Friday, April 20, 2007

April 20, 2007
It feels great to have CGIII out the door, but now we are staring down the next issue of True West which we have to turn in about two weeks. Plus, we have bought all new equipment for production and Robert Ray is trying to get it all installed and networked. Quark Xpress is being a pain, and, of course, tech help is in India, and he's growling (he just walked by my office door, spitting nails all over the carpet).

Worked with Carole Glenn this morning on my travel itinerary for the next three months. Really a farflung schedule. Going to Hon-dah Resort up in Apache Country next weekend for the Arizona History conference. Then to Albuquerque for the big Billy the Kid Dreamscape Desperado Show on May 11. I come home on Sunday night then go right back to the airport on Monday morning to fly to Wichita to tape new installments of True West Moments for the Westerns Channel. On May 24th I'm flying to Iowa to attend the John Wayne Birthday Centennial. Then Sue Lambert and I are off to Helper, Utah on June 8th, to present them the Western Town of the Year Award, followed by our big End of Trail BBB Artshow with Hugh O'Brian at the end of June. A possible Mexican Revolution Road Trip is in here somewhere, and then I'm off to Nicaragua in August to help the Sandanistas regain control of the country (or sell them Johnny Ringo paintings, I can't remember which).

Speaking of John Wayne, we got a review book in yesterday on The Duke: "John Wayne: The Star of A Western Celebration." Big sucker, 11X14 inches, full page posters of each and every John Wayne movie, with a synopsis, publicity photos and random dialogue like this:

Cutter: It would break my heart if I had to put a bullet in your back.

Regret: It would make me sad also.

That's from The Commancheros, 1961. Here's another one:

Cole: I'm looking at a tin star with a drunk pinned to it!

Sheriff: Look, Cole, I may be a drunk. I may not be able to load my own gun, but I don't need you to tell me how to do my job.

That's El Dorado, 1967, and Cole is John Wayne and Sherrif J.P. Harrah is Robert Mitchum.

My friend Jim Hatzell sent me the new BBC CD of "Custer's Last Stand," which includes more than 12 minutes of footage that will not be in the edited version shown on the Discovery Channel. Jim says, "The BBC gave me a lot of power to shape the look of it, the uniforms and weapons of officers and men, gray horse troop, you name it. How does somebody go about putting a show in for a Golden Boot Award? This is certainly the best thing I have ever done on film! But remember, Bob, you covered all this first in your magazine."

Jim is referring to our breakthrough Custer piece based on the research of Michael Donahue who advances the theory that Custer came off Last Stand Hill and tried to make a river crossing farther west. In fact, we feature it extensively in CGIII.

I watched the BBC show last night and enjoyed it. Unlike most of these docs, they actually hired actors and had dialogue and it was quite balanced and yet edgy. Jim's work on the costuming, the horses, the tack and the guns is first rate, certainly one of the most accurate I've ever seen. I would highly recommend it.

Onion Headline de Jour
All Minority Postal Staff Undergoes Mandatory Diversity Training

"When nothing is sure, everything is possible."
—Margaret Drabble

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