January 7, 2005
The staff is humming, jamming, working hard. It looks like sales will be in record territory for the next issue, and we are planning our biggest issue yet. Still some high school behavior going on but as long as we are moving forward it's much easier to overlook.
Went over to Dave Daiss' house at 4:30 yesterday. Shot two rolls of him, both shooting a shotgun on the ground and on horseback. Really got some cool shots, although my camera's battery went dead, but Dave had one in the house and I used his camera.
Got a call from a friend of Ed Mell's who's interested in one of my paintings of the Heatwave Cafe. Shawna Leach owns a small painting I did a long time ago of the cafe, and she thinks it's right (repainted on a much larger canvas) for a client who buys art for his hip cafes. The Heatwave Cafe was a place I invented for my cartoon character The Doper Roper (1972-76). It was inspired from my land surveyor days when I first moved to Phoenix and was working as a rear chainman out in the desert north of Buckeye. One hot, summer day, we wandered around, looking for a place to have lunch and found this place out in the middle of nowhere. Classic roadhouse look, with a bent A-1 beer sign outside. A black woman made us fried chicken. I loved the roadhouse architecture of the place especially the rounded, wagon-wheeled style front windows. In fact, I drove back out there on the weekend to take some reference photos and as I sketched it, the name just came to me in a flash: The Heatwave Cafe. It turned out to be the meeting place for the Doper Roper and his redneck cowboy friends from Cattletrack, Arizona. This comic ran in the Razz Revue, the brainchild of Dan Harshberger (who coined the phrase "Magazomic") and I. We conned two hot girls into working for us and he's still married to one of them.
Only later did I discover that the place was a legendary whore house known locally as Froggy Bottom.
Had lunch today with Mad Coyote Joe and Wonderful Russ. We met down at Keg Steakhouse in Desert Ridge. Very nice place. Brand new. Instant chic. I had the sirloin salad and an iced tea. Russell bought.
Just had two people from France come in the True West store (5:30 P.M.). Carole came and got me, saying they wanted to meet me. They have a cowboy store near Marseilles in the south of France. Jean-Claude and Jacqueline Martin just came up from Tombstone. Bought one of my books and several back issues. Gave them the tour of the offices. You can check them out at:
We're supposed to get more rain. Need to get the '49 back in the garage. Just called Eric. He's meeting me tomorrow morning.
Trying to get a good composition going on Doc Holliday as one of the Benson stage robbers. They are armed with rifles, standing in the road just after sunset. In the background we see someone holding four horses. Great reference photos taken on the site in 1993 of Bob McCubbin, Paul Northrop, Jeff Morey and Jerry Weddle and some hippie cow-boy who wouldn’t give us his full name. He led us to the site (it’s quite overgrown and hard to find). He lived in a tee-pee on the San Pedro if I remember correctly.
"How do you tell the difference between a grizzly and a black bear? When you climb a tree, if the bear follows you it's a black bear; if the bear knocks the tree over, it's a grizzly."
—Old Vaquero Saying
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