Sunday, June 12, 2005

June 11, 2005
Yesterday afternoon at about five, Carole and I got down to Armstrong-Prior for the White Hat series signing. I had been told by the state public relations person that they weren’t interested in putting out a press release because of potential financing questions. This was understandable since Zonies are infamous for screaming to high heaven over "public art." I could just imagine the letters to the Arizona Republic: "My tax dollars paid for this blasphemous load of crap that so obviously denigrates my Lord and Savior!"

So imagine my surprise when three TV camera crews scrambled into the building and began setting up their equipment. Two very attractive reporters (is it a law now that every female TV reporter has to be Playmate material?) began questioning Terry Goddard, our State Attorney General, at length.

But instead of talking about the merits of my White Hat etchings, the questions were all about the Mohave County County grand jury indictment against Warren Jeffs, the Colorado City polygamist who was indicted this very morning for sex crimes involving an arranged marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 28-year-old married man.

As Terry’s staff and my family and friends stood quietly on the sidelines drinking wine and eating cheese, Terry fielded the tough questions like the media pro he is.

Finally, Terry must have realized I was from Mohave County because he motioned for me to come over and stand with him. Once on camera, he pointed at me and said, "As for the evils of polygamy, this is Bob Boze Bell, who is from the same county where these polygamists practice. Notice the blatant and sad results from inbreeding, especially the slack-jawed mouth."

Not really. But Terry and I had a good laugh about this "what if?" when the TV crews left.

After I signed sixty prints and a few "artist proofs" we drove up to Taco Villa on west Camelback for Kathy's birthday. As Tomcat and I drove past my old neighborhood (Dan Harshberger and I had an apartment at 15th Ave. just below Camelback in the early seventies) I was shocked at the implosion and decay of the entire area. Once thriving video stores and fast-food restaurants (Taco Bell!) were boarded up and abandoned. Entire strip malls closed and fenced off. It looked like a war zone, or worse, it looked like Kingman.

Most of the Radinas met us at Taco Villa, along with Deena and her friend Ursula. Ran up quite a bill ($165, includes tip). Lots of laughs and good food

"The woman who puts the right number of candles on her birthday cake is playing with fire."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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