Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27, 2006
Beautiful weather, got the doors open, don’t even need the evap cooler, just sweet breezes and mild heat (mid-eighties).

At ten this morning, I went home to get some bola ties for Joel Klasky (he’s going to The WETA show, Western And English Trade Association, this weekend in Austin, Texas), and I found Peaches sitting by the front door, snacking on a carton of Fig Newtons. Yes, an entire pack! She’s got the long, thin pack, chewed open, and with her paws around the box, one by one, she’s popping them into her Australian Border Collie little mouth. She’s such a little thief, and I guessed she probably was prowling around over at the housing site next door and swiped the Newtons out of some poor construction workers sack. So I grabbed them out of her paws and walked it back over the construction site next door, but the workers didn’t want them back. So I stole the figs and gave Peaches two nuts instead. She looked P.O.’d about it, but hey, I’m trying to act like the lead dog around here.

Speaking of lead dogs, talked on the phone with Bruce Dingas at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson yesterday. They’ve got the original topo map of the Wham (rhymes with bomb, according to Bruce) Payroll Robbery site done by Lt. George Cartwright. I’m going to be in Tucson on Saturday and want to see it, before I make my trip out to the site on Sunday. They also have the complete court transcripts, several thousand pages, which I also want to take a look at. Going to be tight. I am chairing a session in the morning at the Arizona History Convention and the Historical Society closes at one, so it’s going to be Evelyn Wood time.

Do You Like True West Moments On The Westerns Channel?
If you do and want to see more of those bad boys, tell these two guys: (The Boss) (Head of PR)

True West Is Looking for Even More Talent
We are looking for another salesperson. Someone who can be creative, loves the Old West and can help us build the fastest growing magazine in the West. You will be working with Sue Lambert, Joel Klasky and Rob Bandhauer, three pros and great people. Contact Trish Brink ( you’re interested.

I phoned my old bootmaker compadre Johnny Weinkauf in Kerreville, Texas yesterday. When he answered the phone I said, “Do you remember where you were on April 30, 1983?” John, replied, “Nope, but I bet you do.” Ha.

As a matter of fact, I do, now. While cleaning out the garage yesterday morning I found an old sketchbook and inside were several sketches of John and I travelling to Kingman so he could buy some bootmaking lasts (wooden forms to stretch the leather over) from a Kingman Cowboy named Allen Miller. Johnny told me he still has those lasts. We talked a bit about the new boots I’ve ordered (I measured my heel to arch wrong and he’s sending back the tape) and then, old times in Tucson, and of course, this led to the time we almost got beat up in Nogales. “What was that guy’s name who saved our lives?” I could just see him but couldn’t remember his name. Without hesitation, Johnny replied, “Glen Gilkerson,” who was a young, brash kid who worked for John in his boot shop. This was in March of 1980 and Kathy was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Deena, and we drove down to Tucson to pick up my boots, and after beers we all decided to go to La Roca in Nogales, Sonora to celebrate. There were about ten of us and during dinner in La Roca (literally, “The Rock”, actually a semi-cave going back in the rocky hillside about 300 yards south of the American line) Glen Gilkerson kept trying to tell joke, but we could only understand about every third word. After a great dinner, more Mexican cerveza, and a few shows, we drove back to our motel on the American side and some of us ended up in the disco. It was too loud in there so Johnny, Glen and I retired to the lobby to sit on the couches there and talk. Some tough looking hombres were standing nearby and it soon became obvious they wanted a piece of me. They didn’t like my new boots and especially my attire, which happened to be Daisy Dukes and, well, the new boots (Hey, I didn’t want excess clothing taking attention away from my boots, and besides, this was the end of the seventies and I thought I fit right in, especially in a Mexican disco). A huge, hispanic dude didn’t agree and basically called me out (something about a “puto” or “hoto,” or both), but before I could defend myself, or run, Glen Gilkerson, who was drunk on his ass (and the drunker he became the harder he was to understand), said, and I quote, “You wanna see my face on your dashboard?” End of quote.

The Big Bad Guy looked at his compadres and back at us. “Say, what?” he said scrunching up his face. “We can’t understand him either,” Johnny said, and we all laughed, or rather, they snickered, and we guffawed, and, that my friends, was the night Mr. Gilkerson saved my life.

Here’s two photos taken of Johnny and I, on that day in March of 1980, showing off my brand new custom Weinkauf Boots. I retired them about six years ago, and they toured the country in a boot show curated by the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg.

PBS Reality Old West Show Premieres Next Week, I Think
“You have got to visit this site. Incredible.”
—Alan Huffines

Night Rider’s Lament Song Writer Writes Me
“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Web site, and how much it compliments my monthly magazine subscription to True West.

“One of the songs that I have written, Night Rider's Lament, has become a favorite western song, and has been recorded extensively by many artists including: Garth Brooks, Chris LeDoux, Nanci Griffith, Suzie Bogguss, Don Edwards, and others. Night Rider's Lament has become a cowboy classic over the years.

“I have just recently designed my own Web site,, for the many other western artists that would like to record it and need to know how to contact me for a Mechanical License, or that are interested in the origins of the song.

“I would be honored to have you visit my site and look in the links page to see that I have linked to True West. I noticed on your Web site that you also have a links page, and I would be very grateful if True West would include my site in your Web site links page.

Please let me know if this is acceptable with you.

Thank you in advance, Bob, and keep up the great work in giving us all True West !
—Michael Burton, Tucson, Arizona

You are linked, my Man!

“There is just such a very shallow truth in facts. Otherwise, the phone directory would be the Book of Books.”
—Werner Herzog, in New Yorker, April 24, 2006

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