Sunday, August 02, 2020

The Glib And The Profane: Billy the Kid Historians Invade Lincoln County

August 2, 2020
   Got some traction last night on a key scene in the Kid saga. The original title, "The Midnight Visitor" has given way to something that is a little more Hispano:

Final: "Mi Querida In Moonlight"

    If you want to see how I got here, take a gander at the workups:  

Workups for final

   I lost some of the sponteneity of the underpainting, but my hope is that the upside-down hearts atop the picket fence and the expression on the Kid's horse, which clearly says, "And he thinks I'M a horndog!" makes up for it, in terms of storytelling. It certainly captures the mood and theme of the book I am working on. I might go as far as to say it's the signature piece.

   As mentioned, I am getting set to publish my third book on the Kid and I want to bring some of the stories up to date, like the big Billy conference held in Ruidoso, in September of 1991. I seem to remember it was sponsored by some outfit out of Santa Fe called Recursos. Anyway, it was a big deal, cost me $150 and it was worth every penny because I met all the big dogs in the Kid World.

The Swiss Chalet in Ruidoso was the location
for a big Billy the Kid Symposium

   I did take this photo of the presenters out on the balcony of the Swiss Chalet where the conference was held. I can spot Robert Utley (fourth from right) and Jerry Weddle (to Utley's right) and then Fred Nolan (to Weddle's right) but I'm having trouble with the others.

Billy the Kid presenters at the Swiss Chalet Ruidoso, New Mexico, September, 1991

   I think that might be Richard Brown, far right, and, maybe Grant Romer, third from left. Herman B. Weisner is supposed to be in here as is Stephen Tatum and John Drayton. and apparently that must be Beth Hadas (fourth from left, a publisher?).

The esteemed Robert Utley, at left,
being interviewed by Dave Walker
at Casa de Patron, in Lincoln.

   Yes, that's my friend, and fellow drummer, Dave Walker, of the Phoenix New Times. I actually lobbied for the coverage of the Kid in our paper and editor Mike Lacey agreed and sent Dave over. The story ended up as the lead story on the front page of New Times. And here is a link to the article:

Billy Is Alive!

   Author Leon Metz was not present for the group photo but he led a field trip to Blazer's Mill and then to Las Cruces to see Pat Garrett's grave.

Leon Metz regales us at Blazer's Mill

   From my notes, here are my two favorite Leon quotes:

"What people choose to believe is a fact in itself."
—Leon Metz

"The only time in history a man has been assassinated while urinating that the defendant claimed self-defense."
—Leon Metz, describing Wayne Brazil's alleged shooting of Garrett

   When we got to Blazer's Mill we were pleasantly surprised to see and meet Art Blazer who was the son, or grandson, of the original Blazer, for which "The Gunfight at Blazer's Mill" is named for.

Art Blazer holds court with historians
Leon Metz and Fred Nolan (second from right).

"Nobody in the family could hit a damn thing with that rifle."
—Art Blazer, answering the question about what happened to the rifle Buckshot Roberts pulled off the wall in Blazer's office and used to put out Dick Brewer's eye at 150 yards.

   Perhaps the most profane quote of the entire weekend came from local Lincolnite, Joe Salazar, who informed us that:

"The mosquitos in Lincoln County are so big they can stand flat-footed and still make love to a turkey."

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