Tuesday, March 22, 2005

March 22, 2005
Had a nice staff meeting this morning at 8:30. Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking about the Festival of the West and how we can make it better next year. Everyone worked a shift, some more than one (and to those we ga ve little gifts, tote bags and cameras). On Friday night, Samantha and I sat out there in the dark in our cold tent until after eight. I told her it was beyond the call of duty to be stuck there on the weekend. She is a trooper.

Finished a nice little study of Wyatt Earp flagging down the fre ight train at Papago Station. As is often the case in doing a study, I didn't care about getting it perfect so it is often looser and when you get loose, sometimes the magic happens. You can just make out the gas lights of Tucson in the far, left distance. Notice also that Earp has a pistol stuck in the back of his pants.

Troubling online poll taken by the Scottsdale Republic regarding the failed attempt to bring the Buffalo Bill Historical Center to Scottsdale. Some 52 percent said "the West ern motif is so yesterday," while 39 percent felt the museum would enhance the allure of the town. Here's the shocker: 9 percent said, "Buffalo who?"

Ouch! If we hadn't had such a successful weekend out at Festival of the West, I would be mighty depre ssed about those stats. The bottom line is, there is always going to be a surprising idiot factor in any community (or family!), and even more won’t "get it," and personally, give me the 39 percent who thought it was a cool deal. Those are the people I a m proud to live next door to.

Great quote from Sandra Bullock: "If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, then you're not doing the right thing." She was referring to picking future movie roles, but I think it applies to us. I was mildly shocked to see all of the people choose the dead John Wesley Hardin cover off the table, over some of the more "safe" covers. I asked one older lady why she chose it and she said, "looks interesting." Another guy said, when asked why he chose us over Wild West magazine: "You guys are more gritty." Hmmmmmm.

I talked at length today with Jim Clark down in Tombstone. He is a master train guy and is working on Steven Spielberg’s next opus “Into the West,” for TNT. Jim brought three different trains to the movie site ("Did you get a Baldwin out there," I asked, proud of my new-found knowledge of locomotives). He got one train from Old Tucson (seen in Tombstone, 1993), one from northern California and another one from somewhere else.

"Man, that has to be expensive!" I said after hearing that he takes them apart, then they are shipped to the site and rebuilt. Yes, but not as expensive as his work on Wild, Wild West, when Warner Bros spent $2 million on the trains alone. Incredible. We are pr obably going to feature Jim and his trains in an upcoming issue. His stories are just amazing.

"When prosperity comes, do not use all of it."

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