Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Sneak Peek at the Purgatory Road Cover Art

October 30, 2013
   A year ago, or so, I visited some friends in Williamson Valley, north of Prescott, and while driving up there I was struck by a cloud bank off to the east and stopped to study it. Did a quick study of it and snapped off a couple iPhone pics, then forgot about it. I was cleaning yesterday, saw the unfinished study and added some more paint:

Daily Whipout, "Williamson Valley Cloudbank"

  My good friend Jeb Rosebrook wants a cover painting to go with a new series of books he's doing under the banner of "Purgatory Road." Jeb told me it's about a gaggle of old Arizonans (cowboys, female softball players, Korean vets) in a small town and that a rattlesnake named Charlamayne looms over everything. Did a half dozen sketches then whipped this out a couple days ago:

Daily Whipout, "Purgatory Road #1"

   A little too sci-fi, so I did a more 1940s approach, since Jeb told me he digs those old book covers with the forties sensibilities:

Daily Whipout, "Purgatory Road #2"

   Jeb's wife Dorothy isn't too excited about a big, ol' rattlesnake looming on the cover, so I toned it back and half-hid it in the clouds so that it's a secondary consciousness deal. Will it sell?

"The easiest story to sell is the story we want to buy."
—Scott Van Pelt

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chickening Out

October 29, 2013
   I'm reading a new bio on Jack London. He, of course, had lunch with Wyatt Earp at Musso and Frank's in Hollywood in the 1920s, so I'm interested in how those two worlds collided.

   Meanwhile, I'm working on a book cover for my "agent" Jeb Rosebrook and got some decent sketches going this morning. Burning roads, floating rattlesnakes, you know, the usual cover stuff.

Two Abused Chicks With A Big, Fat Cock

   When I got my chicks last year, five of them turned out to be roosters. Gave away four and kept one. I am so disgusted with the big idiot. He abuses his two hens constantly, attacks me and acts like a big, fat cock head. I'm daily reminded of a famous Westerner's quote,

"One hopes for so much from a chicken and is so dreadfully disillusioned."
—Jack London

Monday, October 28, 2013

Take A Walk On The Wild West Side

October 28, 2013
   Attended Buck Montgomery's Wild West Festival last weekend at Saguaro Ranch. Had a guy come up to me at our booth and claim he came into my office ten years ago and advised me to start using humor in True West magazine. He then claimed I said, "Why would I do that? History is serious." And then I started using humor in the magazine. Nice to know where I got the idea.

   Lots of work to to. Someone in my zany family gifted me a book, "The Onion Presents Embedded In America: Complete News Archives Volume 16" and I was cleaning out my office this week, ran across the book, opened it at random and read these headlines:

Ridiculous Small-Business Plan Encouraged By Friends

Ramones Reunion Nearly Complete

Peruvian Shockingly Knowledgeable About U.S. History

Liberals Return to Sodomy, Welfare Fraud

Republicans Outraged By Inaccuracies In Metallica Documentary

I read in one of the many obits for Lou Reed that he grew up on Be-bop and while he was certainly a cynical dude, to my ears, I was subsequently mildly shocked to read this quote by the Godfather of Punk: "These are really terribly rough times, and we really should try to be as nice to each other as possible."
 —Lou Reed

"I suddenly saw the whole country like an oyster for us to open; and the pearl was there, the pearl was there."

 —Jack Kerouac

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Official Emmy Photograph of BBB Saying "Yahoo!"

October 24, 2013
   Working on a book proposal for our Route 66 project. Got some great advice from the Top Secret Writer's agent, to wit: A good book proposal should do four things: Define the book's audience. Describe the book generally and specifically. Explain why your book fills a void. Why you are qualified to write the book.

   Okay, I can do most of that.

   Whipped out a little study this morning:

Daily Whipout, "Cipriano Baca"

   We finally got the official photograph of our Emmy win last Saturday night:

I couldn't help but let out a big Yahoo, when "Outrageous Arizona" won an Emmy. Here I am with Kelly McCullough of KAET Eight (PBS) who looks slightly bemused, or is that embarrassment. The moral: you can take the boy out of Kingman but you can't take the Kingman out of the boy.

   Here's an ad for the show we won the Emmy for:

And yes, the DVDs are still available on this site. And one of the more outrageous stories in our documentary was the Legend of Red Ghost:

   And this artwork appears in the show, I mean, Emmy Award Winning Show.

   I wish I could say I knew we were going to win, but you know what they say about certainty:

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BBB Busts A Move

October 24, 2013
   One of my fondest memories of the northern California wedding we went to a couple weeks ago was getting down on the dance floor and hearing my daughter say, "That's my Dad!" I was actually busting a move on "Funky Cold Medina," which literally brought the barn down (the song, not my moves). Old and young people were really bustin' moves and these were Farmers! Some in overalls!

   Last night, Kathy and I got to attend a sneak preview of Ridley Scott's new film "The Counselor," starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt. This was a special screening for Valley movie critics and our old True West movie reviewer Henry Back invited Kathy and I.

   Before the movie we were standing in the lobby of the Fashion Square theaters waiting to go in and a black guy walks up in sweat pants. Kinda chubby, nothing flashy. Nice guy. He says hi to Henry and a couple other guys standing with us and after he leaves one of the critics says, "That's Marvin Young." Okay, I thought. Good to know.  Seeing I was non-pulsed, the critic then says: "He's a rapper, better known as Young MC and he loves movies so we invite him from time to time." Really?! Yes, indeed, he wrote "Wild Thing", "Bust A Move" and the song I was getting down on—"Funky Cold Medina"!  Monster hits, monster grooves.

   The movie had its moments—great shootouts—but ultimately the whole thing is so bleak (typical Cormac McCarthy) that it crushes all hope and any goodness. Still, Bardem is a joy to watch (playing the exact opposite of the unstoppable drug goon he played in "No Country For Old Men"). But the difference is at the end of No Country, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is retired, has his wife and his little ranch and he give a little speech about the West, so you have a little hope. Not here, not for the counselor or anyone except, well, you'll see.

   I talked to Marvin Young after the movie and regaled him with the Wedding Barn Dance story but he didn't think it was as amazing as I did. Still, it was a thrill to meet the dude. Here's what Wikepedia says:

   "After 20 years of living in Los Angeles, Young relocated to Scottsdale, AZ in 2006. He spent 2007 creating his seventh album, Adrenaline Flow, which was released in 2008. Immediately following Adrenaline Flow, Young released an online-only album, B-Sides, Demos and Remixes, compiled from unreleased, remixed and re-recorded tracks."

  "Come on Fatso, Bust a move. . ."
—Young MC, "Bust A Move"

   Our book editor, Stuart Rosebrook gave a talk to the Westerners Corral of Scottsdale last night. His topic was "Western Books: 2013 a View From True West."

And, as you can see, the view was pretty good. My neighbor, and former mayor of Cave Creek, Tom Augherton joined me for the trip down to Scottsdale and the talk.

"I wouldn't go within 10 miles of a Rolling Stones gig."

"Why not?"

"They're not good musicians, that's why!"
—Ginger Baker, in Rolling Stone

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Through A Glass Plate Darkly

October 23, 2013
   We love old photographs at True West and we print a lot of them. I asked our production manager, Robert Ray, to give me an educated guess on the number of photos we have run for 2013 and Robert, in typical fashion, said, "I'll count them." Okay, he just walked into my office and here is his guesstimate:

"We print approximately 1,400 every year."
—Robert Ray

   In our next issue, January 2014, we decided to run the Best 100 Photos of the Historical Old West and here's how we decided. First of all, it's the "best" not the most "important" which we did ten years ago (and Bob McCubbin did the choosing). No, these are the best because after all is said and done, we say so. Ha.

   Some are tired—we've seen them a gazillion times—but some of us never tire of seeing them. These would be your iconic photographs, like the tintype of Billy the Kid, which photo archivist Grant Romer grumbled when looking at all the "noise" in the photograph it's "like looking at enraged mud turtles." And, the dead Daltons, the mustachioed Wyatt Earp and the kneeling photo of Geronimo. And, of course, the Fort Worth Five. And we had to choose a few of those simply because, no matter how many times we run them, they are still "the best."

   We left a few out because we just ran them in a recent issue. These would include, Mountain Charlie (October), Rose of Cimarron (November) and Peaches (December). One we did decide to repeat is Lotta Crabtree (which ran in the November "Soiled Doves" issue), because Robert Ray found three versions of the infamous photo of Lotta smoking a cigar and we thought that warranted a rerun. That and the fact I get to use the headline: "Whole Lotta Love."

   Got up this morning and went for a walk up Old Stage Road and got inspired to do a little study on the phenom of staring at these old images, through the dust and the emulsion of age and damage:

Daily Whipout, "Through A Glass Plate Darkly"

"Libraries are not made; they grow."
—Augustine Birrell

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Red Hot Rider & True West Front And Center

October 22, 2013
  Woke up this morning and whipped out a little painting before coming into work:

Daily Whipout, "Red Hot Rider"

  As you probably know we fight to get True West magazine to be seen on the newsstand. We are up against giant magazine behemoth corporations like Hearst and Time so when one of our readers—Allen Fossenkemper—sends me a photo like this I get really, really happy:

True West "Soiled Doves" issues front and center

   Now Allen claims he didn't touch these, so a big THANK-YOU to the rackers at Barnes & Noble for giving us a fighting chance.

"Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach."
—Anthony Robbins

Chris Enss Weighs In On Profanity In the Old West

October 22, 2013
   I often get the question: "Did they really swear in the Old West like they do in the TV series 'Deadwood.'" The short answer is yes they did. So this short piece by our friend Chris Enss caught my eye. We're considering it for the magazine. What do you think?

You Don’t Say
Profanity in the Old West

By Chris Enss

   In the 1800s, it wasn’t uncommon to hear pioneers and miners from Deadwood, South Dakota, to San Francisco, California, swearing in paragraphs. Indeed some historical accounts note the air was cloudy with cursing in such wild and uncivilized locations like Denver, Colorado, and Tombstone, Arizona. Even so, citizens in Washington, D.C. were “more prevalent in swearing than in any other place in America," reported the Bedford Indiana Democrat on December 6, 1915.

   Laws against swearing originated in the nation’s capital in the mid-1850s and were strictly enforced. “Money was at one time raised by the state by imposing finances on those given to the habit of foul language,” the Bedford Indiana Democrat noted. “It is also thought that men who swear habitually are unfit to be in command of other men or themselves,” the newspaper further reported, referencing officers in the Civil War and the Plains Indian Wars.

   Popular ministers of the time preached that the objectionable habit of swearing originated from the profane use of bywords. “The tradition of a byword, which may be perfectly harmless, to profanity is not a very large transition,” Rev. De Witt Talmage told parishioners at a church in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1888. “Bywords such as 'My, stars,' 'Mercy on me' and 'Good gracious' work for a little while, and then you swear,” the Reverend added.

   Swearing, which included oaths and obscenities, was not limited to grown men. Women of all ages and children cursed too. “The profanity from young and old alike, which many are forced to listen to, is a nuisance,” reported Wisconsin's Dodge County Citizen on October 13, 1859. Loud blasphemous rants from soiled doves and teenage boys was heard so often in the gold camps in and around Sutter’s Fort in California that ministers petitioned law enforcement to intervene. Judicial officers must have been complaining as well, because California eventually drafted a law that prohibited cursing in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, reported the Daily Alta California on December 3, 1858.

   America's politicians argued that laws against swearing were ridiculous, but others insisted “there must be the appearance of virtue no matter how common the vice.”

Chris Enss is working on a book about the Sand Creek Massacre, which references historical documents about the battle written by Col. John Chivington and other military leaders that are filled with curse words.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Original Flying Burrito Brother

October 21, 2013
   Got into the office and had a war room debate about the many aspects of our Photos Issue. Here is my POV of the debate:


War Room Debate: L to R: Rebecca Edwards, Meghan Saar, Ken Amorosano and Darren Jensen. Just out of view, at right, is Dan The Man Harshberger (rolling his eyes, no doubt). Lots of blank pages on the wall (and that was part of the debate). Solved most of the big problems and broke up about noon and went home for lunch. Whipped out a little study that answers, or answers, the accusation from a childhood classmate of mine (okay it's Trudy P.) who said half-jokingly, "Spain ruined you." You being me. If any piece of evidence proves this slanderous observation it would be this:

Daily Whipout, "The Original Flying Burrito Brother"

   I got here because when I laid down the first washes I thought to myself, "This looks like flying burrito parts." And so, being a fan of Sixties Rock, well, The Flying Burrito Brothers, indeed."

"I don’t paint ambitiously. It’s all catch and release, just tiny fish that aren’t really worth the trouble to clean and cook."
—Bill Watterson

Sunday, October 20, 2013

True West Wins An Emmy

October 20, 2013
  True West won an Emmy last night for our documentary "Outrageous Arizona" which aired on Eight (PBS Phoenix affiliate).

   I picked up the statuette, but a lot of people get credit on this one. My producing partner, Ken Amorosano, co-anchors Marshall Trimble and Jana Bommersbach, art director Dan Harshberger, Scott Wallin and Kelly McCullough at PBS, a whole bunch of actors and actresses who were rounded up by Buck Montgomery. And the list goes on.

"It's amazing what can be accomplished when you don't care who gets the credit."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shooting Good Lookin' Outlaws at City Hall

October 18, 2013
   Where do you get a room big enough to shoot an ad campaign for our hometown?

In the chambers of the town council at Cave Creek's City Hall, that's where. It helps that the offices are closed today. We cruised in at seven this morning (47 degrees out!) and got the makeup going (Julie Koeth):

   Our go to girl—Julie Koeth—who also did all our makeup on "Outrageous Arizona," the PBS documentary that's up for an Emmy this Saturday night. She applies eyeliner to our homegrown model Kerri Gurule.

   Next up a portable seamless backdrop, with a test for light by Thuyan and last minute makeup applicated by Julie:

The shooter is Ken Amorosano, who did a stellar job.

   I also brought from a home an Apache Kid gun rig that was gifted me by legendary gunleather guru, John Bianchi. We wrapped at nine and Kerrie and her best friend Bethany took a quick gander at the results:

   After that, we broke down and put city hall back together again. The ad campaign will premiere in the next issue of True West (January) and the theme is "Get Your Outlaw On."

   I'd like to say this is hard work, but it's just a ton of fun.

"A light heart lives long."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Get Your Outlaw On

October 17, 2013
   We're working on a full page ad campaign for Cave Creek. Meeting a model in a few minutes. The theme is Get Your Outlaw On which staffer Darren Jensen came up with. Going to be a fun one. Shooting at town hall in the morning.

   Okay, here she is.

   This is Kerri Gurule, a barrel racer from Nevada who moved to Cave Creek.

   Just read this in the new Esquire: "On the morning I had to shoot John Wayne, he leaned in to me with a little Jim Beam on his breath—but sober—and said, 'Oh, they're going to hate you for this.' I said, 'Maybe, but in Berkely I'm a fucking hero.' He put his arms around me, turned to a set of ninety people, and said, 'That's why this prick is in my movie. Because he understands bad guys are funny. Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking about them 150 years later.'"
—Bruce Dern, on his turn in "The Cowboys" where his character killed John Wayne

  Still wrestling with Billy's bibbed shirt front. My friend Gary Zaboly did his due diligence on the shirt as well and shared it with us:

   I don't agree with all his notes but Gary did a fine job of illustrating it.

   Meanwhile, Mad Coyote Joe came by with homemade bread. Bought two loaves ($10).

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Billy the Kid's Shirt: Anchors Away!?

October 16, 2013
   Worked this morning on the Kid's bibbed shirt. Sent up this reference to Prescott Valley and Bronzesmith this morning:

We can see the piping on Billy's fireman shirt clearly in the tintype:

Well, anyway, those of us who study this little credit-card-sized piece of tin see the piping clearly. What we can't see very good is the alleged anchor in the shield of the shirt. Some people see a dragon:

Here's what I see:

And here's a closer look at the "anchor":

And here's what I think I see:

I think there is also a design on the collar, perhaps stars? What do you see?

"Anchors Away!"
—Billy purists

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hang On (Loosely) Snoopy!

October 15, 2013
   Working on a Billy the Kid sculpture this morning, doing sketches for Deb Gesner at Bronzesmith, who is doing her usual, brilliant translation of my crude sketches. Speaking of which:

Warning: Painting Pontification Ahead
   It is not easy to let go when you are trying to make something that is important to you. Pablo Picasso said, "It took me four years to paint like Rafael and all my life to paint like a child." Or, something like that. The point being, artifice is ultimately stilted and fake, no matter how much skill or schooling is applied.

   A couple weeks ago I went into Phoenix for a meeting and took advantage of being in the Beast by dropping into Arizona Art Supply to stock up on an assortment of watercolor papers. I spent about $200 on this, buying big tablets and little postcard blocks of paper (one block literally has postcard lines and info on the other side so you can mail it). My goal with this is to do a batch of starter paintings—"without hope, without despair"—in the hopes of finding a few honest passages I might build on. By honest passages I mean, the accidental puddles and the gradations that have a certain integrity, or, HONESTY that often dies as soon as you TRY to make it into something.

   So, this morning I whipped out a bunch of small, patina starters to get the juices flowing.

   As I said, the key here is to let go and not worry about where it's going. On several of these I painted with my opposite hand (my right) to try and break loose of my left-brain, linear thinking.

   I have become a firm believer in painting myself into a corner and trying to get out, which is a technique I learned from a Tucson git-picker at the Red Rooster Bar on the Old Benson Highway. That was his answer when I asked how he played such crazy leads in the honkytonk band we were both slumming in. I recently read that people with musical training are more successful in life because they know how to listen; they know how to collaborate with others; and they know how to explore problem solving in a creative way (by playing, or painting, yourself into a corner).

   Do drummers count? In this equation? Not sure, but I'll take it anyway.

   Here is an honest patina, done quickly with right-brain fever:

Daily Whipout, "Honest Patina, Fire Study"

   And here is an honest patina gone bad:

Daily Whipout, "Honest Patina, Mickey Free Set Piece #3"

Daily Whipout, "Cliffhanger Opening for Mickey Free Graphic Cinema in 2010"

   Notice how I completely killed the subtleness of the cliffs by overworking everything. Crazy bad. Much mud. Much regret. I need to channel the child, keep it loosey goosey and trust my instincts to let go.

   Or, as some Zen guy put it:

"Your grip should be like autumn leaves blown by a storm."
—Awa Kenzo

Monday, October 14, 2013

On The Road at El Camino

October 13, 2013
  Yesterday, in the big tent, at the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium, I walked in and heard a fantastic swing band and leaned over to a cowboy standing in the back and said, "Who is this?" The cowboy looked at me like I was from Iowa and said, "It's Billy Mata." Evidently they are a Country Swing Band from the Hill Country. Mighty good.

Billy Mata Entrances the big tent at The Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium

Got up Sunday morning at four and cruised on into Socorro and had huevos rancheros at El Camino Family Restaurant. Sat by the window and watched the sun come up as a big-boned waitress with a big rack poured me coffee and asked me, "Everything okay?" It was, I assured her. There were two Soccoro cops at the counter, so I knew the coffee was good. Four booths away in my line of sight was an old coot with a cane sticking out in the aisle. Out of the overhead speakers came Waylon singing about "America".

I took off from Socorro at seven and by nine I was approaching the Arizona line at Red Hill.

Looking into Arizona on a lonesome highway

I love this long stretch of highway because it's so serene. I met maybe four cars in the 50 mile stretch to Springerville. I did pass a couple slowpokes, as I was averaging 80 most of the way. As I shot past a couple slow-moving vehicles I imagined the occupants looking at me and muttering, "Look at that asshole go."

West of Show Low, the traffic bogged down with campers and trucks carrying ATVs, all going home to the Valley. When I went down the hill after Payson, the traffic increased and I found myself being passed by cars and trucks like I was standing still. I was still going 80, and I found myself muttering to myself, "Look at those assholes go!"

Got home at one, a nine-hour-run.

"I'm at the age where even the old coots are younger than me."
—BBB, reflecting on the old coot in El Camino

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Soiled Dogs & Cowboy Trash Talkin'

October 12, 2013
  Sue Lambert and I had a great day at the 24th Annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium at Ruidoso Downs in Ruidoso, New Mexico. For one thing we get to expose people to our latest issues of True West, in this case, Soiled Doves. But the little Weiner-cowboy in the stroller kind of changes the meaning of all this, doesn't he?

Soiled Dog?

Met Kevin and Marsha Hogge, who gifted me his new book, "Jackson's Revenge." Cracked it this morning and I am enjoying it.

But, more than anything, I love talking to the cowboys and boy do they have 'em at this event. Sometimes it's just fun to watch two cowboys talk, like these two-good-old-boys standing in front of our table.

Now, I couldn't hear a word they were saying, but based solely on their body language I think I can approximate what was being said. "Now this ol' boy tol' me. . ." is what I hear in this first photo. My additional impressions follow. . .

"If the gators got your mama, how the hell did you end up here?"

"I'll roll up the Symposium program and stick in my pocket if I damn well please!"

"I'll take this Coors can and smash it upside your head if you don't stop talkin' 'bout my mama."

"Well, hell, I think I shat my pants."

I could be off, but not by much.

"You sure know a lot for being so damn dumb."
—Old Kingman Cowboy Saying

Bruised Beauty In Ruidoso

October 18, 2013
  When I came into Ruidoso yesterday I passed large areas that had been burned in a recent fire. Orange underbrush has blossomed underneath and it gives an odd sense of barren beauty to the landscape.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Back In The Datil Again

October 11 2013
  Got out of Springerville at six this morning. 19 degrees out! Yikes. Beautiful early morning drive until I caught the sun right between the eyes at about Quemado. Got to Pie Town for breakfast and everything was closed up tighter than a gnat's ass stretched over a rain barrel. Drove on to Datil. Not a big fan of the cafe there, but I was too hungry to care. Got inside and found one poor waitress covering two dining rooms, doing her own busing, but the customers were cozy enough:

From Datil, I pushed on across the San Augustine Plains and into Magdalena. As I expected I hit the downtown right at the morning commute:

Gridlock at the main intersection in downtown Magdalena, New Mexico at 8:05 a.m.

Cruised in to Soccorro and stopped at my fave coffee shop, got gas and launched into the final leg of the trip, cruising through San Antonio, Nogal until I finally landed at The Ruidoso Downs for the 24th Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium at 12:30. Worked the booth, then noticed someone was utilizing the wall I utilized last year to take photos of cowboys and cowgirls who walked by. I approached the woman and asked her why she was doing this and she said, "Why? Are you from True West?"

"Why, yes I am," I told her. Her name is Greta Pratt and she is an Assistant Professor of Art Old Dominion in Virginia and she admitted her brother sent her a link to my photos on the Ruidoso website and it inspired her to come out and do the same thing.

I was actually flattered. She admitted also, she wasn't aware of True West magazine until then and now she is a reader, so, really, how mad could I be at that? Ultimately, that's why I did it.

"Good nature is worth more than knowledge, more than money, more than honor, to the persons who possess it."
—Henry Ward Beecher

On The Road to Concho and Springerville

October 11, 2013
   Woke up to a sprinkles and cooler temps yesterday. I don't think it's been this cool since April. Met with the staff about our big January photos issue and went over details and problems.

   Took off from the True West World Headquarters yesterday after lunch with our editor, Meghan Saar, and our publisher, Ken Amorosano. Got to Payson at two and saw one of those portable signs that said there was a wreck 9 miles east, towards Kohl's Ranch, which was the way I was going.

   Sure enough, just west of Kohl's Ranch I encountered this:

   That's an overturned trailer at right, but here's the main wreck:

   Some crazy wreckage, to say the least. Got past there though and it was smooth sailing up onto the rim:

   Thought I might encounter snow, but it cleared out as I approached Heber. The temperature dropped to 41 though. Had a little time, so I took the scenic route east of Showlow and went thru Concho and Saint Johns, two sleepy little towns I haven't been to in a decade or two. Concho was one of the first European settlements in northern Arizona. I believe Spanish soldiers from Santa Fe were marching through and noted the lush valley conditions and came back to found the settlement in the early 1800s. Place was even sleepier than the first time I saw it. Lots of growth around it though. A big development to the south with tract homes and country club.

   Saint Johns is a lush oasis and a wonderment because so many prominent politicians have come from this sleepy little town, like the Udalls.

   Got to Springerville at about six and decided to finally sample the cuisine at the original Los Dos Molinos (the ones in Phoenix sprang from this one according to the folks at the Springerville LDM):

   Of course Los Dos is famous for really hot chile. I had the posole, a fish taco and an adobada taco.

   Oh, and a "kick-ass margarita," at right, which has three shots of tequila in it.

   Heading for Ruidoso and the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium this morning and plan to stop in Pie Town for breakfast.

"Facebook is a meta-version of who we see ourselves as. The person that we and people demographically and algorithmically similar to us might categorize us as being."
—Devon McCaw Jackson