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

October 23, 2014
   "I hated Westerns," said the prolific Brazilian pulp-fiction writer R.F. Luchetti. That's why, he said, "I only ended up writing 60 of them." Allegedly, Mr. Luchetti has written 1,547 books over a very long career. Perhaps, one day, I will write one Western, although the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

I Have Seen The Future And It's Metastasizing
  Speaking of holding one's breath, the word I am getting very tired of hearing on an almost daily basis is, "Metastasis," or metastatic disease: the spread of a cancer or disease from one organ or part to another not directly connected with it. At least three close friends have it, or had it.

   This Saturday is the memorial service for my best friend, Charlie Waters which will be held at the Methodist Church in Kingman. Charlie died a week ago, Wednesday, of stage four lung cancer. I have debated all week whether I can say anything at the ceremony. Someone, I believe it was Dan The Man, said, "just tell a funny story." Well, I've tried a couple times, speaking aloud some of my thoughts and I can't do it without breaking up. Just too hard.

Charles Waters (AKA Charles Juarez Way) as senior class president of Mohave County Union High School, 1964-65

   I have a book signing coming up at Changing Hands in PHoenix on November 1:

Here's the Changing Hands plug for the event.

   I'm also scrambling to promote the Zany Zonie show featuring 34 of my editorial cartoons from the 1970s and 80s. Lots of tooting my own horn, something Charlie sometimes chided me about. Mostly he was totally supporting, but sometimes he couldn't help but, well, tell me the truth, which I saw in a metaphorical way this morning:

A self-obsessed bird pecks at his own image in the glass block on the south side of our house (i.e. our bathroom).

   The little idiot lands on the ledge and sees himself and then pecks at himself, over and over.

Rather than get on with his life, Mr. Red beak keeps pecking at his own image.

   I have tried to scare him off, but he flies right back and pecks and pecks and pecks. . .

Let's see, maybe if I walked over a couple inches and pecked there I'd get different results.

   This goes on for a half hour. . .and longer. . .when I left the house 45 minutes later, I could still hear him pecking.

Maybe this time it will be different?

"One indication of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Bob Boze 11:09 AM
October 22, 2014
   Got up this morning and whipped out another study of this guy:

Daily Whipout: "Billy Stands Alone"

   Working on a new True West Moment about a fascinating woman:

The Legend of La Tules
   She was beautiful, or, she was a toothless hag. She had coal-black hair, or, she had a shock of red hair. She was from Sonora, Mexico, or France. She was reviled by uptight anglos and she was revered by many in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she reaped a fortune from travelers on the Santa Fe Trail in the 1820s and 30s. What is agreed upon is that Maria Gertrudis Barcelo, known as La Tules (either a Spanish diminutive of Gertrudas, or a reference to her figure, Las Tules being Spanish for reed, as in, thin as a reed) ran a gambling saloon in Santa Fe and she won many a monte game because of her distracting beauty and her ability to read the minds of the men she played against. When she died, in 1852, she left a fortune ($10,000) and several houses, and a legend to rival any woman in the world.

Daily Whipout: "The Legendary La Tules"

"There are many reasons we broke up. There was a religious difference. I'm a Catholic and she's the devil."
—Adam Ferrara

Bob Boze 11:56 AM
October 21, 2014
   A big storm blew in on Sunday night. Wonderful lighting and clouds.

A storm brews over Ratcliff Ridge

   A light rain ensued with scattered drops, big as nickels, splashing in the pool. As it dissipated the afterglow was astounding:

Glowing Light on Ratcliff Ridge

   Meanwhile, over on the West side of the house, a big, bold sunset ensued:

Sunset Over The Seven Sisters

"Move towards the light, with kindness and honesty."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Bob Boze 9:24 AM
October 20, 2014
   Not only did "No Way Charlie" show up in Paris to play with me and Kathy, he brought along props, including a beret and the words to "The Seine" a sappy folk song Steve Burford was constantly trying to get us to play in the Exits ("We're a ROCK band, you idiot, not a bunch of Hootenannies!!!!" said the drummer). Anyway, Charlie insisted we pose for this photo on the banks of the actual Seine, and across from the Notre Dame, and send the photo to The Burf, which we did.

Bugs and Boze actually singing "The Seine" standing next to the Seine River in Paris.

   Of course, you couldn't keep a couple of Kingman boys out of the Louvre and here is Charlie taking a snap shot of the Mona Lisa.

The back of Charlie's prodigious head and some German kid listening to The Hives.

   Of course, the greatest thing about Paris is the great little cafes and it took us a couple days, but we found a cozy little, wood-paneled restaurant across the river from Notre Dame. And we had breakfast there almost every day.

Linda Waters, BBB, Kathy Radina and Charlie Waters in our favorite local cafe on the left bank of the Seine.

"Standing there across the river, mid sound of horn and tram, in all her quiet beauty, the cathedral Notre Dame, and as we passed beside her, I said a little prayer that when this dream was over, I'd awake and find you there."
—The Kingston Trio, "The Seine"

Bob Boze 3:28 PM

October 19, 2014
   When we were seniors in high school, in 1965, our baseball team had an away game at Parker and it so happened we were leaving early on Saturday morning. On Friday night a wonderous thing happened: Charlie Waters' parents were out of town and he invited a half dozen of his teammates to spend the night at his house, which was a couple blocks from the bus we had to catch in the morning. I was one of the fortunate few to be invited.

   The very idea that six high school horn dogs had an entire house to our nefarious selves on a Friday night was mind boggling and we had all sorts of teen age fantasies perking in our wicked little brains. Charlie's idea of being naughty was to stage a poker game in his parent's kitchen and if memory serves me correctly a couple of the guys were even smoking cigarettes. But poker and smoking wasn't my idea of fun and so Wayne Rutschman and I offered to go score a case of beer. As we drove down into the wash by the Mormon Church we saw three shadows come out of the bushes. It was like a dream: three gorgeous, naughty classmates, all cheer leaders, came towards us wearing white short shorts. We stopped the car and they came up to us and informed us they had snuck out and were looking to have some fun. Now if I saw this in a movie, I wouldn't believe it.

   We got the case of beer, returned to Charlie's house and, as we sauntered up on the porch with Buick roadmaster grill grins, he met us at the door: "No way!" he boomed blocking our entrance and pointing out into the night. We tried to plead with him, we attacked his manhood, we belittled his hair do, but to no avail. Wayne and I and another guy tried to move the party out into Clacks Canyon but it rained, one of the girls cried and the moment was lost forever. The precocious girls went back to their homes and nothing happened, but it was on this night that Charlie earned the nickname "No Way Charlie." Thanks to my vindictiveness ("We could still be there partying with those babes, you stupid bastard!"), it was a title he held for a very long time.

   When Charlie was in Little League, he was on the Kingman all star team in 1960 and during the Northern Arizona Little League Championship in Williams, the local newspaper ran a photo of Charlie crashing into third base, over the top of the third baseman, with the caption identifying him as "Charles Juarez." Somehow Waters got mangled by a cub reporter into Juarez.

   A couple of years ago, Charlie called me and said he saw on my blog that I was going to Paris, France to talk to a publisher about printing my Wyatt Earp book in French, and he asked if he and Linda could join us. At first I thought he was joking. This was "No Way Charlie" after all, and I couldn't believe he was serious. He and Linda not only showed up, but we had a marvelous time, with the crowning moment being a lunch in a very historic, snooty restaurant (The Palais Royale where Napoleon allegedly dined!) where Charlie not only footed the bill but delighted us with his wit and charm and most of all, his easy going ways. I told him I thought it was time to alter his nickname, and so from that moment, until the end of his life, I always called him Charles Juarez Way. Or, Mr. Way, for short.

Two of the girls who we picked up in the wash are in this photo (names withheld because they are now respectable grandmothers).

"There are three sides to every story: your side, my side and the truth. And no one is lying."
—Robert Evans

Bob Boze 2:46 PM
October 17, 2014
   Woke up to a cool and cloudy day. Worked from home this morning, waiting for Eric from 24-Hour Car Care to come fix Kathy's Escape which failed emissions testing because of a faulty engine light deal. This is the third day and as many new valves.

Third Times A Charm: Eric installs third engine light fixture in Kathy's Escape

   Now I have to drive it for 30 miles before I can run it through emissions testing. Anybody need anything in Tempe?

   While I was waiting for Eric, I whipped out a little study of a snow scene:

Daily Whipout: "Home Ahead of The Storm"

   So many of these themes and scenes are cliches and it's very hard to do something new and fresh. Still, I take refuge in what a legendary film director once said:

"Every scene has already been done before. Our job is to do it a little better."
—Stanley Kubrick

Bob Boze 12:11 PM
October 16, 2014
   When I was in Ruidoso for the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium I ran int this cutie:

Belinda Gail and her new album Granite Mountain. Photo taken at Williamson Valley, north of Prescott. She is a real talented sweetie.

   This morning I finished a little study, which I gifted to a friend:

Daily Whipout: "Billy In Sunset"

A Celebration of Charlie Waters' Life, Part III
   It was Charlie Waters and I who put together one of the first rock bands in Kingman, The Exits. This was in early 1963, when we were in high school at Mohave County Union High School. We were walking out of Civics Class in the new building, arguing about a good band name when Bugs said, pointing at the Exit sign at the end of the hall, "Why don't we call ourselves the Exits because when people hear us, that's where they'll go."

   And so, the Exits we became. Our first band job is something of a controversy: by Charlie's telling, our first gig was at the old Elks Hall and we made $5 a piece. In my telling, our first gig was at the American Legion. We rented the hall ($15) and charged fifty cents a person and we made $22 a piece. I think Charlie liked the more humble version. Anyway, in the book "The 66 Kid" I went with his version, because a. he edited my book and I didn't want to piss him off, and b. he may have been right.

The original lineup: Wayne Rutschman on sax, Charlie Waters on rhythm guitar, BBB and Wendell Havatone on lead guitar and vocals. This photo was taken at the old Girl's Gym at the high school. My King drumset was purchased out of Montgomery Wards for $117, if memory serves me right. Also notice the lack of amps. I think we had just one, for two guitars. Here's Charlie singing lead in his no nonsense manner (Charlie was dead set against "showmanship" that involved steps, and especially smiling):

Charlie Waters rocks out.

The Exits with matching shirts, except for the "rebel" drummer.

   We played all over Mohave County for about five years. Here we are at a USO show out in the boonies beyond Yucca, Arizona: The end came when we got to college. A frat brother, Bill McClellan, got us a gig at The Body Shoppe, a strip club outside the main gate of Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson. After a week of playing three nights a week from 9 to midnite, the mid-term grades came out and Charlie was flunking out. His dad found out about the nefarious band gig (Charlie's sis, Sarah ratted him out) and had a cow, forcing Charlie to ship home his guitar and amp via Greyhound. Me, I stayed in the band and barely passed Humanities with a D (F being failing). I remember reading Homer's "The Odyssy" backstage when one of the more popular strippers, "Big D" (as in D-cup) walked by with her tassles dangling in my face. "What 'cha reading, Honey?" she said. I demurred, somewhat embarrassed to name drop such a classic, but I finally told her. She replied, "Oh, yeh, I read that in Classic Comics." I fell in love right there. Unfortunately, her husband came in a couple nights later and took a claw hammer to a customer who was flirtng with her and I gave up my infatuation with Big D.

"Some of my friends yeah they been in a little trouble, some say I'm no better than the rest, so tell your mama and your papa, sometimes good guys don't wear white."
—The Standells

Bob Boze 12:02 PM

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