Thursday, July 17, 2003

July 17, 2003
Took the Ranger in to Tobias yesterday morning to have the oil changed and a tire checked. Walked to work (it’s about a mile). Passed a Mexican National (euphemism for an illegal) walking the other way and he was carrying a pair of cowboy boots. I don’t know why but it triggered a memory of being a boy in Kingman and walking into the “shoe shop” and all the boots with steep heels lining the walls and the smell of leather and the dark, funky lighting setting off the craggy features of weathered cowboys sitting around telling lies. Sweet memory actually.

Worked hard all day laying out the first signature on Classic Gunfights book. Gus and I pushed around images and Abby fretted about typography (some of Daniel’s specs look groovy but are not reader friendly). Wrestled with this most of the day. Still managed to have a meeting about the 50 Most Historically Accurate Westerns. R.G. and I split the remaining holes and vowed to plug ‘em.

It was four years ago this week (actually July 12, 1999) that we agreed to buy True West. It was on a conference call with Steve Gragert in Stillwater, OK, Bob McCubbin in El Paso and me in Cave Creek. Seems like about two weeks ago in some respects and twenty years ago in others.

Took Minnesota Mike to lunch at El Encanto ($20 cash). I was telling him that one of the embarrassing conceits of my generation is that we are still dressing up like cowboys and we think we can make movies (starring ourselves) but who wants to pay $6.50 to sit in the dark and watch a bunch of fat old farts pretending to be cowboys? This launched Mike off on a series of potential titles:

• The Middle-aged, the Fat & the Ugly
• Butch Cassidy & the Refrigerator Kid
• The Outlaw Whales
• The Men Who Ate Liberty Valance
• A Fistful of Chocolate
• Support Your Local Chef
• The Crisco Kid
• Two Mules w/cheese for Sister Sara
• For A Few Pounds More

Talked to artist Buckeye Blake about the Billy dig. He has a great “death sculpture” that would be so cool at Fort Sumner. And speaking of Fort Sumner, the council and various civic groups there are vowing to fight the digging up of the Kid with every penny they have. I can’t blame them. What if he isn’t there? And there’s a good chance he isn’t.

“Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.”
—Helen Gurley Brown

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