February 25, 2006
Got to have breakfast with a living legend this morning. Joaquin Jackson, Texas Ranger and best selling author (his first book “One Ranger” is in its sixth printing and he’s working on his second), picked me up at the Museum of the Big Bend on the Sul Ross State University in Alpine and took me downtown to the Holland Hotel for breakfast. Joaquin is six foot four and quite imposing, and as we walked into the restaurant, you could see the heads turn and hear the whispers.
Nick Nolte played Joaquin in the movie “Extreme Prejudice” and spent several weeks hanging with the ranger to get down his speech and mannerisms. “He’s a damn good mimic,” Joaquin said with a laugh. “He had down all of my mannerisms.” Joaquin told me plenty of great stories but the one that stopped me short, was when I asked him if he ever ran into any oldtimers who knew King Fisher (see Classic Gunfights, Jan-Feb 2006 True West). Joaquin smiled and said he was at Ulvalde when they dug up King in the mid-1960s. He said King Fisher had a glass window coffin and he still had his mustache in place and a nice black suit.
At ten the local newspaper took a photo of Joaquin and me in front of the museum.
Liz Jackson (Joaquin’s daughter-in-law) introduced me and gave True West a big, Texas style plug at their auction. I said a few choice words and thanked everyone.
Signed books all morning, then went to lunch with the director of the museum Larry Francell, and Michael Duty, Director of the Dallas Historical Society and his wife Laura.
Through the course of the day I heard about two new movies about to be filmed in the area: “There Will Be Blood,” an oil field movie (1906) starring Daniel-Day-Lewis and the Cohen Brothers are coming in to do Cormac McCarthy’s “Not A Country For Old Men.” Tommy Lee Jones has already signed on for that.
Met Will Sharp, who has an upublished photo of Pat Garrett and his second wife. Going up there right now (4 pm) to see that, then dinner at the Harts. Lots and lots of great cowboy stuff out here. I need to come back next year and stay longer.
“The most decisive actions of our life—I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future—are, more often than not, unconsidered.”
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