October 12 , 2005
My speech last night to the Western Art Associates of the Phoenix Art Museum was a smashing success. They had about 60 members show up at the home of art collectors Fred and Anne Christianson in Paradise Valley. A beautiful home straight out of Town & Country, with acres of original art by all the giants in the Western field. I gave a hearty and enthusiastic talk on authenticity in Western art, and they really got into it. Many questions and good repartee on our combined love of Western art. As they say, I was preaching to the choir. The gentleman who set up the speech, Gerald Montgomery, bought the Suspects (in the Stilwell killing) painting and I had that at the speech and showed it off to much appreciation. In the audience was the legendary Ginger Renner of Charlie Russell fame (her husband was a major collector of Russell art and she is a real hoot herself). She informed me that Bryon Price is coming in this week to stay at her house and that she and him are planning on coming out to see the BBB show this weekend.
Also in attendance was James Ballinger the director of the Phoenix Art Museum and he also talked to me at length about the show. The hosts mentioned they are going to make a trip out to see the show before it comes down. So I’m hopeful that this may result in a few more red dots (when paintings are sold in a gallery they put red dots on the sticker).
From time to time, Carole, Sam and Sheri sometimes give me feedback on the phone calls we get:
Howard Sperry of Spanish Fork, UT called and subscribed for 3 years. He has been buying off newsstand for years. Really enjoys True West and the old west. I asked if he liked anything in particular and he said he usually starts at the beginning and goes straight through. He said he even enjoys the ads and has planned some trips based on information in TW.
Our art director Dan Harshberger is coming out today to go over design issues, and a new “insert” we are considering doing. One of the complaints from old readers of the magazine is they miss the oldtime stories Joe Hosstail Small would run. This led us to wonder if we added an insert, on old pulp paper and loaded it up with our vast archival material (like the funeral of Seldom Seen Smith, circa 1961), would that be a cool thing? Would readers dig that? The problem is, and this is a mind blower to me, if we added 16 pages of the old pulp paper it will cost us an extra $1,200 in paper costs. When we bought the magazine in 1999, pulp paper was the cheapest you could get, but now it’s rare, because nobody uses it anymore, and thus, more expensive than the glossy paper we use today. Mucho ironic, no?
“Politicians are interested in people. Not that it is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.”
—P. J. O'Rourke
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