Saturday, March 01, 2003

March 1, 2003
Even more rain. I have lived in Arizona for forty some years and I don’t remember this much rain in a row. We sometimes get big rains but they come and go within two days. These storms have been pounding us for a week.

I stayed home yesterday morning and finally got untracked on Custer art for cover. I needed some clear time, to concentrate and I finally got some images that at least look like the boy general. Worked in studio from about seven to 12:30. Took a shower, packed truck and went up to office at one. Ad sales are getting there for May-June (I knew Mike, Ted and Larry would come through). We are sitting at 88 pages and may bump it to 96.

Had to rein in production. They put a funny cartoon of two guys on the gallows and one says to the other: “How’s your hangtime?” Unfortunately the cartoon is at the end of a serious article about the hanging of 37 Sioux Indians (it’s the largest mass hanging in our history). I went out and asked them if this was the appropriate place for this particular cartoon. Gus thought it made it extra zaney. I agreed, but wondered aloud if it was at the cost of trivializing the historic article. Imagine a former cartoonist making a plea for human dignity. Oh, the Irony!

Went down to Scottsdale at 3:30 and met Deena for lunch at Earl’s. They have totally remodeled the place (I liked the old layout better). Good talking to my daughter. She is at that age I wouldn’t go back to for anything in the world.

Drove out to Val Vista Village (a retiree trailer park) in Mesa for a speech. Long drive, freeways jammed. Took an hour (40 miles from CC). Community room was already half full when I got there. Susan, the director, told me that at Val Vista “If you are on time, you are late.” These people are like my Dad. He always had to be early and would start fretting several hours before. Oh, those Norwegians! It’s actually very Midwestern I suppose. We ended up with a full house (maybe 350). Great audience. They laughed and applauded. Sold about five of my books. Made a big plea for subscriptions to True West, asking them to take the card inside and send it to someone who they think would enjoy it or benefit from it. Only brought one box of True Wests, which actually worked better because they kind of fought over them.

Finished at seven, drove home. Missed most of the traffic going out. Going to Flag today to see Thomas. Excited about the snow and eating breakfast at Martan’s.

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
—Kingsley Amis

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