Saturday, August 06, 2005

August 6, 2005
Slept in this morning and it felt, oh so nice. Woke up at five, realized the book is done, smiled broadly and went back to sleep. Finally got up at about 6:30.

Muggy out. We've been getting rain almost every night. Mornings are cooler. Time to clean up my studio mess and refile all the books and photo reference. May rent a front-end-loader.

As I pound it out towards the one thousandth blog (this is 989), the comments keep coming in:

"I joined the fun of reading your blog in 2003 (TW timeline of Travel Issue featuring a giant jackalope on the cover). It was a great time to "get onboard" as the magazine had hit a milestone with a run of 50 years. Appreciated those extra bonus issues to celebrate the anniversary. Why I got hooked on your blog is the combination of soap opera, reality tv, history, antiques roadshow, drama, comedy and survivor island rolled into one. (Besides, Bell reminds me of my Dad and how he loved the journey of an open road, historical markers, seeing the country (mountains, meadows, valleys, plains, deserts, big rivers & western skies), Mom & Pop cafes, buffalo herds & long horn cattle, museums & desperados. The Classic Gunfight's are first-rate. Bell's depth of scope analyzing each legendary old west shootout feels as tho' he had been sitting ringside during the battle ~ and damn, those maps of Gus's are top-notch! Hope you're paying him enough. *** Bell is a master of (his own) words. His expressive vocabulary includes, "patootie" ... "niggling" ... "cellphone-hell" ... "dadster" ... "hatkiller" ... "jacked" ... "into the beast" (as opposed to, "Into the West") ... "cranking" ... "Aaggghhh" ... "in the zone" ... "quite amazing" ... really. If Bob Boze Bell's nimble fingers and artistic flare don't entertain us, his nimble mouth will. *** The only thing I have wondered about is why he hasn't attempted artwork portraying one of Judge Parker's executions, first having convinced Mike Melrose to pose dangling from the gallows while Boze captures the "right effects." Having met BBB in person I found him to be a good-natured, level-headed guy (with a twinkle in his eye), who is open and likes controversial issues. (And, yes ... I don't doubt for a second BBB was a handful of trouble for his mother & teachers and scoffs at 90% of the medical advice given to him by his physicians.) For the record, (I spent a little time with Mike Melrose at Northfield), Melrose says nicer things (sings real praise for Bell's innovative ways) about his trail boss, than Bob says about his sometimes errant colt. Being a "regular-kind-of-joe", the kind who can roll up his shirtsleeves and clean packrats out of the engine of a '49 Ford truck, whip up a batch of pancakes for his wife and kids or chomp down a bowl of Grape Nuts for breakfast while reading the obits to check the ages (too close to his own he obsesses) of other old wranglers who now receive their mail at the end of the trail ... makes Bell's readers feel connected to the "Big Galoot in Cowboy Boots." Bob seeks the opinions of others ... the sharing of ideas & listening is key to his team's success. Subscribing to TRUE WEST and logging onto the blog is therapeutic for history addicts. There we feel welcomed & understood and share a common bond. Was amazed when I received a phone call one evening from R.G. Robertson of TRUE WEST personally thanking me for joining the Maniac Club ... what other magazine makes you feel like family?"
—J.Rae, Maniac #12

More images from the upcoming book and artshow will be coming to this space (I'm still fighting the urge to reclaim more scenes!).

"When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."
—Old Vaquero Saying


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