January 14, 2003
Big staff meeting at nine to introduce the staff to the new company. Very positive and exciting. We are finally all on the same page and headed in the same direction (this is huge). Very strong game plan and our prospects have never looked better.
Ted is working on landing Tom Selleck for Festival of the West in March. Pretty amazing if he can pull it off. Some of it depends on security. It must be quite daunting to be so famous you really can’t go anywhere without body guards. And evidently Tom is at that level where he is mobbed everywhere he goes. Bruce Boxleitner, who is also famous, walks around anywhere, but he told me his wife Melissa Gilbert, of Little House On The Prairie fame, got mashed at one of these festivals and will not do another one without security. Fame is weird. I met Ben Johnson (he got an Oscar for Last Picture Show) walking around the Festival of the West and we exchanged pleasantries. He was just a shy cowboy really. Same with Lee Marvin and Jennifer Tilly. With Jennifer we walked all over Tombstone and went in places and the people would kind of do a doubletake (especially after she opened her mouth) and then they would stammer, “Hey, you’re that actress!” Someone else said,“Hey, aren’t you somebody?” But to be “mobbed,” and have your life in danger from “fans”, that has to be very odd.
At 10:30 Marshall Trimble showed up with his TV crew for Arizona Back Roads, a feature he does for KAZ on access cable. I asked long time Cave Creekers, Lew and Tara Jones to join us. We went up on the hill behind the True West building and they taped us trading stories about Cave Creek. Lew Jones has so many stories of the early days about Harold’s (Saloon) when Dick Van Dyke played drums and crusty cowboys rode horses into the bar to get away from the sheriffs (in the 1970s!). He also said that today people move out here to be somewhere but in the old days (the 1960s) that people came out here to get away from everywhere. I think that pretty much sums up the difference. We all moved out here to capture a little bit of the Old West and in doing so, killed it. After lunch at Tonto Bar & Grill, we walked over to the cave that Cave Creek is named for and taped in there. Got some really good stuff, not sure how they’ll edit it down to a half hour.
“Remember: the farther up the flag pole you go, the more people can see your rear end.”
—Dandy Don Merideth
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