Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6, 2007
I'm juggling several balls at the moment. I'm trying to get a handle on the Big Dry Wash narrative for next issue's Classic Gunfight. I sent the rough draft to my expert and it came back with a slew of "Not true" edits. I'm driving up to the rim tomorrow so I can see the fight terrain firsthand. It's a one hour hike into the site (the actual battle site is 8 miles from the historic marker), and I've wanted to see the battle site for years and years. Turns out, our family and the Glenn family camped almost on the site in the mid-eighties and I never knew it. The battle site is near Blue Ridge Reservoir.

The other ball in the air, is a train illustration I'm obsessing on. When we were in Wichita filming the next batch of True West Moments last month, we answered the question, "How did they get the water up into the train water towers?" I called Jim Clark (Mr. Train) down in Tombstone and he told me they utilized windmills in the early days (until 1880s when they went to steam mule pumps). I also found out that when train crews arrived in towns too small for a water tower, they had to get off the train and form a bucket brigade to the nearest stream and jerk the water up and into the tender (the fuel car directly behind the engine). These towns became known as "jerkwater towns." I just love that anectdote and tacked it onto the True West Moment about the towers. Of course, I couldn't find any photos that remotely illustrated the "Jerkwater" bit, so I decided to paint it. Yesterday, before Thomas left I had Kathy take a couple shots of he and I in our shorts, in the driveway, handing a bucket across to each other (this looks mighty goofy and if I have the nerve I'll run one of these shots for your amusement). I did several sketches from this photo reference last night, but it just isn't right. So I called our neighbors, Bruce and Sheila, and told them I'm coming down to their house at noon today to shoot a couple photos right at the creek.

After I set up that shoot, I went out into the studio and found my farmer overalls, put on a neckscarf, with a long-sleeved shirt and A-1 cap, and wore that into the office. Much to the amusement of everyone in the office, of course. Oh, the lengths I go to for historical hilarity—I mean, accuracy.

Here's a scratchboard of Tom Horn for the Battle of Big Dry Wash, done from a photo reference I took several years ago at Festival of the West. The model is Dave Daiss' bud Tate Wilford (who also appears with Dave and others in the Hitching Post episode of the True West Moment where the guys come out of the saloon and their horses are gone):

Experienced Experian Advice
"Bob, next time you need to call one of those companies that hide behind Interactive Voice Response systems (I'm in that business - sort of) go to this web site and it'll tell you how to easily bypass it":

—Jim Holden

Thanks Jim.

Onion Headline de Jour
Poster Vandal Enters 'Phallus In Mouth' Period

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but in the end, therre it is."
—Winston Churchill

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