October 15, 2005
Kathy picked me up at 5:15 last night and we drove down into the Beast to meet Tomcat and Deena at Comedor de Guadalajara at Central and I-17. Deena picked up the NYC Boy at Sky Harbor and met us for dinner.
I had the tacquitos de lengua which prompted my bi-lingual daughter to say, “Do you know what you’re ordering?” Yes, actually I did. Tacos with tongue meat. Ha. Very succulent and tasty. T. Charles had been travelling all day (He saw a concert last night in Philadelphia, took the bus for $10 from Phillie’s Chinatown to NYC’s Chinatown, then the E Train across the Hudson to Queens and a bus to LaGuardia. Flew out of there to Denver, with a stopover, and finally into Phoenix at 5:56). So, anyway, he got grumpy and the whole deal went into a tailspin. I paid the strolling mariachis $6 to play La Bamba, but even me playing drums on the table and chirping did nothing to raise the spirits of our boy.
Instead of driving home with us, he went with Deena and met up with Bill Glenn for a night out on the town. As parents, this is disappointing, but then I did worse to my parents, or as Jim Croce put it, “I’ll be comin’ home soon dad, and we’ll have a good time then dad. . .and it occured to me, the boy had grown up just like me. . .”
On the way out, I picked up a New Times in the lobby of Comedor and wondered if they had ran the Wyatt Earp piece. They had, and I wasn’t disappointed in my prediction of their snide coverage. Robrt (yes, he spells it without the e)L. Pela leads with two puns: “Earp. Excuse me,” and “All’s Wyatt on the Western Front.” It’s basically a flip, anything for a laugh interview with our local Wyatt Earp with inane questions like, “How come you’re not wearing a cowboy hat right now?” Here’s the part of the interview where they mention me and my book: “Hey, I heard that Bob Boze Bell’s new book about Wyatt Earp ‘dethrones Tombstone’s most famous resident.’ What does that mean?”
Wyatt’s diplomatic response: “I don’t know. I read it cover to cover and didn’t find anything objectionable.”
NT: “Why does Bell have Earp on the cover of this month’s True West magazine with a big red X through his face?”
Earp: “It’s all hype. We love to scandalize our heroes.”
I woke up this morning to a critical response to my Arizona Republic piece that ran last Sunday. Here’s the letter under the headline Find yourself a new frontier, Bob:
"Bob Boze Bell wrote that if Texas is excluded from the region known as the frontier West then “there goes all of the James gang robberies.” The 12 banks the James gang robbed were in Missouri, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota and Kansas.
"Some people speculate that the James brothers hung out in Texas for a while (but then some people speculate Jesse James died in 1951, too).
"Even so, what would make the Texas of the late 1880s part of the “frontier” at that time—simply because if was largely rural? In his attempt to glamorize butchery and banditry, Bell gets confused over what constitutes frontier territory.
"Better go back to being a radio DJ, Bob!"
—George Ertel, Scottsdale
Never mind that I was refuting the original author’s contention that there were less than a dozen bank robberies in all the frontier from 1850 to 1900, and that certainly Texas would be considered part of the frontier in that time span (I never said it was in the “late 1880s”), and to a large degree West Texas especially in the Big Bend area west to El Paso has been a lawless frontier all the way up to at least 1953 (some would contend all the way up to today with drug running and such).
I was rather miffed, but Kathy just read it and laughed. “They spelled your name right, what are you bitching about?” Ah, you gotta love those Germanic women.
I’m packing to leave on the plein air art trip. Tomcat and I are leaving at 11 to meet Ed and Carson Mell and we’re heading up into the wilds of the Burro Creek wilderness. I’ll try to post from the Cane Springs Ranch if I can.
“The farther up the flagpole you go, the more people can see your rear end.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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