Friday, July 16, 2004

July 16, 2003
Back from the heartland. Got into Wichita at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Shuttle driver told me the population is somewhere around 340,000. The Radisson Hotel where we stayed was downtown right on the Arkansas River (by the way, there is a controversy about the pronunciation. In this neck of the woods it’s pronounced Ar-Kansas, like in the state of Kansas, and then somewhere south of here it changes back to the Arkansas River. Of course, the people in Arkansas hate this —“They are so wrong-headed up there!”—We need to do an article on all the goofy, conflicting pronunciations in the West.).

Taping was at the Old Cowtown Museum which is a wonderful venue. They’ve got three streets, inlcuding a train station complete with a railroad siding and boxcar. A working hotel with upstairs rooms, a working print shop. Everything is authentically done, not cheesy like many living history museums. We stuck our head in a random storefront and there were a group of girlscouts, all dressed in pioneer 1800s costumes doing an authentic Virginia Reel. Amazing). I was interviewed on the Daltons in the Saloon, of course. Big faro layout over my left shoulder. Interview went well. We had some problems with flies and I had to repeat several complicated answers—”That was great, can you do that again?”—and of course, I couldn’t do it again. It’s never as good the second time, because you’re trying to find the same words and you get hung up on rote rather than automatic. Other than that, I think it went well. The director, Hoyt (The Dirt Bike Kid) told me he thought it was a “grand-slam” interview, but I nver know until I see the final product. Sometimes I feel cocky and when I see the show I come off like an ugly goober and other times I just come off like a goober. The camera is a funny thing. When they say “the camera loves her” that is no frivolous metaphor. My relationship with the camera is somewhere betwen love-hate and an occasional passionate one night stand.

Speaking of the camera loving someone, one of my fellow talking-heads is as crazy as I am about Westerns. Case in point:

“Saw The Alamo for the 4th time two days ago ($1 movie house) and it wasn't quite as bad the 4th time as the previous three. Go Ahead!”
—Paul Andrew Hutton

Got an e-mail from Thomas who is back on American soil for the first time in a year. Here’s his comments:

“The culture shock hasn't been intense really. I feel like I never left but that might be because I always leave NY for a year before coming back. Everyone does seem to be in a hurry and I've realized that there's a difference between laziness and taking it easy. Taking it easy Americans could do more of. Cant wait to see you guys.

Got a letter from Guy Jacquemin in Saint-Leger, Belgium. Here’s part of his letter:

“Dear Since,
I’m since one year about a great reader from your beautiful magazine (I’m a subscripter). I have not computer, and I like know if you can send me address from this advertisers nams from you issue July 2004:
• The Gunrunner Fine Firearms
• Lawman Badge Co.
• Old West
• Circle KB
• Prairie Outfitters
• Silver J Western Wear

“Thanks for your help. I love your magazine, I’m a great Belgian fan from Old West history.”

"Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe."

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