February 11, 2012Found this very large board in my flat files yesterday. It's 20 inches wide by 42 inches high.
These were ambitious scenes for an episode of Honkytonk Sue at the Heatwave Cafe. The Heatwave Cafe building was inspired by an isolated, legendary place out in the middle of nowhere (actually near Buckeye) called Froggy Bottom. It had an Alamo front with wagon wheel windows. Very old school. I ate lunch there one week back in my surveyor days in the early seventies. The people who ran it were African American. Of course, in my version, the owner of the Heatwave is Chata, modeled loosely on the women at El Torero in South Tucson. I used as my model the lovely Dora at Pepe's Taco Villa on west Camelback Road in Phoenix. Taco Villa is still one of our fave spots. Our family has celebrated many birthdays there, including my fortieth (25 years ago!). Great homemade pintos, both refried and whole.
That's a lot of disparate connections for a strip that never ran. Ha.
"Hot plate, sweetie."
—Chata's daily warning