Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28, 2006
Sprinkling out, snow up on Skull Mesa. It got very cloudy late yesterday and has been drizzling ever since. We got Tomas to the airport last night at 9. He had a 10:30 flight with a stopover in Detroit and he is expected to land in Philly this morning at 8:30.

We all met at Taco Villa for dinner last night. Jose and Lucy met and hugged us. They have a framed article of me near the door, where I raved about their restaurant (I think it ran in the Arizona Business Gazette last year). I celebrated my fortieth birthday party in the room where we sat and it was somewhat amazing to think that was twenty years ago. Last night I had the Pepe Special, Tomas had the mole, Kathy a bean burro enchilada style and Deena just had beans and flour tortillas. Frank (Deena’s boyfriend) had a machaca burro enchilada style. Oh, and two margaritas and two beers ($68, includes tip, house account).

Afterwards Tomas, Kathy and I drove over to 40th Street and Thomas to see Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. ($21.50 for three tickets). Kath and Tomas liked it better than I did (Kathy gave it an 8, but I noticed she covered her eyes during several of the scenes). Quite gruesome and gory and it’s basically a chase movie with hints of Predator and True Grit (the falling down the well part) thrown in. I also noticed that some of the action scenes had a video tape quality which was jarring (as opposed to film stock). I assume they were saving money and spliced in video? It was co-written by Mel so I must admit having a prejudice against actors writing anything worthwhile (for example I believe it’s not jews, but Australian actors who start all the wars).

Here's two more pages from my sketchbook. The first page (below, left) was drawn in El Fuerte on December 18 and shows the courtyard of the room we stayed in at the Posada Don Porfirio Hotel (bottom, right) and the top, left illustration is of the covered courtyard at the Guerrera Hotel where we stayed the next night ($30 for four!). The next page was drawn on my birthday and shows the train station 10 kilometers east of El Fuerte where we caught the Copper Canyon Express and below are some of the dramatic foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. I don't know if you can read it or not, but each of these pages has our daily expenses, for example, the train tickets were $80 for four to Bauchivio, our next stop. Those sketches tomorrow.

Shirley You Jest
“Interesting item in the newest WOLA newsletter. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has picked up the Glenn Shirley collection—6400 books, 2900 pulps, nearly 17,000 photos and negatives, and much more.  Also included 30 file cabinets worth of Shirley's research papers. According to the piece, museum supporters raised $800,000 to acquire the collection.  Hell, if Glenn had known it was that valuable, he might have stuck around for awhile longer.”
—Mark Boardman

Back in 1998, I joined the Renegades, a loose group of Old West history enthusiasts, which included Marshall Trimble, John Boessenecker and Bob McCubbin and we did a tour of numerous Oklahoma outlaw sites. We stopped in Stillwater where Glenn lived (and where the True West headquarters were at the time) and got to see firsthand Glenn’s massive collection. He had basically ran out of room in his longtime residence, and he and his wife bought another house across the street, so he could fill the old house with all of his stuff. I remember walking down the halls of the modest tract home and there were boxes and boxes everywhere. The master bedroom was all Oklahoma outlaws, one room was dedicated to the 101 Ranch, and the closed in carport was all movie posters and stills. Even the kitchen was a designated storeroom, and of course there were classic, collectable gems everywhere you looked. Glenn also took us on a personal tour of nearby Ingalls (the Outlaw Town) and showed us where everyone was situated in that amazing battle. The town was long gone and only a trailer house, and a couple wrecked cars remained, but Glenn knew where the streets were and who fired from where. It was a total treat to have the Master walk us through it. (the fight is detailed in Classic Gunfights, Volume I and Gus Walker did a great map of the whole fight, extrapolating from Glenn’s walking tour that day). I’m not surprised at the price his collection realized and only hope his family received the lion’s share.

“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”
—Mary Tyler Moore

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