Monday, November 10, 2003

November 10, 2003
Went down to Scottsdale last night to visit Dave Daiss in the hospital. Stopped in Old Town and looked at all the Western art in the windows (everything was closed on Sunday evening). My friend Gary Ernest Smith did a big ol’ statue of Maynard Dixon. It is installed right outside Ed Mell’s gallery and it looked wonderful. Gary really captured Dixon, complete with his lanky looks and custom watch fob (which had his custom Thunderbird design on it).

Had dinner with Deena and Kathy at Pischkes’s. Great food and good conversation ($35 cash, includes tip). Got up to Dave’s room at seven. He looks good, still has his sense of humor. We laughed and he ate cookies. He weighs 159 and needs to put on weight but he still has trouble keeping things down. Two of the other patients in the recovery ward were there as the result of crashing their plane at Falcon Field seveal weeks ago. Both had huge gashes across their foreheads and the son told us why. They had taken off and the cowling came loose (the hood of their engine) and it flipped up in front of the windshield blocking their view, not to mention creating a viscious drag off the prop. They circled around and tried to land but as they came around the plane stalled and hit the ground at a high rate of speed. Both men hit their heads on the dash and are lucky to be alive. I am so glad I didn’t meet these guys before Dave and I flew to Cimarron in Tom Chenal’s Beechcraft last summer!

Finished the last two art pieces for this issue’s Classic Gunfights with minutes to spare. Did a scratchboard of Zip Wyatt blasting away, while Ike Black takes one in the head. Gus scanned it in and placed it at about 9:30. My soft illustration of the outlaw babes: Belle Black and Jennie Freeman is better. Fought the temptation to illustrate the two as cowgirls and kept close to the newspaper descriptions of the two. In fact, Jennie is reported to wear a cap. Got it.

Issue goes out the door at four. This morning I got the results of the first direct mail piece we have done in two years. Excellent news. We had a 4% return (national average is 1%) and the pay-ups actually put us in the black. In other words we actually made money on the mailing. This is great news and speaks for the improved product, more than anything.

Took Mike Melrose to lunch at El Encanto. Sat outside by the pond. Talked about sales, or the lack thereof. He has good instincts and I encouraged him to be pro-active with his staff. The rest of the time we laughed like a couple of goofballs from Iowa ($25, biz account).

”My idea of long-range planning is lunch.”
—Frank Ogden

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