BBB's Blog

Bob Boze Bell

If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a magazine or how crazy my personal life is, be sure to read the behind-the-scenes peek at the daily trials and tribulations of running True West. Culled straight from my Franklin Daytimer, it contains actual journal entries, laid out raw and uncensored. Some of it is enlightening. Much of it is embarrassing, but all of it is painfully true.

In addition to this current journal, my early journal entries show the rocky road and money lost in the True West Business Timeline.

Bob's biography - The Unvarnished Truth

July 28, 2014
   Drove back from LA yesterday by myself. Took the back way through Riverside and up over the mountains to Palm Desert. Enjoyed seeing that rough country.

   I especially enjoyed seeing my grandson Weston stylin' with his 1-year-birthday lid:

Weston and his father Mike

Weston stylin' while holding his favorite toy car

   Last Saturday night, I took the kids down to visit Carson Mell in his humble adobe near Hollywood. My son Thomas and Carson go way back. Here they are yucking it up before we walked to a Salvadorian restaurant.

Carson Mell and T. Bell

Answering The Mail
   In the August issue, page 23, BBB writes about his grandmother. He mentions that she (grandmother) said "Wyatt Earp was the biggest jerk who ever walked the West". He, BBB, never addresses the issue of WHY she said that about Wyatt Earp. Can you explain why she said it and what she meant?

—Dr. Ron Nierenberg, Marietta, Ga

Dr. Ron,
   Yes, my grandmother was from a ranching family near Steins Pass, which is about 90 miles from Tombstone and when she was growing up in the early 1900s, mere decades after the OK Corral fight, she heard the cowboy side of things. And Marshall is correct, the Earps were Yankees from Iowa and the cowboys were mainly from Texas and the Earps left Arizona after a short stay. So my grandmother had no love for the Earps . This was quite intriguing to me because I loved the TV show so much. it was that contradiction that ultimately led me to being in the history biz.


"They say they climb mountains because they are there. I wonder if it would astound them to know that the very same reason is why the rest of us go around them."
—S. Omar Baker

Bob Boze 5:15 PM

July 26, 2014
   Went out with my son Thomas Charles taco hopping this afternoon in Pasadena. He knows his way around the barrio. Here he is with the goods from La Estrella (he also stopped at Baja Ranch and got some green chile guisado and a couple buche tacos). The dude knows his Mexican street food.

Thomas Charles on the All Mexican All The Time Tour

   We're meeting Carson Mell tonight, for Mexican food, of course. Meanwhile, Weston has been enjoying a dog in the house.

Weston Smothers Hurley as his aunt and uncle laugh like crazy

   But the coolest scene was sitting in the back yard as my son read an advance copy of "The 66 Kid" and pointed out a photo of his father to Weston.

T. Charles points out his father to Weston Bortscheller

"The child is father to the man."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Bob Boze 4:26 PM

July 26, 2014
   Here we are in Pasadena walking down the sidewalk on our All Mexican All The Time Tour.

Grand Marmita, Weston, T. Charles and Deena somewhere in Pasadena.

   T. Charles and his wife Pattarapan are on their way to Thailand and my son wants one final binge on the food he loves (In our family he's known as The Mole Man). And yes, Weston is smiling. He digs his uncle.

   The little Man of the West also loves Hurley, Pattarapan's dog. Here they are this morning waking up. The kids slept in the living room and the grandparents got the spare bedroom.

Weston grooves on Pattarapan's Thailand bound dog, Hurley.

  Our destination was Burrito Express for breakfast. We ate outside because it's a beautiful morning with the temperature in the mid-seventies.

Pattarapan, Deena and T. Charles digging in on the huevos rancheros at Burrito Express.

   We ate at El Patron in Altadena yesterday and T. had the "drunken margarita" which comes with an upside down cerveza attached. Quite clever and effective.

T. Charles with a "drunken margarita." Have two of these and the title is reversed.

   While at the Burrito Express this morning I gave the family a humor assignment. I'm sending "66 Kid" postcards to various media outlets with the goal of landing a guest spot, or getting some ink. I wondered aloud how to thread the needle between asking for the order and trying to get past the gatekeepers (something I know a little about at True West). Kathy came up with "I'll make a good guest," and since we always consider the opposite of whatever anyone comes up with, Deena posited, "Don't Google me."

   Ah, my clever daughter—that is how the next batch is going out, with that warning. I will tally the success rate and report on it when the results come in.

"Luck is the residue of design."
—Branch Rickey

Bob Boze 9:48 AM

July 25, 2014
   On the road from Vidal, California to 29 Palms, highway 62 parallels railroad tracks for about ten miles. the entire stretch has rock and wood tributes along the rail roadbed. Pretty amazing.

Roadbed graffiti along Highway 62 between Vidal, California and Iron Mountain

Drove into San Berdu, Glendora, Arcadia and Pasadena on old Route 66. Landed at Deena from Pasadena at about 11:30 and immediately got to playing with a certain grandson.

Weston looks like just maybe he'd like a bigger hat?

Okay, it's official: Weston totally digs the bigger hat.

Tom Bell, his wife and their dog, are coming in from the LAX and we're meeting them for Mexican food. T. Charles says it going to be All Mexican All The Time, until he leaves on Sunday for a teaching gig in Thailand.

"You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Bob Boze 1:33 PM

July 24, 2014
 After our stop in Earp, California, yesterday, which is just across the Colorado River from Parker, Arizona, Kathy and I motored west, past Wyatt Earp's Happy Days Mine (which lies north from the highway in the foothills of the Whipple Mountains).

Highway 62

 I assume this is the route Wyatt and Josie took from their winter home in LA, out through San Bernandino, Redlands, Joshua Tree and 29 Palms, in a wagon, of course. Hard to believe they traversed this desert with miles and miles of soft sand in every direction.

One of the reasons I took this back route to Cal was to take advantage of the summer heat to study highway heat waves. Got a couple pictures of the phenom.

I took this route for scenes like this: floating cars in the highway heat waves.

 Noticed an amazing phenom along the railroad tracks that parallel the highway for many miles. People have created mini-signs with their names on them, girlfriends, etc. by utilizing rocks and wood. This goes on for miles and miles. It's hard to believe that many people have even used the road. We only met maybe four cars on the entire 100 mile stretch.

Motored up through Crazy Woman Valley and saw a ruined little ranchito. Stopped to take a couple photos. Heat really blasting (110 degrees) but had to get a couple shots of the ranchito ruins.

Ranchito Ruins #1

Ranchito Ruins #2

 Stopped in Joshua Tree, the town, for lunch. Found a groovy little cafe, The Natural Sisters Cafe, which I would highly recommend. Brewed iced tea is the new standard for me. Fewer cafes bother any more and I can't stand instant. Tastes like water sifted through cat litter to me.

Natural Sisters Cafe in Joshua Tree: great guacamole burgers and brewed iced tea

 Then headed up the mountain for Bear Lake. Temperature dropped about five degrees every mile. Kathy and I had a bet about how far it would go down. Kathy bet 84 and I guessed 87. When we pulled into a pine nestled destination the thermometer said 87.

 "In hell, women are even more right."
 —Wonderful Russ sent me this from a dude who goes by @dafloydsta

Bob Boze 7:41 AM

July 23, 2014
 Got up this morning at six and drove to the Earp, California post office so I could mail some "66 Kid" postcards with the Earp postmark. Several people on my mailing list are going to be very surprised.

"The mailing has commenced. Either get to telling me how much you want a postcard with an Earp postmark, or get away from me."

Bob Boze 6:04 PM
July 22, 2014
   Found a painting in my discard file and took a couple stabs at it. Finally added the rider this morning before I came into work.

Daily Whipout: "Mickey Free Rides Across The Ledge of Death"

   Whipped by an evil wind, the fire hop scotches the dry tundra and follows Mickey Free as he rides hell bent for leather out on the ledge of death.

   Just got the first advance copy of "The 66 Kid" from Cindy Laun at Voyageur Press in Minneapolis. Fed Ex rocketed the book from Minneapolis to Cave Creek in less than 24 hours (I received the book at 11 a.m.) How do they do this? Cost $92, but it's worth it. The printer is in Hong Kong and they evidently Fed Exed the publisher a copy. The rest of the shipment is coming on the proverbial slow boat from China and will arrive at the end of this week on the California coast. From there they will be trucked to the publisher in Minneapolis, then back to me in Arizona. Kind of crazy, this publishing business.

"I've heard some tall tales, but this one takes the cake. And, I love cake!"
—Hugh O'Brian, star of The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp (back cover blurb)

Bob Boze 12:04 PM
July 21, 2014
   Working hard now on sorting art into categories. Here's a spot illustration done for Arizona Highways and ended up in "The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid."

Daily Whipout: "Billy vs. Brushy Bill"

   Lots and lots of New Times cartoons. I did a doubletruck worth of cartoons (six to 12 illustrations per) every week for over a decade. Found lots of decent stuff, like this:

Monsoon Fashion Month
   It's that time of year when Arizona celebrates Monsoon Fashion Month. In late July and most of August, Zonie women who love fashion are challenged to stay current and clothed.

Daily Whipout: "Monsoon Mama"

   Found the promotional postcard for the opening of Honkytonk Sue's, the short-lived niteclub on Scottsdale Road.

Honkytonk Sue's, 2003 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona

   The opening offered free drinks from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 27, 1981, promising, on the back, "We're going' to have one hell of a good tam." Yes, time was spelled "tam." At first the club was a raging success with wall to wall dancers and wannabe cowboys, but then, over time, the main dancers would dance all night, nursing a coke, and all the good bands charged $1,000 (if memory serves me correctly) and then when the club tried to institute a two drink minimum, all the good dancers went up the street to Handlebar J's or points north. Ah, the club business. Not the easiest thing in the world to make a success.

"Anybody who thinks of going to bed before 12 o'clock is a scoundrel."
—Samuel Johnson

Bob Boze 10:52 AM

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