August 8, 2011Drove into the Beast last night and had dinner at Edmundo Segundo's remodeled house in Paradise Valley. The name of the spread is "Fort Apache" and it was built in the early 1960s by a guy who had race tracks and knew many Hollywood stars. Both Dean Martin and Stella Stevens reportedly stayed often at the house (in fact their names were on the doors of the guest bedrooms) and the back yard has those vertical posts with the pointed ends that passed for army forts in all the old Westerns. The house has some 39 arches and is very Spanish meets Ward Cleaver-ville, but then Edmundo (better known as Ed Mell) has added incredible touches to the entire place and his art collection rivals the Phoenix Art Museum, so that was a special treat. Numerous Maynard Dixons, Lon Megargees and even a Frank Tenney Johnson adorn his walls. Ed is part of the new Phoenix Art Museum's West Select show, which will replace the departed Cowboys Artists of America Show that decamped for OK City.
Got an informative update and clarification on the Emmett Crawford killing in Mexico, which I featured in the latest Classic Gunfight in TW. Although I had much help in fleshing out this complicated fight on the Devil's Backbone in Sonora, Mexico, including help from Paul Hutton, Larry Ball, Jerome Green, Robert Utley and Edwin Sweeney. Even with all of that firepower I didn't get the name of the sheriff who tried to arrest Dutchy in Mexico. Here is Allen Radbourne, who wrote the definitive bio of Mickey Free:
According to packmaster Henry W. Daly the lawmen were "Sheriff Stevens of Cochise County, Arizona, and Frank Leslie, a rancher who had come to arrest Dutchy for murder." Leslie had earlier served with Dutchy in Wirt Davis' command. Dutchy was fatally wounded in a drunken brawl with soldiers near Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama 12 March 1893. For more see - "Dutchy, Indian Scout and Apache Raider," by this commentator, TRUE WEST, November & December, 1998.
And speaking of wild and crazy Apache scouts, I worked this weekend on a couple scenes, including this one of Mickey Free skirting the edge of a dry lake in Sonora, with a cloud of dust about to envelope him, churned up by a herd of charging red-eyed Mexican cattle.
"The truth is more important than the facts."
—Frank Lloyd Wright