Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 4, 2008
I've been fascinated (okay, obsessed) with age lately. I was reading in the New Yorker that when Sean Connery played Indiana Jones' father Connery was only 59! And today, Harrison Ford is 64 and still playing Indiana. This seems quite bizarre to me. I was listening to NPR yesterday on my way back to work and Terry Gross was interviewing, what sounded to me, like an old woman about an art show in Philadelphia. I became interested in seeing the artshow until Ms. Gross said, "That was an interview with the curator from 1984. She died Sunday at age 63." Like I said, from where I stand (okay, sit) this seems really, really weird.

Last night, I landed on the Westerns Channel to watch the last half of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid which I've seen multiple times, of course, but what I noticed in this version is that someone put back in all the Bob Dylan music (which I love). I had heard that Sam Pecinpah hated the music Dylan created for the movie and took it out of the film, replacing it with some typical movie strings crap. So I watched the film with new ears—and eyes. Once again age reared its ugly head (heavy on the ugly). Today, at age 61, I must admit I identify less with Billy and Pat, and mucho mas with the Slim Pickens character (Sheriff Baker) who is building a boat and wants to get out of this god-awful territory, but Garrett cajoles Slim into accompanying him and Pickens gets gut shot and staggers to the river to sit down, realizing he will never get to use that unfinished boat (Top Secret Project anyone?). On the soundtrack Dylan sings "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".

This choked me up. I haven't looked it up, but I have a nasty hunch that at the time of the movie (1973) Slim Pickens was younger than I am now.

Meanwhile, I bang away at my sketches:

Last night I did my latest six (6,422—6,428) and rediscovered my sepia brush and light washes, poaching from a book I have on the French poster master Alphonse Maria Mucha:

The only exception is the top left sketches, which focus on Dan Harshberger from the famous Razz Revue photo taken in 1975, two years after Slim Pickins played an old, grizzled fart in Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.

One of my childhood friends, Elise (Reichardt) Otero, sent me a photo from the Mohave County Miner taken in November of 1959. She told me in an email that she had no idea why the photo landed on the front page of the paper. I told her I remembered exactly why:

Our sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Bonelli, instituted a fine for talking in class. She appointed classroom monitors, all girls as I remember, and they would mark you down if you were talking during study period. Cathy Cannon was the monitor in my row and she would catch me talking, mark me down, and I would say, "Hey, don't mark me down," and she would mark that down, and I would say, "That's not fair," and she would mark that down. This went on for some time at 10 cents a mark. When the totals were later tabulated I owed $11 and the closest talker to me was Jimmy Covarrubias at a piddly $5, followed by the rest of the class who barely broke a buck.

When my father found out about this, he was very mad, until we found out that Mrs. Bonelli was going to donate all the money to the Cancer Society (my Aunt Patsy had cancer and we had been attending fund raisers held at the Jade Cafe). So when the Mohave Miner reporter and photographer showed up, Jimmy and I were right out front as the biggest donors. I'm guessing Elise was one of Mrs. Bonelli's stool pigeons, I mean, monitors.

"A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness."
—Elbert Hubbard

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