Wednesday, June 25, 2003

June 25, 2003
I am flying to El Paso today at two. Going to rent a car, eat some Puerto Rican food with Paul Northrop, then drive up to Ruidoso, via Orogrande, Wildy Wells (where Pat Garrett was humiliated), Alamagordo, La Luz, Tularosa, Blazer’s Mill and George Coe’s farm. Great country, very romantic drive (If you’re in love with harsh country, dotted with oasis of white trash double-wides interspersed with ancient adobe—and I am).

Going to meet with Steve Sederwall and Tom Sullivan the two guys responsible for the Digging Up Billy phenom. Others are fleeing their camp for fear of being associated with them, but I can’t wait to meet them and talk grave robbing (yes, you can quote me on that).

My speech on Thursday night is for the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce and is entitled “Everything I learned in Business I Learned From Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp and Geronimo.”

Yesterday we spent a good hour in our staff meeting talking about how great the new issue is. Much of the praise is due not to what my staff put in, but what they left out. When novices get computers they want to show they can use all the nifty toys attached and there is a tendency to throw drop shadows on every photo, textured background on art, fancy borders, gradated color swaths on every page, and it goes on ad infinitum until the end product is choked to death with clutter. Seasoned veterans know what to leave out, when to splurge, when to hold back. This maturity makes me very happy because I have had this fear that if I die in a carwreck they would ruin my magazine! Of course many oldtimers think I have already ruined the magazine but I can't help that. After suffering their abuse for about two years, I realized I needed to be bold and follow my gut. As Jim Larkin put it, "Evidently they want the magazine to die with them." And it was well on its way when we bought it.

Phil B. from the Arizona Republic came out and interviewed Jana, R.G., Meghan and I for an upcoming feature we’re doing. Over lunch at the Satisfied Frog, Phil asked me what my political persuasion is and I said, “I’m a Halfist. I believe everyone is about half right.” For example, I believe one of the Lee Harvey Oswalds acted alone.

“In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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