Saturday, August 13, 2022

For Crying Out Loud Donna Reed Is Sacagawea?!

 August 13, 2022

   In our Women's book, Jana and I are touching on some of the more edgy Western women and how they have been portrayed by Hollywood. Doris Day as Calamity Jane comes to mind as a reach, but then I got this tidbit from Nogales:

   "Surely if you’re showing movie posters of the women in the book you’ll need to include 34-year-old Donna Reed portraying Sacagawea in the 1955 movie The Far Horizon. They kind of bronzed her up but she wasn’t very convincing as an English speaking teenage Native American guide. Donna was an excellent actor and had many great roles, this wasn’t one of them. Way too many liberties were taken in telling the Lewis and Clark story."

—Greg Scott 

For Crying Out Loud, Sacagawea?!

   All of which begs the question, did this crying Indian (1955) preceed Iron Eyes Cody litterbug tear, or did Donna Reed shed a tear first? Okay, looks like Donna Reed's preceeded Iron Eyes by 15 years. Cody shed his tear in 1971 and by the way, it's known as the most famous tear in American History.

You Damn Litterbug.

Meanwhile. . .

   We got this little beauty going.

Doris Day as Calamity Jane

   To the credit of the crew who came up with "Deadwood" things got quite a bit more accurate.

Robin Weiger as Calamity Jane in Deadwood

Which is much closer to the real Calamity.

The Real Calamity Jane

   Jana had a history talk at the Phippen today so Kathy and Uno and I met her on the Carefree Highway at 32nd Street to grab a photo for the back page of our book. Of course, a certain ham had to be in the photo as well.

BBB, Jana and Uno

   Yes, and Uno is in the picture as well. My son, Thomas Charles ordered a book for me and it arrived two days ago. Finally cracked it last night.

"I realized that I was going to have to get up at five in the morning if I wanted to write fiction. It took a while, the alarm would go off and I'd roll over. Finally, I started to get up and go into the living room and sit at the coffee table with the yellow pad and try to write two pages. I made a rule that I had to get something down on paper before I could turn the water on for the coffee. Know where you're going and then put the water on. That seemed to work because I did it for most of the fifties."

—Elmore Leonard, in the foreword to "The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard"

Friday, August 12, 2022

Stagecoach Mary & Thank You Grandma Guessie!

 August 12, 2022

   This is a grainy, old photo of the woman who gave me my passion for Old West history.

Lue "Guessie" Guess
Steins Pass, New Mexico circa 1915

For a time, in 1900, she and my grandfather, Bob Guess, lived at Rodeo, New Mexico which is right on the line between Arizona and New Mexico. Some of their neighbors actually knew Curly Bill Brocius, the Clantons and the McLaurys, from twenty years prior. As my grandmother put it, "They were good people." Not like those carpetbaggers, the Earps.

   So, naturally, I think of her often when we are deep into a book project like we are today. Stuart Rosebrook found a very cool photo of one of our characters.

The real Stagecoach Mary

   And here is how we have promoted her in our upcoming Bozecard campaign.

   Jana and I are dedicating our book to our mother's and our grandparents and I have a hunch Guessie would enjoy this entry.

"Wyatt Earp ruined my life!"
—Mattie Earp

Death On The Line
   Wyatt Earp arrived in Tombstone with his second wife Mattie, who he later abandoned for the live-in girlfriend of Johnny Behan. Mattie returned to her former profession as a soiled dove and ended up in Pinal, Arizona, where she took an overdose of laudanum on July, 4, 1888. Before she died she confessed, "Wyatt Earp ruined my life."
An alleged photo of Mattie Earp

Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Cascading Collage of The Western Women We Love

 August 11, 2022

   Rebecca Edwards and I have been jamming on a big, fat collage to end the book with.

Daily Whip Outs:
"A Cascading Collage of The Western Women
We Love."

   I call this the checkerboard technique where all these scratchboards cascade off of a waterfall-like-base, running into each other until they become an entire, undulating mass. We also intend to replicate this on a big 20' X 8' wall at the Phippen Art Show in November.

   Jana and I are dedicating our Hellraisers book to our mothers and grandmothers. Speaking of which, here is the woman who lit the fuse for my passion on Western History.

My grandmother "Guessie" at Steins Pass

"Wyatt Earp was the biggest jerk who ever walked the West."
—Lue "Guessie" Guess

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Canciones de Linda & Cash In The Saddle Again

 August 10, 2022

  This is a piece of a cascading collage featuring all the Western Women we love. From the forthcoming book "Hellraisers & Trailblazers: The Real Women of The Wild West.

Daily Whip Out: "Canciones de Linda"

   And, of course, I had to include Vera McGinnis in the mix.

         Daily Whip Out: "Vera Blocks of Black"

   And, of course, this glorious gal.

Daily Whip Out: "A Glorious Dawn"

   Meanwhile, we're finishing up our October issue with this book featured on the cover.

   And, here's a sneak peek at the cover:

   And, finally, here's why I keep drawing and painting and writing.

"I can't quit because I'm not good enough."


Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Remembering Irataba And Smiling at R-R-R

 August 9, 2022

   A blast from the past. Man, this is a cool guy.

Irataba Mojave Chieftain 

    He traveled to Washington DC and met President Lincoln. The newspapers loved him and called him "The Big Indian". Mojaves are on average very tall, some topping six foot three inches. On his visit to New York City he had an unexpected visitor.

My notes and sketches on Irataba

March 27, 28, 2017

   And, rounding up more scratchboards for the book.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:


Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Miss Haughty"

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"The Smoker"

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Sacagawea Points"

Meanwhile. . .

A Shotgun Wedding

Married on Wyatt Earp's front lawn,
Tombstone, Arizona, October 26, 2019

Bret and Angie Dennis who do Cowboy Action Shooting as Gray Hare & Blue Hare, 

Doubling Down On Dumb

   So, my son Thomas Charles encouraged me to watch "Barry" Season two, episode five. Man, that show rocks! So original and zany. We laughed and laughed some more. In a Marvel telling we might have gotten a clue that the guy Barry was supposed to kill maybe had a couple Tae-Kwon-Do trophies, but NO, the entire room is full of trophies and then when Barry turns around he comments on the "many ribbons" he's won hanging down over the door, so then we have the tension of when is that shoe going to drop? And, then they milk that tension until the abdomen kick in the gut which sends Barry into the wall. And the fight is so damn zany with all the pictures they hit on the wall and things sliding down. And then when Barry goes to the drug store, Mister Tae-Kwon-Do is in there as well seeking medication and we get the store fight, which was zanier than hell and then the super glue on the steering wheel was just crazy ass hilarious. Thanks son. A great recommendation!

   On this note, you should also check out "R-R-R" the Tollywood Indian action film which is streaming on Netflix right now. The fight scenes are jaw dropping ridiculous and are described in the New York Times as "maximalist action and imaginative set pieces." And just for the record, "RRR" stands for "Rise, Roar, Revolt." Oh, and the dance scenes are crazy. good. Ha. Check it out. We loved it.

"You could feel the the room smiling, the jaws dropping"
—Cristina Cacioppo, programmer at Nitehawk Prospeck Park, Brooklyn, New York, describing the crowds watching "R-R-R"

Monday, August 08, 2022

Sunset & Sunrise, Enhances The 6-Minute Diary, Part II

 August 8, 2022

   Had three atrocious deadlines today and survived them all (so far). That would be: a YouTube video taping on Bass Reeves (why isn't he a bigger hero in American history?), a Hail Mary meeting to finish the Women's book and, trying to keep up on all the cloud majesty.

Sunset over The Seven Sisters Last Night

   And then, more ridiculous cloud formations this morning.

Sunrise Over Ratcliff Ridge

   Kind of happy about yesterday's attempts at a female buffalo soldier passing as a male.

Daily Whip Out:
"Cathay Williams Riding As William Cathay

  And, once again, here's a book recommendation that changed my life!

   My daughter, Deena C., gifted me "The 6-Minute Diary" earlier this year and I can't really begin to tell you how beneficial it is. Just the discipline of starting my day with writing three things I am grateful for, is so profound, it's ridiculous. I'm sure it sounds like a cliche, BUT it does the trick, every single time. Just switches on that muscle that looks for things to be thankful for.

   I agree with Willie.

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
—Willie Nelson

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Coming Across Mrs. Mountain Charlie

 August 7, 2022

   Leave it to Jana to find some crazy, amazing stories for our book. Cathay Williams is one of them. In November of 1866 she enlisted in the 38th U.S. Infantry, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers, under the name William Cathay. She successfully passed as a man and became a cook stationed in New Mexico Territory. The ruse lasted almost two years and even though she was hospitalized several times, she was not found out until, many years later, when she tried to collect her pension. Oh, boy. She remains today the only known female Buffalo Soldier!

Daily Whip Out:

"Cathay Williams Rides As William Cathay"

   Cathay is not alone.

"I knew how great are the prejudices to be overcome by any young woman who seeks to earn an honest livelihood by her own exertions. I buried my sex in my heart and roughened the surface so that the grave would not be discovered...." 

—Elsa Jane Guerin, who successfully passed herself off as "Mountain Charlie"

Daily Whip Out:

"Mrs. Mountain Charlie"

   There are other examples, most notably, Calamity Jane, and there's even a stage robber who had a gang who thought their leader was a man.

Daily Whip Out: "Flora Quick"

"I do not wish women to have power over men: but over themselves."

—Mary Wollstonecraft