Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January 1, 2007
One of my birthday presents was a collection of the old TV show "26 Men" about the Arizona Rangers. It starred Tris Coffin and Kelo Henderson and it only lasted two seasons or so, but I loved this show and hadn't seen it since it went off the air (1960?). So Kathy got me the collecton and we finally watched two episodes today. Man were they bad. However, the series was filmed at Cudia City at Camelback Road and 40th Street on the edge of Phoenix at that time , and one time when we were visiting relatives in the Valley, I got to go see the place. The street ran north and south and the north end of town looked right at the Piestewa Peak area. (at that time Squaw Peak). It's socked in expensive mansions today (in fact Barry Goldwater's mountain top retreat is smack in the middle, or I should say, would be built in the next five years or so, but there isn't a house to be seen in the show. They also filmed right at the foot of Camelback Mountain and you can see The Praying Monk rock formation in several scenes. That was a total hoot, and of course that is all homes as well. Althoughthe stories were chiche and awful, one thing that stood the test of time is the theme song. That is one cool track: "Twenty six men, who lived to ride again. . ." I believe they got sued by one of the Arizona Rangers who was still alive when the show was in production and he didn't like the love angle. Or at least that's my memory.

We also watched the third film in the Preston Sturges DVD collection, and Kathy was right, he did get better. "The Lady Eve" (1941) with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda was quite original and some of the scenes had a very witty power that still stands. Next up "Sullivan's Travels" (1942).

Before I left my camera in the car at the airport for our Mexico Muy Muy Tour, Deena took this shot of the Decider and his partner at Deena's condo in Scottsdale.

Today I went through the nine sketchbooks in my studio (see pile below) looking for inspiration, progress and improvement. I must say the discipline of six drawings a day has paid off in the confidence catagory. But, before we take a tour of that arc, here's a dead on caricature by Deena Bell, done in San Diego on Mission Beach. She saw me sketching and told me she could do as well (Gee, I wonder where she got that?!), and whipped out this. The date is July 31, 1989 so she was all of nine years old. She may be my daughter but I believe she got the big ears down cold.

That same year, 1989, David K. Jones, my partner on KSLX radio, came up with the idea of our radio show sponsoring a Cardinals football team rooting section called "The End Zonies," which was a play off our section in the stadium and our name for Arizonians, which we got from San Diego (I saw it spray-painted on the wall: "Zonies Go Home!"). Here's the progression of those sketches:

I came up with the idea of a cowskull with goal post horns on Setember 17, 1989 and while I haven't been to a game in a long time someone told me they are still using the logo.

"I don't have a warm personal enemy left. They've all died off. I miss them terribly because they helped define me."
—Clare Boothe Luce

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