Monday, March 27, 2006

March 27, 2006
Overcast and sprinkling this morning. Several of my staff out sick today. Lots of flu going around.

On Friday afternoon I met with James Ward and Kim Villalpando at the Phippen Museum outside Prescott. They chose a dozen of my original cartoons for their upcoming Range Humor show, including six, big Doper-Roper panels, each 20 inches by 25. The earliest stuff dates all the way back to 1972 when I was fresh out of college and full of underground piss and vinegar. I wasn’t too sure they’d want cartoons of pot-bellied Kingman cowboys roping hippies off the hood of a rusted-out ’49 GMC pickup, but they loved ol’ Granthum P. Hooker (actually styled after Buzzy Blair, Choc Hamilton and other Kingman Cowboys I knew as a kid).

Jim and Kim also chose a parody piece called “De Grazia In Hell” which I did for The Phoenix New Times in 1985, and, also, much to my surprise, “Homos On The Range: Is America Ready for A Gay Western?” the Clint cover painting I did for last December’s notorious True West issue on the movie Brokeback Mountain. If you ask me, it’s going to be a pretty edgy and impressive show. I’m going back up next month to give the docents a “walk thru,” an inside track on where all of this came from (come to think of it, all they would have to do, is read this blog). Ha.

I also stopped by Schepman & Associates in downtown Prescott. They head up the Prescott Area Coalition for Tourism and I dropped off two of the latest issues of True West and my card. Got up to Ed’s cabin, nestled underneath Thumb Butte, at about five, drank some wine and sketched on the deck. Piles of snow everywhere and the surrounding hills were still quite white with the stuff. At about seven I walked down to Casa Sanchez for dinner. Had a beer and the chile colorado ($13.22, plus $3 tip). Got back to the cabin at about nine and tried to watch some tv but couldn’t figure out how to get it off DVD settings and onto TV. Of course, I was embarrassed, but the more I tried different combinations on the four different clickers, the more I couldn’t get it to come on. Gave up and went to sleep. Bad dreams about a possible Onion newspaper headline: Old Man Can’t Turn On TV Set.

We’ve got a new poll up and I’m curious to see the results of this one: Have you ever been to Tombstone, Arizona? Vote now.

Our Shrinking Planet
“I ask apologys, because my english is not good. I'm your fan. I always look you in The History Channel on the program Old West High Tech with Keith Carradine. Please, what you know about the 1890 Thunderbird photo on the Tombstone, Arizona? What you can say to me? What is legend and what is reality???”
—Henrique Nogueira, Montenegro, Brazil

Actually, Henrique, very little reality and a whole bunch of legend. I assume this is that story about the alleged prehistoric bird supposedly found near Tombstone (it was written up in the local newspaper). As I told Henrique, that part of the country has always been full of leg pullers, BS-ers and big, fat liars, so I don’t put much stock in it.

Young Champions Looking Toward A Bright Future
Here’s a photo of the Kingman Junior High Championship Basketball Team, 1961. We went 16-1 (losing only our first game to Poston Indian School, down by Parker on the Colorado River). We won two tournaments, one at Blyth, California, where we beat Parker and then Poston (sweet revenge). Then we came home to the Kingman tournament and beat Bagdad, Blyth and Parker Dam for our second title. Philbert Watahomogie (#4), Delano Havatone (back row, third from right), David Ostermeir (back row, fourth from right) and Ralph Muleneaux (#8) made the all-tournament team. Les Byrum was our coach and he had even a better team the next year going undefeated, begging Phoenix teams to play them, then driving down to the Valley and whipping them all. That’s Wendell Havatone kneeling, front and center (#11). Everyone looks so young and innocent, but by my count (granted, there are two guys I’ve lost touch with) here are the current stats: two have done time in prison, one was addicted to crack, five are dead: including one suicide, one beaten to death outside a bar and one from acute alcoholism.

Again, by my count, only two have never been divorced (#14, Dan Harshberger and #4 Philbert Watahomogie), and one teammate has allegedly been married eight times. Wendell had three or four wives and as I mentioned yesterday, the newspaper said he left 21 grandchildren. By looking at the photograph it’s not hard to see why.

No doubt about it, Wendell Havatone was a stud. He was ripped, even in Little League. And, as Joe Powsky reminded me at the funeral, Wendell had wheels, (he could run like the wind). I remember in one game against the Oddfellow Yankees (my team), Wendell streaked around the bases on his way to an inside the park home run. There was only one problem. The ball miraculously, somehow, got there ahead of him. Wendell never slowed down and roared into home plate, bulldozing our stocky catcher, Gene Brummett, who, when Wendell plowed into him, was flipped violently backwards and ended up halfway up the backstop, his catcher’s equipment enmeshed into the chicken wire. Oh, and he dropped the ball, too. Gene’s mother, Wilma, was no shrinking violet, and she called the police and tried to get Wendell arrested for assault and battery (they declined to arrest the budding cocksman).

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Teen Vows Never To Follow In His Father's Incredibly Successful Footsteps

“Hope for the best, expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed.”
—Mel Brooks

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