Wednesday, July 06, 2005

July 5, 2005
When I was in Yellowstone I fell in love with Thomas Moran. I had known about him for some time and thought he was decent, but after we watched Old Faithful erupt, I went over to the bookstore, saw a big illustrated book called “Drawn to Yellowstone,” or something like that (the book is at the office for editorial reference). As I read about this young English artist coming out on one of the first explorations of the park (1871, five years before the Little Bighorn), I had to admire his tenacity and spirit. There were other “artists” and draftsmen on the trip but it was Moran who really captured the park in paint, especially the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone in stunning strokes. Really a great artist. I would go so far as to say he was a flippin’ genius.

Another thing I loved about Yellowstone—no cellphones! There is no signal in the park and I hope they keep it that way. It was like going back in time ten years. Nobody babbling, or talking loud. You don’t realize how oppressive cellphone-hell has become until it goes away. It was such a blessed relief!

On the way up to Montana, when we were waiting for our plane in Denver, this rube from Alabama comes and sits down next to me and immediately calls his wife on the hands free: "We’re waiting for the plane. . .Oh, nothing, about an hour. . .is that Ajax? Tell him to come to the phone. Ajax? Ajax! Be good now! You mind your mama!! That’s a GOOD BOY! GOOD BOY!! He’s a GOOD BOY!! Could he hear me? Put him on again."

I swear to God this is an accurate transcription. Kathy later told me the new method of dealing with these cretins is to stare at them. I’m not sure that would be enough. Maybe if I had gotten down on all fours in front of him and started pretending I’m a dog and get all excited and lick his face and hump his leg. Damn! I’m sorry I didn’t think of this at the time. Oh, well. There’ll be plenty of other opportunities the way things are going.

Worked most of the day on finishing three possible gambling covers. Brought four finished images into the office at about two, and did four different design roughs.

Really hot out. Swam twice today. Once in the morning and then when I came home at about six. Felt good. Buddy Boze Hatkiller joined me for the afternoon plunge. Of course Peaches can’t stand it and tries to herd us from the pool deck, which is kind of ridiculous. Okay, he’s turning the other way, must get ahead and bark at him. Wish I could nip his heels but can’t reach. Keep him moving. That’s it, he’s heeding my herding commands. Now he’s turning again. I’m good. This is working like a charm! I’m a doggin’ genius!

"A man who is a genius and doesn’t know it, isn’t."
—Old Vaquero SayingV

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