Monday, November 30, 2020

The Root And Meaning of True West Maniac

 November 30, 2020

   Still on the hunt for right mix of Red State-Blue State highlights.

Daily Whip Out:
"Red State, Blue State Cowboy #8"

   I have a hunch it's going to take another five before I can land this puppy.

   We just got another new True West Maniac today and here is what he said about it.

   "I have never understood the name for True West club members: the Maniac. I think what might have served better would be the True West Wranglers, or Gunslingers, maybe.
   "I've been telling you how with all the changes and challenges that have come to True West, 
the magazine stands strong. I say that True West has been running for over 60 years and is as robust and 'true' as ever. True West has become a respected source of western history. 
   "It occurs to me that I might back this bet on a long life to come for your magazine with substance, put my money where my mouth is so to speak. So count me in, I am now a True West Maniac.
—Rex Rideout

The Root Meaning of True West Maniac
     Here's the back story on how we came up with the Maniac handle. Back in 1991 when I was pursuing the publishing of my first Billy book, I called up the late, great publisher Jim Earle of College Station, Texas (publisher of The Early West books) and he advised me against doing color in my books with this admonition: "There are 5,000 maniacs out there who will buy anything that has to do with the history of the West." He went on to say he believed his customers, the "maniacs," wouldn't pay extra for color pages in old west books. He was wrong about that, BUT the name stuck and I am proud to be one. And now you are too, Rex!

A Tantalizing Aspect That Brought Another Maniac In to The True West Fold
   "When people would write in and say they knew or saw so and so, it captivated me.  It made True West even truer or at least produced evidence of it being true. It was kind of surreal. 
   "It would be interesting for the magazine to do a 'flashback' and look at some of those old letters.
   "Keep up the good work."
—John Volz, Lagrange, KY

Daddy's Home

   "There are two basic male domestic instincts. First, we see our daily return to the home as the event of great momentousness. We annouce at the door, 'Daddy's home!' As if family members will drop to their knees and weep at their good fortune. They do not. Because they know once our coat is off, that concludes our involvement with anyone or anything in the house. Which is the second mail domestic instinct: Avoidance. The only thing ever heard about Dad around the house is, 'Where. . .is. . .your. . .father?' I saw him at the wedding.'"

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Endpaper Musings In The Year of Going Nowhere

 November 29, 2020

   What do I have to say about a book I probably shouldn't have reprised in the first place? Just this: it's too late to back out now! What a crazy bastard I am, primping and prancing around like some grade school show off. That's what I feel like three days after Thanksgiving. 

   It's called buyer's remorse.

Daily Whip Out:
"Red State, Blue State Cowboy #7"

 Yes, I'm still noodling Red State-Blue State Cowboys, but back to my existential angst.

  And, so, now I have to make a decision as to whether I am going to personally bankroll a special edition hardbound version of "The Final Word." It's going to be massively expensive, like $5,000 for 200 books, or, $25 a book! (So, if you get one, be sure and marvel at how much I love you.)

   And, then, there's this: if I do pull the trigger on this egotistical printjob, then I have to write endpaper copy to fill up that space on the inside front cover flap and the inside back cover flap. Yes, you know, that cover paper that's added on to the hardbound edition. None of this is on the paperback. Such a pain. And since the hardbound version will not be on sale in traditional bookstores, I am free to write about whatever I feel like.

   Here are a few ideas.

• What a crazy bastard I am. Primping and prancing around like a grade school show off.

• This is a total pain, writing up this phony endpaper copy, but since this is not going to be sold in stores, here's a chance for me to tell you what I really think about the Kid and the imbeciles in New Mexico who refuse to give him his due. If I was the King of New Mexico I would make all those Santa Fe snotheads do community service until they got a little appreciation for Billy the Kid. I'm not saying they need to pick up highway litter, or, that they lose a digit on their writing hand, but something on that level.

• Where did I fall short in the book? The leadup to Tunstall's death is a mess and it's my own damn fault. It's complicated and I tried to get it all in, and, well, take my advice and skim past it.

• The strongest aspect of the book is the solid updates from over two decades of new research published in True West magazine since the last book was published in 1995. There has been plenty of shifting meaning and honest scholarship going on and it's almost all in the book. And that's part of the reason the Tunstall stuff is so truncated and unsatisfying. Something had to go, and, well, you know.

• One realization I had doing the book is that I have lived so much longer than the Kid (21 years vs. 73)—that's more than two extra lifetimes—and so I had all that extra time to figure out what's going on in this life and what it all means. Did he have a clue about any of this? Yes, I believe he did. Would he have traded places with me? We'll never know the answer to that, but I doubt it, and somehow that's the most enlightening part of the exercise, to me. He died as an example of what not to do, at least for me. Part of why I am even writing this endpaper crap is that I took his admontion: "Advise persons never to engage in killing." Thanks Billy! It's been a ton of fun, and I'm still here doing books on you! Sorry you missed out on all of that.

 • I traded up wherever possible on artwork. That means I took a new swing at as many weak images from the earlier editions as I could.  The best trade-up in my estimation is this snow sequence which was poached from a Graphic Cinema, on the Kid done in the magazine quite some time ago:

• In spite of my best efforts, some paintings didn't make it in to the third and final book and that includes this one:

"Regulators On The Run"

   Of course, I won't be able to run half of this proposed endpaper copy on the book cover endpapers, but at least you got to see the unbridled, uncensured version.

   And don't forget if you get one of these hardbounds in the mail, it's because I think the world of you. And, if you don't, well, I have a hunch you might agree with Jerry.

"I believe that all of the objects and possessions that we own really just exist at different stages of becoming garbage. To me, the world is comprised of garbage and pre-garbage. I hate the garbage and I love to throw it out. That is my personality type. I love to throw anything out. I wish there was a store where you could buy something, pivot, and just throw it down a chute into an incinerator. Complete the whole inevitable process right there."

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"

Saturday, November 28, 2020

An Ass On Wyatt Earp And Other Epic Narratives

 November 28, 2020

   Digging deep in the photo archives, found this old, faded photograph and it made me smile.

An Ass On Wyatt Earp
"Brave, Courageous And Bold"

   Photo taken on the outskirts of El Paso, Texas in the fall of 1995, by Paul Northrop, who drove me out to this arena-stables area and showed me his favorite mule, "Wyatt Earp." Paul then asked me if I wanted to take him for a spin. The ride was smooth as silk, but if you love mules you already knew that.

Where Did Left Wing, Right Wing Originate?

   The terms "left" and "right" first appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president's right and supporters of the revolution to his left.


   What if I told you the left wing and the right wing belonged to the same bird?

Daily Whip Out:

"Red State, Blue State Cowboy #6"

   If you can see some cracks, it is intended. If you see someone reaching across, that is intended. If it seems hopeful, perhaps I'm being a little unrealistic.

"America needs an epic narrative right now. Painters are working on it."

—Philip Kennicott, The Washington Post

Friday, November 27, 2020

A Good Day for A Steaming Bowl of Green Chile

 November 27, 2020

   Nippy out this morning (for Arizona). Low forties. Brrrrrr! Oh, what I would do for a bowl of homemade green chile.

Daily Whip Out: "In Search of The Green"

   Actually, a couple months ago I made a big, batch of Hatch, and we froze half of it, and, so, that was an easy call to defrost it this morning. Speaking of defrosted hot stuff:

   Annual meeting of the Hat Nazis, L to R: Rusty York, Thom Ross and Paul Andrew Hutton, the latter showing off his hot-off-the-press book, "The Apache Wars," which he had not seen until he came to my studio warming party on this very day: January 11, 2016.

   The moral: time flies when you are seriously hung up on correct hats in movies.

   Started a fire in the Big Bug Creek Stove and my studio is a toasty space. Still noodling ideas for Red State-Blue State Cowboy, which I want to make as the theme of my editorial in the January issue.

Daily Whip Out:
"Red State-Blue State Cowboy #5"

   Still not there. Needs more of a dichotomy to it. You know, like this.

History vs. Old News
"The worst news is definitely anything thought of as old news. History is fine, but if it's in the past and not yet history, don't ever talk about that. People go, 'Oh, my god, that was like a week ago, what's wrong with you?'"
—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanks Be to Reconciliation And Forgiveness

 November 26, 2020

   Thanksgiving. A time for reflection and reconciliation.

A sneak peek at our next issue. Making peace fifty years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Hopefully, we too are on the road to reconciliation and forgiveness. I am thankful for both and the people on opposing sides in history who eventually made peace.

Some were not so lucky.

Daily Whip Out:
"The Kid Negotiates With Lew Wallace
at Squire Wilson's Jacal"

   A pardon for the Kid would have gone a long way towards redemption, although it would have probably thwarted the legend. A small price to pay?

   My hope for 2021 is that these two guys can get it together.

Daily Whip Out:

"Red State-Blue State Cowboy"

"Peace Out, Bro"

—Blue State Cowboy

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Nut Job 2 Meets Seal Team Sixty Plus

 November 25, 2020

We were inspired by an interview with Melissa McCarthy where she and her husband do Zoom cocktail parties and watch movies together with their friends and they dress up like the movie they are watching. Kathy and I thought we'd do this tomorrow with our kids and grandkids. First up, a favorite of my grandson, Weston:

Grandpa Ha ha and Grandma Goose in
"Nut Job 2"

Grandpa Ha ha and Grandma Goose in
"Dr. Zhivago"

Grandpa Ha ha and Grandma Goose in
"Seal Team Sixty Plus"

Grandma Goose in "National Velvet"

Could be fun. Actually, it already is, as you can clearly see.

"I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her."
—Red Skelton

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Spanish Flirt And You Got Me!

 November 24, 2020

   Here I sit, still trading up and scratching away.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Spanish Flirt"

   Meanwhile, found this old scratchboard and gave it a couple more key scratches.

Daily Re-Scratched Board Whip Out:
"Ya Got Me!"

   Rebecca Edwards and I are working on a Christmas True West Moment for Mark Boardman and the Tombstone Epitaph. This old BBB image will work well with a concept I have in mind.

Daily Whip Out:
"Billy Crosses The White Divide"

   And this one.

Daily Whip Out: "Fence Jumper"

The Winning Formula for Losing

"In 2016, only 43 percent of Democrats believed that the election was free and fair; now only 30 percent of Republicans do. Each party's supporters are more likely to believe that the vote was free and fair if they won."

—Zeynep Tufekci

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Kid Had to Be Restrained

 November 23, 2020

   We're waiting for printer proofs on the BTKIII book and, unfortunately for my production team, every day they wait is another day I find something better to go in the book. I call it "trading up," but I have a feeling my staff calls it something approaching fed up.

Found an early scratchboard (circa 1995) looking for something else this morning. Thought it had some potential, so I re-tweaked it.

Daily Scratchboard Re-Whip Out:

"The Kid Throws Down"

Illustrates when the Kid had to be restrained from shooting Morton and Baker (the two were in the posse that shot and killed Tunstall) after they surrendered on the condition they not be harmed, on March 6, 1878.

Postscript: The Kid and the rest of the posse had their way with the two prisoners later, on the way to Lincoln. Both were shot and killed. Sent it off with a Section tweak to my production manager, Robert Ray. I'm sure this thrilled him beyond belief.

Still noodling the concept of a polarized nation and how that effects, or, better yet, how that is reflected in the West.

Daily Whip Out:

"Blue State-Red State Cowboy"

Not there yet, but I think there's a poster in there trying to get out. Perhaps he's trading up?

"I would not want to be cremated. It seems impolite. I feel the least I can do at my own funeral is show up. Everybody I know is going to be there. I want to be there too. Dead as a door nail. Laid out like a six-foot sub. At a regular funeral, there's still a chance the person could wake up. Not at a cremation. A cremation's like, 'That ashtray's full. This party is over.'"

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Blue State Challenge

 November 22, 2020

   Okay, let's get this straight right up front. Me and my friends love this magnificent, desolate place called The West. But it's not a blind love. We, who study history, know the dark side of the story, and we also know there is plenty of blame to go around. Flesh and blood people lived here before us, and, so far, I haven't found one angel, or saint (Sorry, Father Keno). Full disclosure, I realize and admit, that for too long, we have put halos on killers and given them skills and attributes they never possessed. You know, like Geronimo and Billy the Kid. But, that doesn't mean we need to banish them. We need to learn from them. For all of the descendants of these fierce and proud peoples, let's honor and celebrate the ones who still deserve to be honored (and there's more than a few), and for the rest, let's learn from their mistakes and let's find the capacity to find and appreciate the goodness in each other.

   To find common ground, to be honest and truthful about our history, warts and all. That is what I want for the West I live in. 

Daily Whip Out:
"Blue And Red State Cowboy"

The Blue State Challenge

   If you are proud to live in a blue state, name me one positive thing about a red state person. Come on, you can do it. Dust off your compassion and give it a go.

Red State Sympathy

"In order to understand what separates us as people, we have to understand what they're going through, their beliefs, their guiding principles. We have to understand. We have to have empathy."

—Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president, speaking on finding balance in the news! Wow! Breathtaking!

A Semi-Valid Disdain for Tea

"We need coffee. You ever hear anybody say, 'I need some tea'? No. Nobody needs it. Need coffee. Coffee's made from dirt. Grounds. You can feel the anger when it's inside the coffee machine. Bubbling and hissing in there, like a little volcano. You look inside, things are spitting out everywhere. You take one sip, and the coffee's just, 'That's it. I'm running this outfit now. I want constant talking. Endless peeing. Large intestine, I want all of that out of here right now. I said, 'Move it.' Move your bowels. Shut your mouth. Drop your pants. Things are going to be different from now on. You think I fought my way out of an African jungle, stowed away on the bottom of a rusted-out trawler in a burlap bag to sit in a recycled paper cup with a spoon up my ass? You know what the tattoo on my arm says? It says, 'Not tea.'"
—Jerry Seinfeld, from his new book "Is This Something?"

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries."
—Aldous Huxley

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Never Ending Advantages of Being Immature And Disorderly

 November 21, 2020

   Finding some gems in my files, by accident (if you've ever visited my messy studio, you know why).

History fades, some things remain the same.

Santa Fe's oldest building and
Arizona's oldest teenager,
March 28, 2016, 11:32 a.m.

I hesitate to say this—because I am a grandfather and I really should set a good example—but much of my success has been because I've refused to grow up. And, by extension, of being disorderly (the same thing is true of Santa Fe).

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
—A.A. Milne

Friday, November 20, 2020

Forty Love On The Arizona Frontier

 November 20, 2020

   Strange as it may seem, I still find old photos I have never seen and it defies the odds—and logic—because I have been looking at Old West images for a very long time.

   Yesterday, a major historian showed up at my studio with two boxes full of fantastic original photographs. Here's just one of them.

Fort Grant Parade Ground, 1888

   Yes, that is a lake at middle, right, and I think that might even be, could it be, a water fountain? Yes, according to Gay Mathis, it is Lake Constance, named for Anson Mills's daughter. It was Anson who built the concrete pond and had fountains installed that spouted water 100 feet in the air. And check out the foursome playing lawn tennis, at left. Here's a close up:

Forty Love On The Arizona Frontier

   Meanwhile, this same historian, John Langellier, and I, went in together, and bougtht this never-before-published photograph of Apache Scouts.

Alchesay And Crew, at Fort Apache

   That's Dandy, at left, and fourth from left, Alchesay, standing. And here's a close-up of them.

Dandy and Alchesay close-up

   The Langellier box of photos is full of so many gems, here is just one more for your edification.

Fort Bowie Officers On Porch

     We are going to do a major feature on these photographs in an upcoming issue of True West.      

   And, here is the man himself, holding court.

Dr. John Langellier, at right, holds forth

"I see by your attitude that you are a footnote nut."
—Old Historian Saying

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Straw Poll On Garrett for Sheriff of Lincoln County

 November 19, 2020

   It's Dan The Man's birthday today. He is, by his own admission, 60.13, his new way of tabulating his age (he's 73).

A Straw Poll

   A cowhand on the Block Ranch, George Curry, saw the lone rider come in on Monday evening, November 1, 1880. Curry noticed he spoke to the Hispanic ranch hands in fluent Spanish, and they all knew him. Over supper the stranger asked, "Do you know Garrett?"

   "No, I don't;" Curry answered. "But from all I hear, he is a splendid man."

   "Do you think he will be elected?"

   "I don't know," Curry replied, "but I'm sure he will carry this precinct. I have a gallon of whiskey on hand, and I think that will help carry it."

   After supper, as the stranger mounted his horse to ride away, he turned to Curry and said, "You are a good cook and a good fellow, but if you think Pat Garrett is going to carry this precinct for sheriff, you are a damned poor politician."

   As the rider headed up into the Capitan Mountains, Felipe Miranda, the sheep boss, told Curry he had been talking to William H. Bonney.

   It turned out the Kid was correct. Garrett did not carry the Las Tablas precinct, but he carried enough of the others to easily win the election for sheriff of Lincoln County.

Daily Whip Out: "Las Tablas Poll Workers"

"The viewer will forgive anything. . .except heads and hands."

—Norman Rockwell

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Billy the Kid Slept Here So Please Buy It And Keep It In The Family

 November 18, 2020

   One of my favorite places on the planet is owned by two of my favorite people on the planet.

Cleis and Jerry Jordan
in the kitchen of Casa de Patron

   I discovered this historic adobe on my first research trip to Lincoln, New Mexico back in 1991. Much to my surprise, the house that Billy the Kid was kept in as a prisoner, was still standing and had become a B&B, operated by Jerry and Cleis Jordan.

   Wow! I came back with my family and stayed at this historic residence every time I had research to do and this became an annual trek, sometimes a twice a year trek.

   Over the years we became close to the Jordans and had them to our house as well.

   And now this historic compound is for sale and it needs to go to a family, or, a person, who will preserve it and keep it as the priceless gem that it is.

   Here are the details on the sale. Check it out.

1160 Calle La Placita
Lincoln, New Mexico
The exclusive Casa de Patrón property and home is offered for
sale furnished and is decorated with many antiques in a southwestern style.
Many paintings and significant works of art are in the home.  They can be purchased separately and do not convey with the sale of the property.

Contact:  Linda Long, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Home Services, Ruidoso, NM
Office 575-257-4011, Toll free 800-530-4597, Cell 575-937-1098

"Advise persons to invest in Lincoln real estate."

—The 66 Kid

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Range Rider Poach

 November 17, 2020

   Since the age of ten, I have lusted for a Range Rider, fringed, leather, classic, pull-over shirt. As I found out the hard way, most curios outlets on old Route 66, that my father would stop at, carried a jacket version—usually made in Taiwan—with a zippered front, but NO, I wanted the Jock Mahoney version, and thanks to Mike Guli, I finally got one! 

A Kingman Kid's Dream Come True

   So, imagine my shock when a cowboy-surfer friend of mine, Mundo Con Queso, sent me this page from an online catalogue:

   The zane factor here is, I am pulling a pistol in the original shot, but they have airbrushed it out. I contacted Mike Guli, on the off chance that this is something he sanctioned, and here is what he had to say about it:

   "I never gave them photos of my work. I have seen several of my pieces on Ebay and Pinterest that claim to be theirs but usually are fakes coming from Pakistan. I was able to close one down on a site called Bonanza. We live in a world where thieves abound. If this were the old west we would deal with these thieves in a quick and permanent way. Thank you Bob, we miss seeing all of you. Hopefully we will have “Winter Range “ this year and we can get together. I am putting together an ad right now for Sherry to go into the next issue. Hope to have it out today."

—Mike Guli

   And here is a link to Mike's wonderful work:

   If you click on "Celebrity Clothing" you will see the photo of me they stole and notice that the pistol is intact. 

"Steal away. . .steal away, baby. . .steal away."
—Led Zeppelin, How Many More Times


Monday, November 16, 2020

One Fine Texas Ranger And The Passing of an El Paso Legend

 November 16, 2020

   Just when I think I have seen every cool photo taken in the Old West period, Link Borland posts this fine photograph:

Texas Ranger James Clyde Turner
of the legendary Frontier Battalion
circa 1877 

   Thanks to Chris Eveland, we now have his vitals:

   Hailing from Missouri, James Clyde Turner, was born on October 19, 1858. He was a Texas Ranger under Captain Lee Hall in the legendary Frontier Battalion (which is probably when this photo was taken, in 1877 or 1880). He also served as a constable in Lamar County, Texas, in 1900. He lived until 1956, so no doubt he saw all the TV oaters like "Gunsmoke," "Lawman" and "Bonanza," and I wonder what he said about them? He was 97 when he died and is buried in Red Hill Cemetery, Powderly, Lamar County, Texas.

Leon Metz at Blazer's Mill, 1991

   Just got word this morning that Leon Metz has passed at age 90. He was a rock solid historian with a flare for superb storytelling, and a formidable force in any arena. I'm honored to have known him and I believe he still owns one of the best and certainly the Zaniest quote in the Kid field, regarding Wayne Brazel being acquitted for shooting Pat Garrett while the latter was "seeing a man about a horse":

"The only time in history a man has been assassinated while urinating that the defendant claimed self-defense."

—Leon Metz

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Mulas, Paul Lynde And Lip Liner Madness

November 15, 2020

   Enough Kid stuff. Let's get serious about some mules again.

Daily Whip Out: "Mula Mula 2"

   Miss those long-eared mulas (Spanish for "mules"). You know what else I miss? Paul Lynde.

Hollywood Squares

Q: Why would you pound meat?

A: [Paul Lynde] Loneliness?

Lip Liner

   The things people do to make themselves attractive. Like the women that do the lip liner like it's a dead body at a crime scene. I would like to say to all women on behalf of the men of planet Earth, "We see your lips." You want to highlight with a little color, fine. You don't need to put a ground marker. We're not parachuting in.

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"


"It's called quarantine coffee. It's just like normal coffee but it has margarita in it. And, also, no coffee."

—Old Quarantine Saying

Friday, November 13, 2020

The History of Fixing Elections And Media Lying

 November 13, 2020

    In case you thought all this mania about fixing elections and "fake news" is new, take a good look at these two examples:

   Governor William Cosby was accused of fixing an election, among other things, by the New York Weekly Journal. Cosby enlisted a friendly judge to throw the owner of the newspaper in jail for libel. John Peter Zenger's lawyer convinced a jury that the truth is a defense agains libel charges, and got the case thrown out of court. The legal principal is still applied today in the U.S. These events occurred in 1735.

Little Miss Sure Shot vs.

William Randolph Hearst

   In 1904 a Hearst owned Chicago newspaper ran a story that Annie Oakley was in prison for "stealing the trousers of a Negro in order to get money with which to buy cocaine." Ms. Oakley successfully went around the country filing libel suits and testifying on her own behalf against newspapers that reprinted the false story. She won 54 out of the 55 cases.

   The source for both of the above news items is Lapham's Quarterly which dedicated an entire issue to "The History of Fake News." I must admit it is breathtaking and refreshing reading.

"Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult."

—George Eliot

Thursday, November 12, 2020

On The Road Again

 November 12, 2020

   We are on the road back home. Decided to go the back way, through Ramona, Julian, San Ignacio and other high desert towns, before dropping into this fancy, schmantzie berg.

Red Caddie Cutie in the Lobby of Hotel Paseo.
The girl is not bad, either.

   Of course we were social distancing all the way and truth be told, I didn't stop at any places I normally would, like museums, wineries, roadside cafes or even roadside attractions. But it was delightful to see all those ranch towns teeming with life amidst the pandemic.

Happy Dog Runs Amuck

   This is the view from our room. Dogs are so amazing. Look how happy that boy is.

   Heading home today. Book is done and so is my so-called vacation. Ha. I worked every day of it, but then that is my MO: work until there is no more time left, then stretch that and work some more, but then stop, ideally, just before the angry mutiny and the divorce papers. I'm not proud of this but it's the truth. 

"Work is only work if you'd rather be someplace else."

—Old Vaquero saying

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Last Minute Save On Kid Book

 November 11, 2020

   After I made such a big deal about finishing the book yesterday, we found two niggling mistakes in section six and I got up in the middle of the night to fix it, went back to bed and then got up again at six this morning to go at it again. 

A Quick Correction Save

   Of course, we are all working in Slack, many miles apart from each other. On one level it is amazing and fantastic and then on another it felt at times like we were all in a virtual airplane hanger and we were all blindfolded and could only communicate through yelling "Where are you now?" "I'm over here by the door." I thought you were by the cockpit?" "No, I'm at the tail rudder? That is not an airplane, that's a blimp!"

   In Slack there are comments like this: "Dan, I can't load Helvetica Compressed for some reason. Please convert Bob Boze Bell to outlines." Followed by, "I can't see what you are seeing. Please repost."

   This is the new challenge. Not being able to see and when we communicate audibly, or, in text, every missheard word exacerbates the problem. "Text" becomes "narrative" rather than the "sidebar" copy. Oh, boy, some major tweaking needs to happen on Slack calls, but I trust they will be made. In some ways it seems like we are in the silent movie era of film. Here's a screen capture of the front and back cover.

 Approved for press

   I will say this: There may be tracking issues on the timeline, but this is going to be a good looking book.

"An old thing becomes new if you detach it from what usually surrounds it."
—Robert Bresson, French film director

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Here's Looking at You, Kid!

November 10, 2020

   Today The Final Word on Billy the Kid goes to press. Lots and lots of last minute changes and corrections, but it appears this one is headed for the lead shed (the printer). 

   The long log is sawed. 

   The eagle has landed and the details have been handled. This is what my checklist looks like.

Daily Whip Out:
"The Checklist: It's Been Fun But We're Done"

   Meawhile, last minute input on this guy.

Dan Dedrick Saves A Piece of Tin

   Dan Dedrick, 31, was a close ally of the Kid. Dedrick always claimed he took part in the McSween fight and carried a .44 slug in his left elbow to prove it, but his name doesn't appear on the many accounts of the fight. Dan later owned Chisum's old ranch on the Bosque Grande, where the Kid and his outlaw cohorts often congregated. Dan's brothers, Sam and Mose, ran a livery stable in White Oaks where Billy often disposed of stolen livestock. Significantly, the Kid gave Dedrick one of the tintype photographs he had taken in Fort Sumner. 

"I think the worst thing in the Olympics is the Silver. You win the Gold you feel good. You win the Bronze you feel, 'At least I got something.' but the Silver is like 'Congratulations, you ALMOST won. Of all the losers, you were the best. You're the number one loser.'"

—Jerry Seinfeld, "Is This Anything?"