Thursday, February 26, 2004

February 26, 2004
Went into the office yesterday at eight, fielded payroll, advertising and editorial problems. RG is skiing in Idaho this week and Bob Brink is in New York on Hearst business, so it’s me and Carole holding down the fort. Of course, this is something Carole and I did all by yourselves for a long time, so it isn’t unbearable, but it does make me appreciate what both Bob and RG do to make my life easier. Thankyou gents! And, please don’t break a leg.

Left office at 10:10 and drove to the coumadin clinic in north Phoenix. Got a passing grade (2.6 PT score, which is a “acceptable therapeutic level”). Drove home and bailed into three paintings for my “Injun” cover. Ruined two (what else is new) and maybe saved the third. Shot all four and took them up to Foothills photo, dropped off film, went back to office and helped interview a woman for the new “liaison” position in production/editorial. Good candidates. It’s going to be hard to pick (and that’s a good problem).

Evidently our True West Moment on the Westerns channel is going over well, because Jeff Hildebrandt has ordered another batch. We’ll tape some new ones when he comes down to Festival of the West in three weeks. Need to write up another score of scripts. Shooting for 10.

Got a new book from the Long Rider’s Guild, in London, called “Hidalgo And Other Stories by Frank T. Hopkins.” The book is perfectly timed to hit the market just ahead of the soon to be released movie Hidalgo which we have been talking about quite a bit in the pages of True West. Edited by Basha and CuChullaine O’Reilly (yes, their real names), the book really gives both barrels to Hopkins. A sampling from the very first page:

“The only endurance Hopkins ever did was with his pencil.”
—James Davidson, Vermont Historical Society

“Did this man Hopkins say anything true?”
—Dr. John Gable, Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association

“I find Frank Hopkins suspiciously absent from any authentic historical events.”
—Dr. Juti Winchester, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum

“Hopkins is a phony!”
—Leo Remiger, author of the “Encyclopedia of Buffalo Hunters & Skinners”

In a cover letter, Basha tells me, “while we would like to compliment True West on its objective coverage of the this growing Old West scandal, we were astonished to read Professor Paul Hutton’s dismissive remarks!”

Paul, as you may recall, defends screenwriter John Fusco and basically says all movies are fiction. As soon as you write the first word and film the first scene, it’s “goodbye history.”

Still, Disney has not pulled the claim “based on a true story.” At least that line was still attached to the movie when I saw a sneak of it last month. Hopefully they’ll do the right thing and drop the line.

“Hypocrisy is the complement vice pays to virtue.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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