Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009
Cold this morning, but turned out to be a beautiful day. Went home for lunch and took a walk with Peaches up the hill. Came back and looked in my discard pile and pulled out a partially finished campfire scene:

Some sweet effects. Now I need to add some people. On Saturday night at the True West Christmas party, the gated entrance to the Brink estate would not stay open so I drove down to help the latecomers through the gate (that would be Meghan, Dan Harshberger and Sheri). As I was waiting, I began to study the lighting effects on a series of plants by the entrance that were lit up from below. I wanted to ferret out the light effects as they snaked up the tree and faded in intensity into the branches. That inspired the development of the above scene. Of course this is an effect I have been working on for some time. Here's a page of sketches from last August:

And more from last February:

Meanwhile, ever sit around and wonder what kind of messages I get on a given day? Well thanks to Linda Gager, our intrepid gatekeeper, here you go:

• "Sidney Wilson from Scottsdale called today to order two gift subscriptions. She first heard about True West when you spoke at the Heard Museum!"

Amazing. Several women told me they were going to buy subscriptions and here one of them is. Very encouraging. Makes those speeches worth while, beyond the ego satisfaction (which by the way, my therapist wife told me this weekend that it's not easy being married to the guy who wants to be the most popular person in the world!)

• "Chuck Myers with Native American Traveling Arts is going to be here at 10:00 on Wednesday morning. He said he stopped by last year when he was here and visited with Meghan for quite a while. He said several of you purchased his jewelry and he wanted me to let you know that he’s lowered his prices in view of the current economy."

• "A very nice guy from Kaycee, WY called and wanted to talk to you. His name is Dean Burns. He is a re-enactor and a knife maker. I think he left you a voicemail as well."

• "A comment from Verlyn Osborn in St. George, KS:'Keep up the good work! This is one of those things that all the west can be proud of. It’s building on the heritage of hard work, patriotism and the American way. It’s more than just selling magazines it’s promoting the whole way of life that we’ve come to enjoy."

• "Kathie Mathis from Englewood, CO, a blind subscriber who gets our magazine on tape, just spent three weeks in the hospital and cancelled 14 or 15 magazines that she gets because other people were having to get her mail for her, but she couldn’t give up her True West Magazine!! She says, 'I just adore it! I listen to every single word!' She ordered a new subscription for her son for Christmas."

Oh, good. That will make up for this one:

• "Mr. F. Keeley from Scottsdale, AZ called to cancel his free subscription from Festival of the West effective after he receives his last issue. He said, 'I got this subscription free, and I figure that’s about the right price for what I’ve gotten out of it.'”

• "Bob, Doris Goodale, your State Legislator (and friend), called to order a gift subscription to True West for her mom and dad for Christmas. She said her mom always had such a crush on you!! She thinks her mom will be thrilled to get your magazine for Christmas.

"Doris inquired about your health (I told her you are doing well and taking good care of yourself) and said that she might be in touch with you in January when she comes to Carefree with her husband for a school board meeting. She would love to go have lunch with you if you’re around then."

The irony here is that I had a crush on Doris in the early seventies (she was one-half of the beautiful Wells twins of Kingman fame), but come to think of it, her mama was quite a looker herself. Her husband, Ellis Rucker, one of my dad's best friends, once cornered me in his office at Dunton Motors and told me to cool it with Doris (we went out maybe twice). He was being a tad overprotective but I was a drummer in a band called Central Heating at the time and well, now that I have a daughter, he's right and I would have told me the same thing.

• "Megan Fitzsimmons with Dunn & Bradstreet would like to talk to you about True West the business. Please reference file number: 125351508"

Not going to call because I'm not interested in selling the magazine, today. Maybe tomorrow?

• "A journalist named Brian Palmer with Slate magazine, a publication of the Washington Post called this morning. He's working on an article today about the mechanics of firing a gun sideways, and he was wondering whether you have the contact information for Phil Spangenberger, as he'd like to speak with him.

I do and he did.

• "A gentleman named Andy Wilkinson just wanted to touch base with you and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. He said he looks forward to hearing from you in the New Year once your deadline has passed and you have a little more time to give some thought to his request."

Gee, could you find out next time what request he made and what my answer was?

• "Don Hendren called and he wants to know if Indians used wagons to get from one campsite to another?"

And we got this sad note this morning about one of our pioneer posters on the Ning website:

"I want to personally thank each and everyone for participating in my groups. Each of you has been a good contributor and I think we all had the opportunity to learn something new. However I have decided that the time has come for me to leave True West and pursue other interests, therefore this group will soon be deleted.

Thank you again and Happy Trails.

—Gayle Martin

Sorry to see Gayle go. She was an interesting and passionate contributor. And I got this private email from a blog post:

"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a wonderful film that was a favorite of mine for decades, but I can hardly stand watching it anymore. Burt Bacharach’s music just kills it for me, if I ever hear B.J. Thomas sing Raindrops again… and that jazzy bebop stuff during the chase scenes really stinks. Bacharach’s treatment is distracting and seems way out of place in some parts of the film.

Three that are better, not that it matters,

Ry Cooder - The Long Riders

Bob Dylan - Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Leonard CohenMcCabe and Mrs. Miller

—Lance Ross

And, this is just for half the day. Whew! Stimulating though and it keeps me off the streets.

"Why can't the ant and the caterpillar just get along? One eats grass, the other eats Caterpillars... Oh, I see now."
—Jack Handey

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