Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October 10, 2006
I met J.D. again last night after work to work on the chicken house. He had already put in most of the corner posts and was plumbing the last post as I walked up with my camera and caught him:

I thought about Chris Pischke's suicide all day yesterday. He was a friend of Steven Spielberg and I remember when the movie legend was turning forty, his friends sent a crew over to Scottsale to film Chris's memories of growing up with Spielberg, who filmed his first movies in Phoenix on 8mm and Chris was in the war one, I can't remember the name of it. I think Chris told me they called the birthday gift "Citizen Spielberg" as a take-off on "Citizen Cane." We used to do all of our radio planning sessions at Pischke's and I have always thought Chris's cajun chicken caesar salad to be the best I've ever had.

On April Fool's day in 1988, my son and I received mohawk haircuts live, on the air, at KSLX radio. The radio stunt was pulled off by two haircutters, one on each side, shaving my head while I did the news. Afterwards, Tomas and I went to Pishcke's for breakfast and as we got out of the car I remember a construction crew working on the street, giving me the evil eye, and I thought, "Why is that guy giving me the look like he's going to come kick the snot out of me," and then I realized we had mohawks and he was probably livid that I would do that to my son. He wasn't alone. One of the mothers in Cave Creek started a club: Mother's Against Mohawks, to ward off the unwanted begging of Tommy's friends coming home and asking for mohawk haircuts. This was strange because most of our friends had survived the sixties "hippie hair" wars, when you could would get hassled over your hair and now, it was coming home to roost. During breakfast Chris came over to our booth and took a photo of us, which he proudly hung above the bar for all to see.

After breakfast at Pischke's Tomas and I drove down to Ralph Rippe's photography studio and he took this classic photo of the punked-out Bell clan:

On saturday (after the haircut), I was the grand marshal of the Cave Creek Rodeo Parade, and Tomas and I rode our neighbor's palomino and as we came down the street in cowboy hats, the old women would wave and we would pull off our hats and wave back and you could see their collectively mouths drop open. Ah, the mohawk memories. It was a hoot and a half.

"Success can make you go one of two ways. It can make you a prima donna, or it can smooth the edges, take away the insecurities, let the nice things come out."
—Barbara Walters

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