July 5, 2003
Had a decent day yesterday working. Got two Vera scratchboards going, one head shot and another on a rearing horse. Still need to get some action and cowgirl blur down on paper.
Swam laps, went over to Grandma Betty’s for a fourth of July dinner at six. Had ribs, talked diseases. Carol has contracted Valley Fever, an odd affliction that supposedly everyone who has ever lived here gets. You think you are just sick with the flu but in fact you have contracted Valley Fever and it never goes away, it just goes underground in your body until the immune system can no longer handle it and then you die. The really odd thing about Carol coming down with it is that she has lived in the Valley for several decades but just now got it. Brad’s theory is they moved out to the ‘burbs and a gravel pit is just north of them and the spores from the dug up dirt (which is where the affliction is born) finally got in her lungs. Delightful.
Drove home on the 101 and saw the fireworks at Rawhide (spectacular), and another set going off closer to Pinnacle Peak, and we also caught the finale up at Crazy Ed’s Satisfied Frog in Cave Creek. Met all the cars coming out, totally jammed, but we were going the other way and slipped right in. Got home at ten, read, went to sleep early. Felt good.
Cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers this morning, sorting out all my winter clothes and summer stuff. Found a half dozen items that are great and groovy but got buried in the mish mash. Good Willed a bunch of goofy shirts a rodeo star had sent to me on KSLX after a visit (1989?). Shuttled some of the more exotic stuff out to the studio and into my clothing archives for future Old West shoots.
It was 113 yesterday. Pool temperature was 89 (just right). Mike Melrose went home to “Chucktown” (Charles City, Iowa) for his 25th high school reunion. Can’t wait to hear who got fat and who is a complete failure (it’s always sweeter when it’s the quarterback or the prom queen, no, wait, both of those are Mike!).
Switched gears and did a gunfighter scratchboard, taken from a photo of Tate Wilford at Festival the West a couple years ago. Good profile. This is the kind of thumbnail I'm seeing in the corner of the cover.
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
—Irvin S. Cobb