Tuesday, November 18, 2003

November 18, 2003
Back from New Mexico. Took off from Albuquerque last night at 7:40. Plane hit a wind sheer on take-off (snow flurries in both Santa Fe and Alb.). It was like someone was hitting the plane with giant baseball bats, the entire jet pitched and bucked. Certainly the roughest take-off I have ever experienced. I said goodbye to my family, wondered about all the deadlines and projects left unfinished. The rest of the flight was smooth as silk.

On Sunday night, six of us met Bill Kurtis (ex-CBS correspondent and morning anchor) and his staff at Santaca Fe (Santa Cafe, get it?) just off the Plaza. Paul and Tracie Hutton, the Western artist Thom Ross, a “friend” of Thom’s, Rhonda who is a school teacher on the Navajo res, and a tennis pro/Old West buff named Rusty. Three of us were wearing cowboy hats and Western cut coats and after introductions, Bill Kurtis leaned over and said to Paul, “They realize we’re not filming tonight, don’t they?” Ah, those Easterners and their humor.

Rusty, Thom and I realized we are all hat Nazis. In fact, Rusty wants to re-digitalize all the old Westerns and make the hats historically accurate. Rusty guesstimated there are 350,000 other hat nazis who agree with us. I countered that there are maybe (heavy on the maybe) 40. This became a running joke for the entire trip and when Richard Ignarski showed up at Bob McCubbin’s house, Rusty said to me, “I just met number 41,” but I had to tell him, “No, Richard is number 13 on my list.”

Taping at McCubbin’s house was great. Everyone raved about Bob’s library. Thom declared it “The Cooperstown of the Old West.” Ha. Show will appear on the History Channel next April.

”We should always be booted and spurred, and ready to go.”

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