Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mary Ann Oatman: The Naked Truth Meets Cleaned Up History

May 31, 2017
   The Olive Oatman story has long eluded the naked truth and I mean that both literally and figuratively. Here is a painting where I am attempting to capture the essence of Mary Ann Oatman during her captivity among the Mojaves:

Daily Whip Out: "Mary Ann Oatman"

   Mary Ann was nine-years-old when she and her older sister Olive, were kidnapped by Indians (probably Western Yavapais) west of present day Gila Bend, Arizona. The raiding party killed her parents and four of her siblings, although a brother, Lorenzo, 14, survived. The two girls were marched, bare-footed, some 90 miles north to a village where they were treated brutally, as slaves.

   About a year later, a party of Mojaves came to the village and bought the girls, for two horses, blankets and vegetables. The girls were then marched northwest to the Mojave Valley, which straddles the Colorado River and they were taken into the home of one of the Mojave chiefs, on the site of the present day town of Needles, California. What happened next is very controversial.

   As the folks over at Wikipedia put it, "much of what actually occurred during her time with the Native Americans remains unknown."

   Boy Howdy.

   Here's the essence of the controversy: Olive and her sister either spent their time with the Mojaves as semi-house-guest-slaves (this is Olive's version after her release), or, she was married to a chief's son and had two children. And, by the way, a contemporary newspaper report claims both Olive and Mary Ann were married to Mojave chiefs. If true, this makes it all the more sordid because Mary Ann couldn't have been more than 12 or 13-years-old.

   One of the glaring omissions in Olive's version of her post-captivity-story is that a large U.S. expedition led by Lt. A. W. Whipple came through the Mojave Valley in February of 1854 and spent a week there meeting all of the prominent chiefs and traversing the area where Olive claimed to have been held. If she wanted to be saved, why didn't she make herself known? Here is what Whipple had to say about captives he saw:

February 25, 1854
"It is said that several sad-looking fellows in the crowd are slaves, prisoners taken in the last expedition against the Cocopas. In the military code of this people, a captive is forever disgraced. Should he return to his tribe, his own mother would discard him as unworthy of notice. There are only two Cuchans, Jose and his friend; others are said to be on their way hither."
—Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple

   From this we know that captured "slaves" among the Mojaves were beneath contempt, which is not an unusual cultural perspective for people at that time (see: blacks in Alabama and a couple dozen other states).

   Whipple also had this to say about the young women he saw:

   "Young girls wear beads. When married their chins are tattooed with vertical blue lines, and they wear a necklace with a single sea-shell in front, curiously wrought."

Olive Oatman with the blue, vertical tattoos and her brother Lorenzo, 1855

   Well, Olive Oatman had blue vertical lines tattooed on her chin and here is the sticking point: Whipple and his men never mention seeing the Oatman girls. Were the two girls hidden from the visitors? It's possible. Or, were they hiding themselves because they didn't want to be found? The latter gains some credence when we take into consideration Olive's later account of exactly when Mary Ann died of starvation. She kept moving the date, trying to avoid the obvious question: if Mary Ann was ill in February of 1854 why didn't Olive reach out to the U.S. expedition? The inevitable conclusion, at least to me, is Mary Ann had already died, and Olive had been assimilated into the tribe, had children by a Mojave, and didn't want to be found.

   As for portraying Mary Ann as topless, here is a photograph of Mojave women from that time period and as you can see they are mostly without tops.

Topless Mojave women at Fort Mojave

   Several people have criticized me for showing her topless. The reasoning goes that the Mojaves perhaps respected her Christian beliefs and allowed her and her sister to wear tops. This assumes they spent their time with the Mojaves as glorified exchange students. As ridiculous as I think this is, it is somewhat possible since when Mary Ann died in the Mojave camp where they lived, the Mojaves wanted to burn her body, as is their custom and belief, and Olive pleaded with her host family to allow her to be buried, which the chief, against his instincts, finally allowed.

   However, after Olive was released, her story was told in a best-selling book, "Captivity of The Oatman Girls" by Royal B. Stratten a charismatic Methodist minister and author. Even as puritanical as the times were, and as buttoned-up as Stratten was, the illustrations in the book show both girls topless and wearing bark skin skirts in the style of the Mojaves.

Mary Ann and Olive as illustrated in the 1856 book.

  Still, I realize that it is jarring to our modern sensibilities—and taste!—to show a 13-year-old captive topless, which is why I chose to tone down the nakedness and concentrate on her face. But, even in doing that I am caving to the very strong cultural current to CLEAN UP THIS STORY. This speaks to the enigmatic controversy of this story for the past 165 years. To give you an idea on how strong this current is, someone recently told me the esteemed historian Sharlot Hall privately believed Olive Oatman had children while she was a captive, but when it came time to write about Olive for publication, she left that part out. Wow! Now THAT is a strong current to try and swim against.

Mojave women au naturel

   By the way, the Mojave woman seated at left appears to be playing footsie with the woman seated at right.

"I think to depict Mary Ann, other than as she was, is a disservice to her, history and truth."
—Carole Glenn

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How Do You Dress For The Bishop Mule Days Parade?

May 30, 2017
   The legendary Larry Bitterman and his talented and vivacious partner Murial (she's French!) showcased their Lawrence Scott Cowboy Collection at the Bishop Mule Days last weekend and I wrangled me a brand new frock coat, vest and tie for my grand marshal ride. I strongly recommend these items for riding a mule in high style.

Murial, BBB and Larry Bitterman in the fitting room  

The suit in action

"I can see by your outfit you belong on an ass."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Wrong Way to Kingman Ends Up to Be The Right Way to Witness History

May 29, 2017
   Ken and I had a great time in Bishop at the annual Mule Days celebration, but on Sunday morning we decided to fold our tent and head for home. It's a ten-hour-run from Bishop, California to Cave Creek, Arizona and we got on the road by 6:30. Ken did the heavy lifting since he had to drive his gigantic Mo Ho RV rig the entire route.

Gassing up Ken Amorosano's big rig at the Shell truck stop in Bishop

   I was the navigator. Kathy likes to brag that I have a superior nose for directions. I also have a road motto: direction wins. When in doubt, go in the direction of your destination. 

   This logic went straight to hell yesterday. Here's what happened.

Crossing the Colorado River at Topock

  After a five-hour-run from Bishop to Needles, we crossed the border into Arizona at Topock, then got gas at a Love's Truck Stop at the intersection of I-40 and the Lake Havasu turnoff. My nose told me we needed to turn south and go in the direction of Parker and on to Wickenburg, but the GPS Google map app on my phone claimed if we went north to Kingman and around to Wickenburg it would be 26 minutes faster. The compass in my nose said, "This is ridiculous!" Why? Because it's the wrong direction! My damn phone is telling me to go in the wrong direction for 100 miles (50 miles north to Kingman, then 13 miles east, then 50 miles south to Wikiup where we will basically get back to even), and you're telling me, it is 26 minutes faster? That is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

   Ken overruled my route because he opted for the smoother route (I-40) for his RV, so we headed for my hometown, with my nose out-of-joint the entire way.

   I assume the shorter time has to do with the stop and go driving through the town of Lake Havasu and then the twisty, slow drive down through the Parker Dam river canyon, but it still seems very weird to me to go halfway across Mohave County in the wrong direction, to get to Wickenburg, and arrive a half hour earlier.

   The good news is, I got to see the country Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple explored in 1853-54 and match up the terrain with his report. For example:

January 27, 1854
   Leaving the east end of Mount Aquarius we travelled eight miles northwest, to the other extremity of the same range, crossing numerous spurs that formed rivulets tributary to Bill William's fork. . .fresh tracks of Indians and of horses were seen upon the borders of the creek.

January 28, 1854
   At 2 P.M. we reached the point where White Cliff creek emerged from the hills, and found ourselves entering a wide valley, bounded on the west by a range of mountains before seen from Aztex Pass, and named Blue Ridge. [I believe he is referring here to the Hualapai Mountains)
   The stream, turning southerly, appeared a short distance below to join a wide arroyo from the north, called Big Sandy.
   A short distance beyond Indians were seen upon the hills. Five were counted. They would not come to us, nor allow themselves to be approached.

January 29, 1854
   While at breakfast an Indian whoop was heard, and turning towards the hills, we saw two tawny figures looking down upon us. A couple Mexicans were sent out to parlay and bring them into camp. Our ambassadors bore a white towel pinned to a ramrod, as a flag of truce, but evidently placed less faith in this token than in the pistols which they endeavored to conceal beneath their coats. After a series of gesticulations and signs, one of the Indians took a firebrand from behind a bush where it had been concealed, and produced a little column of smoke as a signal of peace. Slowly and cautiously the Mexicans continued to approach, and were at length received by one of the savages with great dignity. The other seemed facetious. Without ceremony he converted the towel into a breech-cloth, and transferred the ambassador's hat to his own head. We saw from their continued vehement gestures that they were not likely to come to camp, so Leroux (a seasoned scout) and myself went to them. The Indians greeted us by placing their hands upon their breasts; and saying "Hanna." "Hanna" invited us to be seated by the fire which they had kindled. By signs they told how they had watched and followed us, fearing to approach camp lest we should kill them. They examined Leroux pretty closely, and then pointing towards the northeast, indicated that they had seen him before in that direction. The accused blushed, but stoutly denied the fact; at the same time pulling his hat over one side of his head to conceal a wound they had given him two years go.


End of diary entries. Here's the amazing back story to this diary entry. While guiding the Sitgreaves expedition in 1851, the scout Antoine Leroux ascended a ridge in the same neighborhood to get a look at the country ahead, when several Indians, probably Hualapais, jumped up and at point-blank-range sent a "flight of arrows" at him. Three of the arrows "took effect" in his body, one going through his wrist and another "striking him on the left side of the head behind the ear, after cutting a groove in the occipital and temporal bone, broke in numerous pieces," which the expedition doctor S.W. Woodhouse removed, but the good doctor had a harder time with the wrist wound, reporting, "the other entered the forearm near the wrist joint; the head was firmly imbedded in the radius." Leroux suffered for most of the remaining journey to the Colorado River and then down to Fort Yuma—which was abandoned before they got there!—so, consequently, they all had to walk to San Diego! And here he is, two years later, in the same country and he runs into the Indians who attacked him the last time. And they essentially say, "Hey, didn't we try to kill you a couple years ago back there over that ridge?"

   Like I always say, you can't make up anything crazier than real life. 

   So, on our long, wrong-way journey yesterday we drove right by this encounter as we traversed the Big Sandy down to the Santa Maria, which is where the Whipple expedition turned west to the Colorado River.

   And what happened next is even crazier.

"A historian is a prophet in reverse."
—Friedrich Von Schlegel

"I said, other people can write songs, let's see if I can. So the first 400 or 500 wound up on the floor somewhere. Then I wrote one called 'Melissa'."
—Gregg Allman

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jake The Snake & The Bishop Mule Days Parade

May 27, 2017
   Today was the big parade at the Bishop Mule Days where I was honored to be the grand marshal. I was thrilled.

The 2017 Bishop Mule Days Grand Marshal

Others were not so thrilled:

Mule Disdain

   The mule I was riding came from Lee and Jennifer Roeser and their McGee Creek Pack Station ranch. Fortunately, I had a great backup crew.

Jake The Snake and his handlers, Will and Larry

   Fortunately for me, Jake was bombproof. When I asked his handler, Larry, above, if there was anything I should watch out for, he said, "Just don't let him eat." This turned out to be good advice. Jake handled like a dream and the only resistance he gave me was when we rode over a few random potholes on Main Street and he wanted to arc his head down to see if there was a blade of grass for the taking.

BBB plow reining to keep Jake's head up.

Cruising Main Street With Jake The Snake

   The streets were packed and a later announcement said the crowd was over 35,000, which is pretty impressive in a town of 4,500 people.

   The parade ended at the fairgrounds where a large crowd cheered when I was presented a sweet belt buckle.

A giant of a man presents me with a custom Mule Days belt buckle in the arena.

Elvis and The Village People do "YMCA" much to my mule's disgust

"You've got to be kidding me?"

   It's interesting being around so many mules in one place. For one thing, we are staying on the fairgrounds in Ken's RV so this morning at about five, many of the mules started braying to be fed and it was a chorus of very diverse honks and hacks.

Mules Galore at the Bishop Fairgrounds

   All these mules have a calm sense about them. They seem sensitive and intelligent. I really like  and admire them. On the other hand:

"The horse is a noble animal who performs his service with grace. A mule will wait his whole life for the opportunity to kill a man"
—J.P.S. Brown

Friday, May 26, 2017

On The Road to Past Predictions

May 26, 2017
   On the road to Bishop, California for the Mule Days parade. My wild man partner, Ken Amorosano, decided to come along and insisted on bringing his RV and his car. Here we are yesterday morning at six, ready to hit the trail.

BBB, Ken Amorosano and The Mighty Moho (38 feet, plus the Lexus=50 feet)

   We were headed for Earp, California to film two segments for a documentary we are working on. First stop was along the Colorado River. According to local lore, Wyatt Earp liked to walk across the railroad trestle bridge in the background to eat rhubarb pie at a cafe in Parker, Arizona. Earp preferred the California side of the river because he still had a murder warrant out on him for the killing of Frank Stillwell in March of 1882.

The Colorado River from Earp, California, looking back at the railroad bridge to Parker, AZ.

   I told Ken I wanted to do a drone shot flying over Wyatt Earp's campsite and the crazy guy went out and got a drone pilot's license and bought one. It ain't easy and, in fact, we had to clear the flight over the river with the FAA because it's near the Parker airport.

Drone pilot Ken Amorosano with his Phantom 3 Drone

   This was taken out at the Wyatt Earp campsite near his Happy Day Mine. I visited here on October 14, 1995 and it was the most pristine Old West site I had ever visited. There were still nails in the tree where Wyatt and Josie set up camp and you would have sworn he just left.

   I remembered I had written down specific directions to the camp in my Franklin Daytimer where I kept copious notes. The site is up a wash about 6 miles west of the Earp post office and unless you know where to turn it is very hard to find.

   So, on Wednesday, I went upstairs in my studio morgue and pulled out the binder with 1995 on it Not only were the map directions there but I saw many other notes about my efforts to complete my revised Billy the Kid book which I was working on at the time. Here are a couple entries:

September 5, 1995
   Worked all morning yesterday on corrections for Billy II manuscript.

September 19, 1995
   Gave Tommy another drum lesson (we've set up the rum in the breezeway). Another generation of neighbors moans into the night.

September 20, 1995
   I've got hemorrhoids. I imagine it's because of stress from the Chris deal (Billy book).

October 2, 1995
   We need to make a decision on the length of Billy II. Currently, as we have laid it out, we are at 12 sections, or, 192 pages.

October 3, 1995
   The verdict is in for O.J. We'll find out today at 10 a.m.

October 11, 1995
   Tired. Stressed. I weighed last night—163—less than I weighed in high school.

October 17, 1995
   It's 6:57. I've been waking up with headaches and a slight fever every day.

October 23, 1995
   I don't know how much more discouraged I can get. I owe everybody. Pam Eckert  (the framer for my failed art show) called yesterday crying. She absolutely needs her money. I called Betty Radina and asked if I could borrow $2,300. She said yes. I sure owe her.

October 24, 1995
   I'm in a big hole. A fucking Grand Canyon hole. Crashed yesterday morning. I have no energy. I'm worried about my health. My stomach is in constant low grade pain. Ulcers or cancer..

   Turns out it was a hyper-active thyroid and it took a year-and-a-half to cure (or, at least go into remission). The second edition of Billy was finally published at 192 pages and here's what my son Tommy found out about it on Goodreads:

Father Goose,
   Your "66 Kid" book has a rating of 3.83/5. Not bad at all Father.

   Your Illustrated Life and Times books however are CRUSHING it in the ratings.

Doc Holiday- 4.11
Wyatt Earp- 4.21
Classic Gunfights- 4.29


Billy the Kid- 4.5!

That's a ridiculously high rating. I've read Graham Greene books that I loved and were rated around 3.6. Just saying.

End of Tommy's comments. One more Franklin Daytimer entry from the same time period:

December 22, 1995
"Stayed up reading Time and Newsweek until 10:30. Fascinating article on the Internet. It's coming real fast and I need to get on. I have a hunch I will do well on line."

   And yes, I spelled it as two words: on line.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Goose Is Loose: Mojave Woman With The Blue Arms

May 25, 2017
   Noodling more Olive Oatman images of her as a full-fledged Mojave woman. In addition to her chin tattoos, she also reportedly had a blue line coming down each arm. 

Daily Whip Out: 'The Mojave Woman With The Blue Arms"

   I was tempted to put "The Mojave Woman With The Blue Racing Stripes" but that seemed a bit of a reach.

The Goose Is Loose
   Since I spent time last week with Master Artist Weston Allen Borscheller, I have made a vow to be more loose and brave. Here are a couple Lucy Goosy examples:

Daily Whip Out: "Two Kids For Every Mojave Girl"

Daily Whip Out: "Topock Birth Canal"

Daily Whip Out: "Macho Mojave"

   I am reading Whipple's Report (1853) and he writes in his journal about meeting Mojave warriors with their faces blackened and a red stripe down the nose and middle of the face. He also mentions multiple red stripes. This must have scared more than a few anglo settlers back in the day.

Daily Whip Out: "Red Striped Macho Mojave"

"There ain't nothin' in the world like a big-eyed girl, make me act so funny, make me spend my money, make me feel real loose, like a long-necked goose, oh baby, that's what I like!"
Chantilly Lace (1958), The Big Bopper

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dirt Track In-din Steering Into The Skid

May 23, 2017
   I was talking to my son-in-law, Mike, about dirt track racing last weekend in Seattle, which he knows a thing or two about. Back in the day (1970s) I dabbled in TT Racing when Motocross was just coming to the states. I was a "novice" and never won anything although I did get a trophy from Eastside Cycle Park in Tucson in about 1969. Mike and I talked about the metal shoe they wear on their left foot to facilitate the wide turns in dirt track racing, where they get going sideways, bigtime.

   There's just something cool about those powerful machines trying to outrun the front wheel and those daredevil riders staying with it.

   Got home Sunday and Googled flat track racers and got some doozy reference. Went home for lunch today and did this study (sans shoe): 

Daily Whip Out: "An In-din On An Indian Steering Into the Skid."

      Oh, and one more thing: I want that In-din smiling and enjoying himself.

"He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go into a turn going sideways into the skid."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Evidence On The Man Who Killed The Man Who Killed Billy the Kid

May 22, 2017
   New evidence has surfaced on the man who killed the man who killed Billy the Kid.

   Historians have long wondered what happened to Wayne Brazel. He represents, in the Old West World, a position similar to Lee Harvey Oswald: part assassin-part patsy, with plenty of conspiracy theories filling the spaces in between.

   A new document has been found last November by Angelica Valenzuela, the records and filing supervisor with the county clerk's office in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, as part of a preservation effort in Las Cruces that involved records spanning the last half of the 1800s through the mid-1960s.
   Angelica found a report stating that "the deceased [Pat Garrett] came to his death by gunshot wounds inflicted by one Wayne Brazel."

Wayne Brazell, center, with two unidentified cowboy pards.

  Notice all three have one pant leg tucked in, and one out. I have always thought it was either a bet gone south, or an inside joke. Wayne also appears to have a freshly shaved head and the whole picture has a lark aspect to it, including his smirk.

   Some historians have said that the one witness to the shooting never testified and records show Brazel was acquitted after a one-day trial in which his attorney successfully argued self-defense.

   After his acquittal, Brazel spent time in Lordsburg, New Mexico and, later, Phoenix, Arizona, but then his trail disappears. Where did he go? When did he die? And, where is he buried?
   Back in February, I got an email from Scott Lane, who told me I could find out the answers to these questions if I wanted to meet a woman who is related to Wayne Brazel. 

   Turns out she had read one of my True West Moments which ran in the Arizona Republic and the email said if I wanted to know what happened to the alleged killer of Pat Garrett I should come and meet her. The 82-year-old woman, Emalee (also styled as Emily on some of her documents) Brazell Price, and her two friends live on the west side of Phoenix and I live in Cave Creek, north of Phoenix, so we settled on a place in between, at The Texas Roadhouse in Metrocenter. I met them after I got off work on February 27 at 6:15 p.m.


My True West Moment (behind) and  Max Brazell (at right) in family photo
from the 1920s. By the way, the family styles it as Brazell (rhymes with razzle).

Max Brazell was the rancher who found the alleged alien spacecraft near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 that is known today as "The Roswell Incident." Both Max and Emalee are Brazells and, she says, they are both related to Wayne Brazell. Not sure where the Brazel spelling, with only one L comes from. Probably a misspelled court document.

Emalee Brazell Price with Heather Wells and Scott Lane at the Texas Roadhouse.

   Emalee says Wayne Brazell died in 1936 of typhoid. He is buried in Barton Cemetery (near Edgewood, New Mexico). She also related that Wayne was working on a Conservation type project (The CCC Boys, they were called) at the time of his passing. If true, this fills in a major gap in our knowledge of what happened to the man who allegedly killed the man who killed Billy the Kid. She also told me that Wayne spent time in Yuma prison and she thought it was related to the Garrett killing. This seems odd since he was acquitted in New Mexico and it is doubtful any charges would carry over to Arizona, but that is the family story.

   And, by the way, Garrett was shot in the back of the head while urinating beside his buggy, which prompted this quip from Garrett's biographer:

"It's the only time in history a man has been assassinated while urinating that the defendant claimed self-defense and got off!"

—Historian Leon Metz

Postscript: Okay, here is an update from historian Lauren Kormylo:

According to Find A Grave, there are 5 Brazell graves in that cemetery, but Wayne Brazel is not there

BTW, his wife is buried in Alamogordo.

Wayne is in the 1910 Census, and his name is spelled with one "L" there. In the census, it does say he could read and write. All of the news sources of the day also spell it with one "L", and the 1880 Census shows his parents' name with the same spelling.  

I'm doing my own ancestry, and you wouldn't believe how often names get changed from one generation to the next.

And one more thing, here's a blog post by family member Amy Brazell, who says her father and uncle swear that Wayne Brazel lived under an assumed name the rest of his life. The name - Charles O'Neal.
End of notes from Lauren. And, by the way, Lauren is a bonified True West Maniac:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Grandkid Takes Old Man to School

May 20, 2017
   Cocky little grandkid takes old man to school, Part I:

Weston's Daily Whip Out:"Puts Grandpa Ha ha's in the shade"

   Notice the cocky look on Weston's smug little mug as he holds up Grandpa Ha ha's sketchbook, revealing the old man's puny attempt to copy the master. FYI: the red tag at top right, of sketchbook, is a visitor's pass to the hospital room where his sister was holding court just after her birth last Thursday. Here's a close-up of the painting Grandpa was trying to emulate:

Weston's Daily Whip Out: "Shamrock"

The little brat—he's a month shy of four!—has major painting skills. Check out this tour de force:

Weston's Daily Whip Out: "Wolf Monster In Blue"

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to pant like a child."
—Pablo Picasso

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Comebacks On The Circle of Life

May 18, 2017
   Big day yesterday. Our grandson, Weston, got a new baby sister and her name is Frances. The streets of Seattle were wet with joy. Okay, they are always wet, but you get the idea.

Father Mike, Weston and his baby sis, Frances, at Overlake Medical Center, Seattle.

   So, grandma Goose and Grandpa Ha ha are babysitting the boy at his house while his parents hang out in the maternity ward for a day or two.

I just woke up Grandma and Grandpa! 

   Of course, it's my job—and duty—to joke around with him, and rough house and teach him bad words, like "Boogerhead", but guess who really makes the boy happy?

Look Grandpa Ha ha, I'm upside down!

   In our family, we put great value on the comeback, you know, the funny retort. Heaven help anyone who pauses in the middle of a sentence in our house, because there are six of us lobbing in bombshell non-sequiters to fill the void. Bottom line: we respect and admire the outrageous comeback. The ruder the better.

   So, in terms of the outrageous comeback, I think this is one of the best I have heard in a long, long time: The East Indian comedian Kumail Nanjiani gets his share of the usual boneheaded sniping on the streets of America, where the humor-challenged accuse him as being a "raghead" and a "terrorist." So when he started dating an American girl and she took him home for the first time, her father spit out this opening challenge: "So 9•11, what's your take on it?" Without missing a beat, he responded:

"It was tragic. We lost 19 of our best guys."
—Kumail Nanjiani

Monday, May 15, 2017

Revisiting The In-din On An Indian In In-din Country

May 15, 2017
   Spent the weekend revisiting a painting idea I want to do up right. Did a couple more roughs for an ambitious sweep of a scene. I was inspired by my back country cruise on the Buck & Doe Road (61 miles of dirt road) between the Diamond Bar and Peach Springs, Arizona, last month.

Daily Whip Out Studies: "An In-din On An Indian In In-din Country, Part I and II"

Daily Whip Out Studies: "An In-din On An Indian In In-din Country, Part III"

   I may do a couple different versions of this, including a side view of an In-din rippin' down a dirt road, kickin' up a rooster tail with a full war bonnet flappin' in the breeze.

   This morning, I read with some interest, Adam Gopnik's thoughtful piece in the latest issue of The New Yorker: "We Could All Have Been Canadians: Rethinking the American Revolution." The essence of the piece is that "America was essentially a Third World country that became the battlefield for two First World Powers." That would be England and France and from there Gopnik draws, ahem, on how the battle of ideas was advanced by my tribe: it is, he writes, "astonishing how often the political figures of the time, from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Revere, communicated in comic images." In other words, their cause—actually OUR cause—was advanced to a great extent through political cartoons! Wow! Those are my peeps.

   But the item I want to mention is that the Canadians have come to call their In-dins,"First Nations," which I rather like.

"The Canadian experience was not free of sin—as the indefensible treatment of the First Nations demonstrates—and was, as well, not free of the 'colonial cringe' that bedevils so many countries over attached to the motherland."
—Adam Gopnik