Friday, April 27, 2007

April 27, 2007
Left Cave Creek yesterday at 11, headed for the Arizona-New Mexico Joint History Convention in The White Mountains. Noticed the price on the Shell gas station had risen to 3.10.9 just since Monday (see photo from yesterday's post). Went the back way through Rio Verde and out across the Fort McDowell Res. Big clouds piling up beyond Four Peaks. Really a beautiful ride.

Stopped in Payson for lunch and remembered a book signing with Margariette Noble (Filaree) when she took me to an old house off the main highway and wondered if I could find it, or if it was still there (that was more than ten years ago). And there it was, The Main Street Bar & Grill. Had a cup of albondigas soup and a small salad and iced tea. ($10.78, includes tip, TW account). Made notes on the convention and items I wanted to cover.

Topped out on the Mogollon Rim and hit rain and fantastic clouds beyond that. Took a couple dozen shots with my digital right out the windshield west of Overgaard. Stopped at Bison Ranch and got a latte ($3.50 plus 50 cent tip), and drove on into Show Low, Lakeside and Pinetop.

Got to the Hon-dah Resort at four (196 mile run) and went right into the conference. Met Larry Ball and his wife Ruth and asked how his much anticipated Tom Horn biography is coming along. He regaled me with his views and theories but it's the punchline to his book so I don't want to give it away.

Book dealer Bob Pugh showed me a new book that contains a never-before-published interview with Billy the Kid, "Dirty Dave" Rudabaugh and Billy Wilson, in the Santa Fe jail. A postal inspector investigating mail robberies interviewed the Boys and gave a short report, giving their ages, where they are from (Billy claimed New York City, so that is another vote for the legend).

Also saw Bob McCubbin and asked if he had any extra True West magazines for our table (I forgot a box of Billy issues at the office). Bob had some and put them out.

Paul Hutton gave a rousing speech in the main banquet hall to a full house. Of course it was on Billy the Kid, and he plugged his big Billy show that launches in two weeks.

After the speech I drove back down to Pinetop and checked into the Holiday Inn Express (Hon-dah Resort was sold out).

Back at the Hon-dah Resort for the big opening night banquet. An Apache girl was supposed to sing the National Anthem but she was a no-show (evidently on In-din time), then there was a snafu on dinner when it turned out certain local politicos crashed the dinner without tickets and they didn't have enough meals to go around. The director of the event, who sat next to me, had a very rough time working it all out, but he did, getting the kitchen to turn out another dozen dinners. One member came over to complain about me getting served because I didn't buy a raffle ticket (Paul did and I told her we'd split it). Good meal. Ended up down at Charlie Clark's Steakhouse in Pinetop for a nightcap. Talked over The Top Secret Project and how to finally bring it to completion. Going to work on that today.

"You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
—Dr. Seuss

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