Thursday, December 31, 2020

Como Quieras: The Half-Wrap-Up to A Horrible & Hilarious Year

 December 31, 2020

   A horrendous and ridiculous year deserves some much needed context and hilarity at the very least, and at the very end. Here are selected highlights from my six sketchbooks of 2020. These are not in order, but, just like the year in question, it does get heavy AND hilarious in equal doses.

June 11, 2020

   My sketchbook notes, above, about Kathy being at the burn unit in San Diego. The start of a very surreal summer. Then there were the statues and the riots.

June 16, 2020

"There is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one."

—Rhett Butler

"No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong."

—Francois de la Rochefoucaud

"Learning is not compulsory and neither is survival."

—W. Edwards Deming


"One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a congress."

—John Adams

"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves."

—D. H. Lawrence

"The difference between stupidiy and genius is that genius has its limits."

—Albert Einstein

"The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest."

—Old Vaquero Saying

"The problem with government of the people, by the people, and for the people, is the people."

—Harry Caesar Nipple

"Irony is when someone writes 'your an idiot.'"

—Squibe Nish

"Everything is funny eventually."

—David Sedaris

• The present is starting to look a lot like the past.

• You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.

"Great art is clear thinking about mixed feelings."

—John Baldessari

"Don't bore people with the facts."

—David Mamet

"Silver like tearing sequins sliced through their blousy shirt-sleeves and turned their hats into colanders."

—Paulette Stiles, "News of The World," page 117

• Wife confident husband's band too shitty for groupies.

"We're all here to walk each other home."

—Anne Lamont, Ted Talk

• Most of my wives think I am a Mormon.

"A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have."

—Tim Ferriss

"Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide."

—D. W. Winnicott

"To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at."

—Claude Monet

"In the fight between you and the world, back the world."

—Frans Kafka

"Feel for the slightest try. Try for the lightest touch. Soften when you feel the sigh. Let him know he's done enough."

—Juni Fisher, "Ride With Your Heart Open"

• When you finally learn that a person's behavior has more to do with their internal struggle than it ever did with you. . .you learn grace.

"There is no truth, there is no history, there is only the way the story is told."

—Richard Avedon

"So much of writing is trying to avoid facing it."

—Robert Towne

• After I say "That's crazy" twice, please wrap up your story.

"Some people are so poor, all they have is money."

—Bob Marley

March 13, 2020

   First day of quarantine. Finally some good news: the Coronavirus has halted the release of new Cardi B music.

   After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my studio but lacking the time, this week I discovered that wasn't the reason.

"We may be done with the pandemic, but the pandemic is not done with us."

—Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Institute

• When I grow up, I want to be an artist.

   Well, son, you have to decide. You can't do both.

Daily Whip Out: "On Guard"

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

—Mary Shelley, 1818

    That's enough for today. The last half of 2020 tomorrow.

“I got a paper cut from writing my suicide’s a start.”

—Steven Wright

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Composites In The Bass Reeves In-din Nation

 December 30, 2020

   I tend to work and visualize in sequences. It's part of my long, failed training as a cartoonist.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Outs:
"Bass Reeves Sequence"

   He took a job very few wanted, or could hope to survive.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Outs:

"Bass Reeves Sequence #2"

Daily Scratchboard Whip Outs:

"Bad Guy Sequence #7"

   I say failed because I have never really done anything close to the sequences I see in my head. My lazy tendencies have sabatogued my abilitiy to realize the movie in my head. Still, hope springs eternal.

Early Victorian Attempt at Humor, c. 1840

"Example is the school of mankind."

—Edmund Burke

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Best Cover In 48 Years?

 December 29, 2020

   It's almost over—this damned year!—but here is one last gasp at grabbing the brass ring.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Bass Reeves Up Close And Personal"

  We've been scrambling to get a cover going for our February-March issue for a week or two now, on this guy.

Verified Bass Reeves photograph

  Someone on our staff asked, "Why wouldn't you just run a photo of Bass Reeves on the cover?" Well, it's what we call "The Banker Shot Problem." A formal, bust portrait sometimes works, but, it's ultimately just, nyeh. Looks like a boring banker. To be blunt, it just doesn't say Badass Lawman. So, I whipped up these roughs, to see if we could find a way forward.

Daily Whip Out:
"Bass Reeves Cover Rought #2"

Daily Whip Out:

"Bass Reeves Cover Rough #3"

   Then, as a wing-ding-long-shot, I told Dan about my idea to cut the Lone Ranger down the middle, with Clayton Moore on the left and Bass Reeves on the right. You know, like this:

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"The Lone Ranger Split"

   Dan warmed to this idea at first and did a split version, but he was unhappy with it, and, instead, came up with this:

Dan The Man's Lone Ranger Meets

Bass Reeves cover

   Dan Harshberger and I have been collaborating on covers since the first issue of the Razz Revue, in 1972. I have to say, in my humble opinion, this is the best one yet. Just the coolest.

"We're nothing but puppets dancing on history's strings, frog legs twitching when the current hits, pulled helplessly through time by forces we can neither name nor understand, and haven't we already been through enough this year?"

—Mathew Dessen, Slate

Monday, December 28, 2020

Bass Reeves Black AND Blue On A White Horse

 December 28, 2020

   Some things just have to be said.

Black AND Blue On A White Horse

   In this time of renewed racial contention it is somehow fitting—and timely–that one of the unsung heroes of the Wild West era was a Black man who wore a badge and rode for the law. Talk about a bridge to the present. I think it's high time we celebrated this amazing lawman who logged over 3,000 arrests in a three decade career and shot it out with, and won, against 14 to 20 bad guys (the record on exact kills is unclear).

   Bottom line: he makes Wyatt Earp look like a part time mall cop.

   And, yes, Bass rode a white horse.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Bass Reeves On His White Horse"

   Hold on to your hat because Ol' Bass is gonna be on the cover of the next issue of True West and wait until you see what Dan The Man Harshberger has come up with. I believe it's the best cover he has ever done, and that's saying a lot since the two of us have been collaborating on covers since 1972. It is a killer cover and I say that will all due irony.

   Sneak peek, soon.

"Every picture tells a story, don't it?"

—Rod Stewart

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Truth About Idols, Icons And Over Achievers

 December 27, 2020

   I had a curious dream last night that ended with these two maxims: All you need is love and let it be. I know it's a flippin' cliche but are there two more wonderful and powerful messages for our time? And both songs were penned by two disparate individuals who wrote some other great stuff together—and apart!

Dreamscape Sunrise In Cave Creek

"I am a great believer in dreams. I'm a great rememberer of dreams."

—Paul McCartney, admitting that both "Yesterday" and "Eleonor Rigby" came to him in separate dreams

Covid Contrails In The Sunset

   My neighbor Tom insists these contrail clouds from last night's sunset are from the jets delivering Covid vaccines across the country.

   Still noodling cover concepts for a certain legendary lawman.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Bass With Rifle"

   So far, everybody is doing him wrong. The way to make Bass Reeves connect with the wider audience he deserves is to go into the teeth of racism. So far, everyone has done it PC and it is just too flat and too safe. The truth is deeper, more complicated, just as he was. Make him human, show the controversy of the Indian Nations. 

"The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths. Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t 'succeed' because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them."
—Tim Ferriss

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Power of Emotion On Boxing Day

 December 26, 2020

   Here's something I've never said in my 74 years on the planet: "Happy Boxing Day!"

   For the longest time, this strange holiday wasn't even on my radar, but then, about ten years ago, I read about it in the context of Britian's weird celebrations, as opposed to, say, our totally logical holiday traditions like the Easter Bunny.

"Sunrise Over The Seven Sisters
On Boxing Day"

   Kathy and I agreed to not buy each other presents this year, but she did tell me she had a gift for me. 

Kathy's Christmas Gift to Me

   As recorded on my iPhone in front of a crackling fire, Kathy said this: "It's Christmas day in the weirdest year ever, and Bob and Kathy are going to tell a story together. Bob is going to start the story and then hand the phone to me and we will play ping pong until a storyline is made clear. Okay, you start."

   BBB: In the fall of 1888 we received an official letter by mail carrier at our Apache Grove ranch on the Gila River. The letter said that I should come to Morenci immediately and claim my share of my father's estate. This was shocking to me and my mother because we didn't know my father had passed. So I got my horse ready and my mother told me to be careful because there were bandits on the road.

   KR: My father, my father, just saying those words seems strange to me, a man I haven't seen since I was five, maybe six, and now I've been told that he is no more. He really never was and I wanted him to be. I had to do all the chores. I did too many chores because he wasn't there. It was just me and mom and Amy and I was the man of the family. No, I was just a kid and on some level I hated him for not being there to be the man of the family.

   BBB: My mother packed me a lunch and I took off on a scrawny buckskin named Charlie and we made it to the Smith Ranch the first night, without incident, and they asked me where I was going and I told them and they expressed concern for me because they knew my father's history. When I told them about the letter they asked me if I knew if the offer was legitimate, but I confessed I didn't know. The letter was written on an attorney's letterhead. There were no phones in those days between our ranch and Morenci. I knew I had to go and find out what had happened to my father. 

   KR: It made me slightly angry that these people knew more about my father than I did. My last memory of my father was the look on his face. It was a look of anger and remorse. He knew he shouldn't have done what he did, but he looked at us like we were the problem. It was our fault that he had to go away. He walked out on my sobbing mother. I decided right there I was not going to ever let him back into my life. And now I'm off to Morenci to find out about a man I cared nothing about. Why am I even doing this? Because my mother asked me to?

BBB: Late the next day I arrived in Morenci and went straight to the court house. They directed me to the attorney—Gilbert Gladhorn—who had a small office near by. I was immediately ushered into his overstuffed office. The lawyer told me the gravity of the situation, that my father was an outlaw and that he had robbed the Duncan stage of a mining payroll and had gotten away with a very large amount of money. As he was getting away he allegedly killed a passenger on the stage and ten days later he was captured and brought into Morenci for trial. The night before he was hanged, he confessed to the crime. And in his confession he told his lawyer he had stashed the treasure in a secret spot, but he wouldn't divulge the location. He did leave three clues in a letter he had written to me, but that they had intercepted.

KR: Isn't this just like my father. From the grave he was still messing with us. This was ridiculous. And do I even want to believe this? Do I even want to spend the time and energy to save the ranch. Knowing my father I suspected the whole thing was a ruse, and if there was actually a treasure it was most likely probably phony. The lawyer and the sheriff are interested in finding the treasure. They find the treasure and they take it from me. It was a moment of conflict for me, do I move forward and Liar that he was. What do I do?

My Father Was A Bad Man

BBB: The sheriff told me that the night before his hanging my dad dictated a confession but he wouldn't say where the buried loot was hidden. But then, they discovered the letter to me. Since then, the attorney and the sheriff had figured out the first two clues from the letter my father had tried to send to me, but they didn't have a clue about the third one. They told me he laughed and said that I would know the answer when I stood on the spot of the second location, whatever that meant. We left in the morning, the Sheriff and his deputy, Hunkydory Holmes. As we rode up into the Pelloncios, I had my doubts about what we would find. I wish I could say it had a happy ending, but I will say a few just desserts were served.

   Her gift to me is the power of emotion in storytelling and it is duly noted. Thanks Kathy Sue!

"I've got to tell the story before it's time to go."

—Hank Williams, Jr. "Are You Ready for The Country"


Friday, December 25, 2020

A Day of Joy And The Kid In The Diamond Star Halo

 December 25, 2020

   Woke up to the sound of gentle rain. No deadlines, no urgent editorial or illustration needs. That alone, is a delightful Christmas gift for this Kingman boy. And speaking of alone, we were a good family and stayed apart this year to be safe, so it's just me and the Radina Kid. 

   And speaking of the Kid.   

   On a day like today, I just felt like building a fire in the studio stove and scratching around.

Daily Reworked Scratchboard Whip Out:

"The Boy In The Diamond Star Halo"

Santa Claus In The Rearview Mirror

The Four Stages of Life

1. You believe in Santa Claus

2. You don't believe in Santa Claus

3. You are Santa Claus

4. You look like Santa Claus

"Blessed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!"

—Lydia M. Child

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Mysterious Collector C. Schepp

 December 24, 2020

   Here's a guy who deserves nothing but the best and also buys nothing but the best.

The Mysterious C. Schepp

   This private collector has been buying up BBB original artwork for a long time. In fact, he ownss over 100 pieces of BBB original artwork and he owns more True West cover art than anyone else (13) and he is meticulous and voracious in his collecting habits. All three pieces, above, ended up on True West magazine covers, and now they belong to him, and his extended family.

   I am currently planning on a big, ambitious BBB Billy the Kid Art Retrospective Show next summer in New Mexico. There will be over 100 pieces of original art in the show, and guess who I have to go to in order to round up most of the artwork? 

   Actually, this is a good problem, since most are on the walls of his spacious home. The mysterious Mr. Schepp also knows how much I love quotes and snappy dialogue so he provides me with good zingers, like this exchange from Geronimo: An American Legend.

Al Sieber (Robert Duvall): "I just think you're a real sad case. You don't love who you're fighting for, and you don't hate who you're fighting against."

Lt. Charles Gatewood (Jason Patric): "Perhaps I could learn to hate with the proper vigor from you, Al."

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Pete Knows Best & No Show Billys

 December 23, 2020

    The very first rock concert I ever attended was the Beatles at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in August of 1964. Looking back, the show was so primitive, the Fab Four used the house PA (public address system)! Not that they actually needed it, since it was White Noise City for a full thirty minutes. The screaming was so loud, it was hard to even discern what songs they were playing.

   Yes, there were no cooler cats than those four Liverpoolian Lads on that hot summer day, so long ago. Since I am a fan and a student of their career, I have often wondered what happened to the drummer who got left behind.

Pete Got It Best?

    Yes, after two years in the band, Pete Best got sacked from the Beatles and Ringo Starr took his place, just prior to their meteoric rise. He missed out on so much. Is he as sad as he appears in the above photo?

Pete Knows Best

   According to the archivist and records manager at Ports Toronto, Canada:

   "Don't need to feel for Pete, he's done and is doing just fine. Still drumming when the mood takes him, in demand for his experiences with the band for the two years he was with them. Author of a book considered a major point of reference for the Beatles' time in Hamburg and Liverpool 1960-62. Had a successful career in the civil service, got recognition (both his musical contribution and also in terms of substantial financial remuneration) from the Beatles in the Anthology album, has had numerous honours for his part in music history. Tours the world with his band, keeps the memories of the Beatles' early days fresh. And he's still healthy and happy, and a genuinely decent bloke on top of it. He's done all right. BTW the pic you have here—that's at The Grapes Pub on Mathew Street in Liverpool, across the street from The Cavern Club. Pete's sitting on the bench where he and the others were photographed having a pint c. 1961. The picture is on the wall behind him (at left). And it is damned difficult to get that seat if you go in!"

—Jeff Hubbell

  Well, how about them apples? Given what happened to both John and George, it's a bitter sweet irony about success, is it not?

   And, finally, we were supposed to have BtKIII books here last Monday, but with Covid-vaccine priorities, the shipping folks have pleaded delayed expectations and, as of today, no books, nada. I just got a call from Ken telling me they have lost the shipment. I feel like the Kid appears to look, here.

Daily Whip Out: "Billy's Lament"

   I have done that boy so many times, and in so many ways, I forgot to even put this one in the new book!

"They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well, they're not laughing now."

—Comedian's Lament

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Rise And Fall of Ratcliff Ridge

 December 21, 2020

   Here is a stark reminder of Ratcliff Ridge before the fire and after.

Ratcliff Ridge a year ago, December, 2019

      A fast moving fire roared through the creekbottom on May 30th of this year. And here is the same view today.

Ratcliff Ridge on December 19, 2020

   Full disclosure: Chris Ratcliff had almost all the dead trees removed, so it does look a little extra moonscape-ish, but look at all the mighty saguaros which have already fallen over. Some more will also perish as they slowly die.

   And here is the view looking north from four years ago:

Looking north to Fortification Rock

   And this is the same cholla, but looking southeast.

Dance of Devastation

   Sort of a Pompeii frozen in death dance of the cholla, yes?

   Anyway, I don't want to dwell on the awfulness, but this is a stark reminder of how everything on this planet has a short shelf life. Take a good look around and appreciate what you see. Because it is temporary, to say the least.

"Funny how blessings brighten as they take their flight."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Those Beautiful Radina Women Plus Joy From Around The World

 December 20, 2020

   Had a pretty sweet day yesterday, thanks to these beautiful women.

Betty Radina

Kathy Radina

Frances B and Deena C

   I had a specific request for my birthday and it was fulfilled.

  Yes, the chicken fried steak was fantastic and so is the babe who made it. We did a Zoom call at five to connect with the kids from around the world to talk about the new Calexico Christmas album and to open a bottle of wine to share. Deena concluded that the wine had a "fruit forward" tang to it and we all agreed so did the Calexico tunes.

   That's Deena Bean in Issaquah, Washington, The Gooses in Cave Creek and Fenton, Tommy, Amy and Harper in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Everybody on this crazy Zoom call gives me joy.

   What else gives me joy? Zany birthday greetings from my closest friends, incuding these zingers:

"May you live to be so old that your driving terrifies people."

—Rasmus Lagerqvist Holmberg, one of my Swedish Cowboy Cousins

"Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy and go to the counter and ask where the fitting room is."

—Tom Augherton

"In the memo field of all your checks, write, "For Marijuana."

—Lynn Dodd Augherton

"Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me."

—Hoyt Axton

Friday, December 18, 2020

High Praise for An Old Mucous Alum

December 18, 2020

   Sometimes I am asked to fib about kids I went to school with. This is one of those times.

High Praise for An Old Alum

  I went to Mohave County Union High School with Kingman area Supervisor Gary Watson back in the day. Of course Kingman was so much smaller then. We used to drag race out on Stockton Hill Road and the high school was so small, drivers ed and sex ed were taught in the same car. I have it on good authority Gary spent so much time in the fourth grade they gave him tenure. He may not recall his favorite song, but I remember him doing the Twist, the Pony and the Watusi at the old downtown Elks Hall. Unfortunately, the band wasn't playing at the time. 

Gary Watson, Class of '67

   Gary and I both grew up with the Code of the West where everyone helped their neighbors and sought to make our hometown a better place. I agree with Studs, below.

   Gary is retiring after 12 years in office and I can attest to the fact that he has done his duty with determination and commitment and we are all proud of him. Except for that Watusi deal. That was so bad.

"Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say 'This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better.'"
—Studs Terkel

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Pros And Cons of U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Being The Lone Ranger

 December 17, 2020

   In the next issue of True West magazine, we're featuring a lively debate about whether U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves was the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. Compelling points on both sides. So how do we illustrate that idea for the magazine?

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"The Lone Ranger Split In Black And White"

   In the January issue of True West I struck a hopeful chord for the new year. If you are a subscriber you should be receiving this issue very soon.

   By the way, I donated the above painting, "Red State, Blue State Cowboy" to the Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.

"I love being in my sixties. It's my favorite decade of human life so far. When you're in your sixties, and someone asks you to do something, you just say, 'No.' No reason. No excuse. No explanation. I can't wait for my seventies. I don't think I'll even answer."

—Jerry Seinfeld, "This This Something?"

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Black Man In A White Hat: Bass Is Coming

 December 16, 2020

   Time to be bold. It's not what you know, but what you do with it. Looking for negative space for a very positive man.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out Final:

"Bass Relief"

   Here's another angle.

"Black Man In A White Hat"

   And another, in progress.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Bass From The Side"

   He spoke three languages and he was a master of disguises. In a three decade career as a U.S. Marshal working out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, he notched over 3,000 arrests and 14 kills. He makes Wyatt Earp look like a part time mall cop.

"He could shoot the left hind leg off of a contented fly sitting on a mule's ear at a hundred yards and never ruffle a hair."

—A Typical Legendary Tale of The Shooting Prowess of Bass Reeves

Monday, December 14, 2020

Deathbed Confession: Oh, The Lies I Will Tell

 December 14, 2020

   Working on a pretty amazing lawmen who is finally starting to get his due.

Daily Whip Out: "Badass Bass"

   I read John le Clarre's obit this morning with some interest. The spy novel-author-extraordinaire had a story, or two, to tell and he told them so well. But the invigorating element of his life, to me, is his brutal honesty.

"I'm horrified at the notion of autobiography because I'm already constructing lies I'm going to tell."

—John le Carre

   To his credit, he never did that autobiography and he also owned up to his pen name. His real name was David John Moore Cornwell, but according to the legend, his employers (British Intelligence) forbid him from using his real name and he came up with the sexy "John le Carre." Over the years he gave different explanations for how he came up with it, finally admitting he could not "remember, which, if any, were true."

   Oh, to be that honest with the world!

   I also read recently, that another Brit, Paul McCartney, is, by his own admission, "a rememberer of dreams." The cute Beatle confessed that both "Yesterday" and "Elenor Rigby" were spawned by dreams. With that in mind, I had a dream last night that I should write my deathbed confession and make it brutally honest. Then when I read the le Clarre obit I knew what I had to do.

My Pre-recorded Deathbed Confession

   Growing up,  my cousin, who was a girl, beat me over and over again in "Horse" and I never really got over it. I also never did graduate from college—six units shy of a degree in art—total failure, my parents spent all that money and it was shameful. Also, I hated "The Prom." Just a total piece of shit.

   Yes, I'll add to it as I think of more crap I've done or failed to do. Trust me, eventually, I'll have a full deathbed confession.

Cowboy Courtland Day of the Lazy B Ranch,
Duncan, Arizona

   According to Scott O'Connor, this is his mother's uncle, or, Sandra Day O'Connor's dad's brother.

   The other day I mentioned the Cliff House Restaurant in San Francisco and how I hoped it was surviving the pandemic. Well. . .

Cliff House Closes

   Thanks to Daryl Drake for the heads up.

"Accept your mediocrity."

—Jerry Seinfeld

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Stairway to Saguaro And Other Led Zep Riff-offs

 December 13, 2020

   Drove in to The Beast yesterday to pick up some homemade tamales at Edmundo Segundo's casita. Thanks Rose Mary! As we were leaving, saw this scene across the street and had to capture it.

Stairway to Saguaro

   Meanwhile, rounding up images for my next project. This is a keeper.

How Many More Times Taos Maiden?

    Here's a Whip Out that I abandoned last June because, well, it was just too close to home.

Daily Revised Whip Out:

"Fire Rider's Last Stand"

      Finished it off, then digging around, found this.

Daily Whip Out:

"The Apache Kid's Girl, Dazed And Profuse"

   There's more but you know, the song remains the same.

"Needless to say, the possibility of laudable people appearing, ready to purchase an unknown artist's massive painting to hang on the wall at their home, was pretty close to zero."

—Haruki Murakami, "Killing Commandatore"

Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Roadrunner Named Roadie Gets In My Grill

 December 12, 2020

Kathy and I went to Tonto Bar & Grill yesterday to support our local restaurants. We sat on the patio with masks on. This guy named “Roadie” sat next to us. Very obnoxious and pushy. What were we eating? Could he have some?

Roadie Wants Some

According to our waitress this little roadrunner is getting aggressive and gets in customer's grills. Roadie, indeed. I tell you, it’s for the birds, man.

Sky High Price for Even Lower Blows

My curator, Kristi Jacobs sent me this online price for a book I co-published with Jim Larkin at New Times back in 1986.

If you can't make out the price it's $768.57 plus shipping. If you still have one in good condition—hang on to it.

Where Did Ghost Riders In The Sky Originate

   As the story goes, a 9-year-old boy and an old cowpoke were oiling a windmill when a big storm roared in and little Stan Jones was afraid. The cowpoke, Capp Watts, told the boy, "Don't be afraid, it's only the clouds stampeding and the ghost riders will get them rounded up. . ."

    Daily Whip Out: "Ghost Riders In The Sky Inspiration (that I love)"

      The problem is ol' Stan told a different story every time he was asked where the inspiration came from. This is from a new book on "The Life of Stan Jones: The Singing Ranger—Ghost Riders In The Sky" by Michael K. Ward. Interesting cat. I recommend the book, published by Rio Nuevo. Sometimes ol' Capp is on a ridge and Stan rides up to him, another time, well, here's a good example:

"Well, the idea for 'Riders in the Sky' came from an old Indian Legend which was first told to me when I was about, oh, twelve years old."
—Stan Jones on the radio being interviewed by Lloyd Perryman of the Sons of the Pioneers in 1950