Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31, 2006
Working hard on a new special project for the fall. Top secret, can’t divulge at this point. Dan Harshberger e-mailed up to us two cover design ideas. Lots of comments and debate. Went home after lunch and whipped out an illustration to possibly accompany the cover image. Not sure if it’s there yet.

Dale Miles, the San Carlos Apache historian, came by with his son Levi today and showed us numerous photos of Old San Carlos that were quite thrilling. I hadn’t seen half of them, and I would guess several of them have never published. For some reason there has not been that many photos published of Old San Carlos, even though it was home and headquarters for many historic army units and Apache leaders. Not sure why, but the photos we took there a couple weeks ago on the site of the old fort (it’s usually underwater because of San Carlos Lake), matched up with several of the late 1880s fort shots. We’re going to do a major feature on this in the near future.

Went to lunch with Terry Garrett at Saba’s (two Greek salads, baba ganush and iced teas, I bought, $27 biz account). It’s always fun to talk with Terry because he’s got his hand on the pulse of dynamic business ideas. He walked me through several new web trends and gave his theories about where it’s all going and what we have to do to be there.

True West staffer Rob Bandhauer and I are flying to Wichita tomorrow for a confab at the Old Cowtown Museum, then on Friday it’s off to Caldwell, Kansas and Medicine Lodge to do some research on the Henry Newton Brown bank robbery, and then we’ll land in Meade, Kansas for the big Dalton Days Weekend. More from the road.

I had a radio interview with Joe Demoyer of KSCB in Liberal, Kansas yesterday morning. As you know, I love those small town radio stations. I called their toll free line at 6:58 and the line went right into their sports show (and I naturally assumed it was a feed on their phone hold). I hear the two guys talking about the Phoenix Suns, I'm interested in how they'll report it, and then one of them says, "We've got someone on the line. What do you think?" Like the pro I am, I said, "Me? You're talking to me? I'm waiting for your next show, got dumped here, but all I got to say is: Go Suns!" Without missing a beat, one of the sports guys says, "What are you going to be talking about?" And so I take the ball and run with it: "I live in Cave Creek, Arizona and I'm flying into Wichita and then driving across your fine state to attend the Dalton Days Classic Gunfights Days. Gonna be the Grand Marshall, you can check us out at I love Kansas!" A pause, so I add, "So, how's that for a teaser?" They laugh and go to commercials (Tri City Utilities). It just doesn't get better than that, and it was so loopy if you saw it in a movie (I Survived Small Town Radio!), you wouldn't believe it.

We’ve got a new poll up. Do you believe Butch Cassidy bought the farm in South America? Wait. No, he and the Sundance Kid definitely “bought the farm” in Argentina, but then the Pinkertons got onto their hideout farm deal and they fled to Bolivia where many believe they “bought the farm,” or died. Do you believe they bought that farm? Oh, hell, it’s worded better on the poll. Just click here.

Helping Helper Help Themselves
Helper, Utah was selected as one of our top ten Western Towns this year. Sue Lambert told me today, that the woman she works with up there, Sue Ann, told our Sue that someone from Las Vegas saw her event in True West and has never been to Helper and plans on attending their event. She has banners with our logos, will be announcing the event on the radio this week, of course plugging TW mag. Will be making several announcement during Heritage week, also plugging TW. We will also be donating $10.00 to the museum for every subscription received from them or online. The Western Mining and Railroad Museum there will be celebrating their Heritage week June 5-10.

My Turn To Eat Crow
Yesterday I received Jim Johnson’s new Billy the Kid book, “His Real Name Was. . .” Since I hadn’t seen it before giving him a plug (see headline above), and then got all of the flak about the blind plug from Fred Nolan, et al, I decided to check it out firsthand. I skimmed the whole book, reading here and there, and then, skipping to the end, I checked out his payoff ending. Did he deliver on his cover promise?

I sent Mr. Johnson the following e-mail:

“Received your book today. Thankyou. It looks like you had fun doing it and it shows that you have a lifelong passion for the subject. However, I must say I am a little disappointed that you don't pay off the cover hype. You tease us with the idea of finding out his true name, and then on the last page you pull your punch and say, someone, someday might find out. And then it says "To Be Continued. . . ."

“Man, I'm sorry, but if that's all you have (I haven't read the whole book, I just skimmed it to the end), that's mighty misleading and a copout. No wonder everyone's upset on the Billy boards. I hope I'm wrong, but if this is all you have, expect more heat and more grief as the book gets out. I hesitate to be so blunt, but consider this a well meaning warning from someone who hates to see another writer walk into a noose.”

Favorite Onion Headline de Jour
Search For Wallet Self-Narrated

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt

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