Monday, July 05, 2004

July 5, 2004
What did we do before DVDs? Kathy got me the Sergio Leone trilogy, of “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” for Father’s Day. This afternoon we watched the background interviews (disc 2), on the making of the films and is it just me, or have movies from the mid-twentieth century become almost as historic as the events in the Wild West they were attempting to portray? Listening to Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach talk about this crazy International movie they filmed in southern Spain back in the days of primitive film making was every bit as riveting as hearing about the real deal. Eastwood told how he brought his own wardrobe from the States, the holster was the one he was wearing on Rawhide (he was on summer hiatus and decided to go to Spain and do this Italian Western), the black levis he got in Hollywood, ditto for the sheep-skin vest and hat. Sergio provided the pancho, but as Eastwood tells it, they didn’t have any duplicates of anything so he had to take everything back to the hotel every night so they wouldn’t lose it. Wallach told about how the crew and actors spoke a variety of languages, French, German, Italian and Spanish and when he was in a scene (of course they showed it as he is telling it), he related how he would say his lines, and then wait for the other guy to stop talking, in German, and then Eli would say his next lines. Just amazing. Can’t wait to watch the the whole thing.

And of course, we were in Spain last Christmas so I recognized the mountains around Almeria, and noticed many little details I never saw before (there are many terraced fields on the hillsides, some dating back hundreds of years, and now that I know they are there, viola! there they are.

Worked on several scratchboards (scraper board as the English call it) of rodeo images. One is of a vaquero at a Charreada (the precursor of the American rodeo by about oh, two centuries), and they have this event called a coleada, where a charro must grab a bull’s tale at full gallop, twist it around his leg, and flip the mighty beeve over on its back.

Flint Carney just called and told me Handy died yesterday. Flint and Handy often modeled for me. Handy especially on Billy the Kid stuff (he was just perfect as Big Jim French). Cancer. Memorial is next Saturday out at Greasewood Flats. Great guy and he wasn’t that old.

Also worked on writing my graphic novel on the cock-eyed Apache scout. I finally got a device going to add some humor to the story (imagine that?). We’re hoping to premiere it before the end of the year. Got to get going on it. Need to get some pages in the can. Maybe the man who wrote “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Of Mice And Men” and “The Pink Pony” has something to say about that?

"When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate."
—John Steinbeck

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