Wednesday, April 12, 2006

April 12, 2006
I had to wait for the plumber this morning to “vet” and fix the water lines on the air evap cooler sitting atop the studio. Worked on Honkytonk Sue images (her bridling and saddling a horse). Also story boarded out the next CG which is going to be on the Major Wham Military Payroll Robbery near Safford (1889). A gang of Mormons (12!) from nearby Pima is believed to have pulled the job ($28,000) and they all got off, because it was a federal crime (and Arizonans have historically hated the federal government since day one) and most of the soldiers guarding the payroll were African-American. Nasty stuff, but true.

We’re planning a feature on the old Ranch Romance pulp magazines (they died out in the late 1950s). We have some real sexy covers we borrowed from Jeb Rosebrook and Mark Boardman is set to write the piece. There’s only one problem. Since Mark bailed to Indiana he is asking for examples of the writing to be found in these pulp-throbbing precursors to Cathy McDavid’s “The Gate to Eden” (see the salacious and racy excerpt from previous post). So, I brought in two of my personal stash of Ranch Romances (March 28, 1940 and July 12, 1942). Here is a smattering of ripe excerpts:

Love Stories of the Real West: Lay Down The Iron Rail (1940)
Mary Kate remembered how the bitter wind stabbed through her red cape, even chilling the steel stays of the red silk dress underneath, as she sat beside her sister Devinia in the back seat of the carriage Jack Langrished drove to the People’s Theater. [They’re actresses and in Denver City, as it was called in the old days]

Under the too-tight bodice, which had been stayed to fit Devinia’s seventeen-inch waist, panic and desperation roiled. . .It turned the plumes on Devinia’s bonnet to lavender the breath of the heaving mules to pink chiffon [interesting, even the mules heave]. . .two fighting dogs, snarling and snapping, thumped against her legs. . .[believe me, I know what that’s like, I’ve had more than one dog thump my leg] He took her two ungloved hands in his to steady her. She could feel the warm firmness of his steady hands under the horsehide. . .she looked at him with desperation naked in her eyes and, to her horror, began to cry. “Why do you have to—to keep pushing that accursed railroad in on top of us?” [Oh, I get it, the good ol’ iron rail metaphor].

“I’d even like one of those colored-boy hitching posts to tie the horses to. [Whoa! Nellie!] Because he has one. It always seemed as though that Negro-boy hitching post would settle old Mr. Seifert for good.” Mannie interrupted, “They gave me a banana.” [This has something to do with the impending railroad, but pay attention to the colored rein catcher, it shows up later]

The red cape was fluttering, warmthless, behind her as she hurried toward the carriage with the long-legged four-year-old in her arms. [Can something really be warmthless? And what does she have in her arms—a giraffe?]

Devinia had loved young Zeb Seifert. It had been Devinia, not Mary Kate, who had fainted at his funeral. But it had been Mary Kate who old Zebulon Siefert had decided would be the mother of his grandchildren. [Good luck with that today, Flinthead!]

The call-boy was thumping on Devinia’s dressing room. “Half-hour! Half-hour!” [first the dogs, now the call-boy, I’m so grossed out]

Mary Kate looked into the glassy purple of Devinia’s unfocused eyes, and cried out strickenly, “Devinia! You’ve been drinking cognac. We’ve told you and told you not to drink it when you’re chock full of pain-killer.” [better thump her, thump her good]

Mary Kate, even as Devinia, was light-headed, light-footed with joy. . .Mary Kate was making herself a new dress for the banquet [she makes her own clothes and all the girls like her]. For the banquet? Why not for her wedding? What was there to keep her from marrying Emmet after the banquet? I promise not to marry Emmet Gast until he can provide a suitable home for my son. . . [Emmet is a cad, and not worth a thump]

Mary Kate panted out, “John—I need you!” And then in a great flare of the bonfire, the fright and bewilderment went out of her face. It looked young and peaceful and triumphant. [Sort of thrumpmificent]

The girl caught her as she fell there by the iron Negro-boy hitching-post. [See, I told you!] Mary Kate’s son—the Mannie of those long-ago days—came running out the door and carried her in. [and no doubt, thumped her good]

End of Excerpt. Need I remind you young whippersnappers, there’s not one kiss! Not one feel [If you don’t count the dogs or the call-boy], and not much romance, either. Yes, but plenty of naked eyeballs and heaving mules. I guess we’ve come a long ways. Or, not far enough. Ha.

Kiefer Beefer Hits So What Snag
“Kiefer Sutherland just got $30 Million for 3 more years of 24. He can afford plastic surgery and time in a spa if he wants to now, or more strippers, depending on his priorities.”
—Curt Rich, True West Maniac #244, Houston, TX

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
U.S. Gives Up Trying To Impress England

“Luck always seems to be against the man who depends on it.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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