Friday, September 23, 2022

Daily Whip Outs Revisited.

 September 23, 2022

  Hanging out at 8,300 feet above sea level. Makes for a cool reprieve from the non-stop scorcher in Cave Creek. Took some time to go back through my sketchbooks. Found a couple decent efforts.

Daily Whip Out: "Don't Touch My Hat"

Daily Whip Outs: "Duke of Dust In Prgress"

Daily Whip Out: "Dust Column"

Daily Whip Out:

"El Pendejo Lands In Opodepe"

Daily Whip Out: "Lawman In Dust"

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Maynard Dixon"

Daily Whip Out:
"Mexico Reaps The Whirlwind"

"Nothing happens in Mexico until it does."
—Porfirio Diaz

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Up The Hill Into The Clouds

 September 22, 2022

   After a summer-and-a-half of triple digit days and nights, and ridiculous Guacamuggies (flatlanders call them Monsoons) it was a joy to head up into the White Mountains yesterday for a little cool air and relaxation.

Guacamuggy Ridiculousness Over Tucson

(Photo by Mark Sublette)

Yes, we traveled to the land of the Big Hats.

All Hat And Plenty of Cattle
(hint: one of them showed low)

   One place we did not go, but I am dying to go back to is this hometown staple.

Joshua Trees Close to Home

   And, no, we didn't go to Chinatown where I am known to the street musicians as "The Big Fat Yankee Stage Hog."

Rippin' Out A Mean Version of "Whole Lotta Love" in San Francisco's Chinatown

And frankly, we didn't go here, either.

Yuma Crossing

   More clues tomorrow.

"Find Bozo."

—New game in town

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Meeting Saints And Sliders

 September 21, 2022

   Caught a sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge this morning with this guy.

Videographer Bill Waters With His Slide

   The Cave Creek Library asked me if I could do a talk on the Ocotillo Fire and its aftermath and Bill shot some amazing and historic video of the surrounding area two days before the fire and then immediately after the fire and this morning he wanted to capture the healing power of the desert, two years after the devastating fire.

The Lonely Ford

   Kath, Uno and I are going up on the Rim this weekend. I have a history talk at the Butterfly Lodge Museum in Greer.

"You meet saints everywhere. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society."

—Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, September 19, 2022

When Authentic Historical Events And Adjectives Collide

 September 19, 2022

   There's a fine line between catching an outlaw and becoming one. Case in point.

When Adjectives Change The Tale

   It's very interesting to me how a few, well-placed adjectives can change the trajectory of a "true" event. For example, here is a well-known historical episode at the end of the Wild West era.

The Oil Boomtown of Cromwell, Oklahoma

November 1, 1924
   Most of his friends think legendary lawman Bill Tilghman has earned the right to retire from enforcing the law after a fifty-four year career, but, at the age of 71, Tilghman, known to his friends as "Uncle Billy," accepts the job as city marshal in the oil boomtown of Cromwell, Oklahoma.

Grandpa Lawman Bill Tilghman 

   Up to the time Bill signed on, Cromwell was out of control with no law in force and wall to wall brothels and illegal booze everywhere (this is in the middle of Prohibition). On the night of November first, lawman Tilghman is in Murphy's Cafe with a friend and a Deputy named Hugh Sawyer. All three notice a vehicle haphazardly pull up to the curb in front of the cafe. The driver stumbles out, clearly intoxicated, and discharges his pistol in the street. There are three other persons in the car, two who turn out to be known prostitutes, and a U.S. Army sergeant named Thompson. Tilghman quickly gets up and goes outside and confronts the drunk. The veteran lawman grabs the miscreant's pistol away. The drunk quickly produces another pistol hidden on his person and shoots Tilghman in the stomach and chest at close range. Tilghman slumps over and falls into the street. In the confusion, the murderous drunk—Wiley Lynn— flees the scene and later turns himself in at Federal District Headquarters in Holdenvill, Oklahoma, pleading self defense.

   Incredibly, the killer, Wiley Lynn, turns out to be a corrupt prohibition agent and he is acquitted after a trial with two key witnesses failing to appear and Deputy Hugh Sawyer, claiming he could not see clearly as to what actually happened.

   This is the version of the story I grew up on and, if you love and admire Bill Tilghman, like I do, you will be shocked to learn that several key adjectives and descriptions in this narration are open to question. According to research by Nancy B. Samuelson. . .

The Shooting Probably Went Down Like This

   Wiley Linn had a spotless record before the shooting of Bill Tilghman. In fact, the federal prohibition agent was on his way—with a search warrant—to close down 'Pop' Murphy's Cromwell Dance Hall (they may have had a "cafe," but this description changes the setting dramatically) when Bill Tilghman attempted to block Lynn's entrance because Tilghman was hired to keep the illegal dance hall open. In Lynn's version—which he told on the stand at his murder trial—he parked his car across the street from the dancehall and when he got out he inspected his gun, and it accidentally misfired. The two women in the car were actually former call girls who he hired to frisk the women for weapons after everyone in the tavern was arrested. Tilghman came out of the dance hall with his gun drawn and immediately accosted Lynn, who claimed, at his subsequent trial, that he identified himself as an officer of the law. Tilghman backed Lynn against a wall with his hand at his throat, but Lynn got his little finger between the trigger guard and prevented him from shooting. The deputy took Lynn's pistol, but Lynn managed to push Tilghman's gun barrel down and retrieved another pistol "he had on his left side and shot Tilghman three times." Lynn then walked over to Deputy Sawyer and demanded his gun back, which Sawyer complied with and Lynn got back in his car and drove to Holdenvillle, the county seat and turned himself in.

   So, Murphy's Cafe is in actuality an illegal dance hall, Wiley Lynn has a clean record and he looks more like a young G-Man than a corrupt cop.

Federal Agent Wiley Lynn

   And Samuelson posits that the reason two eye-witnesses did not show up to tesify at the trial is that they feared the corrupt bosses behind Tilghman.

   Author and researcher, Nancy B. Samuelson has turned the Bill Tilghman story upside down with the publication of her 1998 book, "Shoot From The Lip: The Lives, Legends and Lies of the Three Guardsmen of Oklahoma and U.S. Marshal Nix"

   Now, I have a hunch both versions are in spin control mode, but the disturbing aspect of all this is both stories run parallel to each other, and with a few select details and descriptions skewed, the entire meaning is shifted. Makes you wonder about many other "factual" stories we have heard and read about.

"Perhaps nobody has changed the course of history as much as the historians."
—Franklin P. Jones

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Cascading Beauties, Part III

 September 18, 2022

   Last night Kathy and I attended a birthday party at Andaz Resort for my old studio mate. You know the one who once tried on my hat.

Edmundo Segundo tries on my hat,

1984. (photo by Ralph Rippe)

   Sat in with the band—The Dusty Ramblers—and did a round of "Gloria" to boot. Survived this one, as well. Photos to follow.

   Meanwhile, back on the Cascading Beauties Trail.

Hattie McDaniel

   This young beauty holds the distinction of being the first African American to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in "Gone With the Wind" (1939)

   I am very fond of these types of photos.

Cradleboard Mothers

   But this doesn't preclude me from being immature, as well.

Daily Whip Out:

"Hey, Cabrone, My Eyes Are Up Here."

   I know. So childish. But it makes me happy.

"Breakfast is always more fun in hotels."

—Alan Rickman

Saturday, September 17, 2022

More Cascading Beatuies of The Wild West

 September 17, 2022

   Still hot on the trail of Cascading Beauties of The Wild West.

When Hats Were Hats

Happy Apache Water Carrier

Twin Precocious Vignettes

Blousing It Up

Little Miss Intense

   And, all of this inspiration led me to here.

Daily Whip Out: "No Nonsense"

Daily Whip Out: "Portrait of A Shrew"

   Got six more on the drawing board. Details to come.

"You fail only if you stop writing."

—Ray Bradbury

Friday, September 16, 2022

Bedroom Eyes, The Ironing Lady, The Blue Girl And Wyatt Earp's Beau

 September 16, 2022

   One of the upshots of our meeting yesterday down at Cattletrack is we could use quite a few more photographs in the Cascading Collage (each panel is 44" X 33" and there are five panels). Going to be a big sucker. So, I rooted around in my studio stash this morning and found these little gems.

Bedroom Eyes

The Blue Girl

Starlette Jeffreys Lewis

(Bat Masterson claimed the popular actress Jeffreys Lewis was a dead ringer for Wyatt Earp's beau Sadie Marcus)

A Beautiful Vignette


The Ironing Lady

When I was growing up there was a woman in our neighborhood who was known as "The Ironing Lady." She would iron clothes by the piece (maybe a quarter a piece?) and my mother would drop off washed clothes for her to iron. As far as I know the job is gone from the modern landscape, but it apparently had quite a run. This photo, above, is from the 1850s. 

Yakima Belle

   Not bad for one morning scrounging around in my studio, eh? There's actually more, but that is a taste of what is to come cascading before your eyes come November.

   Also, got some silhouette concepts going.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Boss of The Plains"

   I wish I had the ability to combine and convey what all of this visual ambition means to me, but alas, I am lacking in some very specific talents.

"A confessional passage has probably never been written that didn't stink a little bit of the writer's pride in having given up his pride."

—J.D. Salinger

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Cascading Collage Phase II

 September 15, 2022

   Drove down into the Beast this morning to spend some more quality time with these guys.

The Cattletrack Crew

Cascading Collage Project

 Phase II

   We have a slew of original old photographs, both tintypes and carte de visits, plus all of my scratchboards and gouache paintings. This morning we played some of them with exotic backgrounds and random, colored burlap.

Brent's First Pass at Cascading Collage


   The goal is to have various layers of cascading images careening down the wall, some extending forward, almost floating in space, and others still in their guilded frame packets. We also want a few frames to be broken and appearing to be exploding off of the wall.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Outs:

"A Gaggle of Western Gals"

   Of course, some of them are a tad sad.

Daily Whip Out: "Olive's Big Regret"

   Yes, quite ambitious, but what do you expect from frustrated, itinerant musicians.

 Good News From Stat Land

   A new study finds that guys over 70 who walk 6,000 steps a day and who walk those steps reasonably quick for about a half an hour every day have a 62% lower likelihood of developing dementia. Isn't that great? Yes, those are real stats. I'd give the source of the study but I don't remember where I read it.

"Sometimes hating yourself is a fair response to the data."

—David Milch

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Big Killing: How Billy the Kid Became The Most Famous Man In New Mexico

September 14, 2022

   We taped another YouTube History video today. I often type out my talking points here on because it gives me a crib sheet, in lieu of a teleprompter. Some of the narration I know by heart, but if there are lists of names or specfic quotes, it helps to have this cheat sheet. We record these shows on my computer camera which appears just above this text. Get it? Hence a few of my notes.

 The Big Killing

   Fire is lapping at the last room where ten desperate men wait for their chance to escape. The defenders are crowded into a crumbling, small space. The walls are too hot to touch and ooze acrid smoke. The men are blackened, tired, thirsty and desperate.

Daily Whip Out:

"Billy Peers Out From The Kitchen

of The Burning McSween House"

   At approximately nine p.m. five of the men jump into the back yard and make stealthily for the east gate. Four of Peppin's men spot them and open fire, killing law student Harvey Morris in the gate.

   The fourth in line of the first group, Henry McCarty, alias Billy Bonney leaps over the dying body of Harry Morse and returns fire. As the Peppin men duck, the rest make it out the gate and into the river bottom behind the McSween house.

Daily Whip Out: "Billy's Backyard Ballet"

  Rival posses have been zig- zagging across the New Mexico badlands, bent on killing anyone from the other side. As the Las Vegas Optic aptly puts it,

". . .both parties are in the field and a collision is imminent. If they should succeed in completely destroying each other the result would be hailed by all good citizens."

  It started with an insurance policy and the killing of the Englishman, John Tunstall by a rogue element of a legitimate posse. This was in February of 1878 and this started the Lincoln County War and now, mere months later, it has come to a head in the small village of Lincoln, New Mexico.

   Tired of running, Alexander McSween has decided to make a stand in his sprawling adobe home in the center of Lincoln. He has brought with him "about 40 of his hired fighters, the so-called Regulators. including Billy the Kid. They are led by Martin Chavez, a prominent native from Picacho. They prepare for a siege, barricading windows, piling bags of dirt against doorways and carve potholes in the adobe wall. Chavez places his fighters in all the key locations except for one. The torreon is controlled by the Dolan-Peppin men and so McSween the lawyer sends a note to Captain Baca whose house is next door to the torreon: "Sir, I want you to vacate the property now occupied by you at once. Unless you leave the house within three days, proceedings will be instituted against you without further notice."

   Baca panics (his wife just had a baby) and he sends an appeal to Col. Dudley at Fort Stanton which is 9 miles west of Lincoln. Dudley's hands are tied because just last month, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed into law the "Posse Comitatus" act which states that the federal government cannot send U.S. Army troops to meddle in domestic affairs. So, instead of sending troops, Dudley sends the post surgeon Dr. Appel to investigate. While the doctor talks to both sides, Sheriff Peppin orders a deputy Long to serve warrants on McSween and his men and demand that they give themselves into custody. As the deputy approaches McSween's house he is fired on and runs for his life. Around dusk Peppin's reinforcements arrive from the west yelling and shooting. A witness claims "about 100 shots fired."

   Both sides exchange shots most the next day and frustrated that he can't dislodge McSween and his men, Peppin sends a message to Dudley asking to borrow a howitzer to blow them out. Dudley declines but sends his regrets with a black trooper, Private Berry Robinson, who is fired on as he enters Lincoln.

   Hearing of the firing on one of his troopers, Dudley sends a gaggle of officers to Lincoln to investigate. After more shooting and posturing, three Mexican women allegedly walk to Fort Stanton and plead with Dudley to help them repossess their homes. Dudley meets with his officers and they sign a resolution supporting Dudley's decision to "place soldiers in Lincoln for the preservation of the lives of women and children."

   Oh, boy.

   The men in the McSween fortress have been housebound for four days, going on five. Hygiene and toiletry needs are reaching the critical point.

   In spite of this the mail carrier comes thru town and McSween writes a jaunty note to the Roswell  postmaster"

   "Dear Ash—"please send me $3 in stamps. I am O.K. I suppose you hear queer versions. Right will triumph."

   Both sides stop to read their mail.

   Dudley arrives around noon with four officers, one company of cavalry and one of infantry, a total of 35 men. He also bring a 12-pound howitzer, a Gatling gun with 2,000 rounds of ammunition and three days rations.

   Some nine hours later, the Kid jumps out of the McSween house, through the gate, and into history.

So, This Is How Billy The Kid Survived

The "Big Killing"

It is the first defining moment in the Kid's short and dramatic life. When Billy Bonney jumped out of that burning house, he became the most famous man in New Mexico. Three years later, and just down the road, he would once again buck all the odds and with that escape he became one of the most famous outlaws in American history. But that's another story, for another day.

"I'm Bob Boze Bell and this has been a True West Moment."

—My old catch phrase on The Westerns Channel

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Picking Up The Pieces From Old Vaqueros to Mae West

 September 13, 2022

   Sometimes—okay, ALWAYS!—when I am looking at old sketchbooks, I find images that could use a tweak, or two, like this page from 2019.

I particularly like the electric shock mustaches on the geezer at bottom, right. Another happy accident.

   Here's another one I found from 2017 that needed a tweak:

Daily Retweaked Whip Out:

"The Kid Busted Out On The Ridgeline"

   And, of course, I am still studying Anders Zorn and his magnificent etching technique.

Daily Whip Out: "Anders Zorn Adored"

   Not to mention a notorious hour-glass figured actress:

Daily Whip Out:

"Guns Out"

   Pardon my French but the title of this next one just came to me as I was noodling it.

Daily Whip Out:

"Bullshit In The Moonlight"

   Which brings up an interesting question.

"Do the French say, 'Pardon my English' before they swear?"

—Old Vaquero Question

Monday, September 12, 2022

All Four Versions of Jennie Rogers Shoots

 September 12, 2022

   I've spent some quality time on this, and it's been a long circuitous haul but I finally finished the fourth version of Jennie Rogers Shoots this morning.

Daily Art Print Whip Out:

"Jennie Shoots #4"

   I call this my Toulouse version, as in Toulouse Latrec, one of my painting heroes.

Daily Art Print Whip Out:

"Jennie Shoots #3"

   Dan chose this one, above, to mock up a cover rough and it looks pretty cool.

Daily Art Print Whip Out:

"Jennie Shoots #2"

   A little heavy-handed on the shooting arm if you ask me.

Daily Art Print Whip Out:

"Jennie Shoots #1"

  Best gun. effects, but, I think No. 3 is my fave. Oh, and here's Dan The Man's take on the cover, utilizing Jennie #3:

   So, I have that going for me.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
—Old Vaquero Saying