Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March 14, 2006
Mark Boardman flew in for the week and is staying at our house. Paul Hutton is coming in tonight for a Western Writers of America board meeting and to attend this coming weekend's Festival of the West down at the new Rawhide.

My cousin, Brenda Stockbridge and her daughter Sharon, came down from Kingman on Sunday and we had a nice visit. Just a hint of snow on the mountain peaks around us. It was quite fleeting but spectacular while it lasted.

More Wendell Remembrance
“I remember watching Wendell Havatone in Little League. He would out run one-hoppers, he was really quick. And, he was one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. What a ladies man!!!!!! He will be missed! Who's the other guitar player in the Exits photo?”
—Scott Bell

Terry Mitchell is the unnamed guitar player (second from left in photo, below). He had one of the only reverb amps in a 100 mile radius, and could play “Miserlou” and “Pipeline” perfectly. Unfortunately, soon after this photo was taken he defied Exit band rules and gigged with Arnold D’s band (there weren’t enough musicians in Kingman to make up two bands, so we fought like crazy, plus we were young, proud and crazy). Charlie Waters and I had to go to his mom’s trailer and demand his “official Exit” jacket back (yes, the one he’s wearing in the photo, with the Old English “e” sewn over the breast pocket by Mrs. Rutschman). During the confrontation Terry’s mom feinted (we think from the stress of the situation) and Charlie and I sat there in the small space looking at her lifeless form as we waited for Terry to bring out the jacket. We got it and fled in my Austin Healey. Terry later moved to Phoenix and played in many excellent bands. I ran into him about 1985 when my son, Thomas Charles, attended the United Methodist Preschool and his best friend turned out to be Terry Mitchell’s nephew. We reconnected, traded band horror stories and compared notes. It was hilarious to hear the story from his side, a quarter century later. When our wives asked us why the odd behavior (see jacket demand), Terry and I just shook our heads and said as one, “Kingman,” softly and reverently. Our wives looked at us like, “Why is ‘Kingman’ the punchline to all of your jokes?” Well, if you have to ask, we can’t explain it to you.

Wyatt and Morgan Earp Update
“I visited Wyatt and Josie's grave and they have a new headstone. I also went to Colton and visited Morgan's grave. The people in the city hall of Colton were very nice and helpful. The man in the Colton library and museum was even more nice and copied a print of Wyatt's vendetta ride for me for free. He also told me how to get to the Earp house. Why isn't there a plaque on the house? it seems like Colton doesn't care about their history except, in the museum. I asked people at the school board office and even at Burger King: where is Morgan and the Earp house? Who? was their answer!”
—Rob sheridan aka: old west maniac and as my wife says: “Nut case!!”

Nut Case Rob,
Many times, locals don't want the aggravation. For example, in Lincoln, New Mexico, the McSween house site plaque is put in the wrong place on purpose! The people in the house that partially encroaches on the original site demanded that it not include their property. This is unfortunate for people like you and me who care about where stuff was. Ha.
—Nut Case BBB

Misconceptions Galore
Because of my love of the Old West I am sometimes asked to talk to clubs about Western History. Although I have not even come close to doing the research you have done, I do know a little more than the average person. I talk about the outlaw history of San Luis Obispo County and various myths of the Old West. I'll show off some old firearms and have a good time. I do quote frequently from your books and display a few on the table when I talk. Great source! My question to you is, 'what are the most common misconceptions about the Old West'
—Sam Cotton, Cole Younger SASS#4237

The big ones to me is huge variety of horseflesh, weapons, building styles, carriages, etc. was so much more diverse than is portrayed in the movies. It would be like seeing a movie about the 1960s and all you saw were Fords and Chevy's. While that is accurate, what about Studebakers, Pontiacs, Corvettes, Austin Healey's, Jaguars, MGs? And on and on.

The other big misconception is they actually had many conveniences that we like to believe they didn't. Running water, indoor plumbing, elevators, ice cream, ice cold beer, oysters, were quite prevalent in parts of the U.S. and even out West (San Francisco, Virginia City and Denver). Even in Tombstone they had coffee shops (4), ice cream parlors (4) and wine rooms (26 imported wines form Europe!). Sound more like Palm Springs than Glenwood Springs, doesn't it?

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Bush To Iraqi Militants: ‘Please Stop Bringing It On’

“The metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the 9mm bullet.”
—Dave Barry

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