Saturday, July 22, 2006

July 22, 2006
Just got back from Orme Ranch where my son is a youth counselor and horse wrangler for the summer. It's about 70 miles north on I-17. Big barbecue celebration on the lawn. Hundreds of “campers”, alum and families. Stuart Rosebrook is a head honcho up there (in fact he smoked the beef underground overnight and it was great). Lots of fun seeing my boy in a cowboy hat (one of my larger, straw sugarloaf sombreros). He said he gets lots of comments on it, but it kind of bugs him because everyone wants to touch it (I know!) and they all say, “Why do you wear a hat like that?” And my son asked me, “What do I say to that, Dad?”

And I said, “Tell them you’re a Mexican.”

Another fire east of Sunset Point (not much else to burn up there). Smelled it this morning when I drove Kathy down to Sky Harbor to catch a flight to Puerto Rico. Deena is teaching financial seminars down there this week (in Spanish) and her mom is tagging along. Left the house at five and got back at seven. Worked all morning on the top secret project, story-boarding scene by scene. Kind of exciting.

Yesterday was a record heat day and today is more of the same. I went swimming twice today. Once before I drove up to Orme Ranch and the other right now, between these. . .words. Ahhhh, now that makes it tolerable for about fifteen minutes. I came back in soaking wet and by the time I typed the word "typed", I am completely dry.

I got an Email inquiry a couple weeks ago from Warren “Deadeye” Neff, who has done several acting stints with me on video shoots (the first on 9•11 in Minnesota). He wondered when the Tom Waters—Death Over A Shirt segment of True West Moments was going to run. Warren plays Tom Waters and is a very good drunk and I told him it should be running all this month. I recently Emailed him back and asked him if he has seen it yet, and got this reply:

“Yeah—Have seen it several times! Was a blast. My mother-in-law said she heard it first–was in the kitchen—and knew it was my voice right away! Jeff Hildebrandt [the producer at Starz Encore] sent me a dvd & vhs so my mom can watch! Let me know if you ever need free help again!”
—Warren Neff

And speaking of the September, 2001 video shoots the other guy who helped me so much up there, Rex MacBeth, of Mankato, Minnesota passed away last week. Great guy. Very funny and passionate about the old west. He had been sick for some time.

Bob McCubbin tells me that Rick Baish's cancer is in remission and that is great news. Rick was an original partner when we bought True West magazine back in 1999 and we couldn't have gotten this puppy going again without him.

Going to work tonight on a big severed head scene. Feel rather successful, like I might be arriving at something worthwhile as an artist. Gee, I wonder what Yul Brynner thinks of that?

“On my tombstone I would like to have it written, ‘I have arrived.’ Because when you feel that you have arrived, you are dead.”
—Yul Brynner

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