Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27, 2006
Watched an excellent classic movie last night from Netflix. "Le Grande Illusion" from 1938 and directed by Jean Renoir. It's the first prison break movie and you could see mucho influence on every prison break film since, especially "The Great Escape." I was tuned in to this film from Time magazine's five classics you need to see (or some such list). I also made a note to get the six or seven film DVD of director Preston Sturges, and the night before we watched "The Great McGinty", 1940, and it was totally donkey doo doo. Hard to believe he got an academy award for best screenplay. Story was goofy and unrealistic.

Meanwhile, back in Mexico, our friends south of the border often take to certain English words in a big way, and one of those words is "super." As we trained and motored our way across Sonora and Chihuahua I noticed many stores utilizing this word, including Al-super (a grocery store chain), Mini-super, Super Six, Supermax, Super Stop, Mini Super La Esquina and Super Rapidito's Bip Bip (which is a rip-off of Wiley Coyote: in Spanish the letter i is pronounced ee, so it's "Beep Beep." Get it?). Here's a photo of a "super" store which I took on our 1996 trip (artist Ed Mell and his son Carson joined T.Bell and I)

When we got to Creel I thought everything was exactly as I remembered it from the last trip a decade earlier, but by the time we got ready to leave the next day, I finally realized we had not seen any horse drawn carts. Nope. Not a one. When we got home I dug out my photos from the last trip and here they are. Evidently, the locals have all graduated to pick-ups. Notice that all the wagons have rubber tires (which was probably a short-lived innovation).

As we started the trip and got on the shuttle to take us to the terminal in Phoenix, I realized I had forgotten my trusty little digital camera in our car, parked back at the lot. At first I was bummed, but then I made a vow to record as much as I could in my sketchbook. Here are my first attempts, drawing hands as we waited for our plane last Saturday. The next page was sketched on the plane as we flew over Nogales and Magdelena on our way to Los Mochis.

The next day we motored to Playa El Mauri, near the Gulf of California beach town of Topolobampo, with Jesus as our driver. That's a sketch of him in a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt (below, left). The next day's sketches include these hombres I got as we boarded the bus to El Fuerte and I caught all these vaqueros and paisanos out the window. It was a perfect place to draw. This was in the Los Mochis bus station:

More sketch pages tomorrow.

"Writing is like digging a well with a needle."
—Old Vaquero Writing Saying

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