Monday, December 06, 2004

December 6, 2004
Woke up around midnite to more rain. Listened for an hour or so. Finally drifted back to sleep, got up at six, still drizzling. Very un-Arizona-like. Cold and soggy out.

The sales staff, all four of them, went to Cowboy Christmas in Vegas over the weekend. Huge event, including the NFR (National Finals Rodeo), tens of thousands of rodeo-cowboy folk in town. Our tag team is still there and will return tomorrow. We are anxious to hear all their war stories.

Theresa from Tri Star came out this afternoon so I could sign books for the dyslexic kid I told you about a couple days ago. She got caught on Carefree Highway. Big wreck at about 32nd Street. Road closed for three hours. She had to go all the way back to I-17 and down to the 101 and back up Cave Creek Road. An extra loop of about 33 miles. She was laughing, but it took an extra 45 minutes. Ouch!

Allen Barra sent me his new book Big Play. I love the jacket blurb: "He's controversial, he's iconoclastic, and sometimes he's even downright rude. But what he is more often than not is right, with the stats and facts to back up what he says—and he's not afraid to let you know it. After all, he's Allen Barra."

Too true. It's kind of amazing that we're still friends. It was my fault he got kicked out of a certain Tombstone historical establishment when we did a radio show there four years ago. And it was me who booted him out of the masthead over an alleged curse word he used on a chat room to describe one of our advertisers. But to his credit, through it all, Allen never got mad (although plenty of his friends did). Earlier this year when I went down to Tucson to appear on the Investigating History TV show on the O.K. Corral, we all went to El Minuto and had a great dinner and it was like none of the above had ever happened.

I think that's the true test of good friendships. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if one person can be mature enough and forgive (that would be Allen), it sometimes makes the bond even stronger, the old "what does not kill you makes you stronger" deal.

And speaking of longtime friendships, as much as I make fun of Kingman, I have to say that I still have strong feelings for almost everyone I grew up with there. I got a call, today, out of the blue from Marcella Baca. She is living in New York state and called to join the True West Maniac Club. Fun talking to her. Haven't seen her since about 1969. We actually dated, but we were of different religions: she went to ASU.

Worked on a scratchboard of Mattie Earp this afternoon. She's been betrayed and abandoned by the man she loved. She's looking down and has one more decision to make, and she's looking right at it: a half-empty bottle of laudanum. Good photo reference which I shot out at Pioneer about ten years ago. Never got to use it. May put in a "John" on the bed, in the dark, behind her, lighting a cigarette.

"Before you run in double harness, look well to the other horse."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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