Sunday, December 22, 2002

December 22, 2002
One of my best friends celebrates his birthday today. Charlie Waters is 55. I sent him Tommy’s CD (Tommy’s middle name is Charles after the birthday boy).

Very cold out. We met JD on the road and he said it was 32 last night. Got a fire in the studio stove. The cedar is popping and snapping. Feels quite snugly.

At four yesterday Tommy and I drove in to El Conquistador for a Saturday lunch. Listened to his CD all the way down. Kathy drove in her car (so she wouldn’t have to listen to it and so she could make a deposit, or so she said) and met us. I lost a bet with Kathy that T. would know what Texans do with day-old chicken fried steak, but alas, he didn’t know the answer (they put it on bread with steak sauce), so I had to pay for lunch ($36 cash). From there Tommy drove to Tempe and we went by Wonderful Russ’s house and I played him the “Gin And Juice” cut, but he wasn’t nearly as enthused or excited as I was. From there Kathy and I motored down the 51 to downtown Phoenix to attend Robert Ray’s block party. Empinadas (or what are those deals—candles in sacks) lined the streets, Had a great time talking to D’s and Daiss, Carole and Bud. Robert showed me the April cover that Dan designed. Needs work (Sorry I looked at it because I mulled it all the way home). Listened to the LSU-U of A basketball game on the way out. U of A lost in the last second, 65-64.

Intrepid Dan Buck found a great snippet on Arizona Charlie’s Wild West Show where the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals protested his show in Denver. The incredible angle is that this was in the 1890s. The more things change...

Got the inspiration to do a feature on Monuments to Nowhere, after finding a photo I took in Northern Colorado two summers ago of a huge monument to some railroad barons. Not long after the monument was built, the train tracks were moved farther south, killing the shortlived town and today the only thing that remains is this huge monument in the middle of nowhere. I have a hunch there are probably others out there. And eventually, all monuments will look like that.

Finally wrote our Christmas letter yesterday. Here’s the first paragraph: “This is our first year of the Empty Nest Syndrome and we are suffering the usual symptoms: the 7:30 bedtime, the weekend naps and snoozing, the giddy choices on TV without teenage interference. Back in play are the nude bacchanals, the coffee table dancing, the jumping up and down in the driveway and shouting “We have our life back! We have our life back!” Of course this is a Christmas letter, so we are exaggerating some of this.”

A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.”
—Don Fraser