Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 99th Birhday Arizona

February 14, 2011

Happy 99th Birthday to Arizona! I remember the fifty year celebration in 1962 and, in fact, own two of the Arizona Republic's special edition commemorative issues (about the only businesses listed in the book that are still in business are Durant's Restaurant—amazing!—and the Arizona Republic itself, although somewhat diminished in reach and clout). And, I was at the Arizona Highways magazine offices for the 75th birthday celebration in 1986 (they put up a tent and sold books. I want to say Barry Goldwater was there).

This year, on the 99th anniversary, we had a big confab and celebration on the capitol mall (on the exact spot where I saw candidate Jimmy Carter in 1976. His first words: "I am not a politician. I am a farmer." Two years after Watergate, we had our fill of politics and elected a peanut farmer. I also remember Secret Service snipers on the roof of the Senate building).

This time around, the former "Mayor" of KUPD radio, Dave Pratt, was the MC, and the usual suspects were there to perform, including Marshall Trimble, Dolan Ellis, Joe Bethancourt, Hans Olson, Buckshot Dot, Ted Newman, Tommy Tucker, Melissa Ruffner, Gary Sprague and his horse Dusty and the Territorial Brass Band. Also saw Joel Dowling, who was sitting in with one of the bands. Joel used to be in the Zonies with Gordon Smith, Dave Walker, Mark Jeffords and me.

Phony Zonie
One guy who was not on the schedule, but who showed up and cut in line to perform is a guy who is quite full of himself. He sings a decent song about the state, but the last I heard he lives in Nashville. This has always grinded me. His father is a bonified Arizona icon, but the the son, the junior, is a pompous ass.

Here's another of the three sunrise studies I made last Saturday, inspired by the predawn drive to Wickenburg for the annual Gold Rush Days.

This is a much more accurate rendering of the sky effects I witnessed. In the final, a lone rider will be traversing that distant ridge.

I forgot to mention Jacob Freedman, who helped us hand out mags last Saturday at the parade. Good cowboy.

Also saw John Langellier at the state birthday party (he was manning the Sharlot Hall tent) and I accused him of using the term "hippie" to describe the popularity of the term Buffalo Soldiers. He denied using, or giving the term to us. Here's the email that prompted the debate:

Dear Mr. Bell,

In your "Game Changers" column in the November-December issue you wrote that John Langelier "makes a good case that the term [Buffalo Soldiers} was not popular until the 1960s." I think this is true, although I did not see a case being made in the article. What I did see is the surprising assertion (p. 43) that "Hippies" popularized the term after Bill Leckie used it in his book. Unfortunately, Mr. Langellier provided no documentation or explanation for what is to me a startling claim. It would be nice to see some evidence for this claim or hear the author's explanation for his conclusion.

Frank N. Schubert

I could swear I heard John say this in our conference room, that hippies popularized the term Buffalo Soldiers, but he says no. Not sure who to blame. I was once a weekend hippie, so maybe it was me.

"What strikes me as odd now is how much my father managed to get across to me without those heart-to-hearts which I've read about fathers and sons having in the study or in the rowboat or in the car."
—Calvin Trillin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments