November 15, 2004
Big, dramatic sunrise. More clouds and rain today, although mostly sprinkles. Went for a bike ride as the sun broke over Ratcliff Ridge. The air, cold and wet. Really beautiful out. Of course I thanked Robert Urich for the extra day.
Got into the office at eight and received a packet from Neil Carmony containing an in depth report by Steve Gatto on the killing of Phillip Schneider at Charleston, Arizona Territory on January 14, 1881. Very different from the "accepted version," or the version in most of the books. More on this later.
Shot photos of my Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce painting and ran it up to Foothills Photo. Went by the bank and made a deposit, cashed a royalty check ($111.20).
Western singing star Dennis Jay came by the True West offices around noon and sang songs for the staff. Gus Walker set it up. Really great music, with the rain outside and songs like "Letters from Mexico" and "Christmas in the Badlands" it doesn’t get much better than that. You can check him out at:
After lunch Brian Label and Bill Welch came by the office with more Buffalo Bill images for an upcoming show in Ruidoso. Brian showed me several fake Bill Codys being sold on Ebay. The conmen are quite cunning. They take famous photos cheaply reproduced as laser prints then mount them onto old photo cards (pulling off some worthless landscape or family image and replacing it with the laser Cody), then price them to hook the greedy. Here's how: A real photo of Cody would run, say, $2,400, so if the price for a Cody on Ebay was $100 most people would know it was a fake. but they hit the price range of $750 and the buyers think, "Oh, this guy doesn’t know what he has, I’ll scarf it up." But, alas, the prints are worth maybe $1.75 so the scarfer becomes the scarfee. According to Brian the fraud is rampant and extends to saddles, spurs, bits, gunbelts and all kinds of artwork. Just too much money to be made. We talked about doing another piece on this so our readers can learn how to spot the damn things. Would be a great public service. We almost need to run a department to keep up with the fraud.
Got a massage from Christie at four ($50 biz account). Felt good. My left shoulder has been real sore all week.
For those of you who don't know, actor Robert Urich (Lonesome Dove, Vegas) was born on the same day as I was, and he's been gone for a year or two, so I often thank him, for the extra time I got and he didn't.
"A pessimist counting his blessings: 10... 9... 8... 7..."
—Old Contrarian Saying
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