March 16, 2007
Back in the office catching up on work. Robert Ray and I went over the hangouts on CGIII (Classic Gunfights, Volume III) and we are getting closer to the finish line. Only seven gunfights with holes in them, and now I need to fill 'em with good art. Speaking of art. I finished my sixth sketchbook on Wednesday and the first drawing in the new sketchbook is a impressionistic image of my mother's funeral. All blue sky, with Radar Hill in the background. This is a stubby mesa that I grew up playing all over, and you can see it clearly from my mother's grave, and ironically, from my father's grave also. They are both in the same cemetery, separated by one hundred yards and eternity.
Also catching up on emails. Here's one I wouldn't mind getting every single day:
“Can you please increase our shipment [of True West] this month by 100 magazines? It is Spring Break, and a lot of families love reading your magazine.”
—John Huguelet, the Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale, AZ
They are a great resort. Please ask for the Bob Boze Bell Suite when you check in.
Another constant concern we have is where our business comes from. The following exchange spells out a pretty strong TV to mouse trail:
"Mr. Bell, I've just read Classic Gunfights 1 and 2 and I just want to say, OUTSTANDING. The research must have been fun and exhausting. Your artwork is fantastic, it reminds me of of a contemporary Charles Marion Russell. I am an artist myself and I very much enjoy your work. Your writing gives a fresh outlook on the old classic gunfights that I have not seen before. You have a new fan."
—Mark Nufer , p.s. All my life I cannot get enough of the old west.
Thankyou. A message like this makes all those sleepless nights worthwhile. I mean it. How did you find the books?
"My wife and I met some friends that we had not seen for long time at Calico ghost town, just north of Barstow, the 'print shop' had copy's. Had to have them. I had seen them advertised in Cowboy Chronicle, or Guns of the Old West and had not gotten around to order them so when I saw them, HAD TO HAVE EM. I first saw you on the History Channel. Impressive, I think you could do a whole series for movies or t.v. based on your writing turned into screen plays. Just Tombstone and the boot heel of N.M. stories alone would go a long way. Well sorry, I am rambling. More More More."
There is an old marketing saw that says you need to see something three times before you make room for it in your head. Or, more importantly, pull the trigger on a purchase. And what a trail he spells out! He saw me on the History Channel, then saw the ads in Cowboy Chronicle, then walked into a Calico book store and boom, "had to have 'em." As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Flippin' Sweet!"
Here's another Happy Accident:
"I've been lookin' around at the True West website and just got done readin' yer bio. Like you, I love the west. Even though I'm currently stuck in Ohio 'cause I ran out of money when I lived in Montana and had to move home. It's great here! We got yuppies and prefabricated houses and people who treat you like shit fer no reason other than yer in the same place they are. Needless to say, I can't wait to git the hell outta here again.
"Anyway, I'm sure you get a pile of email everyday so I'll keep this quick. I just wanted to say that I think you got a real good sense of humor and that's why I wanted to send you a link to some a my weird old west inspired cowboy songs with an outlaw twist and my kinda weird humor. I got real sick of lookin' fer other folks to play somethin' more creative than the recycled crap you hear all the time so I gave up on everyone and just learned how to play everything myself. People seem to like it so I'm hopin' you will too. I'd be honored if you'd give it a listen:
www.myspace.com/slackeyeslim and there's more at http://www.last.fm/music/Slackeye+Slim/Wide+Open+Spaces .
"Thanks fer takin' the time to read this!"
I did check it out and particularly enjoyed "Cowboy's Lament." Very funky and Americana (a music category I'd like to explore more). There are several other interesting groups listed, such as, The Billy Bastards. Now that is a cool name.
Onion Headline de Jour
Friend Whose Mom Just Died Allowed to Pick Pizza Topping
"The hilltop hour wouldnot be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse."
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