Tuesday, February 25, 2003

February 25, 2003
It’s raining this morning. Soggy out. Did two paintings of Custer in sky last night. Not happy with either. Both had potential but I ruined them.

Virtually all of my remaining relatives in Mohave County are leaving Arizona. My Aunt Jean and Uncle Bud are moving to eastern New Mexico (near Vaughn). They bought a big ranch over there and are selling off their holdings in my home town of Kingman. My cousin Craig Hamilton (one and the same cowboy who writes the column for TW) is moving to Texas.He has similar reasons. Craig said when he goes to town in his cowboy hat people look at him funny. “Not that I give a damn what they think,” he told me, “but I want my son to grow up with some cowboys and they’re all gone from this part of the country.” Jean and Bud express the same concerns. Most of the ranches are now subdivisions. When they go out to eat, Bud often comments, “I’m the only one in the whole place wearing a cowboy hat.” When I was growing up there it was the other way around. The subdivision trend started in the mid-nineteen fifties (in fact I think some ads appeared in True West) when I was in high school and I guess there isn’t much left up there.

Of course, New Mexico is not far behind us in terms of “progress,” but it’s far enough behind that Bud and Jean are willing to make the tradeoff. They have lived and ranched in the Kingman area for fifty years. Craig was born and raised there. Amazing.

Peaches and I went to the creek last night. Questioned her about going down the trail with everyone she meets, but she didn’t seem to get it. I put on a coat and hat to go get the paper in the rain this morning and she ran right out into the rain to go with me. Jumping around likes it’s Christmas Day What a great attitude dogs have.

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
—Will Rogers

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