Friday, September 30, 2022

The Final, Final Cascading Women of The Wild West?

 September 30, 2022

   It's somewhat fitting that on the last day of September I am finishing up the last images for our big Cascading Collage of Wild West Women for the Phippen Art Show on November 4. Expect to see a few of these females in that cascading collage:

Daily Whip Out: "Indin Hipster"

Daily Whip Out: "Silhouette of Valor"

Daily Whip Out:

"Out of The Darkness Final"

Daily Whip Out:

"They Passed The Village of 300 Widows"

Daily Whip Out: "That Kind of Girl"

Daily Whip Out: "Changing Woman"

Daily Whip Out:

"The Ninth Wife of Pancho Villa"

Daily Whip Out: "Tiny"

   Lots of last minute effort and decisions. Somehow I am conforted by the words of a legendary wordsmith.

"Whatever you do, you'll regret both."
—Joan Didion

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Time to Jump In Pool And Cool Off

 September 29, 2022

   Found this while looking for something else and had to add a few strokes.

Daily Whip Out:

"One Wild Stage Coach Passenger"

Spent the day working with Stuart Rosebrook and Ken Amorosano on cover stories for next year. It will be our 70th year of publication and you can expect some big cover stories, like this one:

Oklahoma Bad Boy

Ned Christie And "Friend"
photo owned by Lisa LaRue Baker, used with permission

The Oklahoma Posse
That Brought Down Ned Christie

   And then they nailed Ned to a door and took some more photos.

Sorry, but Ned looks bored.

   I now have about 55 pieces framed for the Phippen Art Show on November 4th. Cost of framing, so far, is $6,267.25 with seven more to go. Lookin' good if I don't say so myself.

   Time to jump in the pool and cool off.

"In the afterlife, we'll sit around talking about the good old days, when we wished that we were dead."

—Samuel Beckett

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Last Fandango at The Heatwave Cafe

 September 28, 2022

   While I was lounging in Greer, I realized a potent dynamic of pioneer settlements, the inevitability of being replaced. I was gifted the book, "On The Road to Nowhere: The History of Greer, 1879-1979." by the late, great Karen Miller Applewhite, who relates how the oldtimers, the Mormons, the Cowboys and the Loggers replaced the Apaches in the White Mountains (or, at least controlled the major resources to build the towns of Springerville, Eagar, McNary, Show Low and Greer, but when these same pioneer survivors were feted at a Pioneers Celebraton in the 1970s, one of them, the Queen of the event, Molly Butler, bemoaned the modern usurpers (New Age Hippies & Redneck radical Truck Drivin' Honkies, my words, not hers). What if one of those New Agers lived long enough to be feted as a "pioneer" herself, only to look around at the tatted-out Millennials with the same disdain. A solid fact of this existence is every generation is replaced and resents the change away from the "old ways."

Unocito and The Goose at the Greer Library,
the only place in town with decent internet access.

   Also took some time work on cascading collage design.

Daily Whip Out: "Cascading Sketches"

   Drove down the hill yesterday back into the heat. Fifty when we left Greer, one hundred at Rio Verde and home. 

   Meanwhile, Dan The Man whipped out a full page ad for the new book and it's in the November issue. Check it out.

"Every generation thinks they are smarter than the last and wiser than the next."

—Old Vaquero Sying

Monday, September 26, 2022

18 Flat Tires On the Road to Greer

 September 26, 2022

   Last day in the White Mountains. Finished "The Road to Nowhere" this morning and thoroughly enjoyed reading about Greer in the old days. Back in 1914 it was a two-and-a-half day trip from Phoenix to Greer. Aunt Molly remembered it wasn't considered safe to take children on those kinds of trips but Milt Coggin Sr, told the story about driving a "touring car with a bronze radiator" but that did not stop the 18 "tire failures" on the trip to Greer and the job of removing those tires with the high-pressure tire and tube, then patching it, pumping it up by hand and reattaching it to the car "was tedius."

   Ay-Yi-Yi, to anyone who has had to patch a tire in the wilds (only once on a Triumph motorcycle for me!) it is mind blowing that someone would do it 18 times in one trip. Seems like he would run out of patches.

Greer Cowboys Just Wanna Have Fun

Cowboy Fun

   One of my favorite anectdotes from the book is about some cowboys hiding out near a big billboard for "Becker Mercantile Company" near the turnoff to Big Lake, when in the middle of the night, they snuck out and painted the lower part of the "B" on the sign so it would read, "Pecker Mercantile Company."

"And that'd drive old man Becker crazy."

—An anonymous Greer cowboy remembering "the greatest fun we ever had."

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lounging On The Road to Nowhere

 September 25, 2022

   So cool up here. Literally! Highs in the sixties, overnight lows about 45. Man I needed this. I am not alone.

Someone besides myself is enjoying the Little Colorado River

   The fine folks at the Butterfly Lodge Museum gifted me two books for speaking on Saturday. Lounged around this morning reading one of them: "On The Road to Nowhere: A History of Greer, Arizona, 1879-1979," by Karen Miller Applewhite. Great stuff.  In the 1920s locals called automobiles "Tourist Machines." Kids went barefoot from April to September and one oldtimer claimed:

"I left toenails all over those mountains."

—Greer Oldtimer

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Grab it And Relax

 September 24, 2022

   Talked to some groovy Greer folk today at the Butterfly Lodge Museum. Got a tour of the historic site from a docent. My kind of place. Took the rest of the day off. Lounged on the front porch and walked around like a goober. Speaking of lounging goobers:

Uno relaxes on the front porch of cabin #89

   What's disappointing is Uno is checkig out a most outrageous cloud burst in that white spot at top, but my damn phone camera blew it out. Or, better yet, didn't get it.

"Relax. You are in Greer."

—T-shirt logto

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