Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 31, 2006 Bonus Blog
Here's our crew decked out in Halloween gear. Left to right: Sue Lambert (La Seniorita), Carole Glenn (Gypsy Queen), Stephen Hawking, er, BBB (Beach Bum), Bethany Braley (Geisha Girl), Meghan Saar (Peasant Girl), Abby Pearson (Fortune Teller Girl).

"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions [in photos]."
—Adlai Stevenson
October 31, 2006
Halloween in the office. I came dressed as a Mexican beach bum. Grabbed a pair of parachute pants out of my studio morgue (I keep odd clothing for photo reference), a Corona straw hat, a Salsa Challenge T-shirt (complete with salsa stains), harachi sandals and white socks and sunglasses. I know, pretty weak, but it was a last minute deal.

Staff photo to come.

Competing With Myself
Sometimes I compete with myself—and lose. We put together a comp cover for our upcoming Resource Book, which goes to press this Thursday. I hated the cover art and intended to do a better version for the final. Yesterday was my first chance at attacking it, and I spent about two hours at lunch whipping out a "better" version. There is only one problem: everyone in the office, likes the first one better! The clincher: Robert Ray says the new one looks like R.G. So I lost, competing with myself. Here's the two images:

"My hated figure is the Western hero who rides along looking like a transvestite, strumming his guitar, nasally singing a synthetic ballad, and looking for all the world like a fugative from a cheap circus."
—John Meston, the head writer for the original radio series Gunsmoke

Monday, October 30, 2006

October 30, 2006 Bonus Blog
Finally got the photos to load. Here they are. First up, I took a photo of the opening crowd at the Bella Union, and that's Jeff Morey, at right, talking about Tombstone and the O.K. Corral:

Next up is the wild scene in front of the O.K. Corral on Allen Street, and a bullwhip artist cracking his wares to and fro:

Helping me at the True West table were Joel Klasky (left) and an unidentified saloon woman, and that's Trish Brink (left) and Samanth Somers, who helped move books and sell posters and collect money. We had it down to a science.

Artist Thom Ross (below, right) and I displayed our artwork in the foyer of the Bella Union. That's Rusty York with the great Sugarloaf sombrero at left, and that's gunhandler Joey Dillon doing his patented moves to a standing room only crowd:

And finally, that's MC Timothy Fattig, at left, standing, on one of our sessions with Paul Cool seated at right:

"When the legend becomes fact, nit pick the legend."
—Old Vaquero Saying
October 30, 2006
Back in office. Trying to catch up with twin deadlines. We are going out the door with a massive 176 page source book (which will go to subscribers free) on Thursday, then the January issue goes out the following week. All things considered, we seem to be in good shape.

Having trouble posting the Tombstone photos. Will try later.

"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions."
—Adlai Stevenson

Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29, 2006
Kathy and I spent the whole day going over a new budget. We call it the Bisbee Miracle Budget, after the manner in which it came to us (at 1:30 in the morning I said, “Are you asleep?” and she said, “Nope,” and we got up and went over our sorry financials and made a vow to clean up our act).

Meanwhile, here’s a few comments from the Email bag:

“What the hell is a ‘performance’ hat? Do you wear it in the bedroom, and does it help?”
—Charlie Waters

Yes it does. Especially when I’m working the missionary financial angles.

“I told you awhile back that I wouldn't pester you anymore but I lied. My cousin, 'Bullshit Jim' from Chandler sent me a newspaper article about True West which includes a picture of you and the Brinks. I was quite pleased to find out that the magazine is doing so well. I got out my magnifying glass to check out Mrs. Brink (My eyesight isn't what it used to be) and she sure is a fine looking lady. I didn't bother with you nor Mr. Brink. I did notice however, that someone had cut off the lower part of your necktie. My wife and I were planning on going to Michael Hickey's Book Expo this past week but her stones started rolling again so we had to cancel. Major disappointment. It sounds like you did quite well selling books.”
—Daniel J. Patterson, Arroyo Seco, CA

Yes we did and yes, Trish Brink is a fine looking lady. And she’s not a bad publisher either.

“We need pictures for those of us who couldn't make it to Tombstone. please.”
—John Mitch

Photos coming tomorrow, including Mrs. Brink.

“My copy of True West arrived yesterday and I love the Classic Gunfight, especially your artwork and map. It's a great one.”
—Tom Bicknell, our historic consultant on the Ben Thompson gunfight

“PS. Maybe in a year or two we could do another Ben or Billy Thompson gunfight. I'm thinking maybe Ben's Christmas night Capital Theatre shootout.: after he survived that one a lot of people in Texas thought he was living a ‘charmed life.’”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.”
—Esther de Waal

Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 28, 2006
Just got in from down on the border (8 p.m.). Kathy and I checked out of the Rose Canyon Suites in Bisbee, at noon, drove down to Tintown and had a great Mexican food lunch at Gaviota's (The Sea Gull), a great little dive that Kim from Va-Voom turned us onto in 2004. We were the only people in the place and it was peaceful and delightful. Had a bowl of menudo soup and two carne asado tacos. Kathy had the mole chicken burro. Just a ten all the way around. Ordered a dozen flour tortillas to go. Bill came to $17! Left $25. Man was it worth it. For the most part, the food on this trip was excellent:

• El Dorado, South Fourth Avenue, Tucson (Tampiquenia), 8.7

• Cafe Roka, Bisbee (roasted duck), 9.5

• Bisbee Grill, Bisbee (tuna steak), 7.2

• Gaviota's, Tintown (menudo and carne asado tacos), 10

On the negative side, I was invited to join Sherry and Larry Monihan, Thom Ross, Rusty York and The Top Secret Writer for lunch at a new place in Tombstone called the Depot. I was signing books in front of the O.K. Corral and told them I would join them as soon as I could. About twenty minutes later, I walked briskly up Allen the ten blocks to the Depot, got inside, found out it was a buffet sponsored by Michael Hickey. Everybody was gone, including my lunch party. Grabbed a buffet slice of cheese crisp and walked the ten blocks back to town. Found out the above mentioned Bastards had decided to eat somewhere else and never bothered to tell me.

• The Depot Buffet, Tombstone (slice of cheese crisp), 2.35

From Tintown, Kathy and I drove down to Naco and walked across the border and got into a running firefight with narco-traficantes in a black Excursion with tinted windows. I finally kicked in the driver's side window with my new boots (from Johnny Weinkauf, $650), and pulled this rangy son of a bitch out on the tattered pavement and yelled in his face, "Habla Ingles Chinga-Dinero?!"

No wait, that was yesterday in Tombstone when I met Ben Traywick at Fourth and Allen, and wished him well.

Speaking of making peace with mortal enemies, one of my most vociferous critics on the web, walked up to me in front of the O.K. Corral and said he was tired of feuding and wanted to call it off. I told him I never considered it a feud and if it was, it was a one-way feud. What a town.

I posed for so many photos with fans I felt like Roy Rogers (or at the very least like Gabby Hayes at a homeless convention). One fan I met from California, said he finally brought his wife and his six-year-old son over to Tombstone several years ago. His son had been studying my Wyatt Earp book and when they got into the corral, the son looked around and said, "This is so wrong." We laughed and laughed. That is so priceless. Another Maniac in the making.

Actually, Bob Love has really gone out of his way to make the O.K. gunfight site more accurate in the last two years, but in the old days it was pretty funky to say the least (and actually that was part of the charm).

I'll post some of my photos here tomorrow.

"If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it just about every time."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Friday, October 27, 2006

October 27, 2006
Another stellar day in Tombstone. I gave the opening remarks at the Bella Union, then walked over to the O.K. Corral to meet Sam and Trish for another go at selling books, posters and T-shirts. We sold about 60 Classic Gunfights, by my count. Signed many, many posters, both ours and the official 125th poster, plus posed for pictures with a whole bunch of people who see me on the Westerns Channel. I was rather shocked at just how much coverage those True West Moments have given us. Also, people really love the magazine and went on and on about how they weren't sure when we first took it over, but that they just love it now. Very encouraging to say the least.

The crowds were quite large, certainly in the thousands. I imagine Saturday will be even bigger. Bob Love, the owner of the O.K. Corral, told me there were some 450 in the corral yesterday to see the 125th Anniversary reenactment. That would make it about four times bigger than 1981.

At two p.m., master gun handler, Joey Dillon came into the Bella Union and, to a standing room only crowd, knocked everybody out. Really dazzling. Marty Cove, the actor, even came down to see Joey take apart the cup-spinning scene from Tombstone. There must have been a dozen kids, all wide-eyed and excited to see Joey do his magic.

Michael Beihn (sp?) the actor who played Johnny Ringo in Tombstone, was in town and it would have been wonderful if we could have gotten him to come in and do his gun tricks from the movie with Joey playing opposite him. I couldn't get it done. Tried, but there were too many people and I couldn't find Sir John.

Loaded up my paintings at 3:30 and headed for Bisbee. Met Russ and Wendy Shaw for a late lunch at the Bisbee Grill. I had the homemade clam chowder and a Corona ($65.57, Kathy bought). Kathy and I walked up to Optimo Hatworks, where I left my "performance" hat to get a deeper dent in the front brim. Grant and I laughed about all things headgear. He's going to do a documentary on Panam Hats and is going to Ecuador to film in November.

Meeting the Top Secret Writer for dinner at Cafe Roka in about an hour. Very cool here in Bisbee. I think it was in the forties last night at about nine and with the wind it was uncomfortable to a flatlander like me.

"He that lives in hope danceth without music."
—George Herbert

Thursday, October 26, 2006

October 26, 2006
Well, wish I had a dime for every time I wrote this date, today. Trish Brink and Samantha Somers drove down from Cave Creek to help me sell my Classic Gunfight book in front of the O.K.Corral today and we sold a ton of books, and of course I signed the books with my name, the date, and the fact that it was signed at the O.K. Corral. Tombstone was mobbed with people, probably four times as many people as when I attended in 1981.

Most memorable moment was being in the corral at 2:30 for the reenactment and Bob McCubbin and I were looking straight at the gate where the Earps were going to arrive, and as they came down the street, literally dozens of cam corders being carried by the faithful outside on Freemont Street, came stumbling into view. A guy carrying a boom mike stumbled and fell (this is all we could see, but it presaged the Earps arrival and seemed to be a perfect moment to capture our time). The reenactment was about what you'd expect, but the Greek chorus of video cam corders, a literal wall of electronic gear, is the memory I'll take away from this, the 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral fight.

More later, wanted to post this ASAP. Another big day tomorrow.

"You sons of bitches have been looking for a fight and now you can have it."
—Wyatt Earp, 125 years ago, today

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October 25, 2006
Got into the office at 9:30 and loaded up a dozen Wyatt Earp-Tombstone-O.K. Corral paintings with the help of Ron.

"I've usually seen it spelled wussy or wussies."
—Steve Lodge

Well, that may be, but this is how I spelled it in 1978:

And here are a couple shots from last night's light show:

And before I forget, here's that study of White Eye:

I'm off for Tombstone! Hope to see you there tonight at the meet and greet: Bella Union. I'll roll in about eight.

"I'm your huckleberry, that's just my name."
—Huckleberry Hound
October 25, 2006
Woke up to a cool morning. The air is very wet. Last night I got up in the crow’s nest and shot several dozen photos of a majestic sunset. It was quite a light show.

A Woosie On Woosies
“What is a woosie? You say that ‘only woosies ride Harleys’ Thanks and we enjoy your True West Moments."
—Pete and Linda Souza, Tampa, Fl

First of all, let's put that in context: what I said was if you want to get your butt beat, go into a biker bar, jump up on a pool table and yell out, "Only woosies ride Harleys." A "woosie" is a cross between a wimp and a pussy. It's a toned down version of the latter, kind of like Crime-anie is to Christ, or Gol-darned is to God-damned, sort of a fudge against swearing. This saying was born, at least for me, when I was rooming with Carole Compton and Kathy Radina in an old farm house at Seventh Avenue and Indian School, deep within the Beast. I was doing my weekly installment of Honkytonk Sue for New Times and I had a gag where Sue calls a couple cowboys “the one word they can’t stand,” and of course the word was “pussy,” and this upset Carole and Kathy and they didn’t want me to use it and one of them, I think it was Carole, suggested “woosie,” and I went with it and my readers loved it and thought I was a genius. Ha. Prior to that (1978) I had never heard of the term, but I assume Carole had heard it in Texas, perhaps. Today I hear it quite often, and I often wonder if my obscure little old comic strip helped spread the usage.

”When in doubt, listen to a woman. When without a doubt, listen even more.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October 24, 2006 Bonus Blog
It's still trying to rain here, but so far, nothing but light sprinkles. Steve Lodge tells me they got hit in southern Cal, with the same storm, but they weren't expecting it.

We've got a new poll up: Do you think Larry McMurtry's the greatest living Western author? Vote here.

I had Robert Ray help me re-scan the cavalry photo at a higher dpi, then reduce it for web usage. Jim Hatzell still swears he can see guidons near the back of the column, but I think what he's seeing are spots on the photo. Here is a closup of that area:

Meanwhile, Gus Walker, The Mapinator, wonders if the dark line behind the lead horses is a fort. It certainly is man made, and appears to be a line of tents, corrals, or buildings of some sort. Whatever it is, it changes the caption that the troops are coming back from an Indian campaign. It looks more like a photographer showed up and said, "Can I get a shot of you riding in formation like you're coming back from a hard fought campaign? Oh, and one more thing: please hide the guidons. I want to mess with future generations heads."

"Seeing is believing."
—Old Vaquero Saying
October 24, 2006
Cloudy out this morning. We had a chance for rain but it didn't materialize. Air is cool and nice. Our highs are mid seventies.

I have been studying a cavalry photo with Jim Hatzell and Alan Huffines, both army experts. The photo in question was run in the new Michael Blake book Indian Yell and purports to be a photo of the Seventh Cavalry. This photo (below) is also in our True West photo archives but ours says it's a photo of the "famed 8th cavalry, as it returned from the famed engagement that put a stop forever to the Indian uprisings." Here it is:

The question I have is, where are the guidons? I don't see any. They should be in the middle of the column. There appears to be some possible flags on the sides of those horses, perhaps being carried across the pommel? Not sure. Need an expert opinion. Here's a closer look:

"An idea is a kind of wonderful seed. It can be planted again and again, and is always ready for future use."
—Dr. Myron Allen

Monday, October 23, 2006

October 23m 2006
Busy week coming up. Need to finish my issue obligations by tomorrow. We're going down to Tombstone on Wednesday for the big 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral fight. I need to bring 25 paintings. Sam and Trish are coming down with books and posters and T-shirts and coffee mugs. Joel Klasky is bringing down the banners, Dave Daiss is bringing his construction expertise and Wonderful Russ is bringing down just his body.

Here's a photo sequence from this weekend, showing the chicken condo in progress (the big adobes in the background are the tractor garage (at left) and the pump house (on right). That's J.D. measuring the plywood off the old chicken house and you can just make out Peaches in the shade at right:

Next up, J.D. is loading the nailgun and I'm holding the bandolier style nails:

And finally, J.D. spits nails with the nailgun as his assistant farts around taking pictures when he could be helping:

"Truth can be outraged by silence quite as cruelly as by speech."
—Amelia E. Barr

Sunday, October 22, 2006

October 22, 2006 Bonus Blog
I had a good day. Went over to Bryan Newmeister’s at 3:30 to try out some of his new equipment. He is such a pro. He and Marshall Trimble just won a Rocky Mountain Emmy for their show “Back Roads Arizona.” The specific show that won was one on Tombstone (I was a talking head in it).

More Feedback
“You know I find your blog very interesting! And of course its about you and your interests. That's what makes it Your Blog! Notorious outlaws, lawmen, cavalry, In-jun! But every once in a while I get to feeling defensive for the Real Folk who settled the West! The women who managed to live life there without going crazy, or maybe in spite of going crazy! The average guy who managed to not run into your notorious gun toters or too many rattlesnakes or a case of blackleg picked up from the cow herd. The folks whose main success was that they endured. Endured hardship and boredom, bad weather and huge distances and the sight of very few other than the immediate family or crew. Seems we don't hear much about them because they weren't photographed or written up. It's why I like to read Mari Sandoz (fiction and non-fiction) and Sandra Dallas (fiction that seems possibly believable). And actual letters from folk of the times and places of the Western past. Not to discourage you from your area of expertise! Hang in there! Would just like to find someone with your concentration and dedication that focuses on those other folk."
—Sharon Tally

I’m sure they’re out there and I’m sorry I don’t know where to send you. I’m too busy being an immature male who is still crazy about the violence and the un-PC part of the West. I’m not mocking you, it’s just the truth. Good luck, Sharon, maybe you should write a blog about “those other folk.”

“Maybe when I retire, which is closer than I hate to admit.”

“Commitment is never an act of moderation!”
—Kenneth Mills
October 22, 2006
Cleaned out the tractor garage of pack rat crap this morning. Had to wear an extra shirt pulled up over my nose to ward off that rat virus that’s so deadly. Didn’t enjoy that. Cholla spines everywhere. They ate an entire Jones & Boze banner. Really disgusting (rat’s taste, that is).

Spent most of yesterday and about two hours today, organizing all of my art reference for the Top Secret Project. Put all my photos and tear sheets in files, cross referenced by scene number. Pretty amazing, for me.

I need to shift gears today and work on a couple Wild Bill Hickok paintings for the next issue’s Classic Gunfights. I’m dong the Phil Coe shooting and I have excellent reference shot out at Pioneer Living History Museum about seven years ago. Jerry Terrentino (sp?) was my model for Hickok and he is quite striking in his resemblance to the Prince of the Pistoleers.

Movie World Preferable to Reality
“Why can’t you leave the true stories of how the West was alone? Westerns are entertainment and we know that it’s the world of make believe. Yes, the movies do not show how it really was, if they did, it would be boring. And you would lose a lot of viewers. I have been watching movies since the mid-1940s and the costumes are great. Even if they were not the original garments worn. Surely, you can continue doing your thing on the Westerns Channel. I have a cousin who had a dude ranch in Greely, PA and his partners name was Bob Bell. I doubt it very much if you are the same person. My cousin’s partner dissolved the partnership and the ranch was sold.

“All my life I have been watching Westerns and I like them the way they are. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral with Burt and Kirk was a great movie and the clothes they wore were more colorful than a standard black outfit that they wore in the real story of their lives. The movies is the world of make believe and it happens to be interesting because the directors add life to them, they make them exciting to watch. Please understand my viewpoint. I rode a horse with today’s Western attire. I follow the styles of the actors and if you want to change to a real way it happened, I assure you I will still watch the oldies and still enjoy them.

“Bob, do your thing and whatever you tell the viewers, only the young will be educated of how it really was out West, us old-timers already know the true history of the Old West. Many books have been written and can be viewed at libraries and bookstores. Please accept this letter as friendly. I’m just a make believe type of person.”
—Tom Torrisi

If only the young could be educated of how it really was out West, then, I would say, it will have been worth the effort.

“Don’t forget until too late that the business of life is not business, but living.”
—B.C. Forbes

Saturday, October 21, 2006

October 21, 2006
J.D. and I put in two hours last night, nailing chicken wire along the bottom of the side boards. This morning we hit it at eight and pounded up plywood sections for the maternity ward (egg laying area).

While pounding nails, it dawned on me that I’ve been in the media trench for a long time. Earlier this week I was astonished to see J.D. pull out a nail gun. Man, those suckers are amazing. Of course, I had heard of them, but I had never seen one in action. J.D. was somewhat disgusted with my ignorance, shaking his head and saying, “Nail guns have been around for 25 years at least. Where the hell have you been?”

Drawing, talking on the radio, getting a mohawk, buying a magazine, yacking about True West Moments. So I missed a few innovations.

Of course, like most kids growing up out West, I worked summers in my dad’s gas station, on survey crews (rear chainman) and a brief stint on a construction crew (1966) building a Phillips 66 gas station on Highway 93.

As the work progressed this morning, I thought about the fact that there are men of action and then there are men who write about men of action. Many male writers like to fancy themselves as men of action. Hemingway, Jack London, Mickey Spillane and Hunter Thompson come to mind. They talked the talk and walked the walk. But it seems to me that is an exception (also, I think three of them committed suicide, which may speak to unrealistic ideas of self-worth, or not).

This is a tempting generalization (that a good writer might also be good at some line of “work”) and involves other lines of work as well. The Cowboy Artists (who had their opening in Phoenix last night) like to posture that they are real “working” cowboys who also just happen to paint cowboys. Of course this is about half true, with most being commercial artists who sort of know how to ride a horse—but it sure sells paintings!

One of my favorite sayings is: “When all you have is a big hammer, all your problems look like nails.” And that was literally true today as we pounded nails all morning. J.D. got irritated with me because too many of my nails became “bend-overs”, meaning I don’t get them in straight and flush, they have a tendency to start bending over and this really bugs a good carpenter (i.e., man of action) like J.D.

As we worked, I recalled that I was pretty worthless on a construction site when I was a kid and I really hadn’t changed. I wanted to help, but as J.D. was pounding out old nails on an overturned board (the pointed parts sticking out the bottom and he was pounding them down, so he could turn it over and then pull them out with the crow bar part of the hammer), I jumped in to help, with him on one end and me on the other. As we turned the board over, he attacked his end and I yanked the long necked nails on my end, and as I jerked away from myself, one of the nails came loose, and my hammer with a lethal, rusty nail on the end of it, swung up and just missed his face.”

“That’s enough of that,” he said with reserved disgust. So, I ended up watching him do the rest, and thinking about how to write that up.

That, my friend, is the difference between a man of action and the man who writes about action.

“It takes hard writing to make easy reading.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, October 20, 2006

October 20, 2006 Bonus Blog
My friend, screenwriter Steve Lodge sent me to the following website. Check it out, very good photos of the various styles of Apache headbands that I was referring to yesterday:


Also, the official San Carlos Apache Historian Dale Miles concurs with my observations on Apaches and their portrayal in movies:

“I read your blog on the two movies that you've watched and I think you made a good observation of them, Geronimo and Ulzana's Raid. You were good in the assessment on Ulzana's demise. I don't know why the movie makers put it in; maybe they felt it would make him more human or dramatic to mourn for his sun in such a way. Most Apaches love their children very much but they often accepted the way life could be in their world which was often harsh and cruel. The death would have really made Ulzanna even more hateful than he was by making him go out and kill about fifty white people in revenge for the loss. (Geronimo's life was almost based on revenge.) Now that is more Apache because there is nothing an Apache better understands than revenge—even today. Believe me I know and some time I'll tell you the story of how one of my brothers was shot by another Apache (he lived) and what happened. It is an interesting study of what I just told you but only in the modern sense.

“Also not done in the movie is that a Chiricahua war party like this would not be tracked by just one patrol but by several sent out from all the different posts in Apache country—that is if the Apaches didn't cut the telegraph wire which they often did in such a way so that it looked like it wasn't cut. Early on Apaches learned that the wire meant fast communication and cutting it was one of the first things they did. Fighting Apaches was hard, dangerous and bloody work and most civilians of the time let the army do it—that's what they got paid for. Oh yeah, Richard Jackael as the sergeant was very good; this fine character actor doesn't get enough credit for his role. I loved his line to the Lt. about chasing Nana: 'We chased them for days and ya know we never got one look at those murdering bastards!' or something like that. Chatto's raid of March 1883 is another where the hostiles lost only one or two men and always stayed ahead of the army so that the troopers were mostly a burial detail on that one.”
—Dale Miles

“Texas foreplay: ‘Brace yerself Darlin.’ "
October 20, 2006
Exciting night in Scottsdale last night at the annual Art Walk. Big crowds, had to park three blocks away. True West had two tables on the north side of Main in front of the Rain Bird Gallery. Live music, milling celebs and blond trophy wives on prominent display. Saw Bill Ridenour (from Kingman), Flnt Carney and Tammy, Jessi Colter and Dan Duffy. Jessi has a photo spread in Vanity Fair. They posed her outside the Alamo, dressed in a Nudie original. Dan and I talked a bit about Pischke’s. They are broke and need help. Janice LaRue from New Times. She has been there for 25 years. Allen and Hedi Fossenkemper who brought along a Dutch teacher who is exchanging his class in the Netherlands for her class. She will go teach there, while he teaches here. His name is Harry (which he pronounces Har-EE). I took the opportunity to have him give me the Dutch pronunciation of Van Gogh, which came out somewhere south of Vun Gaughghghth. I tried to repeat it, but he never was satisfied with my gutteral attempts. Also, Rembrandt is more like Rem-brundt and Vermeer, well, it was off the chart. Personally, I'll go Dutch.

Got home at 10:30, feeeling tired but inspired. I walked around and looked at all the art and I made a vow to redouble my efforts. There are some people doing very good things. Besides, I like what that ol' gal Janet Erskine Stuart says:

“The great thing, and the hard thing, is to stick to things when you have outlived the first interest, and not yet got the second, which comes with a sort of mastery.”
—Janet Erskine Stuart

Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 19, 2006 Bonus Blog
In addition to Geronimo: An American Legend, I have also finally watched Ulzana's Raid (thanks to blog reader C. Neil). I enjoyed the cavalry side of the story but thought the Apaches were too slow and sluggish. They trotted and kind of mosied here and there. I wanted them to be quick and agile. The best sequence in the film, to me, is the scene where the U.S. scout MacIntosh (Burt Lancaster) rides down the two Apache boys with the stolen horses. He pulls his Winchester at a full run, cocking it in the air (this entire scene is copied almost shot for shot in the Geronimo film with Robert Duvall doing a pale imitation). The horse falls were also spectacular although I imagine a few horses did their last day of stunt work if you know what I mean, and I think you do. I also didn't buy Ulzana's demise, but I won't spoil it for you if you want to see it.

Seeing these films, good and bad, inspires me. Here's a study for Curly, one of our characters. One of the things that all the Apache films miss, is that warriors had numerous headband styles, not just the scarf effect that virtually all the actors wear from Fort Apache to The Missing. If you look close at old photographs you'll see very inctricate wrap styles, with thick, wide effects, almost East Indian in style. But in the movies everyone gets the same, thin, gangsta wrap. That's a shame and in our story, the full phat head dress will get its due:

Joel Klasky and I are going down to Scottsdale tonight for the annual Cowboy Artist's Art Walk. Always inspiring as well.

"Good writing is like poison gas. It should bring tears to your eyes. It should excite your nervous system. It should knock you out."
—Alex Goh
October 19, 2006
Beautiful morning, very cool and clear. Bike ride was a delight. J.D. and I wailed on the chicken house last night and got most of the framing done. I dug out the footings to put in the chicken wire and we'll whip that out tomorrow night.

Carole Glenn and I went to lunch today at Saba’s Greek Grill up in Carefree. Went over budgets and staffing. Good working lunch ($25, plus $5 tip, biz account).

If Looks Could Chill
“Are you the only one working as a spokesman for cowpokes? I see you everywhere! You’re all over my TV and all over my True West magazine. By the way, did you know that the older you get the more you look like Robert Redford! Or is it the older Robert Redford gets the more he looks like you!! HAHA Take care and thanks for all you do.”
—Bob Rogers

“If the gentleman in yesterdays blog with the mustache is Al Sieber, you might want to check your family tumbleweed. He looks a great deal like a Bell. I would like to read some more about Mr Sieber. Unfortunately, I can find only one out of print book about him. It's on Amazon for a cool $100. I don't think so. Do you know of any books that might be available where he is discussed? By the way, my John Wayne painting looks real nice in my office.
—Hugh Howard, Maniac# 9

I’m assuming the book on Amazon is Dan Thrapp’s classic book on Sieber. I think I paid $60 for mine, and it was worth every penny. What an amazing story. Sieber shows up in almost every book on the Apache Wars and Geronimo, but the Thrapp book is the one to have. And by the way, the Burt Lancaster character in Ulzana's Raid is based on Sieber, and the Top Secret Writer thinks it is a perfect portrayal of Al.

Speaking of the Apache Wars and the TSW, a Hollywood friend of mine warned me yesterday that The Top Secret Project is going to be a tough sell in Hollywood. He said that no major Western star (Selleck, Elliott, Costner) will touch a story that involves fighting Indians. The last movie that tried was The Missing, which bombed terribly. Which takes out half the stories! He also told me that the only commercial subjects left in a Western are cattle drives (Open Range), horse drives (Broken Trail) and anglo lawmen arresting other anglo outlaws (3:10 To Yuma). That’s it. Yikes!

To be honest, I kind of freaked out about this and so I called the Top Secret Writer, who is sick and in bed, and said, “Do you think we’re pissing up a rope here? I heard heavy coughing and cussing on the other end, then: “If I wasn’t sick I’d come over there and wring your neck!” Ah, it's so nice to be understood, and by someone so distinguished. The doctor then reminded me that he lives in the PC world and that nobody knows it better than he does, and to stop being wimpy and quit doubting our story.

So I got down off the ledge of the crow’s nest and came back inside and went to work on my six drawings for the day.

“Doubt takes you out of action.
Action takes you out of doubt.”

—William Hamilton

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 18, 2006 Bonus Blog
Kathy bought me the new Beck album. The coolest thing about it is you get to design your own CD cover. Beck put a whole bunch of stickers inside, and you pick the images, the hat, the typeface, etc. you want and put it all together. Here's my art direction BBB version (notice the twin Beck typefaces):

I constantly learn a bunch by copying the masters. Here's two studies of Maynard Dixon-ish scenes. He really had a knack for southwestern color, and he is a big influence.

I hate when I get car fever and I really hate the distraction but it sometimes can't be helped. Last week, a neighbor parked his Ford pickup out at the end of Cahava Ranch Road and I drove by it several days, but then he moved it across to my side of the interesection and of course I couldn't resist, I stopped, checked it out: he wants $9,800 and it is in cherry condition. There's only two problems. It has 140,000 miles on it and I don't have the $9.8 K. I called the owner anyway and he said, 'How much can you offer?" And I said, "Nothing, sir, but I have car fever and I had to call anyway." That's my humble, little Ranger in the foreground (100,000 miles) and Big Brother in the back:

"“We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level and imagine most vividly.”
—Shakti Gawain
October 18, 2006
I woke up to another spectacular sunrise this morning. Makes me wonder how you could live here and not be an artist:

Worked last night off a new photograph of Tom Horn, this one taken in Denver. It's being offered by Cowan's Fall Historic Americana auction. If you want to see the actual photo for yourself it's at:


Dan Harshberger's sister Charlene was cleaning out her late mother's belongings and found this gem of a photo, taken of Dan (at left) and the future Skinny Little White Ass, at White Hills ghost town in 1959, or so. Dan's parents took us out there on a Sunday picnic and we played cowboy in the old buildings (they are long gone by now). I seem to remember that Mattel made these very authentic Winchesters, which we are both carrying, in addition to the requisite "Fanner Fifties". Note that Little White Ass is already wearing mocassins, no doubt getting ready for his warrior journey even back then:

"Twenty-four-hour banking? I don't have time for that."
—Steven Wright

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October 17, 2006 Bonus Blog
Went home for lunch and finished two paintings. The first one is another "Blue Boy" and it's called Moon Over Mickey. It's quite subtle, hope you can make him out:

The second one is called Al Sieber's Regret and I think I captured the old boy. He was a tough SOB, played by Robert Duvall in Geronimo: An American Legend, which I just finished watching on my office computer. They sure had a great premise and I heard that John Millius, who wrote the original script, quit in disgust when they started adding all the PC baloney. And they sure added a bunch. For example, when Geronimo (Wes Studi) confronts Chato for being a scout, G-Man says derisively, "I see you are wearing the blue coat." What they didn't say is that Geronimo himself was for a short time a reservation policeman, but of course that undercuts his righteousness. I really hate that PC crap, and I'll bet old Sibi (Al Sieber) would as well:

"Must be Texans. The lowest form of white men there is."
—Robert Duvall (playing Al Sieber in Geronimo, referring to who may have scalped a group of poor, defenseless Apaches)
October 17, 2006
Woke up to a spectacular sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge. I was coming back on the bike and it really opened up on the eastern horizon. Looked fake. Ran to my truck and got my trusty little digital. Of course, it wouldn't open. So much for trusty. Jiggled it, kicked the dog, it came on, got this photo (which is not as spectacular as the version I first saw, but you get the idea:

Got into the office at 8:30 and had several meetings. The first one to determine just how we are going to accomplish twin deadlines in the next three weeks, and go to Tombstone for the 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral. Going to be tight, but we have been in this situation before.

Here's two images in a series I call The Ascension of The White Hat. They were studies for Attorney's General Terry Goddard and both have a nice patina.

"Every action we take, everything we do, is either a victory or defeat in the struggle to become what we want to be."
—Anne Byrhhe

Monday, October 16, 2006

October 16, 2006 Bonus Bonus Blog
Went home for lunch and heated up some spagetti. Had an apple and butterscotch pudding. Sat out by the pool and perused the English Esquire (Bob Brink always brings me his copy). Went into the studio and tweaked a landscape called "Bisti Badlands." I believe "bisti" is Navajo for "bad." So it would be Bad Badlands (really Bad!).

I also worked on "Al Sieber's Regret," but it still needs a tweak or two.

My good friend Johnny Weinkauf asked me if I still had the Charlie Russell parody, "The Actual Outcome of A Bronc to Breakfast"? I looked around this morning and found it. I did this painting twice (not unlike Charlie himself, who must have painted variations of this theme at least four times, that I know of). The first version was done in the late 1970s for The Razz Revue, a humor magazine created by Dan Harshberger and Skinny Little White Ass. The second version was created for a parody I did on the Cowboy Artists of America's annual showing in Phoenix in 1984. This one ran that year in New Times and it is signed Russ L. Remington. Get it? Ha. I had to shoot it through glass. Hope you can make it out:

"Employees make the best dates. You don't have to pick them up and they're always tax-deductible."
—Andy Warhol
October 16, 2006 Bonus Blog
I was hoping some of my Native American experts would weigh in on the lack of facial hair theories and I’m not disappointed:

Extreme Plucking
“I read on your blog that somebody asked about Indian facial hair. You can tell him that the tradition for the Northern Tribes was to pluck ALL facial hair—and that includes EYEBROWS!!! Look at some of the old high resolution portrait photos taken of the "old timers". I have some Indian friends today that have grown wispy moustaches (that they shave off when doing Westerns.) Some day a Director will insist on authenticity and do the shaved eyebrow thing. That would be cool.

“Keep up the good work. I plan to get on the marathon Illustration kick myself when the snow flies...but duty calls. I got a phone call from New York a few minutes ago from a Producer wanting me to do a location scout in the Badlands of South Dakota. I guess I will have to break down and finally purchase a digital camera.”
—Jim Hatzell

I finally made the transition to digital not long after I went to Meade, Kansas in June. I shot six rolls there, then had to beat cheeks to a Wal-Mart in Wichita (the only photo developer open on Sunday within 150 miles) at seven at night to get them developed before I got on the plane to come home, almost didn't get them back, etc. Fast forward a month and when Paul Hutton and I went to Fort Apache and San Carlos, I stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought a new chip that will hold 1,000 photos on my little digital. I still took six rolls of regular film but quickly ran out (sound familiar?). So all I had was the digital, as a backup and I shot everything. Out the window, nightime, I was fearless, because I had so much room on the new memory card. Got home and uploaded the digital stuff in my computer, killed all the bad shots (many), but printed out all the cool ones on my office printer and I could alter those, zooming in and out, pushing color, changing, cropping. I haven't used my 35mm since.

Jack Handy-thon
• If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink

• I'd rather be rich than stupid.

• If you were a poor Indian with no weapons, and a bunch of conquistadors came up to you and asked where the gold was, I don't think it would be a good idea to say, "I swallowed it. So sue me."

• He was a cowboy, mister, and he loved the land. He loved it so much he made a woman out of dirt and married her. But when he kissed her, she disintegrated. Later, at the funeral, when the preacher said, "Dust to dust," some people laughed, and the cowboy shot them. At his hanging, he told the others, "I'll be waiting for you in heaven--with a gun."

• If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

• The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.

• I wish I lived back in the old west days, because I'd save up my money for about twenty years so I could buy a solid-gold pick. Then I'd go out West and start digging for gold. When someone came up and asked what I was doing, I'd say, "Looking for gold, ya durn fool." He'd say, "Your pick is gold," and I'd say, "Well, that was easy." Good joke, huh.

• Many people think that history is a dull subject. Dull? Is it "dull" that Jesse James once got bitten on the forehead by an ant, and at first it didn't seem like anything, but then the bite got worse and worse, so he went to a doctor in town, and the secretary told him to wait, so he sat down and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and then finally he got to see the doctor, and the doctor put some salve on it? You call that dull?

I thought you’d like some of these!!!!
—Beth H., ‘scooter ANGEL’ on the True West Forum
True West Maniac #1334

Mark Boardman weighed in with his suggestions for possible Classic Gunfights for 2007. Here’s his list of nominees:

1. Frank and Gladys Hamer vs. three thugs. TX 1917. Two books on this—I’m Frank Hamer and Manhunter. Randy Lish also an expert on this.

2. Jim McKinney vs. lawmen. CA unsure of date. Subject of books by Harold Edwards and Joseph Doctor (Shotguns on Sunday).

3. Red Lopez vs. lawmen. Bingham, UT 1913. Two books on subject, but Randy Lish is probably the expert on this.

4. Harry Tracy/ Dave Merrill escape from Oregon Penitentiary 1902. Dullenty’s book on Tracy. Check for other sources.

5. George Scarborough vs. John Selman. El Paso, TX 1895. Bob DeArment’s book. Maybe Metz.

6. McCartys vs. townspeople. Delta, CO 1891. Maybe Dullenty book. Check with Dan Buck.

7. Nick Ray and Nate Champion vs. Wyoming invaders. KC Ranch, WY. Bill O’Neal’s book on the Johnson Co. War.

8. Frank Canton vs. Bee Dunn. Pawnee, OK 1896. Probably DeArment’s book on Canton.

9. Alvord-Stiles Gang vs. Jeff Milton. Fairbank, AZ 1900. Maybe Haley’s book.

10. Wood Hite vs. Robert Ford and Dick Liddell. MO 1882. Maybe Ted Yeatman’s book, or Jack Koblas.

11. Kid Curry vs. lawmen. Green River, UT 1900. Check with Dan Buck.

12. Ruggles Bros. vs. stagecoach crew. Redding, CA 1892. ?

13. Evans and Sontag vs. lawmen. Tulare Co., CA 1893. Koblas book, maybe Harold Edwards book.

14. Rattlesnake Dick vs. lawmen. Auyburn, CA 1859. Maybe Secrest or Boessenecker.

15. Black Face Charlie Bryant vs. US Deputy Marshal Ed Short. On a train in OK, 1891. ?

16. Rube Burrow vs. Jim Carter. Linden, AL 1890. ?

17. Hilary Farrington vs. William Pinkerton. KY 1870. Maybe Sharon Cunningham?

18. Ben Kilpatrick and Ole Beck vs. David Truesdale. TX 1912. Buck? McCubbin?

19. Killin’ Jim Miller vs. Bud Frazer. Various places in TX 1894-1896. Jim Wright says someone is writing a new book on Miller….

”The four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobsters, anal sex and picnics.”
—Christopher Hitchens
October 16, 2006
I've been finding some sweet little paintings that were lost in my morgue. Here's one of Billy the Kid playing cards at Casa de Patron, with handcuffs on. He reportedly said to a new player, "Don't try to take my jewelry," meaning his handcuffs.

And I found a Lt. Gatewood portrait (from a 1994 Geronimo project), which was kind of horsey, so I repainted and blended the edges, adding some of the excess paint into his skin tones and hair. It's much nicer, and quite haunting if I do say so myself:

And, as promised, here is an image of the protagonist for the Top Secret Project. He wears a poncho/serape that is a quilted hodge podge of Mexican and Navajo blankets, and oh, yes, part of a discarded American flag. One more hint: he's yearning to be free:

And finally, sometimes I just can't help painting beautiful women, in this case Sienna Miller:

"A magazine is the nursery of genius."
—Thomas Paine

Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 15, 2006
Still cloudy, but very nice out. I worked most of yesterday in the studio, on several twilight images for the Top Secret Project.

Today I really got on a roll and worked on 40 images. Yes, that’s not a typo, forty paintings! Granted, many of them were color studies, slamming paint all over the place and trying to get something (anything!) going, but this is why I’ve been doing the six drawings a day (and by the way, the forty doesn’t count the six sketches), trying to discipline myself for the marathon, while waiting for the muse to show up. It’s safe to say, Ms. Muse is in the house, and I’m in the zone.

Some of the images I worked on today:

• Apache Twilight II
• The B.S.er
• Billy the Kid Peers Out
• Alchesay Stays
• Alamo attackers
• Sienna’s Conceit
• Curly Ponders Apache Tradition
• The Ascension of The White Hat (four versions)
• Lt. Gatewood (portrait)
• Peaches (portrait)
• Rides Like Apache
• Al Sieber’s Regret (old age portrait)

And here's a photo of 30 of them spread out on my studio floor (note the "Western" sign at top, which I got from a Goldwater's store that went out of business at Park Central):

Hairless In Seattle
“Do you know why Indians do not have any facial hair? Or do some tribes do?
—Steven Dubeau, North Carolina

The theory I have always heard is that Native Americans plucked out their whiskers until they stopped growing. I assume this must have been over many generations. That said, there are exceptions. I was just looking at several Navajo photos last night and some of the warriors have wispy mustaches. I know other tribes had some facial hair (for example those British Columbia tribes like the Kwakiutl), but not much, certainly not like the hairy Europeans or for that matter Africans and Asians. This question deserves more research. When I find out something definitive, I'll let you know.

“Hair of the dog sounds good, but it makes a lousy subject matter for painting.”
—Vincent Van Google

Saturday, October 14, 2006

October 14, 2006
Rained on and off all night last night, and this morning it really started coming down at about eight. Got a phone call from J.D. calling off our daily chicken house work session, although he said he may come down this afternoon and survey the damage.

Snuggled in and made breakfast on the new stove, called the kids. Tomas was on a delivery in Philadelphia, and Deena was in her condo in Scottsdale after a long week on the road. T. Charles told me about a new group he really likes called TV On The Radio, or is it the other way around? (these kids and their loud music, ha.)

Went out to the studio and finished another Blue-Boy study. This one is called White Eye. And when you see it you'll understand why. Iimagine if some Apache had the name White Eye and every time his friends said, "Don't trust the White Eye," he would cringe and say, "Come on, Man. I don't like that saying. Stop it." Or, at least that is what I'd say if I was In-din and my name was White Eye.

Actually, if I was an Apache I'd like the name Skinny Little White Ass, because then when someone said, "Bell, get your skinny, little, white ass in here," I could say, "Thankyou for calling me by my full name."

I know, I know, that is so Jack Handy.

If you have been paying any attention to Skinny Little White Ass's postings you should by now know the name of the Top Secret Writer and the subject matter of the Top Secret Project. And, although I have been holding back on showing images of the Top Secret Protagonist, there have been sneak peeks of that person as well. And some of you have already guessed the identity (Gus Walker correctly guessed it last week, but then he used to work at True West and has seen and worked on my long list of characters and treatments). For those of you who haven't worked at True West and guessed it yet, I will be posting some significant clues in the next several days. Eventually, this will all make sense and you can say you shared in the process of discovery as much as anybody.

"Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed. As the monks continued on their way, one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. 'Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!' 'Brother,' the second monk replied, 'I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.'"
?Old Zen Saying

Friday, October 13, 2006

October 13, 2006
Carole Glenn is in Texas attending her high school reunion this weekend. J.D. and I are making progress on the chicken house, although he keeps stepping back, looking at it and saying, "It's alright as long as you don't show it to anyone." Ha. Carpenters! And I though artists were persnickity.

Speaking of persnickity artisits, I went home after lunch (ate at China Joy, $10 includes tip) and whipped out another Blue-Boy study. Once again, this is inspired by the 1931 New Yorker cover of a dark Manhattan skyline. I scanned the cover out of the book, but I'm not sure you can see the logo at top (a subtle shade of green). Meanwhile, my little scene spoke to me and this is what it said, "The moon sparkled and spoke through the molted clouds as he rode on past the sporadic fires and the bleached bones of a hundred battles."

After work I went to Bashas' for groceries ($36.95 house account, saved $1.98 with Bashas' card) and as I walked in front of the meat department I met another guy with a shopping cart, who strolled by in front of me as I cased the shrimp, he passed, and pointing at me, said, "Maniac Number 1,200," and kept walking. We both laughed.

At 5:30 Kathy and I met our old friends Mike and Fran Douglas at the AZ Wine Tasting up in Carefree to sample a series of South African wines. Afterwards we walked over to the Spanish Tapas restaurant in Spanish Village and had a nice meal out on the patio ($60 for our half, paid cash, includes tip). As we got ready to leave it started to rain and we ran to our separate cars, yelling goodnight as we scurried along. A couple sitting outside AZ Wine said, "Nice hat," as I fumbled with my truck keys, and I said, "Use to be." And they laughed as I drove off in the wet night.

"The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience."
—Emily Dickinson

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October 12, 2006 Bonus Blog
As I mentioned this morning, I have been getting some odd Email requests. Let’s take a look:

Curtains for Jones & Boze Morning Show
“So, when is that curtain coming down? Do you remember that phrase? You used to say
The short answer is, I don't remember. For some reason, that period, when I was doing both the morning radio show on KSLX and my weekly cartoons at New Times, with two kids and a hefty mortgage, it’s all a vague mirage. I would guess I did do more, but finding those suckers is a tad tricky. They're all in the garage in some pile (which I have started to go through by the way) and if I run across them, I'll let you know.

A Froggy Proposition
“Did you ever see the Aussie Western The Proposition? I liked it. Hard to believe the lead Guy Pearce is the same clean cut cop in L.A. Confidential. I’m quoting USA Today in their review of the movie ‘not much of a date movie unless your steady is Belle Starr’. Froggy Howan-out!”
—Minnesota Mike Melrose, Arizona Republic, Automotive Account Executive

For the record, the correct spelling is Froggy Hauan (a Norwegian farming legend from Thompson, Iowa, and a distant relative of mine. Melrose loves the name and uses it all the time to rib me).

“Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.”
—Thomas a Kempis
October 12, 2006
Good day in the office. Mark Boardman is here and, along with Meghan, we got some creative ideas going for next year's travel issue, events coverage and various Classic Gunfights to cover, not to mention the details for our big Tombstone event coming up in two weeks. People have been calling and asking when and where I'll be for the 125th Anniversary of the Gunfight Behind The O.K. Corral and the answer is:

• Thursday, October 26, I will be signing my books and posters, at the O.K.Corral itself, at noon.

• Otherwise, all day Thursday and Friday I'll be at the Bella Union (Fourth Street and Fremont Street) where we will be having heavy discussions and good entertainment into the night.

This morning I was cleaning in my morgue and found this sweet little dittie, one of the paintings for The Topless Gunfight featured in Classic Gunfights, Volume I. Jennie Smith was the model and, while she isn't totally topless, this should have been the cover, instead of the one we used.

I went home for lunch and got inspired to do some dark clouds. I was cleaning before work and uncovered a book on classic New Yorker magazine covers, and this one from the 1940s really grabbed me. It was of the Manhattan skyline, very dark with just select lights giving hints of the landscape of the island. The logo was in dark green, barely visible (try that today!). I went over to my art desk and whipped out a dozen dark skies and at about the ninth one, this happened. I call it Apache Midnite. Some decent nighttime effects, no?

For my money, one of the best caricaturists working today is Philip Burke. You see his edgy stuff in Rolling Stone, Esquire, etc. and he really pushes color, utilizing the oddest hues, but his wild renderings are dead on. This is me stealing, I mean emulating, Mr. Burke's penchant for pushing color. I call it Burke's Boys:

The web has been turning up some odd requests at my door. Those tidbits tomorrow.

"The shoe that fits one person, pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
—Carl Jung