Sunday, August 18, 2019

Burning Man In The Sky

August 18, 2019
   You can always spot yahoos in the city because their jaws are slack in wonderment, as they walk along the sidewalk, oblivious to the people around them. They are, in fact, looking up at the skyline of the jaw-dropping metropolis. Here's a few photos to prove it.

Okay, can you obnoxious billboards disappear?

San Fran Girls locked up? In that fortress?

Is that a Ferris Wheel tree, or, what?

Too clever by half.

Top of The Mark

The Majestic

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
—Samuel Clemens

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Missing Maynard's Mural On Mason

August 17, 2019
   Got out early this morning to discover the second surviving set of San Francisco murals by Maynard Dixon. Missed those and ended up at the Mark Hopkins Hotel for another look in the Don's Room and saw this Apache in the corner I missed the day before.

Maynard Apache In The Dons Room

   Unfortunately, the second mural is in a building that is closed and padlocked.

Missing Maynard's Mural on Mason

   This happens quite a bit. And several original Dixon murals have been lost either in transition or through demolition. 

   We took in a matinee of "Hamilton" at the Orpheum Theater and it was wonderful.

"How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten Spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?"
—Manuel Lin Miranda, "Hamilton"

Friday, August 16, 2019

Looking Up Maynard Panels

August 16, 2019
   Here I am in the lap of luxury on Nob Hill at my favorite coldest summer spot on the planet. I am here to see the sites and drink in the cool air. Oh, and celebrate 40 years with the same woman. And, by see the sites, I mostly mean art by this guy.

A mural panel in the Mark Hopkins Hotel

  According to Don Hagerty, this is a depiction of Queen Califia, a mythical Amazon type woman who the early Spanish explorers thought inhabited the Baja region with a group of women warriors. The Spanish applied her mythical name to the lands they just discovered, thus California. Maynard Dixon actually painted this and the other panels with the artist Frank Van Sloun  who also loved mythology and used it to great effect in this mural. 
I realize this is a bit of a "bus man's holiday". We just finished a monumental issue on the greatest artist the West has ever produced, so let's go on vacation and seek out artwork by same said artist.

A certain hotel on Sutter

   Leaving the hotel this morning on foot, I ended up here.

Alfonso Brown works security at the Mark Hopkins Hotel

  Alfonso has the key and he unlocked the doors to the "Room of The Dons," so I could take a gander at these spectacular panels done in 1926, according to Don Hagerty who is doing a feature for us on all the surviving Maynard Dixon murals:

   There is another Maynard mural I am going to try to go see tomorrow.

"Water is the most essential element of life, because without water, you can't make coffee."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Still Standing 20/66 True West Celebration Party With Free Wine, Beer & Bryan's BBQ

August 14, 2019
   In the fall of 1999 we paid way too much for a failing magazine we loved. We being, Bob McCubbin, Rick Baish and myself.

An early shot of the True West staff
(okay, that is a joke)

   I had Dan The Man Harshberger redesign the logo, we improved the paper, conned some friends into writing for us, and took a flying leap. I wish I could say it worked from the git go, but it didn't. Not by a long shot. 

   We lost $30,000 a month for a long, painful time. In addition, we made some big mistakes, some of them so attractive, we made them more than once. 

   Both of my original partners got tired of the losses and bailed.

   But here I am in the fall of 2019 and we–the new collective "we" which includes Carole Glenn, Ken Amorosano, Robert Ray, and others—are still standing. And now it's time for a little celebration.

   I know, we can't quite believe we're still here, either!

The Still Standing 20/66 Celebration Tour begins on October 26th (of course!) at the Cave Creek Desert Foothills Library, from one to four p.m. Bring your passion for all things Old West.

   I'm calling it the 20/66 celebration because we have been carrying the True West banner for 20 years, but the magazine is 66 years old this year.

Room is limited (the room only holds 120), so you need to tell me, the gatekeeper, you're coming, or you're not going to get in.

   "History knocks at a thousand gates at every moment, and the gatekeeper is chance. We shout into the mist for this one or that one to be opened for us, but through every gate are a thousand more. We need wit and courage to make our way while our way is making us." 

—Alexander Herzen

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Geronimo In Living Color

August 13, 2019
   Still trying to infuse some extra color into a portrait of the G-Man, instead of the same ol' same ol'.

Daily Whip Out:
"Geronimo In Living Color"

   On another front, I think I finally captured the visage of the G-Man as George Washington.

Daily Whip Out:
"George Washington Geronimo, III"

   He's a little murky, but that is also part of the effect. Of course, this is a knock-off parody of the famous, unfinished Gilbert Stuart portrait of the Father of our country.

   When I was in grade school this portrait loomed over the main hallway at Palo Christi Grade School in Kingman, Arizona. I thought it was odd at the time ("Why didn't he finish it?") but, then, I was only nine. Now I love it for that very reason and for the fact that the nation was unfinished, so there you go.

"Water is the most essential element of life, because without water, you can't make coffee."
—A Tired Woman I Know Pretty Well

Monday, August 12, 2019

Geronimo White Line Fever & Daklugie Gets The Cross Hatch Duty

August 12, 2019
   Spent the weekend trying different angles into Goyathlay. I want something different for the book cover.

Daily Whip Out: "G-Man By Design"

Daily Whip Out:
"Geronimo White Line Fever

   I even did a quick take on Cochise.

Daily Whip Out: "Cochise At The Pass"

   So, then I went crazy with the cross hatch.

Daily Whip Out:
"Daklugie Does His Duty"

"The fact that there's a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers."
—Old Rock Star Saying

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Geronimo Cuts Down The Cherry Tree, Among Other Things

August 10, 2019
   Woke up with a ton of ideas. Here's just one. What if Geronimo was portrayed like George Washington? What would that look like?

Daily Whip Out:
"Geronimo Cuts Down The Cherry Tree, Kills Everyone In The House With The Hatchet He Used to Cut Down The Cherry Tree, AND, He Doesn't Lie About Any of It."

   Got some serious work to do on the book and the next cover story in True West magazine. I intend to do it.

Daily Whip Out: "Geronimo Sketch #13"

    Jamming and ramming on a variety of portrait ideas for the cover of the book. Not there yet, but I'll get there.

Daily Whip Out: "Geronimo Sketch #14"

   Meanwhile, got this from Dr. John:

Frontier Posers

   We think of our frontier play acting as something modern, but look at this. Very, very early, and there they are playing at frontier fighting. Actually pretty amazing composition and action capture.

"Every action has a reaction."
–Old Frontier Play Acting Saying

Friday, August 09, 2019

Thanks to Eve Ball We Know Geronimo's Last Words

August 9, 2019
   I've received some interesting updates on the Geronimo Camp Meeting photograph.

   "If you do a little image enhancement a la contrast and sharpness, you can see a big white tent in the background behind the man standing in the photo which I suspect is where the actual 'tent meetings' were held. The Apaches were fond of personal outdoor arbors (see the photo of Geronimo’s house) in addition to their wickiups and tipis. This photo might be their meeting tent equivalent."
—Michael Farmer

Geronimo's house with brush arbor

   Photo provided by Michael Farmer! Thank you, sir.

   In addition to these updates, I got this note from another noted Fort Sill historian:

"I have not seen this image before but it is the right time and the right church group for the conversion of Geronimo.  I do not recognize Geronimo in the photo however.  The Dutch Reformed Church, aka Reformed Church of America, built their mission in what was called the 'Punch Bowl' near the center of Fort Sill in the heart of the 12 Apache POW villages.  While there were several tribes represented among their members, it catered heavily to the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apache who were POWs on Fort Sill at the time.   
"The individual (2d from right) with back to the camera may be Frank Wright who was a Choctaw minister for this church and often came to Fort Sill.  His father, Allan Wright, also a Choctaw minister, is often credited with providing the name for the Territory and the State of 'Oklahoma'." 

—Towana Spivey

Fort Sill Historian Towana Spivey

   Meanwhile, on a related note, another Apache historian is my good friend Lynda Sanchez, who filled in some of the blank spots for me on when exactly, her mentor, Eve Ball, got the confidence of Ace Daklugie and the other Apaches who were at Fort Sill, but in 1913, moved to the Mescalero Reservation near Ruidoso.

   The significance to all of this is that the broad outlines of what happened when Geronimo died were known, but when Eve Ball finally got the confidence of Ace Daklugie, who was with Goyathlay when he passed, it was Eve who was able to get the full story of Geronimo's last words. It's important and I want to provide that context in the book.

   This photo was taken at a book signing for Eve Ball's book, "Indeh, An Apache Odyssey," 1980, in Ruidoso, New Mexico.  Eve was 90-years-old and finally getting the recognition that she had worked so hard to achieve.  Co-author Lynda Sánchez is at right.  Lynda was just beginning her writing and research career at this time.

   And here is Lynda's memory of how they met and worked together:

   “Such an honor and learning experience is not often granted to people in life, yet from 1973 until her death in 1984 I was given that privilege. Perhaps fate guided me to Eve Ball during a Lincoln County Historical Society meeting where she was the guest speaker.  We hit it off immediately and when she learned that I was intrigued by Apache history she invited me to her home and subsequently to be her assistant.  As a result I met many of the relatives of the old warrior families and learned much from them and from the grand lady who had devoted her later life to obtaining as much of their history as possible from the Apache point of view.  That was rare, but Eve was gutsy, fun, and she kept her word. She made no value judgments!   Many of the women  grew to be her friends. Ramona (Chihuahua) Daklugie, wife of Ace Daklugie, nephew of Geronimo, was one of her trusted friends and sources yet it took four years for Daklugie to decide she was worthy.   Once they met he came to her home with documents, photos and his heartrending stories of life both as an Apache warrior and as a young man trying to walk between two worlds.”
—Lynda Sanchez

Ramona Chihuahua Daklugie, daughter of Chief Chihuahua, wife of the nephew of Geronimo, Asa (Ace) Daklugie, and friend to Eve Ball

   So, I asked Lynda how Ramona helped Eve Ball get the story.

   "Eve Ball and Ramona were friends.  When Ramona passed away, Daklugie remained aloof.  Eve knew that he was the key to getting others to speak and to open their hearts and doors to her. Finally she stopped by Daklugie’s granddaughter’s home and asked if she could visit with him to express her sympathy.  Evangeline always made excuses that her grandfather was ill, or not in yet one day Eve saw the old man’s booted legs behind the door.  Yet it took four more years before he made any effort to speak to the old white lady.  That was because he wanted to go to the Gallup ceremonials and Eve, his daughter and others were going.  He arrived at Eve’s adobe home packed and ready to go.  That was the beginning and continued for a good long while. Once the ice was broken he came to her house every Thursday to dictate and discuss the many observations and life experiences he had.  Once he began coming to visit (well chaperoned I might add) others followed.  Asa died in 1955.

So, tell me how Daklugie and the others made the transition from Fort Sill to Mescalero, New Mexico.

   "For many years a large contingency of Apaches wanted to return to Mescalero.  Daklugie and Eugene Chihuahua were the driving force to get the people returned to the Southwest.  After Geronimo’s death they pressed even harder.  The White Eyes could no longer use him as an excuse for not allowing these people, after 27 years, to return.  They returned to Mescalero, New Mexico, in the spring of 1913.  They loaded all their household goods, supplies, people and dogs on a train which arrived in Tularosa, New Mexico, in April.  The Mescaleros and others met them with wagons at the station and they began the long trek up the mountain to Mescalero and a new life.  It is really quite a dramatic story."
—Lynda Sanchez

   By the way, it is Lynda who has done so much important work on the last Apache holdouts in Mexico, who continued raiding until the 1930s.

Daily Whip Out: "Apache Twilight, II"

   This is my favorite part of history. I love it when people who have spent their lives studying and researching this amazing aspect of our history get together and share their knowledge. This is when we all win.

Daily Whip Out: "Apache Crown Dancer, II"

Geronimo's Final Request
"He moved. I bent over him and took his hand. His fingers closed on mine and he opened his eyes. 

   "'My nephew,' he said, 'promise me that you and Ramona will take my daughter Eva, into your home and care for her as you do your own children. Promise me that you will not let her marry. If you do, she will die. The women of our family have great difficulty, as Ishton [Daklugie's mother] had. Do not let this happened to Eva!"

   "He closed his eyes and again he slept, but restlessly. When he spoke again he said, 'I want you to promise.'"

  "Ramona and I will take your daughter and love her as our own, but how can I prevent her from marrying?'

   "She will obey you. She has been taught to obey. See that she does.'

   "He died with his fingers clutching my hand."
—Asa Daklugie, telling Eve Ball what Geronimo said to him on his deathbed

"The brave old warrior was dying, like a woman, in a hospital."
—Eugene Chihuahua, also interviewed by Eve Ball

Thursday, August 08, 2019

A Hole In The Clouds And A Hole In A Geronimo Photo

August 8, 2019
   So I'm driving home the other night, minding my own business, and I spot this big hole in the clouds with the sun shining through like a spotlight on a leaning saguaro. In the old days, by the time I pulled over and retrieved my camera (assuming I had it with me), it would have been gone, but not today with my trusty phone. Gotcha!

A Hole In The Clouds Where The Sun Shines Through

   Yesterday, my production manager, Robert Ray, finally found the missing photograph of the brush arbor where Geronimo was converted to Christianity at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1903. I need this for the book and I knew we had it somewhere. Leave it to Robert Ray to track it down in our massive True West archives.

   I sent it out for confirmation and got this interesting reply from historian and author Michael Farmer:

   "Thanks for sharing the photo, but I’d be slow to trust that it is what it says it is. The story Angie Debo tells (page 431 in the fourth printing) is that the revival meeting was in a tent, that Geronimo, who was in bad way from being thrown from Zi-yeh’s pony and whose back was so bad he was barely able to sit his horse, showed up the afternoon of the first revival day, a Sunday, and claimed he wanted a “better road”, that he listened to the services and the stories of his Christian friends about what Christianity meant to them for the week, and at the last service, which normally was on Sunday evening, he accepted the faith. Also note that elsewhere Debo says that in the tent was a stage where the song leaders, interpreters, and minister stood. I don’t see that here."
—Michael Farmer

   And, so it goes. Photos are often back-dated to fit the historical occasion, either by the person who took the photo, or, even an anonymous bystander who WANTS it be THE "Geronimo camp meeting." Either way, it's still a cool picture and I will run it in the book with the disclaimer from Mr. Farmer. That way, you can decide for yourself.

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The Many Faces of Geronimo

August 7, 2019
   In addition to meeting some great people at the Edgar Rice Burroughs convention in Willcox, I scored some very cool Geronimo images for my book. The head honcho at the event, Frank Puncer, brought an album put together by Dan Koskuba of Tumacacori, Arizona with some very cool Geronimo postcards in it, which he let me borrow to scan. My designer, Rebecca Edwards, and I used a particularly colorful one to make my next teaser postcard:

   Here are some of the other postcards I really like.

It doesn't say, but I believe this is
San Carlos on Ration Day

   And then on to some of my past and recent sketches for the book.

Daily Whip Out:
"He Sold The Buttons Off His Coat"

We need to abandon this idea that Indians must be a particular way or believe certain things. We’re messy. We’re complicated. We’re human.
—Paul Chaat Smith, Comanche author, American Indian essayist and Activist

Other notes from an interview with Mr. Smith:

When I asked him about his habit of making jokes, he said, “It’s a defense mechanism. I’m just as scared and lonely as everyone else.” 
—Paul Chaat Smith

"Some tribes created almost ecological utopias, with reasonable amounts of democracy; others practiced slavery both before and after contact with colonists. Sometimes we fought one another."
"A lot of this was done wisely, but Indians did stupid things, too. Driving hundreds of bison over cliffs to get ten of them, for example, might not have been the best hunting method. Not everything Indians did was genius; only some of it was."

"The irrefutable historical record is that what were called the Five Civilized Tribes were pro-slavery and had their own racial hierarchies. When, in 1830, those tribes were removed from the southeastern U.S. and forced to travel what’s called the Trail of Tears, they reestablished slavery in the new Indian territories, rebuilt their economies with slave labor, and eventually sided with the Confederacy. The Choctaw chief Greenwood LeFlore had fifteen thousand acres in Mississippi being worked by more than four hundred enslaved people."
"The hopeful story of red and black peoples rising up against their oppressors together — the story that I want to hear — didn’t happen."
"Humans are incredibly fucked up and wonderful and idiotic. To assume otherwise, to believe that Indians are inherently good, is to deny our humanity."
"Whites and Indians seem to be endlessly fascinated with one another — 'locked in an endless embrace of love and hate and narcissism' is how I’ve put it.

"I’ve done my share of yelling at white people. It gets boring after a while."

"Indians are complicated. A lot of them live in red states and have red-state values. They resent coastal people like you and me. You wouldn’t believe the Facebook posts from my Oklahoma cousins. They make Fox News look like MSNBC."
—Paul Chaat Smith

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

On The Road to Apacheland

August 6, 2019
   Here's a tweak of a re-tweak.

Daily Whip Out:
"George Washington Geronimo,
Father of Our In-din Nations"

And, speaking of Apaches. . .

A Salamander Thunderhead, Shot
Right Out The Window, On The Apache
San Carlos Res, Sunday at Noon

   Covered some territory on Saturday and Sunday. Picked up Jeff Mariotte in Gilbert on Saturday morning and we drove down to the Old Pueblo to pick up this guy:

Dr. John Langellier at his Tucson abode

   John took us to the new restaurant August Rhodes, which used to be Prep & Pastry. Great sandwich place.

   From Tucson, we drove east on I-10, past Mescal, Benson, Texas Canyon and The Thing! (can you take it?) and landed at the Holiday Inn on the northeast end of Willcox.

   Willcox was a wild town in the eighties. That would be the 1880s when Henry Clay Hooker ran a big ranch north of town and Warren Earp drove the stage, and Big Nose Kate lived down the road at Dos Cabezas (Two Heads).

Hooker's Boys

   Full disclosure: I don't think these cow-boys actually rode for the Hooker brand, but they damn sure look like the boys who did!

   Of course, today, Willcox is a little tamer. . .

Railroad Avenue on Sunday morning

. . .Some would say dead. 

   I was in town to speak at the annual Edgar Rice Burroughs convention. My topic was about how the Apaches may have inspired Burroughs to create Tarzan. Burroughs came to Willcox in May of 1896, as a soldier, and he was taken by coach to Fort Grant. He eventually went out on patrol, searching for the Apache Kid, with the 7th Cavalry, in the vicinity of Solomonville, Arizona. From there, Burroughs related, "We went into camp on the Gila River, not far from Duncan, Arizona. We camped in a grove of cottonwoods beneath a low cliff."

   In 1974 I was playing in a Country Western band in Tucson—Roy Brown & Country Gold—and we had a gig at a Moose Lodge on Wilmot Road when a drunk women kept demanding we play, "Riding Down The Canyon." We didn't know the tune but she would not be deterred and kept saying she was from an old Arizona ranching family and wanted to hear it. I finally leaned forward, out of curiosity, from my drum kit, and said, "Where was your ranching family from?" She told me her parent's ranch was near Duncan. I asked her if she had ever heard of the Guess family and, she looked at me like she had seen a ghost. When I mentioned my mother's name, Bobbie Guess, she blurted out, "I used to babysit your mom!" Turns out, she often babysat my mother and her four sisters at the York ranch, while my mom's parents went dancing at Apache Grove, a well-known watering hole in a grove of cottonwoods beneath a low cliff.

   There were, and are, other ridiculous connections to the story, but I think you get my drift.

   And speaking of the new technique I learned from Bill Ahrendt. . .
Daily Whip Out Tweaked:
"Clint Lit Up, Part II"

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."
—John Muir, the Father of the National Parks