Friday, September 05, 2003

September 5, 2003,
First came the blood clot, then lightning hit the house (my computer still won’t access AOL), then it was a plague of no gas, then ATT messed up our phones at the office, then we got robbed. What else could possibly go wrong?

Yesterday the well ran dry. Literally.

The well digger called me on my cell, said our internal pump at the house is fried and we’ll be without water until Monday. They’re going to have to pull the roof off the pump house and it’ll cost 80 cents a foot for the wiring, plus $1 a foot for the pipe, plus replace the five horsepower engine, it’s a 400 foot well. I smell at least $1,500.

Plus, I smell. Period. We have no water and you don’t realize just how much you depend on “running water” until it’s gone. I think I’ll brush my teeth. No, wait, can’t wet the toothbrush without pouring a jug of water on it. I think I’ll wash my hands. Nope, where’s that jug? My watercolor jar is clouded, better refill it. Nope. Get the jug. I have to go number two. . .Ooops! Where’s that corncob?

Got an E-mail from one of the TV production companies. This is what it said: “Our company just got an angry call from the Arizona Film Commission demanding to know why our producer is yelling at the commissioner and harassing folks at retirement homes in Flagstaff. We told him that we haven't done such a thing, and they said that a company called "Pat & Billy Productions," headed by someone named Jonathan Weasel, has been making a ruckus in the past few days. Ever heard of them? It sounds like they might be on the trail of John Miller if they really are hunting down old-timers in Flagstaff.”

There are at least 20 TV “production companies” doing the Billy dig now. Just amazing.

We’re doing the John and Jim Younger vs. The Pinkertons gunfight this issue (December) and I had it nailed extrapolating between two good books on the James-Younger gangs (Yeatman and Brant). I wrote it up and sketched out a map of the basic location and towns: Rosco, Osceola and Monegaw, Missouri and told Gus to fill in the gaps. Well, Gus is so amazing. He comes into my office fifteen minutes later with a March, 1969 issue of Frontier Times and shows me an article by Wilbur Zink on the “Gun Battle at Roscoe.” Zink is an unimpeachable source, one of the giants in the Younger sphere of history and for this article he drew a great map of where everything was with rare photos, etc. And, the piece has numerous details that trump my narrative. For example: both books I used said the Youngers went up “into the attic” when they heard the Pinkertons ride up, so I naturally assumed they peeked at the riders through an upstairs window (you know, like in a Midwest Victorian farmhouse). Both books also stated that the Youngers had horses hidden in the Snuffer “barn” (you know, like a Midwestern red barn) Well, here is what Zink has to say: “The boys crawled up the ladder through a hole in the ceiling and positioned themselves so that they could see through a crack between the logs...” And “the Youngers went out to the shed where their horses were tied...” It totally changes the scene. There are more examples, but I won’t bore you with them (or embarrass myself more).

“Opportunity is missed by most folks because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
—Thomas Edison

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