June 13, 2010
Need to absolutely finish the big Digging Up Billy the Kid painting today. Got a decent likeness of Governor Bill Richardson this morning, working now on Ms. Cooper casting the first stone. Struggling. Need to add another five or six faces, fix Billy's hands, add a wristwatch to a cameraman and call it a day.
Meanwhile, got this question:
"Why were doctor’s offices located on the second floor of buildings in Gunsmoke and other western shows? It does not make sense."
—Jorga W. Altman
This is a very good question. Actually, there is some precedent for it. In early towns, business offices for doctors, lawyers, etc. were many times located on the second floor, over commercial businesses like mercantile establishments or saloons. You still see this in many older cities, although the current style is stand alone buildings, usually on the outskirts of town or in the suburbs. But in the old West, with everything compacted into a small area, it was a natural way to get
double rent for the landlords and in the case of doctors, what better
place to be than over a saloon where everyone is armed. Ha.
Bob Boze Bell
Executive Editor, True West magazine
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