Saturday, February 25, 2006

February 24, 2006
Got home at 8:30 last night. Long trip down to Bisbee and back, but a good one. Met Doug Hamilton at the Kelvin turnoff west of Winkleman yesterday at three. We piled into Doug’s Four Runner and climbed up Kelvin Grade. Topped out over the next ridge and saw the big, wide Kelso Wash. We stopped at this vantage point and Doug pointed out the old stagecoach road winding up the far ridge. Very rough country. Learned much about the Apache Kid escape from Doug. Fortunately, I brought the “finished” copy and read it outloud on the site of the escape. Doug caught at least a dozen mistakes. I’m not kidding. Probably the biggest mistake, is the stage being on Kelvin Grade at the time of the attack. This comes from two authors, both stellar researchers, but obviously copying each other, and obviously neither had been out to the site. One trip up Kelvin Grade and then seeing the actual site, destroys that “fact.” This was worth the whole trip because it really tightens up the accuracy. It’s amazing how far off one can get by just reading the facts. Ha.

Earlier, George and I stopped at Gammon Gulch, a one-man-town built by Ray Gannon out in the middle of nowhere. I have heard about this little, eclectic town for years. It’s about ten miles north of Benson, We saw the humble sign and pulled in and took in the town. Ray is a hoot. He gave George and I the tour of the place (think Old Tucson, but smaller), and told us the story of how he found this place. He was driving by with his wife in about 1973, saw a for sale sign for the acreage and told his honey this would be a good spot for his long dreamed of town. I asked Ray how long she lasted, and he thought for a moment and said, “Six months.” The clue was when he showed us the Wells Fargo building and mentioned he lived in there when he was first building the town and was “single.” Amazing. It really is a prevailing fantasy for guys, to own your own town. I took several photos of him with the idea of resuscitating an idea of mine: One Man Towns.

I got caught in travel hell this morning. Had a 9:55 a.m. flight on America West. Took off from the house at 7:40, chose all surface streets (mistake number one) and got to the parking lot at 8:45, took the shuttle and arrived at terminal four of Sky Harbor Airport at 9:05. Huge line to get tickets (mistake number two, should have printed out online boarding pass). Took twenty minutes to get ticket. Another fifteen minutes to get through security. Got to gate B-19 at 9:38 and was told the plane was full. I didn’t have an assigned seat so they gave it away. (mistake number three). When things like this happent to me, I think to myself, “Why is this happening to me? Pay attention, I’m supposed to meet someone. Up came Cesar D. holding a long-stemmed rose. But he was very upset. Kept pointing at the plane, “That’s my plane, I have a ticket.” The attendants were rather dull (they must deal with all the time, because all the airlines overbook, playing the angle of no shows).. US Air gave us a free flight (anywhere in lower 48) and booked us stand-by for the 12:40 flight.

That flight idn’t happen either. Flight oversold. No room. Cesar and I trudged the entire length of terminal four, which is about a half mile, to gate A-19 with an alleged flight out at 3:54. Every flight we heard announced had the disclaimer of being “oversold.”

Used the time to return calls. Had a nice talk with Arizona Republic reporter Angela (we have been missing for weeks). She is filing a story on Arizona people who have vision. Gave her some decent quotes (“A tough environment creates tough visionaries.”)

Cesar and I hung out together all day. We went and had tacos ($45). I kept looking at him. What am I supposed to learn from him? He is from a small village below Hermosillo. His father had a crop dusting business.l He’s now in real estate. He’s on his way to Juarez to meet a woman lawyer he met online. We sat side by side at Gate A-19, and while I wrote this, he went online and looked at Asian honeys (on AsiaFriend Great looking women but too good to be true. I really wanted to see the Juarez lawyer so he opened her file. Kind of a Kim Darby Mexican. Pageboy cute.

We finally got on a flight at 3:40. Got to El Paso at five (major turbulence near Las Cruces, plane really did a couple mid-air side steps, very scary what nature can do when she wants to, herre’s this billion pound piece of human machinery going sideways like it’s chicken wire).

Actually found my bag at baggage claim (went overl in morning) and rented a big, ol’ Nissan Pathfinder (red). Took off at 5:31 with the intent of making it to Alpine in time for the show. Met a very nice Texas Highway Patrolwoman who clocked me at 85 (she was generous. I was doing at least 95, but then that cost me $95, so there is some serendipity to it all. Hit big rain at Van Horn, rained on and off all the way to Marfa (no, didn’t see the lights). Got in at nine, too late for the show. Checked into the Best Western. Cowboys in the lobby singing and hooting. Looked like fun, but I’m done.

”Yes, I’m done.”

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