Wednesday, June 18, 2003

June 18, 2003
The Arizona Republic sent out a photographer yesterday to take photos of Jana, R.G., Meghan and I for a feature they are planning on us in the fall. Jana’s connections and her piece on the fastest, most daring cowgirl who ever lived—Vera McGinnis (buy a photo print!) — is the focal point. They also want to cover our 50th anniversary, so that should be nice. Shot the photos in my office. Susanne Starr, the shooter, asked me to wear one of my big hats and she also asked Meghan to put one on (I’ve got six or seven hanging around my office just in case). I don’t think Meghan was thrilled with the idea but it looked cute on her from where I was standing.

Our art director, Dan Harshberger, came out for a big planning session. We have three issues deadlining in three week intervals and we want to be on top of it. Dan always makes the ideas flow and Jana is no slouch either. Went to lunch at the Satisfied Frog ($11 cash) and I told them we had a good photo of Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott from the movie Tombstone for the November-December issue which will feature the 50 Most Historically Accurate Westerns. Even though I think the image is quite strong, Dan was so-so on the idea. His thought is that it’s not new and it’s not old (one of our favorite sayings that goes all the way back to the Razz Revue days, is: “If you’re going to win at tennis, either go to the net or stay behind the baseline. Don’t get caught in the middle!”). Dan said he thought the Tombstone photo was “in the middle.” Jana piped in with, “What Western came out in 1953?” Bingo! I’m not going to tell you what movie it is, but let’s just say we’re both 50 years old. The magazine and the movie are both classics. Very strong. I love working with creative people and this just makes me happy and proud.

Talked by phone to Tom Sullivan, the sheriff of Lincoln County about the Billy dig. Nice guy. He told me he is under attack by some guy from England, and I laughed and said, “Is his name Fred Nolan?” And he said yes. Evidently Fred (see June 13 diary entry) wrote a letter to the Ruidoso newspaper which they published and Fred rips the dig and the sheriff’s motives for doing it. When Tom told me they were going to point out some of Fred’s discrepancies in his books on the Lincoln County War, I warned him he’s going after the British equivalent of a Mojave Rattler: “Be very careful,” I told him, "Fred's got a wit that will kill," but I’m not sure he heard me.

Got an E-mail from Marcus Huff and he claims the newest issue of Outside ripped off our Old West Journal travel feature, page for page. Can’t wait to see it.

“Don’t worry about people stealing your original ideas. If they really are original, you’ll have to cram them down their throats.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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