Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Little Cowgirl In The Big Hat And The Goonball Goobers Who Knew Her

 February 28, 2021

   Some said she was tiny, others claimed she was tall as a reed. Either way, she became known all up and down the Big Sandy as:

Daily Whip Out:

"The Little Cowgirl In The Big Hat."

   Most in the cow community were quite receptive to the young cowgirl.

Daily Whip Out: "Cross Bar Coffee Drinker"

"She's better than most of the hands I've ridden with, bar none."

   However, some of the rodeo crowd were downright spooked by the girl.

Daily Whip Out: "Bulldogger's Lament"

   Even one of the old timers had a confession about Dixxy.

Daily Whip Out: "Old Coot Comes Clean"

"I sortah had the hots for that little pistol."

The consensus among the Hualapais is that she was a fine hunting companion

"I seen her bag her tag on Buck & Doe Road"

Daily Whip Out: "Squibe Watanomie"

And, of course, some men never grow up.

Daily Whip Out: "Mister Super Judgemental"

"Itty bitty ta tas. Heh, heh. Flat as a pancake."

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

—Rod Stewart

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Dixxy Diamond, Gangway Goobers & Hackberry Hillbillies

 February 27 2021

   While you were sleeping a certain cowgirl was out tackling some of life's more perplexing issues.

Daily Whip Out:

"Lead, Follow Or Get Out of The Way!"

   What exactly does Ms. Diamond wear on her noggin'? I loath the oft-offered concept of the ubitquitous ball cap, but, other than that, Dixxy should certainly go against the grain of popular culture.

Daily Whip Outs:
"Studies for Dixxy's Headgear"

   And, by the way, what exactly is a "Gangway Goober"?

"The Only Facts That Matter to Me

Are the Ones I Agree With"

Daily Whip Out: "A Gangway Goober"

   Basically a Gangway Goober is a pendejo, only from Hackberry. But do not confuse them with a Hackberry Hillbilly. That's a whole different deal.

"It's too big. I'll get lost there!"

Daily Whip Out:

"A Hackberry Hillbilly Thinks

Peach Springs Is Too Large"

"I see by your outfit that you are an idiot."

—Old Hackberry Hillbilly Saying

Friday, February 26, 2021

In Praise of The Marshall and Great Big Woncerful

 February 26, 2021

   Had a fun time last night treating this guy to a belated birthday dinner at the Keg in Desert Ridge.

Great Big Wonderful with his birthday present: the original photo of him as Jack Williams, the one-eyed governor of Arizona, who Russ ran against in 1974. By the way, the server in the background was born in 1999.

   Had a nice streaky sunrise this morning.

Streaked sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge

   Got a sweet message this morning from this guy.

Our Marshall
 I was just thinking this morning, the past 20 years of writing for TW have been the most rewarding things in my life. Hardly a day passes without receiving at least one nice letter from a reader. I feel like I'm still a teacher. 
   All my life what I wanted to do the most is to make a difference.
   I've been blessed. 
—Marshall Trimble

   And so have we, compadre.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Long Time Coming

 February 25, 2021

   The last time I looked I am still six units shy of a degree in commerical art from the University of Arizona and I continue to make plans to go back down there to Tucson and get my degree.

   I have been saying this every year since 1970. Other long, gestating goals are as follows:

Book jacket copy on Doc book, 1995

   The key claim: "All three will be published in 1996." No wonder people call me The Joker. 

   The good news is that Geronimo finally got published in 2018, Wild Bill in 2017 and Wild Women is on my list of things to finally complete this year with the help of Jana Bommersbach. 

The Conundrum

   Every year I think I am going to find the time to go get that degree and every year, I do another book, instead.

"I want to stop procrastinating but I keep putting it off."

—Steven Wright

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Victorian Beauty And The Laws of Attraction, Modesty Not Included

 February 24, 2021

   Today is the second installment of my Facebook Live show. This one on Geronimo. You can check it out right here:

BBB On Facebook Live 

  Like most only children, I can be cocky and insufferable. Still, I really can't agree with this self-appraisal: "Modesty is my only flaw."

Daily Whip Out: "Miss Modesty"

Snootyness As A Turn-on

   But I am not alone being somewhat attracted to a whiff of unattainability. 

Daily Whip Out: "Not Even A Chance"

"The angle of the dangle is equal to the heat of the meat."

—Old Juvenile Saying

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What Is the Secret to A Horseback Cowgirl Rearing?

 February 23, 2021

   I've got this concept for the title page of Wild Women of The Wild West and I keep attacking it and attacking it, but something is missing. I also keep threatening to do a daily cliffhanger, but somehow both goals keep slipping away from me. I wonder why?

Daily Whip Out:

"Spitfire Cowgirl Hurrah's Hometown"

Daily Whip Out:

"A Spitfire Cowgirl Cuts Loose"

Daily Whip Out:

"Rootin 'Tootin' Cowgirl On The Rise"

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Woman Rearing"

   I've got great reference. Check it out:

Prairie Rose Rears Her Horse

   Okay, I see it now. Do you? It has been driving me crazy, but now I know what the missing link is in this scene. The answer tomorrow.

"Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."

—Calvin Coolidge

Monday, February 22, 2021

Outlaw In The Saddle Near Datil vs. Cowgirl Eccentric-Authentic

 February 22, 2021

This is for my New Mexican amigos who love to see obscure wide spots in the road referenced in my daily whip outs.

Daily Whip Out:

"Outlaw In The Saddle Near Datil"

  I occassionally stop in Datil (yes, it rhymes with saddle) on my way to Lincoln, but I usually try to push on to Socorro or San Antonio for the Owl Cafe and the green chile burger special.

Speaking of being on the road, I finally got to see "Nomadland," which is a new road movie from Chloe Zhao (the Chinese girl who did the suprisingly accurate and authentic, "The Rider"). "Nomadland" has lots of scenes in Yuma and Quartzite and the Badlands of South Dakota, which I loved. Wasn't crazy about the movie but any movie about being on the road, I'm gonna give a chance.

The Crazy Cowgirl From Crazytown

  Looking around for a new way to get into a cowgirl story. I've done the Sweetheart of the Rodeo Twenties version (also known as 20.0) and that would be the Prairie Rose look which became the Honkytonk Sue look which has been done to death, by me! So, yes, I'm looking for something a little more eccentric, but authentic.

You, know, like this:

A Crazy Cowgirl Who Wears Overalls?


Meanwhile, working up cover ideas for our next issue. Here's a scenario that might work:

Daily Whip Out: "Lawman On The Hunt"

Somewhere in here is a cover.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” 

—E.E. Cummings

Sunday, February 21, 2021

A Spitfire Cowgirl, Honest and True (thanks to Juni Fisher)

 February 21, 2021

   She is a spitfire cowgirl—honest and true—in a time and place where those things are in short supply. 

Daily Whip Out: "Dixxy Diamond"

   Little is known of her early life, although there is a rumor she was raised by hippies in the wilds of Nevada, then made the conversion to cowgirl working on a ranch owned by a bordello owner south of Elko.

    Did I mention she cuts her own hair? With roaching shears? She doesn't care what you or anybody thinks, especially her crazy family (don't ask).

   She drives a six-speed stick, Dodge three-quarter-ton with a stripped and shredded hand brake, which she operates with her knee from a dog eaten bench seat with errant hay blowing around the cab when the heater is on.

   The tales of this honest and true cowgirl is co-written—and half belongs—to a friend of mine who is someone who knows a thing or two about crazy cowgirls and horsin' around.

   I promise you, we are going to have some fun with this one.

"If you were the horse and I were to ride, I'd want you to know we're on the same side. For once would you try to hear what I hear, see the world through my eyes, not just through my ears, this horse has a voice do you know something's missing? I'd give you my all if you would just listen."
—Lyrics to "Listen (to the horse)" by Juni Fisher, the 2013 Western Music Association Song of the Year

Saturday, February 20, 2021

My Short But Memorable Political Campaign Career

 February 20, 2021

   Got some new paintings to look at on our BBB Art site:

Showcase Six

Daily Whip Out: "Pondering Pendejo"

   This one sold already and the new owner is on his way out to Cave Creek to pick it up even as you read this.

   Speaking of pendejos. . .

Looking Back On A Short But Sweet Political Campaign Career

The Zane Brothers
Wonderful Russ, BBB and Dan The Man, 1975

   This photo, above, was taken the year after we all swore off politics. In case you are new to these parts, we ran Wonderful Russ for governor of Arizona in 1974 and he only got 800 votes. Not sure why he didn't do better. Maybe it was photos like this one, mocking a certain one-eyed governor at the time.

Professional, state-of-the-art-touch-up
and photo cropping on a campaign photo

by Dan "The Man" Harshberger

   Like I said, Russ lost big and I was his campaign manager so it was hard to deflect blame, but I did. Looking back, maybe it was the campaign slogan:

Just got this rack position update from Jim Cross.

True West magazine rack position,
Albertsons, 19th Ave and Northern,
Phoenix, Arizona

   You should do the same.

   I have been in the magazine business now quite a bit longer than my political campaign management stint, and I have seen some big changes. On some level it's amazing we are still standing, but I attribute that to the following:

"It’s notable that what made magazines appealing in 1720 is the same thing that made them appealing in 1920 and in 2020: a blend of iconoclasm and authority, novelty and continuity, marketability and creativity, social engagement and personal voice."

—Nathan Heller, "What Are Magazines Good For?" in The New Yorker 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Arms Away!

 February 19, 2021

   Let's take a visual stroll through the theme of armed and dangerous individuals. It's not always dangerous, of course. Some times armed men can be funny.

Jingles & Wild Bill

"Wait for me, Wild Bill!"

And, of course, sometimes armed men can be muy macho.

Mexican Revolutionary Muchachos

   And, sometimes being armed is about all some desert rascal is wearing.

   And sometimes it's played for camp.

The Cisco Kid

   And sometimes it was meant to be hard, but, well, nice hat. . .

   A Bad Boy With A Big Crown

And sometimes it's just ridiculous. . .

Wyatt Earp (Hugh O'Brian)
and his Buntline Special

Let me say that pistols are not easy to render accurately. That's why this old poster is one of my favorites. Clean and solid. Not easy to do.

   With all this in mind, one particular gender is missing.

Daily Whip Out: "Two-Gun Mamacita"

   It's a study and a whip out and the pistols need work, but I nailed the look in her eyes. So, perhaps I'll find success on the second go round, but you know what they say about success. . .

"What is Success? It is a toy balloon among children armed with pins."
—Gene Fowler

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Washed Out Provenance of Old West Imagery

 February 18, 2021

   As many of my fellow Old West afficiandos can attest, there is something very compelling about old washed out photographs. It's like they are hiding something.

Daily Whip Out: "Developing Clues #1"

Daily Whip Out: "Developing Clues #2"

Daily Whip Out: "Developing Clues #3"

   Is that a weapon in her hands? Is she holding the document that would provide the missing provenance? Is she strangling a kitten?


"Old washed out photographs seem to hide all the answers to our burning questions."

—Old Photo Archivist Saying

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The More Things Change. . .

 Feburary 17, 2021

   If you want to see the present clearly, study the past. Hang on, here we go.

The Carrot Killer

Unocito: A clear and present danger

N-Word Ruins Career

   A super popular Southern entertainer gets walloped for using the N-word and a backlash threatens to derail his career. The year is 1934 and the early 20th Century superstar is Will Rogers. The source is a new book on Native American stand-up comedy (Rogers claimed Cherokee blood), called "We Had A Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy," by Kliph Nesteroff. 

   Yes, that's his real name.  

Red Scare

   Native Americans protest against white actors playing In-dins in the 1911 film, "Curse of the Red Man." Same book, much, much earlier complaint than I was aware of.

Washington In The Crosshairs

"Today the city is in the aftermath of nightmare, and is still only half wakened from it. . .I had supposed that. . .Washington would be settling with relief into a more composed routine. I expected a contemplative, if shaken community: I found instead a nest of zealots. There was a venom still in the air, something more poisonous I thought than mere political reaction."

—Jan Morris, 1974, describing the aftermath of Watergate and Nixon's resignation

The Democratic Process

   "Access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life."

—Joan Didion, 1988, describing how politics came to be programmed for elites, by elites, in a bubble disconnected from others, like me, you, and everyone else who is not an elite.

When In Rome

   "He was a child of privilege turned demagogue, a man who blurred the boundaries of politics and spectacle and seemed to think himself a divinity beyond mortal rules. His tumultuous tenure lasted longer than anyone expected. Then along came a pestilence that seemed a sordid reflection of the ruler’s arrogance and ineptitude. The disease revealed and amplified social tensions that had festered under the surface and brought back whispers of civil war. The people could stand no more, and even the fainthearted Senate at last showed hopeful signs of courage.

   "With the scoundrel gone, power was entrusted to a senior senator whose respect for decency had come to seem like the most reassuring virtue. The ship of state was now to be steered by a safe pair of hands.

   "I am talking, of course, about the Roman emperor Commodus and his successor Pertinax. Son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, Commodus ruled as sole emperor for 12 years (A.D. 180-192), his reign marred by perpetual scandal. The emperor had disturbingly little esteem for traditional decorum. To the delight of some and dismay of many, Commodus participated in the gladiatorial spectacles himself. We can only imagine what he would have done with Twitter."

—Dr. Kyle Harper, "Ancient Rome Has an Urgent Warning for Us" in The New York Times    

Blast From The Past

Daily Whip Out:

"Wary Billy; 'I see what yer sayin', some of this stuff sounds mighty familiar.'"

"The only thing new in this world, is the history you don't know."

—Harry S. Truman

   Plus, one more, because it's just too good:

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

—Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Straight Shooters, Ranch Women And the Artists Who Love Them

 February 16, 2021

   Women on the frontier fascinate me.

Sonoran Straight Shooter

The old time Arizona ranch woman. Elegant when she wanted to be, tough when she had to be.

Daily Whip Out:

"Nellie Mae of the Mule Shoe Ranch"

The Burden of Creative Choice

Paraphrasing Joan Didion: Every choice artists and writers make along the way—every word chosen or rejected, every brush stroke laid or not laid down—betrays one's character. And, in the end, every choice we make reveals everything about the person that we are.

Amen, sister.

Speaking of Artistic Sisters:

Daily Whip Out:

"Queen of The Ghost Ranch"

"She is simply hard, a straight shooter, a woman clean of received wisdom and open to what she sees."

—Joan Didion, summing up Georgia O'Keeffe and, by extension, herself

Monday, February 15, 2021

 February 15, 2021

   It was Valentine's Day yesterday so I toasted my honey and my state.

Note typical local cartoonist
with decent drawing but muddled message

   Speaking of local cartoonists, we had such good response to the last Facebook Live where I told the inside skinny on the making of the BtKIII that we are going to do another one next Wednesday. Here's the link.

BBB And The. History of Geronimo

   Here's a good look at what the Ocotillo Fire did and didn't do.

   On the right—completely burned and the left side of the road—untouched. That's Kathy Sue walking Unocito in the mid-distance. Brisk and beautiful out.

   More BtKIIIs are landing with the right people.

Whiskered Muleman Raymond Isenberg
gives BtKIII the eagle eye treatment

    Having fun with a new character.

Daily Whip Out:

"Mysterious Nevada Callgirl"

   Or, should that be "cowgirl"? Somehow, it just seems juicier the other way. Either way, both are dangerous.

"I see that you have made three spelling mistakes."

—Marquis de Fauras after reading his death sentence and before being hanged, 1790