Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Joe Grandee, Denny Chapman & Taylor Arms

February 22, 2011

Yesterday, champion CMSA (Cowboy Mounted Shooting Assoc.) shooter Denny Chapman from Ocala, Florida came in to see the True West World Headquarters. He is in town for Winter Range which starts tomorrow out at Ben Avery Shooting Range. Enjoyed talking to him and his gun sponsor, Miss Sue Hawkins of Taylor & Co. Firearms. You may have seen Denny on the History Channel's show "Top Shot."

Grabbed a small study out of my failure pile yesterday and took another stab at it, boldly going over the whole thing with a blue wash. Blurred out the rider, but coagulated into some nifty little cloud effects in upper left-hand corner. Had some potential so brought the mess into the office this morning and between phone calls and meetings brought out some of the detail on Mickey Free Rides A Mammoth Jack at Sunset:

I especially like the mammoth jack chewing on his bridle. Ha.

Sterling Foster also dropped by a few minutes ago to pitch me on speaking at the Pioneer Cemetery on Memorial Day. Great group of people who have saved this venerable resting place of many Arizona icons, including The Lost Dutchman Jacob Waltz, Tom Graham last victim of the Pleasant Valley War, a buffalo soldier and others. I'm going to recommend Sterling and his group for an upcoming feature in Old West Saviors in the magazine.

Working on The Battle at Battle Flat, an 1864 encounter between five prospectors and 150 Apaches (John Langellier claims they were Yavapais). The natives attacked before dawn, while the rock hounds were sleeping. A flurry of arrows and rocks ripped into the camp, with one of the campers taking an arrow in the mouth, another in the eye. It's interesting to note that the local In-dins did more rock throwing than is ever shown in movies. During the desperate battle that followed, more than one attacker threw rocks at the retreating gold hunters. This also happened at the Bascom Affair, which was a couple years earlier, when one of the Apaches who cut his way out of the tent with Cochise ran up a hill, then turned and threw rocks at the oncoming trooper. I don't think I've EVER seen that portrayed in a movie. Have you?

Robert Ray used Google Earth to locate the remote site southeast of Prescott about 30 miles. Very rugged country. We may go up there and visit the site next weekend. I always want to see where these fights take place. Helps me understand what happened. Yesterday I talked on the phone with the great niece of Joe Grandee, one of the legendary artists who drew and painted for Joe Small and this magazine. She said Joe also insisted on visiting the sites he was rendering and often spent more on getting there than he was being paid (a reported $200 per assignment, which is about what we pay now!). Ouch!

Anyway, when we bail into these Classic Gunfights I sometimes lose track of time and everything. Gee, I wonder what ol' Lady Bird has to say about this?

"Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid."
—Lady Bird Johnson

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