Friday, September 03, 2004

September 2, 2004
I’ve got a speech in Kansas City coming up and I spent part of today on the phone with the event coordinator going over the issues facing the grocery industry. Quite interesting. We have a tendency to think of our own industry’s problems as being unique and an abberation of nature, when in fact, we are all coping with similiar issues and problems. For example, grocery stores and convenience markets used to own certain categories, but today they are competing with everyone (especially Wal-Mart who they seem to categorically hate and view as Nazis). Even ten years ago, if you wanted a greeting card you stopped at Hallmark or maybe Wallgreen’s, but today everyone carries them. Another area that our nation’s grocers are grappling with is, and this is true of us as well, too much data. Computer systems used to deal with thousands of bites, then it was millions, now it’s trillions. And now that they can track almost every purchase and cross reference other buys with specific customers, it can get a tad crazy. So, now all I need to do is apply this to the Old West, or vice versa. “Twenty Things Grocers Can Learn From the Gunfight at The O.K. Corral” is where I’m headed. Both figuratively and literally. Wish me luck.

Met with one of the Tewksbury descendents at 11. Interesting talking to him and seeing his photographs about the Pleasant Valley War. He showed me a photo of Charlie Meadows, who was a minor Wild West Show guy from Arizona, who ended up in Alaska. One of the cowboys in the photo is allegedly Tom Horn, and others have been identified as warriors in the Pleasant Valley War. This makes me suspicious because it seems odd that the two would mix (historical characters and wild west show characters). I keep running across photos of Meadows and references to him. For example his rodeo-wild-west show was shut down in Denver by the forerunner of the Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in the late 1880s or 90s. Hmmmm.

Went to lunch with Carol at noon at the Bad Donkey up in Carefree. She bought. Good talking to her.

Spent the afternoon working on copy for Classic Gunfights. Also worked on two scratchboards, one of a side view of a Colt’s .45. Got some good effects, but not quite right. Pistols are particularly hard to render accurately, and are seldom portrayed in art very good. Charlie Russell was quite proficient, as was Remington, but beyond that it’s pretty slim. Tough angles, especially in someone’s hands. Need to work on this aspect of drawing and rendering

Left the office at five and joined Kathy, Deena, Brad, E.J. and Betty Radina at Shelmita’s down in Paradise Valley for Brad’s birthday dinner. Big police funeral across the street. I assume it was for one or both of the two officers who were shot and killed recently, while busting down a door to get at a gun weilding perp. They had body armor on, but the shooter got them by aiming for the head. Cop cars everywhere, up and down the side streets. Very sad. Another policeman was shot yesterday. That’s five in a week. The Valley is getting more like LA every minute.

Dinner was fun, Betty bought. Got home at eight, watched a bit of tv (anything but the convention).

“There are two kinds of fools: one says, ‘This is old, therefore it is good’; the other says, ‘This is new, therefore it is better.’”
—Dean William R. Inge

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