Wednesday, April 28, 2004

April 28, 2004
Bart Bull came out to Cave Creek today and we took the pickup (our road wagon on the border roll) down to Tobias to check on the brakes. They’ve been hopping and acting kind of goofy and the ABS light is on. Left it there, then Minnesota Mike picked up Bart and I and we went over to Satisfied Frog for lunch. Had the new Crazy Ed menu item of steak and blue cheese salad and an iced tea. Really good ($55 cash, I bought).

Bart came back with us to the office and he pitched the executive committee on doing t-shirts and what he calls the lucrative world of “merch” (as in merchandise). After living on the road with various rock bands, Bart is confident he can sell our logos (True West) and our old graphics as postcards, cups, posters, etc. and we may give him a page to give it a go.

Everywhere we went on our roadtrip we saw True West. Unfortunately, it was the old True West. They were in every yard sale, antique shop and curio market we went into or passed. It was incredible. On the way home, we stopped at the only cafe in Cliff, New Mexico and Bart brought in a half dozen old True Wests and a half dozen of the new ones. Our waitress, Sally, started to take our order, then stopped dead in her tracks and literally sat down at the table and started leafing through the mags. “I love this magazine,” she said as if in a trance. “I always have.”

Bart took the opportunity to create an instant focus group and asked her if she knew it was still in business. “No,” she said, still leafing through the travel issue (Feb.-March). “I lost track of it. My husband used to subscribe, then we moved.”

Bart asked her to pick one to keep and much to my relief she picked a new one (the travel issue). Whew!

This just in from Prague and The Tomboy:

“Got into Prague last night after 17 hours of traveling. I sat with this Japanese kid from Tokyo on the plane. Hes studying in London and came to Prague for a couple of days to see a soccer game between the Czech Republic and Japan. His name is weird but all his friends call him Den. It was lucky to meet him because he knew of this hotel outside of the main part of town. Double rooms are always cheaper than singles. We got a double for 20 euros each and it is super nice. It includes a free breakfast too with pastrys, coffee, cereal, and all that jazz.

“Ive just been walking around the center and its pretty modern and happening. Out where we are staying though is what I would imagine to be more typical. You can tell it was formerly Soviet. Kind of a worn down feeling to it. It’s weird seing so many lower class and blue collar white people. Although it’s very similar to a poor small town. Really bad styles and kind of tough looking people. There are some seriously huge people as well. These guys on the subway had hands as big as my feet and as you know thats a pretty decent size [Thomas wears a size 13 shoe]. The people seem nice but are a little cold at first. I’m just used to Spain probably. Here no one makes eye contact. In Spain you can stare all you want and its no big deal because people stare back. I should write you guys later when Ive been here longer and can better assess but I just had a coffee.

“One more thing I noticed was in the airport at London the English were odd to me and I was always happy to see Spaniards. I can spot them very easily from their style of dress and the way they carry themselves. Ive grown quite fond of Spaniards. I think Im going to miss them when I go home.”

Got an interesting e-mail today from some fellow publishers and historians:

“My husband and I are both historians. You might be familiar with some of his work (Bloody Dawn, Scalp Dance, Black Flag, etc.) True West is absolutely our favorite magazine. I published two different magazines years ago in Virginia and am about to embark on another: The Magazine: Kansas Journal of Military History. You have set the standard for interest and excellence and excitement. Sharing your journal is gutsy and interesting and inspiring. Hope to meet some day.”
—Tom & Deb Goodrich

P.S. We love Deadwood! Ditto The Alamo!

“You make me want to go Western.”
—Linda Lou White

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