a bombshell revelation, which I promised not to divulge. But if you want to find out what it is, it's on pages 217-218. You won't be disappointed.

At any rate, this is a story we are finally telling in the August issue of True West magazine with help from Don and a new book out on the 100th anniversary of the killing, "Arizona's Deadliest Gunfight: Draft Resistance and Tragedy at the Power Cabin, 1918," by Heidi Osselaer.

   Thanks to Don Dedera, the Power brothers were forgiven and redeemed. Thanks to Heidi Osselaer's formidable research and book the true history of what happened has been reclaimed. Thank you both! 
"Two old men, ghosts from the Old West, freed from prison by a crusading newspaper columnist, into a world of freeways, jetliners and space exploration."
—Scott Seckel

"These guys were in prison for 10 years before I was born. They served another decade before I ever set foot in Arizona. We're talking 20 years. They served another decade before I could get through school and my service and get through (Arizona State College) and get a job on the paper. Thirty years! They served another decade before I'm sitting across the table from them at Florence. That's 40 years!"

—Don Dedera, on how he came to the story of the Power brothers