Friday, September 20, 2019

The Jack Rabbit Club Foretells Another Bunny Related Club

September 20, 2019
   Every so often a photo surfaces that makes us all go, "Say, what?" This is one of them.

The Jack Rabbit Club

   Our editor, Stuart Rosebrook thinks we should run one of these photographs in every issue and ask our readers to tell us what the hell they think is going on in the picture. Apparently, there was a "club" and the women wore bunny ears and well, I think Harry put it best when he said:

   "The only new thing in this world is the history you don't know."
—Harry Truman

Thursday, September 19, 2019

All The Geronimo Quotes That Fit

September 19, 2019
   Got out on the road this morning just in time to catch another so so view of Ratcliff Ridge:

   Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek at a quick mock-up of a doubletruck spread which includes many of the quotes I have been rounding up:

   Double meanwhile, here is a video of me working on a painting for the book:

"That’s the problem with the study of history: it’s one part magnifying glass, one part cudgel."
Stephen Harrigan, in his new book "Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas"

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A True West Moment: When We Bought The Damn Thing

September 18, 2019
   It was twenty years ago today, at noon, two crazy friends of mine (Bob McCubbin and Rick Baish) ponied up, with me, to buy a failing magazine we all loved. We threw a lot of money at it trying to turn the boat. Both Bob and Rick bailed at the $250,000 mark (Bob ponied up an extra $75k before leaving) and then Kathy and I soldiered on alone and remortgaged our house to put in another $100,000. Then Carole Glenn put up money from her house to get another $40,000, and we somehow, someway managed to squeak by.

The two women who saved True West
Carole Compton Glenn and Kathy Sue Radina

   We will celebrate 20 years of continuous publication of True West magazine on October 26th at the Desert Foothills Library.

   The room only holds 115 people at the library, so you need to RSVP to

What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between he does what he wants to.”
—Bob Dylan

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


September 17, 2019
   Gathering up quotes for the Geronimo book. Got some good ones.

"Bob Boze Bell is rightly celebrated for his historical artwork and for his narrative contributions to western American history. Geronimo is an ideal subject for this combination, and Bob does him full justice—in part, I suspect, because he probably got most of his information from my biography of Geronimo."
—Robert M. Utley, aka Old Bison

"Bell gives us a whole new and unexpected perspective on Geronimo in his trademark, inimitable style, complete with illustrations only his masterful pen and brush could create. Bravo, Bob Boze Bell."
—Juni Fisher

"Geronimo—patriot chief or natural born killer? Bob Boze Bell answers that controversial question and many others in this provocative new biography of America’s most famous Indian warrior. Fasten your seat belt for this one! Bell’s trade-mark blend of superb artwork, authoritative research, and fast-paced prose—always accompanied by a wicked sense of humor—makes this another masterful, must-have Boze western book."
—Paul Andrew Hutton

"Dig in! This is the good stuff."
—Billy F. Gibbons, ZZ-Top

"As few should recall I went twice in the '60s on extended tours as correspondent to the Vietnam War—filing hundreds of thousands of words plus acres of photography of battles, riots, coups, air strikes, profiles, nation building, ambushes, civic actions, heroes and flunkies—and of it all, my only brilliant line was, 'Is Geronimo alive and well in the Central Highlands of Vietnam?'   If so, I ventured, the world's greatest military power was about to lose a war.  Godspeed with your book."  —Don Dedera, legendary Arizona journalist and author, "A Little War of Our Own"

"It's been said that a book worth reading is worth buying.  Bob Boze Bell's book on Geronimo is worth reading, so buy Bob's book."
—Chris Enss, New York Times best-selling author

“I hope he explains the paratroopers.”
—Thom Ross, Artist

   Okay, wise guy: In 1940, on the eve of WWII, the Army was in the process of figuring out how to drop troops out of airplanes. The night before the first test jump, some of the soldiers from Fort Benning went to the movies and saw the 1939 film "Geronimo" starring Preston Foster, Andy Devine and Chief Thundercloud. 

   After the movie, one of the soldiers, Private Aubrey Eberhardt, bragged he wasn't afraid to jump and his fellow soldiers laughed and ribbed him saying he would probably forget his name at the door, which was a put down because all the soldiers were supposed to shout their names as they jumped. The next morning everyone made their jump successfully but when the smart ass Eberhardt came to the door he shouted "Geronimo!" Everyone laughed and thought that was great and this started a tradition in the squadron. The army brass didn't like this and tried to discourage it, which only made it even more popular. From there it caught on to include any dangerous jump or feat of daring.

   I'm Bob Boze Bell and this has been a True West Moment.

"When Geronimo jumps out of an airplane, does he yell, Me!"
—Old Smart Ass Saying

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bullet Proof Geronimo, Part II

September 16, 2019
   Worked on artwork for the Geronimo book all weekend. Filling in sidebar art holes like this:

Once Geronimo was at a water hole in Mexico getting a drink with several other Apache warriors when a pursuing Mexican soldier got close enough to fire off a shot, which hit Geronimo in a glancing blow to the face, toppling him forward into the mud. With the rifle report, the Apaches with him fled and the swarming Mexican troops ran by Geronimo, assuming he was deader than a doornail.

Several minutes later, Geronimo regained consciousness and ran off. Another time, once again against Mexican troops, Naiche related that Geronimo was shot in the chest and still managed to mount his horse and escape.

Daily Whip Out: "Geronimo Bulletproof"

   According to the artist E.A. Burbank, who was a guest in Geronimo's home and painted his portrait numerous times in the late 1890s. In one of these sessions, he reported that Geronimo bared himself to the waist. The artist recounted, "I was dumbfounded to see the number of bullet holes in his body. I knew he had been in many battles and had been fired on dozens of times, but I had never heard of anyone living with a least fifty bullet wounds on his body." Burbank went on to say, "some of the bullet holes were large enough to hold small pebbles that Geronimo picked up and placed in them. Putting a pebble in a bullet wound he would make a noise like a gun, then take the pebble out and throw it on the ground." 

"Bullets cannot kill me!"

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Historic Parker Bridge Is On Fire: Connected to Wyatt Earp

September 15, 2019
   How does a railroad bridge catch on fire? Seems like a reach, but,  as reported by Parker Live, the railroad bridge that spans the Colorado River between Parker, Arizona and Earp, California is on fire. Evidently, the fire started last night.

The Parker Railroad Bridge on fire last night.

   According to an oldtimer from Parker who I interviewed, this is the bridge Wyatt Earp often walked across to get rhubarb pie at his favorite cafe in downtown Parker. This would have been in the twenties. Every time I have driven through there, I visualize that old guy traipsing across the railroad trestle to get a piece of pie.

Wyatt standing at the Colorado River
(perhaps staring right at the bridge)

   Two years ago, Ken Amorosano and I filmed a True West Moment along the riverbank and then out at Wyatt Earp's mining camp. A good photo of the railroad trestle is in this post.

"How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book?"
—Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Geronimo The Base Runner

September 14, 2019
   According to the artist E.A. Burbank, who visited Geronimo at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1898, one time Geronimo wanted an Apache boy for a horse race and when the old warrior approached the boy he was at bat and hit the ball into the outfield. Geronimo tore after him and chased him all the way around the bases. 

Daily Whip Out: "The Baserunner"

   Geronimo caught up to the boy at home plate and got his jockey, who then rode the horse and won the race. Burbank said the "old Indian went home as happy as a small boy after the circus."

"Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long."
—Old Vaquero Saying