September 27, 2002
Got an employee who is goofing off and not doing her work. This is so tough for me because that is exactly the type of employee I always was. So I’ve got to deal with it and not overreact (we always hate in others what we recognize in ourselves). And boy do I hate it now: everybody appreciates a hard day’s work, especially if they’re paying for it. Ha.
A week ago tonight I had an epiphany. We were at the Cody Design Conference and attended a very high dollar art auction at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center. Free wine and dinner (actually each dinner was $75 but we were a co-sponsor so we got three comped meals) held in a big art tent, full of big, black hats. Met lots of fun, rich people and enjoyed looking at the art and seeing what the art was selling for (most art was selling under retail but was still drawing about $5K to $7K a painting).
John Beckett, Stacy Halford and I left at around nine and decided to try and find the Wildwood Outlaw Ball which one of the artisans had told us about. The WOB was formed as a direct reaction to the formal event at the BBHC. We had a crude map and meandered thru the foothills north of Cody trying to find it. Finally, we followed two cars in front of us who seemed to know where they were going and sure enough, we pulled down a long, narrow, rutted road which fed into the Shaner ranch compound. Cars were parked for about a half-mile out across a long mesa that looked back towards the twinkling lights of Cody. As we walked in the dark we could hear the band wonking between songs and we could just make out a whole gaggle of cowboy hats around a big, roaring fire.
As my eyes finally scaled the darkness, I saw a rambling straw bale adobe ranch house wrapped around a dirt courtyard that looked into a studio-garage where a four piece band was set up. Just as we came into the patio the band launched into the Doors’ “Love Me Two Times.” Out of the dark, an older man in a parka came up close to me. His features were monster lit, like in a David Lynch movie, and he leaned in close and said, “Welcome to the real Wild West.”
I was home. As much as I enjoyed the trappings of the art auction, these were my people and my music. As I looked at the sea of cowboy hats and the age spread (there were little kids and oldsters everywhere) I realized that there are two Wests I live in, and also that we cater to in the magazine. My partners lean towards the formal, conservative West, but while they view anything to the left of George Strait as being "non-music" I actually prefer ZZ Top. So, like Huck Finn, I guess I'm resigned to going to hell. Ha.
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