March 1, 2005
When we hired Gus Walker, AKA The Mapinator, away from The Arizona Republic five years ago, Gus said one of the things that sold him was our laid back attitude. He and fellow R&Ger Kee Rash (yes, that's his real name) speculated that we probably "drank beer all day and jammed on guitars." This struck me as quite funny when Gus admitted this not long after he came to work here, and I always intended to someday blow his mind and actually pay off that fantasy.
So, finally, in yesterday's staff meeting, I informed Gus that he and I would be jamming on Friday and that I was bringing in my drums and the beer. Should be fun, fun, fun, til' my daddy takes the Pinto away.
By the way, Gus worked at the Republic for 38 years before coming to work here.
Speaking of my daddy, I went home for lunch today and met Joe Y. and JD, both neighbors and tractor buffs. They came over to start my Grandpa's classic Series D 1940 John Deere. As Joe coaxed the ancient farm horse to life he confessed to me he only has five tractors. "They gotta be 50 years old," Joe said, giving me his buying criteria, "have a hand clutch and two cylinders." He was quick to add, "I'm not a nut like some of these guys in the club. Ol' Hank's got 50 tractors and ain't one that even looks good."
Everytime I hear the throbbing putt-putt of that John Deere it takes me back to Carl Marvin Bell's farm hidden behind Swenson’s grove on the rolling corn fields north of Thompson, Iowa.
Interesting article in the new New Yorker: “Dirty Dancing: The rise and fall of American striptease.” The premise is that sleazy bump and grind is now seen as "passe as waist cinches, white kid gloves, and Buddy Holly’s 'Peggy Sue.'" The author claims the strip tease was "killed off by the general pornification of society which began to affect American culture in the nineteen-sixties." Too true. Where the hell is all this porn going to take us? My hunch is that it will wilt and go underground again, but when? It sure has stayed hard for a very long time (If your erection lasts more than four days, call your doctor).
Started a big, bold Doc Holliday painting. The good dentist has his hand in his coat reaching for steel. His one eye, just visible below his wide, gray hat brim looks demonic and menacing. Got a good underpainting blocked in by about 2:30, then came back to the office.
Everyone quite positive. We are working on new systems and it's quite invigorating. By the way, the William Macey character in Fargo is Jerry Luundergard. How Midwestern perfect is that?
"The reason that I made friends with the wind—with reality—is that I discovered I didn't have a choice."
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