Friday, September 29, 2006

September 29, 2006
I had a speech this morning at the Burton Barr Library in downtown Phoenix. Left at seven to go down into the Beast. Took Central, even though I knew better. Street torn up all the way, got to the library with three minutes to spare.

Jana Bommersbach and I tag-teamed our Women of the Wild West speech for the Friends of the Library. They had a full house for the breakfast (75 people). Great reception and people get really excited about the subject. I'm not sure why no publisher has picked up on our book proposal: Hell Raisers: The History of Women In The Wild West, complete with timeline, rare photos and illustrations by BBB. But for some reason every major house has turned it down.

On the way back out I got the word that Rob Bandhauer totalled his truck last night. He's okay. Bruised and battered. Took out a saguaro and a transformer. Went by and visited with him. He's pretty shook up. I told him he's lucky: no one was hurt, he's okay and the rest is just stuff. Carole is on her way over there right now to get him some groceries. He's a good guy and we're glad he's okay.

One of my Iowa relatives, Marilyn Bell, sent me a photo of my grandfather and great grandfather with their brand new 1911 car (I'm not sure of the make although I used to know). I love that Iowa Norsky lingo. This is how Marilyn tells it in the accompanying letter: "Was over to Alice Sysy and she wanted me to look through some old photo albums." Can't you just hear that Midwestern twang? By the way, Syse is pronounced See-See. The photo she found was taken on the front lawn of the Bell farm, west of Thompson, Iowa. I remember my grandfather, Carl Marvin Bell, telling me about this trip to "Webster City to bring back the first car in that part of the country." As he told it, his father, Adam Bell, bought the car, then ran it in the ditch trying to learn how to steer it and do the gears at the same time. So Carl took over and drove the car home. Both can be seen in the photo, with Carl behind the wheel (which is on the right side, left side looking on, English style), and Adam is on the right. I have been told by some that I resemble Adam and that my son Thomas Charles resembles Carl. The other kids are Vern, Helen, Carrie and Nettie. My grandfather was the oldest of 11 kids.

"Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything
you have right now, and then got it back again.

- Francis Rodman

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