January 15, 2024
In the evenings, when we sit outside and enjoy the serene views, we can relax because our ever watchful guard dog is on duty.
Yes, that is his yard bed and yes, that is a a used-up bottle of Merlot on the ground in front of him. See below.
We tried giving him a Pinot Grigio chew toy but he didn't like the tannins (those naturally occurring phenolic compounds).
Meanwhile, have I ever mentioned how much I didn't like history in school? Yes, I got Cs all thru high school—in history! I very much disliked it because, as one of my classmates put it, "History is too much like fruitcake—it's loaded up with dates."
I remember thinking, in my high school history classes, when we actually get up to the Wild West part of American history, then I'll be interested and get some great stories and information. Well, towards the end of the semester we finally got there and the coverage was perhaps two sentences long in our history book and it said something to the effect of, "a violent decade of cattle and range wars blotted the otherwise successful conquest of the old West."
Where is the fun in that? I want the zane. Give me the zane! And, to be honest, it's what has driven me in my 25 year career at True West magazine. Here's an example of the history I want to read about:
Outlaws Waiting for A Better Name
What's in a name? Apparently, everything. We remember Billy the Kid, Wild Bill, Jesse James and The Sundance Kid because their names are memorable. But there were hundreds of outlaws who tried as hard as they could to come up with a worthy nickname and they never made the grade. Here are a few that made it into the newspapers:
• Happy Bill Chadwell
• Coal Oil Jimmy
• Bean Belly Smith
• The Catfish Kid
• Yankee Hank Fewclothes
• Bull Shit Jack
• Cold Chuck Johnny
• Dirty Sock Jack
• Hairlip Charlie
And, my all time favorite: Bad Bladder Allen.
"Hurry up. I have to go!"
When is a father the proudest?
"The Drummer's Son"
When a son takes an interest in the family business. T. Charles rips out a paradiddle for his old man, circa 2014.
"I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough."