Thursday, April 21, 2005

April 21, 2005
I spent the morning reworking copy in the Curly Bill Brocius—Jim Wallace shooting at Galeyville. I needed to incorporate Billy Breakenridge's account with the narrative and it took some massaging but I think I got it.

Gus is working on a "Lincoln County SOBs" map and it helps explain why all those rustlers and outlaws ended up in Southeastern Arizona.

It looks like Calamity Jane may trump Geronimo. At least on our cover. We had a cover planned for next fall featuring Geronimo's Cadillac, but the recent interest in Deadwood may change all of that. Plus a new book on Jane has some very sweet, never-before-published photos which we may use.

If you ever thought of pitching a Western now is the time. With the raging success of Deadwood and the impending Steven Spielberg TNT series, Into the West, all of Hollywood and most of New York is suddenly hip to the Western's untapped potential. All I can say is, it's about time!

I always like it when our phone gals give me feedback. Yesterday, Brittany told me about a guy from Port, Florida who called and said he gave up on us ("Too many ads, too much Wyatt Earp!"), but he said he'll come back and subscribe if we'll do something on Clay Allison. Done.

Carole gave me this report: "Michael McKibben from Pico Rivera, CA, called to subscribe for a 5-Yr True West Maniac Membership. He said he has subscribed to Wild West for some time, and did not know about TW until he found it on a bookstore newsstand last night." Thanks Dick Glassman!

My artist friend Thom Ross is getting ready to install almost 2,000 artistic, lifesize, plywood cutouts of all the major Little Bighorn Battle participants on the Indian owned part of the Custer battlefield (the National Parks will not let him install it on their property). Here's his latest report:

"As Custer and his 5 companies approached the Indian village down medicine Tail Coulee, he halted the troops and a small group rode to the bluffs overlooking the Little Bighorn River. Custer then returned to his men and sent his second, and final, messenger back appealing for help from Capt. Benteen who was far in the rear.

"Three Crow scouts, White Man Runs Him, Hairy Moccassin, and Goes Ahead, stood on the bluffs and fired randomly into the village. As Custer and the doomed troopers moved out, these three scouts rode back the way they had come and they hooked up with Reno and Benteen's men who were now besieged by Indians. Eventually, these three Crows melted away and rode back towards their home. On their way, they bumped into a 4th Crow scout, Curly, who had continued on with Custer but had ridden away as the battle began. Curly had witnessed the fight from a distant butte.

"This quartet rode north and ran into General Terry's command and, using sign language, communicated the first word of the disaster to the stunned soldiers.

"In my installation I will place Curly on a distant knoll, watching the fight. The 3 other Crow scouts will be placed on the bluffs overlooking the river, almost in the exact spot where they stood 129 years ago!

“My studio assistant, Guy Watkins, calls these three figures the ‘3 Tenors.’ I have done 3 cut-out horses for them which will be placed behind the three Crow scouts.”

Thom Ross is installing this at the Little Bighorn on June 23rd and June 24th and Kathy and I are flying up for it. Going to be a hoot.

Dave Daiss took me to lunch today up to the brand new Cave Creek Roadhouse, across from Harold's. I had the tuna sando and an iced tea. Dave wants to cook up a road trip down into the Big Bend area of Texas. I've never been down there and am looking forward to travelling with someone as Old West crazed as I am. Ha.

T-Bell is suddenly obsessed with e-Bay and is buying rock concert posters like crazy. He's having them shipped to me, so I can get them framed. His mother is slightly irked at all of this because the boy is acting just like, well, you know what the Old Vaqueros always say:

"It’s frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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