March 22, 2004
This morning I actually got to stand in front of a federal judge and “swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth”. That was kind of cool. Never done that before. No bible though (probably politically incorrect).
Left Cave Creek at 4:30 this morning. Got to Tucson at around seven. Met with the lawyer (can’t talk about the specific case just yet). Had machaca and eggs at a little dive downtown ($6.75 cash), then walked over to the federal building. Big security check (shoes off, empty all your pockets, photo ID). Up on the fifth floor was a big, modern courtroom with dark, red wood paneling. It had a crisp quietness about it and reeked of seriousness. Maybe that’s because the federal government is rumored to have paid extra to have any sense of humor sucked from the room. Case in point: when I got on the witness stand, the defense attorney asked me to name my Old West books, and, well, I couldn’t resist. So I named them and quipped: “And then there’s ‘Bad Men’ which, believe it or not, is not about lawyers.”
No laugh from the judge, the jury (a bad sign), the bailiff, the stenographer, the prosecuting team, or the two spectators. The defense attorney did manage a tight grimace that might have been a side effect of biting his tongue in half.
Still, I’m proud to say, with my testimony the defense rested. I got in my Ranger and drove straight back to Cave Creek and the office (2 hours and ten minutes, door to door).
Got in the front door and got a call from Dolores at the History Channel. She has been besieged with e-mails about my comments in here that Drew Gomber and I have been edited out of Old West Tech. Not true, she assured me. She thinks we are both wonderful on air and didn’t understand why I was singling her out. I apologized, and told her I was just causing trouble and that my humor doesn’t always travel very well. She seemed to understand.
Here’s a comment from someone who was out at Festival of the West on Saturday and saw some of the Westerns channel taping:
“I was one of those in the peanut gallery watching you tape the bit about hats. You shouldn't have been nervous—we couldn't hear anything you said, there was so much other noise. The ‘Security Sheriff’ kept everybody far enough away.”
"Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy."
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