Thursday, February 23, 2006

February 23, 2006
George and I just got back from the Bisbee Breakfast Club down in Lowell (one of the five districts comprising the Bisbee mining area. Grant of Optimo Hats joined us. Great cafe, totally remodelled from an old, classic, pleat-ceiling store. I had the eggs harnett (green chiles and eggs on homemade bisquits). Lots of talk about how to market Bisbee, since Tombstone gets many more visitors per year, and Grant thinks Bisbee has more history. True, but they don't have the icons (Wyatt Earp, Johnny Ringo, Doc Holliday, O,.K. Corral which are on the DNA of most tourists). Still, Bisbee is a great little town with mucho charm and a strong bohemian culture.

Lauren, Maniac #19, Emnailed me this morning and told me to check out Dot's Diner, and although I had been there, Grant and I took George to see the Shady Lane Trailer Park, where a guy put a bunch of retro Airstream trailers and made a motel out of it. Dot's Diner, is the classic little stainless steel, 1950s diner (holds all of 10 customers). The place has brought a lot of publicity for the town. And, Dan and Darlene Harsherger drove all the way down here just to stay in the damn things, so it must work.

I had a radio phoner interview this morning at 6:15 with KALP (Alpine, Texas) to promote my visit tomorrow night for their big museum event. They called me here in suite 8 at the Canyon Rose Suites in Bisbee. I looked out at the morning light tinging the mining tailings as I drank some coffee and waited for my cue. Once again, I so enjoy the small town radio station format. As I waited to go on the air, I heard the grade school cafeteria lunch menu (baked chicken and red grapes), the local happy birthdays (Ernie Layback and Gus Lines up in Arlington). I don't know why this makes me so happy but it does. By the way, it's 48 degres in Alpine this morning, and ol' Ray Hendrix can "smell the rain. Got about a forty percent chance and we sure need it."

Last night we drove down to Gavioto's Seafood Mexican Restaurant, just this side of Naco. Had a carne asado taco and seven seas soup. Another cool little place out in the middle of nowhere. We brought in our own beer and limes and, of course, solved life and George spun out a marketing plan for Grant on how he needs to market himself as the hatmaker artist. George is amazed that of all the hats I could have (I get offered free hats all the time) I drug him half way across the state so that Grant could create another "performance" hat for me. "That's your positioning campaign," George told him, after two beers. "That's what your ads should look like. It isn't the hats, it's you." I'm not sure Grant got it, but George is right.

My new performance hat has a bigger brim and will have a custom leather band, but no conchos (too pretentous). I want understated, but unique.

We are leaving in fifteen minutes to head to Kelvin Grade. We are taking the back roads from Benson, down the San Pedro, which is north, to Mammoth, then up to Winkleman and over to Kearney. I love road trips and this is the heart of the watermelon.

"We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do."
—Ethel Barrett

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