Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Honkytonk Sketches at The Hayloft Bar, Part I

 March 31, 2021

   Here for your consideration are the surviving sketches and notes from my long lost sketchbook about my Hayloft experiences in March and April of 1978.

Hayloft Whip Out:

"Hard Nosed Woman Relaxing at Bar,

March, 1978"

   I would say the vast majority of studies I did involved drinkers contemplating the cosmos.

Hayloft Whip Out: "The Beer Drinkers"

   Of course, I was interested in certain women who intrigued me.

Hayloft Whip Out: "Cat-eyed Woman"

   Probably the most historic sketches, to me, are these quick renderings of a trailer park couple who commandeered the eastside of the bar. The guy grabbed a chair with a back and mounted it on his bar stool so he could lean back, if he so wished. His date is wearing fringed moccasins and she had a pinched face and bleached white, wing-like highlights above her ears. She is the model for Honkytonk Sue's sidekick, Donna Jean.

Hayloft Whip Out: "Donna Jean Inspiration"

   I also wanted to try and capture the number one activity in the bar.

Hayloft Whip Out: "Hittin' On A Honey"

   In every honkytonk I've ever played in, there is always this angry couple at the bar. Whatever the country is going through, they hate it and long for the days of old and when citizens actually loved the country as much as they do.

Hayloft Whip Out:  "The Angry Couple"

   Of course, the Hayloft had a pool table and it was there I witnessed a scary and dramatic confrontation.

Hayloft Whip Out: "Cowboy Pool Shooter"

  One night, on the band break I came around the corner of the bar where the pool table was and I saw a black cowboy playing pool. It was a tad shocking because I had never seen a black person in the bar, ever. Not more than a minute later, a young, rangy, redneck cowboy came up to him and they exchanged words. I couldn't hear but I knew immediately the gist of it. There was a tense moment and then I witnessed four or five other cowboys hurrying to the scene, knocking over chairs and setting down their drinks, and my heart stopped. I thought to myself, I am going to see someone get killed. One of the freshly arrived cowboys stepped between the two and pointed at the redneck and told him to get out. Mister Range Rider puffed up, of course, and made barking noises, but he finally did leave. The cowboys gathered around their friend and they all laughed and went on with their night. Don't tell me that all redneck cowboys are racist.

Hayloft Whip Out: "Bar Stool Shadows"

Hayloft Whip Out: "Snobs And Slobs"

Hayloft Whip Out: "Straight Up"

   Then there was the night we decided to play some Led Zeppelin, but I'll save that for tomorrow.

"You look like one of them bee-boppers."

—A Hayloft regular, commenting on my sketching and my attire

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Larry McMurtry And Me at The Hayloft Bar

 March 30, 2021

   Back in my Honkytonk Days (and Nights!), I played drums in a Country Western band at the Hayloft Bar on Ruthrauff Road in Tucson. Wild place. During breaks I would sit at the bar and sketch the patrons. My experiences there led almost directly to my cartoon creation, Honkytonk Sue, which premiered in National Lampoon in the summer of 1977.

Honkytonk Sue, 1977

  When I moved back up to Phoenix in 1978, I started doing Honkytonk Sue as a comic strip in New Times Weekly and in 1979 I self-published the first of four comic books on the Queen of Country Swing.

Introducing Honkytonk Sue, 1979

   In 1983, Columbia Pictures bought the movie rights to my girl Sue and they hired Larry McMurtry to write a script for a proposed movie starring Goldie Hawn.

   Diana Ossana was living in a camper shell off of Fourth Avenue in Tucson when she went to an all-you-can eat catfish restaurant and met Larry McMurtry who just happened to be dining there as well. They soon moved in together and started collaborating on stories with Larry writing everything on a typewriter, and Diana converting it to a computer and editing, and rearranging.

   She told Texas Monthly, “When I first met Larry, he was involved with about five or six different women,” Ms. Ossana remembered, “He was quite the ladies’ man. I was always really puzzled. One day I said to him, ‘So all of these women are your girlfriends?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, do they know about one another?’ He said, ‘Nooo.’”

   In 2013 we presented Larry and Diana the first True Westerner Award. Here's how that looked.

March 9, 6:47 P.M.: Cottonwood Room, La Paloma Resort, Tucson. Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry receive the first True Westerner Award.

   Two days later, I got this report from the author Tom VanDyke who had attended the Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana author's presentation at the Tucson Festival of Books the day after our presentation.

   "Larry's opening remarks after thanking the Tucson Festival of Books for inviting him and Diana, was to go on for the next five minutes about how good it was to have the opportunity to meet his old friend Bob Boze Bell and how proud he was to receive the True West magazine 2013 True Westerner Award.  He went on to talk about meeting Bob when he was a cartoonist. He just kept going on about this and that, talking about the screenplays he wrote for a story Bob had written.  He was most animated and enthusiastic in his recollections and in receiving the award.  Thought you would like to know."
—Tom VanDyke

One Final Note

   After he accepted the award from me at La Paloma I had a chance to talk to him, so I asked him about the all-you-can-eat catfish place where he met Diana, and Larry said, "It's on Ruthrauff Road and it used to be the Hayloft Bar."

From my sketchbook:

"At The Hayloft Bar, April 1, 1978"

   Full circle. Horseman, pass by. Again.

"Beers raised up, tears raining down for the realist of the real ones. Arguably the greatest American novelist of the 20th Century."

—Andy Greenwald, in a tribute to Larry McMurtry

Monday, March 29, 2021

Doc Holliday's Chin Whiskers And Other Crow Considerations

 March 29, 2021

   We're still grappling with an old photo that has a new twist.

J.J. Webb and Doc Holliday?

(colorization by Chris Eveland)

   At first glance it appears that Doc has chin whiskers (perhaps a goatee or a so-called van Dyke), but some have pointed out that it's merely the shadow of his shirt collar. However, if you look closely, his collar line appears rather low on his neck, and the shadow coming off his chin is rather strong and above the edge of the collar. I'm not saying it isn't impossible that it's a shadow from his collar, but it doesn't quite match.

   Now for all you timeline nuts, here is the weird twists in this crazy story which we just covered in the next issue of True West magazine (which goes to press tomorrow). Doc Holliday opened a saloon in New Town Las Vegas (summer of 1879), near the train station (Old Town tried to price gouge the incoming railroad and the railroad basically said "screw you," and bypassed the town, to the east, and a "new" town started up out there called New Town and eventually as the two towns grew together, it became East Las Vegas). Which is where many of the so-called Dodge City gang ended up, including Holliday. Wyatt Earp and his brother James and their wives showed up, via wagons, in September of 1879 on their way to Prescott, A.T. where their brother Virgil and his wife had landed after a stint in the Verde Valley, near Camp Verde. After Doc shot and killed Mike Gordon (the Man With No Nose), on July 19, 1879 and was charged with a few other gambling and liquor infranctions, Doc and his girlfriend Kate decided to join the Earps and go on to Prescott. They all landed in The Mile High City and spent some quality time there, and Doc even had his picture taken.

Doc in Prescott, A.T. late 1879

  And then in November of 1879, the Earps decided to go to the new mining strike in Tombstone, but Doc, instead of joining the Earps, goes back to Las Vegas to settle up debts and do his court hearings. That's when the photo of J.J. Webb outside the Old Town Las Vegas Jail, was taken (March of 1880). So, extrapolating between the Prescott photo and the Las Vegas photo, do the two match? Certainly the double-breasted long coat seems to be a fit, but the possible chin whiskers and his visage, is a tougher call.

   Anyway, it's all fun to consider and we who study this all the time are stunned that this photo is just now getting the attention it deserves.

The Crow Knows

   I heard a caw to the south of our house. And when I went out to look, there he was perched on a dead saguaro, talking up a storm. I heard him loud and clear. "You are one lucky bird," he squawked. "And sometimes the hardest part of being lucky, is knowing you are lucky."

A Crow Who Has Something to Crow About

   I've been channeling my old studio mate for a new graphic novel I'm developing with Juni Fisher.

Daily Whip Out: "Dixxy On The Rim"

   Yes, I poached that color scheme from a good friend of mine. That would be this guy.

Edmundo Segundo in front of an Ed Mell

classic landscape

"The world went to hell when men stopped wearing hats."

—Dave Remo Williams.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Bonus Blog: More Doc Holliday Insights About the Las Vegas photo

 March 28, 2021

   Here is the person who I would trust on the alleged new photo of Doc Holliday:

Is That Doc Holliday to the right of the guy in shackles?

J.J. Webb in shackles and Doc Holliday?

"What we do know is that Doc was in Las Vegas at that time for his own court dates and to settle some business matters besides. We also know that Doc and Webb knew each other well.  They knew each other in Dodge.  They were together in the Royal Gorge affair as part of the Santa Fe Railroad's force.  During the encounter at Pueblo, Webb lost a tooth, but when the group reached Dodge, Joshusa was sporting a new gold tooth—not surprising since one of his companions was a dentist who had won awards in Texas for his gold work.  In fact, when Webb did finally escape, several men were arrested as Webb but released because they didn't have a gold tooth!   Some sources also say that Holliday's Saloon was one of his hangouts in Las Vegas.  It is safe to say that they knew each other well and were on friendly terms.  I find it consistent with Doc's character that he would have visited Webb.
   "Dodge City was interested in Webb's case, and Michael Sutton left for Las Vegas with a petition on Webb's behalf on March 11, returning on March 14 to advise Dodge Citians that the case had been appealed. 
   "In April Dave Rudabaugh and John Allen made their failed attempt to help Webb escape, although Webb appears to have attempted to help the jailor who was shot (and killed) by Allen rather than attempt to run. (I think he still hoped he would be pardoned or his sentence shortened at the time).
   "Looking at the photo itself, notice the rather stark difference between the rumpled clothing of most of the men in contrast to the dapper and well-fitted attire of the man we think could be Doc. This is something consistently commented on by observers of Doc through the years--his immaculate style.    "Doc was less than six-feet in height, how much depending on the observer.  In 1882 the Denver TIMES described as being "delicate, gentlemanly man, apparently not weighing more than one hundred and thirty pounds . . .  ."  The Pueblo CHIEFTAIN described him as "a man of slight weight, rather tall, smoothly shaven, and is always well dressed."  The Denver TRIBUNE called him a "thin, spare man," and the Denver REPUBLICAN wrote, "Holliday is a slender man, not more than five feet six inches tall and would weigh perhaps 150 pounds."  He was described later as a "mild-mannered little fellow."  At the time of his Leadville fracas with Billy Allen, he said that he weighed 122 pounds.
   "His spare figure and better fitted clothes may actually make him seem smaller.  Webb was definitely heavier, but he's not that much taller in the photo.  Remember that six-footers were less common then than now (it is one of the things that seemed to separate the Earps in newspaper descriptions.
   "I'm not a photo expert, but this is a place that he could well have been, and he stands out in this photo in precisely the same ways that 19th century reporters described him.  Are any other of the persons in the photo identified?
   "I don't have a definitive answer, but I wouldn't bet against it being him."
Gary Roberts

Is Doc Holliday In This Photograph?

 March 28, 2021

   Is Doc Holliday in this photo of the Las Vegas Old Town Jail?

Prisoner J.J. Webb and friends in jail courtyard, March of 1880

That is J.J. Webb in the center, with shackles on, and some believe his good friend John H. Holliday is to his immediate left. He seems a tad short to my eye, but, his suit coat is a dead ringer for the one he wears in his Prescott photo, taken a short time prior.

Doc in Prescott, A.T. 1879

   Billy the Kid also spent time in this same jail, when Sheriff-elect Pat Garrett came through on his way to Santa Fe to collect the reward on the Kid. This was in December of 1880. There has been some talk, online, about Bullshit Jack also being in the above photo. As you might recall if you read True West magazine, we published a long lost newspaper clipping, courtesy of James B. Mills, about the Kid and Bullshit Jack being in the Santa Fe Jail together.

   Here is our esteemed colleague and Doc Holliday author, Gary Roberts, weighing in on the above Las Vegas Jail photo:

   "I do not recall an article mentioning Doc and BS Jack visiting Webb or about the photograph. By any measure, it is an important photo. If this is indeed Doc, it is especially noteworthy.  I don't remember a newspaper reference to the photographer or to a gathering of friends.  On April 4, the GAZETTE reported that Jack Allen and Dave Rudabaugh called at the jail to see Webb. Their visit was a rather pitiful attempt to free Webb.  Once they were inside, they shot the jailor and threw the keys into Webb's cell, "telling him that there were the keys that they must go."  Even the paper was surprised at the inepititude:  "How did they imagine that he should get out and escape on foot without arms?"

   "This photo was taken within months after the well-verified Prescott photo of Doc that Craig Fouts acquired from the McKey family in Georgia.  The Prescott photo was made in the late fall of 1879, and this photo was likely made in March 1880.  In the photo with Webb, Doc is wearing a hat, and a topcoat which makes him look a little heavier."
—Gary Roberts 

"Doc Holliday is ten feet tall and weighs a ton."
Tucson Daily Star, June 11, 1882  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Stud On Stud Action And Other Stud Study Conclusions

 March 27, 2021

      Thanks to Juni Fisher, I'm into a mess of studs and stud behavior at the moment.

Daily Whip Out: "Stud Study #3"

   It all seems rather primitive. I mean, when you get past the six-pack-abs, the languid, come-hither eyes and the menacing, panther behavior, what's the big deal?

Daily Whip Out: "Stud On Stud"

   Of course, I've done studs before.

Daily Whip Out: "Stud On Rearing Stud"

   And, it's not like they aren't all over the landscape.

Daily Whip Out: "Stud In Longjohns"

   But what is it about a stud, that puts a woman's heart aflame? Is it, in fact, some chemical deal? Dixxy Diamond seems to think so.

Dixxy Don'ts:
"Estrogen is a dangerous drug.
And don't get me started on Testosterone.
It makes some women absolutely stupid." 

  But even with that warning label, a certain kind of stud always seems to be welcome, especially in polite circles.

"It's always nice to have a stud muffin at the table."

—Janet Evanovich, best selling author

The Original Stud Muffin, Tom Mix

   Sometimes, if you get far enough out of the city limits you might run across a whole gaggle of studs.

Studs Galore at Cowboy Chow Time

   Like most people in Arizona, I've known several studs over the years and by and large, they weren't much fun to be around. Why? Because it's kind of like hanging out with some rangy dog who is always humping the furniture. It gets tiring after a while, especially when they move on from the furniture to your date, or your wife. Or both. No, strike that. It's not "kind of like that," it's exactly like that.

"If a guy's a stud, then he's a stud when he comes home, provided he has enough time to get himself back in shape."

—Lance Reynolds

Friday, March 26, 2021

Larry McMurtry Has Passed And So Has The Storm

 March 26, 2021

   Still chilly and rainy out.

   There are several things going on in this picture. One is, the storm is lifting, two is it's garbage day and I got the bins out in time, and three the newspapers came, and four, Uno is pointing at the newspapers in case I somehow missed them. Such a dog!

Daily Whip Out:

"Let Me Tell You What I Really Think

of Your Royal Balls"

   The older I get the less interested I am in clean cut characters. Always in the right, never a bad deed. Most of us have our days, all of us are torn.

Daily Whip Out: "Little Miss Dichotomy"

  Just heard that McMurtry has passed. Working on a pivot for the next issue (June).

   “I’m a critic of the myth of the cowboy. I don’t feel that it’s a myth that pertains, and since it’s a part of my heritage I feel it’s a legitimate task to criticize it."

—Larry McMurtry

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Outlaw Cowgirl And The Dixxy Don'ts

 March 25, 2021

   Who exactly is this Dixxy Diamond cowgirl? Well, she had a punk outlaw upbringing with a police record, if that means anything to you.

Daily Whip Out: "Eye of The Tigress"

   It all started with a stolen '69 Camaro and a joyride on River Road in Tucson.

Daily Whip Out: "River Road Joy Ride"

   Also been working on a little sidebar ditty. I want this crazy cowgirl to be looking out at us, wagging her finger, saying, "No. No. No." You know, like this:

Daily Whip Out: "Dixxy Don'ts"

      Or, this:

Daily Whip Outs: "More Dixxy Don'ts"

   Then underneath this snappy little logo will be pithy sayings and good advice that comes out of the mouth of Juni Fisher. I mean, Dixxy Diamond. You know, like this:

"If the pickin's are slim, don't pick."

"Don’t just give a nice horse to a kid. Doesn’t teach ‘em a damn thing."

"Horses don’t have to be expensive to be good, or cheap to be dinks."

"Button your shirt, cowgirl, this ain’t a dairy."

Daily Whip Out:
"The Dairy Queen"

"Your horse don't know how to be a jerk. He’s just tryin’ to survive you."

—Dixxy Diamond

Coming Next: Dixxy Dos

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Under The Navajo Brim

 March 24, 2021

   More treasures from Buckeye Blake and his collection of Gladwell Richardson photographs. Let's just take a gander at the wonderful hats on the heads of these stylin' Navajo hombres.

   In my opinion, nobody sports more magnificent headgear than the old time Navajos. So confident and so cool, each one slightly different and unique.

   Now, look at this street scene in Flagstaff with a camera crew no doubt filming the ribaldry of the annual Navajo Pow Wow.

   Notice how everyone looks time stamped to that era, except for this one dandy, right here.

   Snazzy Yazzie is what I would call him, while Buckeye opts for Jazzy Yazzie. Either way the guy looks timeless, cutting a fine figure in any era.

   And, if you want goat ropers, Gladwell's got you covered.

   Both Buckeye and I love to study the way light hits the brim and crown of a hat and this close up on a crowd photo is ideal for that.

   And, here's my take on that.

Daily Whip Out: "Under The Navajo Brim"

   There's a bunch more where these came from and we are planning on doing a photo feature on them in an upcoming issue of True West.

"If you want to see what your body will look like tomorrow, look at your thoughts today."

—Old Navajo Saying

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Truth About The Cons of Two Guns, Arizona

 March 23, 2021

   Back in 2001, when the True West World Headquarters was in a wash behind the Goatsucker Saloon, two guys from northern Arizona showed up at Clantonville (Bob McCubbin's nickname for our offices) in a late model sedan and wanted a meeting with me to talk about their ambitious plans to resurrect an Arizona ghost town they claimed was "ten times wilder than Tombstone." The name of this defunct berg was actually a trading post-tourist trap called Two Guns, east of Flagstaff, Arizona on old Route 66. I was already familiar with it because when I was growing up, we drove by the garrish, roadside pit stop on our annual trips to Iowa but, of course, we had never stopped there.  My dad was loathe to stop anywhere, and he usually gassed up in Flag, so it was pedal to the metal by the time we shot by Two Guns back in the day (1950s-1970s).

Two Guns, Arizona, 1930s

   Anyway, here are some of the claims the two gents were hawking.

Two Guns Claims Galore

   "With the closest law enforcement being some 100 miles away, Two Guns earned a reputation of being meaner than Tombstone and Dodge City combined. The main street was aptly referred to as Hell Street, and included fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels, and two dance halls. When the wild town finally got a peace officer, the first one pinned on a badge at 3:00 p.m. and was laid out for burial at 8:00 p.m. Five more foolish men also tried their hands at marshaling in this God-forsaken town. None of them lasted more than a month in the position before they too were killed. Boot Hill cemetery filled up fast, where at one time 35 graves could be seen with wooden markers and stone covered mounds. All are gone today, but that of Herman Wolf, a trader who passed away in 1899 and the only one to have died peacefully."

   One call to Marshall Trimble, the official state historian, got me to the truth. Marshall informed me the originator of these baseless, wild claims was a nefarious BSer named Gladwell Richardson who wrote hundreds of history articles (many for True West!) and he also penned pot boiler, pulp Westerns by the score.

   I made a mental note to avoid any history articles penned by Gladwell Richardson (he died in 1980) and thought that was the end of it.

   Last week, out of the blue, my friend, the artist, Buckeye Blake sent me a provacative, topless photo of an Apache maiden. When I asked where it came from he replied, by email, that it came from "the photo collection of Gladwell Richardson." Then he sent me this photo of the notorious provocateur himself.

Gladwell Richardson on the Navajo Res

   We see two full bags of wool, above, left, that he perhaps used to pull over the eyes of gullible readers, like me, and you.

   Here are just some of the pen names he wrote under (and to look out for): Maurice Kildare (and Kildaresen), Ormand Clarkson (and Klarkson), Cary James, Pete Kent, Calico Jones, George Blacksnake, Frank Warner, John "R. Winslowe (and Winslow), Warren O'Riley, Sinclair Bower, Buck Coleman, Jeff Corner, Robert Davis, Stuart Flag, M.I. Ford, John S. Haines, Lolliard, Jack Lowence, Charles McAdams, Grant Maxwell, Higgs Meador, Asdzani Noodi Naalte, Earl Price, "Toney" Richardson (as he was often called), John Robert Ringo, and Don Teton.

   And here is a sample of some of his book titles: The Trail to Nowhere, Arizona Guns, Cowboy Joe, Rio Guns, Gun Thunder, The Rattlesnake Range, The Boothill Kid, Night Riders, War Horse Range and The River of the Lone Rope.

"We are born knowing the truth. Then we see."

—Old Vaquero Saying

"I lost sight of reality just enough to glimpse the truth."

—Derek DelGaudio, "Amoralman: A True Story and Other Lies"

Monday, March 22, 2021

It Was 13 Years Ago Today, Charlie Waters Thought The Band Should Play

 March 22, 2021

   It was 13 years ago today I had a heart attack while playing "Wipeout!" at the Old Elks Lodge, in Kingman, Arizona at a band reunion.

We called ourselves The Exits.

   I know, I know. You can't make this stuff up.

"They've been going in and out of style, but they're guaranteed to raise a smile, so let me introduce you to, the act you've known for all these years. . ."

—The Beatles

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Uncle John's Saddle Meets Mexican Shotgun Chaps Near Uno's New Perch

 March 21, 2021

      My grandfather, Bob Guess, had a younger brother who owned a small ranch at Steins Pass, New Mexico. When he passed (1974-ish), I inherited his saddle and it is a point of pride in my studio.

Uncle John's 1905 Saddle, 

   This morning I was working in my studio and I didn't hear Uno rooting around behind me, or licking my leg, or anything. This, of course, is a sure sign he is up to no good, somewhere. So I got up and looked around at his usual lounging—and peeing—spots, but no Uno was to be found. Finally, I looked up the stairs that leads to the Crow's Nest and who did I spy on the top step looking down at me with some amusement?

Uno's New Perch

   When I posted this on Facebook, a co-conspirator of mine wanted to see more of that saddle peeking through the stairs at the bottom.

   Okay, Juni Fisher, here you go.

High Back Saddle with taps, c. 1950s

   I bought this in the late seventies when I worked in downtown Phoenix at New Times Weekly. There was an old school pawn shop up the street and I saw this on my lunch hour and had to have it. I think I paid $300 for it, which was a lot for a guy making $110 a week, before taxes. This saddle also is a pride of joy in my studio. Of course, I have other saddles hanging about in here as well, but they're not worth taking the time to shoot.

   So, shoot me.

   Meanwhile, here are the Mexican shotgun chaps, I bought in Orogrande, New Mexico, on the way to Lincoln in 1991 to shoot reference photos for what became my first BtK book.

Mexican Escopetas

(Mexican Shotgun Chaps)

   And, here are those Escopetas put to good use:

William H. Cox II wearing said same Escopitas
in Lincoln, New Mexico, 1991

   In the one scene, above right, sans chaps, I was attempting to get good photo reference for the Kid and Pat Garrett outside the Lincoln County Courthouse after his arrival there on April 21, 1881. I had someone take the photo and stood in for Pat Garrett. Unfortunately I am only six foot tall and I needed someone in the six-four range, so that modeling, height-difference-assignment went to my neighbor, Charlie Hickox (the late, great three-time gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City).

Charlie Hickox and Gary Ciminello
assume the pose

    And, so I extrapolated between the two photos and ended up here in the book, BtKIII:

Pat Garrett & The Kid, April 21, 1881

   And, as for Billy's outfit (where are those great chaps?!), remember, the Kid and his crew got new suits at the Las Vegas jail from their friend, the mail carrier, Mike Cosgrove, so this is my take on what that suit would look like almost four months later.

   Yes, I admit I am a slave to details like this and sometimes I wonder if it adds up to anything. As a New Yorker reviewer for the new book on Graham Greene puts it in her excellent take on the biography, "The Unquiet Englishman," sometimes a collection of facts isn't enough. As Joan Acocella puts it, "we look for the beach, but all we see are the pebbles."


"The truth is not facts lined up."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Gearing Up For Carson at The Stake

  And then there are facts being twisted. We are at a curious juncture with the current tearing down—figuratively and literally—of so many historical characters.

Daily Whip Out: "Kit Carson at The Stake"

   A cover idea, perhaps? A Carson statue going up in flames? I've got a few more takes on it, to come.

"It's hard to kiss the lips at night that chew your ass out all day long."

—Rodney Crowell