April 25, 2006
A week or so ago, I challenged blog readers to take a stab at an illustration for Leo Bank’s brilliant and hilarious take on The Tragic And Ridiculous Billy Buff War. Three of you took the challenge and here’s the winner. In addition to being a decent illustrator, Alan Archambault is also the director of the Fort Lewis Military Museum in Washington State. It is the largest U.S. Military Museum on the West Coast.
I was particularly impressed with Alan’s attention to historic detail (notice the anchor design on the shirt, buck teeth galore, Lightning revolvers, slouch hats and oversized sweaters). Good job Alan! You get $200 and the painting will appear in the July issue (the anniversary of the Kid’s departure from this planet). Check out Alan’s museum at:
Speaking of Billy the Kid, I got an Email from George in Tennessee who wonders if that was my artwork in a Billy doc he saw on cable last night and did they have my approval and do I agree with their claims? Here’s my reply to him:
I have contributed to so many Billy the Kid docs I'm not exactly sure which one you’re referring to, but yes, I most likely signed off on the usage, but that doesn't mean they did anything credible with the pictures or the subject matter. Ha.
Yes, you are correct, there is only one verified photograph of the Kid and it's the standing one with the Winchester. All the others are wanna bes and are suspect in many ways. Everyone wants their photo to be of Billy because, well, it's worth a fortune. The only known image is worth a reported $350,000, and it's believed the poor sap who took the photo got a quarter for it. If that doesn't sum up the fairness of life on this planet, I don't know what does.
End of reply
Random Advice From A Married Man
You know you’re in trouble when you wake up and your wife is reading aloud from Psychology Today. The article being read this morning, by my wife of 26 years, was on Procrastination, with a capital P, and to my ears her voice (and the article) was about as soothing as an alarm clock playing the dulcet sounds of a root canal. I did learn something from this incident though, and I’ll relay those multiple gems of wisdom tomorrow.
Silver City: What’s It Like to Live There?
Yesterday I talked on the phone with Laurie Pankey, Executive Director of the Silver City, Grant County Chamber of Commerce and she told me the average temperature in January is mid-40s and in July, it’s the mid-90s, so the average is about 65. Now that’s cool, no?
Laurie also told me The Big Ditch Restoration Project, Phase II, is just about completed, plus several old downtown buildings are being renovated even as we were speaking, like Isacc’s Bar & Grill and The Murray Hotel, a once very glamorous place. Curt Albertshart owns the hotel and is doing the remodel. One of the coolest signs in the berg is in front of the Buffalo (a biker bar now), but it has an oldtime cowboy bar feel. The locals call it simply, “The Buff.” I took a slew of photos of it when I went thru Silver City in April of 2004 with Bart Bull, but I can't put my hands on them.
The best chuckwagon show is The Copper Creek Ranch owned and operated by Floyd and Patsy Robertson, it’s out in Arena’s Valley, dinner show 20 Flurry Lane.
Best route into town, I’m told by my old Mineshaft friends, Lew Jones and Tara Laman, is to stay off I-10, and instead, go via Safford, taking infamous Highway 666 over the mountains and thru Mule Creek, and don’t forget to take a gander at Mangas, named for Apache warrior Mangas Colorados (Red Sleeves), then slip into Silver City the back way. Way cool.
And like so many small towns, Silver City has lost it’s local radio talent to satellite madness, but “The Ranch” is still kickin’ it with the hometown talent at KWNM 105.5 FM, and check out Kurt Staley in the mornings. Now that’s radio as it was meant to be! Check it all out at:
Buck Jones Fire Death Clarification
“Buck Jones died in the ‘Coconut Grove’ night club fire in Boston 1942. Nothing was built on that lot for many years, in memory of the 500 plus who died that night. Don't know if that's still the case."
More Bad Saddle Data
“Regarding the bad saddle Robert Duvall is sitting on, there could be several reasons for the mistake. A Canadian location means: Canadian prop people and wranglers. One or the other is responsible for procuring the saddles. A professional Hollywood prop person or wrangler would never let this happen. The director must also be held responsible for these types of mistakes. After all, it's the director's picture; remember - ‘A Film By’? And if the star - and I'm not saying DuVall did this - tells them all he wants to use a particular saddle, there's not much they can do about it. It's also my opinion, that today's audiences - with the exception of those like the writer of the original query - having never been exposed to Westerns like we old timers, won't know the difference anyway.”
P.S. For fun, I thought you might enjoy my Behind the Scenes web site. Or as my friends call it, Steve's Life in Pictures.
Hey Stephen, I love the photo of you with actress Gail Davis on the set of Annie Oakley in 1955. You lucky dog, you!
And Speaking of Westerns And the Folks Who Love Them
“I watch the Westerns channel every day and always went to the movies before we had a TV years ago to see Western movies, but I've learned more about the old West watching you on the True West Moments part of the show. Really enjoy it when you're on. Thanks Very Much.”
—Richard Perry, Palmer,MA
Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Former Coworker Romanticized
“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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