Friday, December 16, 2011

Westward Ho Ho Ho!

December 16, 2011

If someone had told me even five years ago that my phone would take photos as good as my Nikon, I would have laughed at them. Well, I'm still laughing, but it is sweet that I can see a scene while I'm driving and snap off a couple phone photos while driving 75 mph (don't tell DPS or Kathy, who was sleeping when the following shots were taken). A week ago I was on the way to Vegas for Cowboy Christmas and as we approached White Hills on highway 93 I was marveling at the late afternoon shadows on a distant range. As you can see, I snapped this off right over the steering wheel:

And through the windshield, with the car jiggling and moving fast. I waited until I got up to the rock outcropping at left, then took a closer shot:

What I wanted to capture is that the shadows on the distant range stop halfway down and you have this blank spot where the washes fan out, leaving the range looking like it's floating above the tundra. This is a four o'clock shadow and I want to capture that effect in my paintings, so now I have great reference. Rather sweet.

Westward Ho Ho Ho!

I read in the Arizona Republic, that the Westward Ho Hotel in Phoenix opened with a lavish party 84 years ago yesterday. I have some history there. I went to work for New Times there, on the second floor in March of 1978, but just prior to that, in December of 1977, Kathy and I had our first date here, attending the New Times Christmas party where the Southern Tornado performed. I was on drums. The drums have been retired, but the relationship lives on. Here's an ad the Westward Ho ran in the Arizona Days And Ways Magazine, on February 11, 1962 on the 50th year celebration of Arizona statehood:

The Republic semi-centennial publication was a big inspiration for my True West centennial efforts. I looked through it quite often looking for links and stories we needed to cover. I own three of these. I found one in an antique store and was gifted the others. They are in a prominent place in my library.

"Half a hundred years ago, Arizona was granted statehood. It has been less than a lifetime—but more than an era."
—Eugene C. Pulliam, publisher, Phoenix Newspapers Ince, on page 1 of "This Is Arizona: Fiftieth Anniversary."

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