Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010
I'm flying to Lubbock, Texas on Friday for a speech at the Ranching Heritage Association, then up to Orme Ranch for a round of teaching the next Monday thru Friday. Then off to Utah on February 10 for a speech to history teachers. Going to be busy.

Had lunch with Marshall Trimble at El Encanto. Had fun telling each other historic lies. Got rather deep. Also talked about a possible centennial show and book. Had the special, green chile burro and decaf coffee (True West bought, $25).

This afternoon I wrote up a submission to the Arizona Republic Plugged In for Sunday. My editor, Ken Western, said he loved it, but they have a special series running and there isn't room, so, here you go:

A Bridge Over Troubled Memory
Last week I survived my third 100 year flood. I can remember the first one like it was only four decades ago: raindrops as big as Jim Larkin's head (that's huge, man!), hippies battling straights in rowboats, J.D.'s In The Riverbottom underwater (Gee, I wonder why). Bridges out everywhere and city and state officials ducking responsibility by blaming it on a centennial fluke ("Trust us, it only rains this much every hundred years"). Yes, time flies when you are counting in flood years. Hope I live long enough to see a couple more.
—Bob Boze Bell, Executive Editor, True West magazine

In my speeches I have been noodling a line about returning some dignity and respect to the Apache people. In our rush to relieve our collective guilt and shame we have whittled them down from noble savages to noble victims. Neither is correct. I have mentioned in a couple of speeches that we didn't name an attack helicopter after them because they were wimps. But, it needed a better kicker. Wasn't quite there.

Two weeks ago, when I was at the breakfast meeting with the Arizona Theatre Company people, I mentioned this to Ed Furman, one of the Second City writers. He asked about the Apaches and I said, "We didn't name an attack helicopter after them because. . ." and, like a good comedy writer he said, without a beat, "of their beadwork." Yes! That's it.

Come on, Man. The Apaches aren't wimps who play flutes. They deserve respect. We didn't name an attack helicopter after them because of their beadwork.

Perfect. Thanks Second City Writer Guy Ed Furman. I'll share the punchline credit with you.

And speaking of Apaches, local TV producer John Booth told me that Native American filmmaker, Dustinn Craig, I think is his name, recently did a much acclaimed documentary on Geronimo. When John asked him what he was most proud of, Craig said, "There's no flutes in the show." Evidently Apaches have no flute in their culture and hate it that white people always jam one in whenever a film score is written. Ha.

“You know you’re just somehow to me.”
—An Apache putdown, utilizing their unique syntax (told to me by Pastor Guenther of Whiteriver fame)

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