February 11, 2023
Left the house at 7:15 this morning for the hour plus drive over to Wickenburg.
By now, I've got this parade deal down to a science. I drive right up to the check in to find our staging number (D2-42 on Ocotillo), drop off 12 boxes of magazines at our designated starting slot position, then drive back down to the end of the parade route, park on a side street, walk back to the staging area and then walk the entire parade route handing out mags and asking the burning question, "Who likes history and knows how to read?"
It's actually a lot of fun and the parade goers are a hoot and give me grief and beg for a magazine. "Sorry, only people who can read," I said to more than one guy with his hand out. Plus, I got in some serious steps today: 10,863.
A Sight For Sore Eyes
It was also so great to see the Bill Williams Mountain Men at today's Wickenburg Gold Rush Days Parade.
They might be down a few members but man it made me happy to see these guys all furred out and mounted up! I realized I have been watching them in parades for at least a half century, and probably longer. These must be the kids and grandkids of the original guys I saw as a lad. Makes me so damn happy, I can't tell you, although I just did.
The All Hat, No Cattle, Cowboy Controversy
Sometimes when I hang out with real cowboys I get kidded for not being a "real" cowboy. Hell, it's true. I'm not a working cowboy, I'm just a proud cartoonist who digs the hats. One of my longtime Arizona friends likes to rib me about being a "fake" cowboy—All hat and no cattle—that line of rough corn-cob-kidding some Zonies like to partake in. I'd out him but I don't want to embarrass him, so I will just say that his mother was the first female Supreme Court Justice.
Anyway, we were loading 12 boxes of True West magazines in the True West wagon before the parade and quite a few were taped shut and I didn't have a box cutter and was using my car keys to rip them open when this tough, young cowboy sees my predicament and rides over and gets down off his horse and offers me his big ol' pocket knife.
When I joked that not having my own pocket knife kind of outs me as not being a real cowboy, Marty laughed and said. . .
"Hell, reading all the stories you've told, made me want to become a cowboy."