April 19, 2003
Much stronger day in office yesterday. Meetings all morning, mostly to discuss design issues. Bob Brink and R.G. were helpful in creating running room to get flows straightened out and put focus in the appropriate areas. Had a long meeting with Robert Ray and he was helpful and I trust his abilities to deal with his department.
Came home for lunch. E-mailed Dan Buck in Washington D.C. about getting the address of Jeff Burton in England, who is the expert on the Turkey Creek Canyon shootout. Many questions and loose ends. Unfortunately, Burton doesn’t have E-mail so I had to write a letter (imagine that?!), print out the rough copy for the gunfight, enclose two magazines in an envelope and express him. In the process I learned from Dan Buck that Elza Lay, Hole-in-the-wall gangmember extraordinaire, is related to the founder of Frito Lay. Amazing.
Ad sales are in solid territory. I left at four to drive down into the bowels of Phoenix. First stop was Dan Harshberger’s studio to look at the new Wyatt cover. It’s a winner. Lots of color. I feel great about it. Then we talked about getting him into the flow more. His suggestion was to do more PDF files of layouts, E-mail them to his studio. Makes good sense.
Caught up on our respective offspring (he has two daughters, one at NAU and the other at U of A), had a few Kingman style laughs at other’s expense. Also laughed about ourselves and our lifelong folly (plenty of fodder there).
Left Dan’s about 5:20, drove across town in rush hour. Fortunately I was going against the grain. Most people are going north and west, and I was going south and east. Landed at the Biltmore Hotel at about 5:40. One of Arizona’s oldest resorts. Very posh. Met my hosts and they set me up on the patio with chairs and tables, lights and a micorphone and PA. Talked to a small group from 6 to 7. Sold one book. We sat looking at Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak, until a special vote this very day changed it to honor the female Hopi soldier who was killed in Iraq).
Got out of the Biltmore at around 7:10 and drove over to Ed Mell’s house. Flooded with many memories of the older, genteel neighborhood where several of my friend’s lived. Ed’s house is a first class art gallery. In addition to the stunning Maynard Dixon paintings in his living room and den, he has several choice Lon Megargee’s and a couple of new additions I hadn’t seen. A great little Frank Tenney Johnson landscape, two Jimmy Swinnerton’s (the famous cartoonist who did Canyon Kiddies). I actually enjoyed the art in his house more than the El Greco to Picasso show at the Phoenix Art Museum.
We had 8 PM reservations at Nonni’s. Very hip little bistro on 40th below Camelback. When the waiter came and asked what we’d like to drink, I said, “The cheapest cabernet you have.” Ed said, “Don’t worry about it.” and he gave that look (the owner greeted Ed like a rock star when we came in). So I got the $10.50 a glass St. Chermaine. Very dry with a nice bouquet. We shared an art studio for six years, but haven’t seen each other for about six months. So we toasted each other’s success and traded war stories and family stories and had a great meal. Many laughs. I always get inspired around Ed because as an artist he’s so focussed (as opposed to say, artists who are not focussed, like, say, me).
Got home at 11. Long, but productive day.
“I am doomed to an eternity of compulsive work. No set goal achieved satisfies. Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless.”
—Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
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