Monday, February 21, 2005

February 21, 2005
No rain this morning, but it's quite cloudy and another storm from California is supposed to come in tonight.

Emma Bull from Bisbee weighs in on David Milch's deep take on Deadwood dialogue (see yesterday's entry). "Which is how you say, 'We wanted the swearing in Deadwood to be as shocking to modern TV viewers as the historically-accurate version would have been to people in the 1870s,' when you want to keep the 20-something wunderkind in the front office from thinking he's smart enough to do your job."

Right as rain, Emma. Too true for school.

For our train issue, I'm illustrating the Wyatt Earp-Frank Stilwell shooting in the Tucson rail yard in March of 1882. One of the witnesses to the shooting was a "fireman" for the railroad and I wasn't sure exactly what a fireman does, nor was I sure what kind of uniform they wore. While I have some cool photos of early train guys in overalls and engineer type caps, something told me I better go to the Trainiacs and find out what is authentic to that period. I called Pete Kaczmarowski at Roy's Train World in Mesa and he asked me all sorts of questions ("What time of year? Oil train or wood?"). After I gave him everything I knew, he told me the fireman sits on the left side of the locomotive and it's his job to keep water in the broiler (the engineer sits on the right). As for clothing, in those early days, all train guys wore derbys and as much civilian clothing as possible (the overalls and the engineer caps came later). The extra clothing was because on an oil burner there was all kind of hot oil coming off the engine and the clothing protected them.

I asked Pete how he got so knowledgeable about trains and he told me "When I stayed with my grandfather in Wisconsin, he took us everyday to see the Milwaukee Road. This was back in the 1960s and I just got the bug. We’d feed the ducks and watch the trains."

There are six million stories of smitten passion in the Naked West, and this has been one of them.

Amazing. We all got the bug somewhere didn't we? When I was out at Winter Range yesterday I met Linda Brock who is a spunky Billy the Kid-Sallie Chisum maniac. I asked her how she got the bug and she told me she was in the stacks of her college library studying for a final, saw Maurice Fulton's Lincoln County War book and started reading it (this had nothing to do with the final which, of course, made the reading all the more pleasurable). From then on she has been hooked.

By the way, all the rain just about ruined Winter Range. Mike Melrose was out there (Ben Avery Shooting Range) all day Saturday and Sunday and he said there was four inches of water in the True West tent from the Saturday storms alone. Everyone was miserable. All the mounted shooting events were cancelled. Really feel bad for the organizers. They planned all year, they got good media coverage and then the weather kills the gate.

Went home for lunch today and got four final sacks of flat rocks for Juan, who is on the home stretch of the Spanish driveway. Photos to follow.

While I was home, I whipped out a good gouache of Stilwell getting both barrels at night, standing on the tracks of the Tucson rail yard. Pretty good effects Didn't finish. Came back to work at two.

Abby is designing the new Festival of the West program cover and poster. She did a good job. I hope Mary and her crew like it. We'll see.

"Fools look to tomorrow;
Wise men use tonight."

—Old Vaquero Saying

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments