Thursday, December 30, 2010

TOMBSTONE & BISBEE, AIRHEADZONA - NOVEMBER, 2010

.
CONSARN IT ALL -- THAT DOES IT!!
This is the LAST thing I'm gonna post on this blog this year!
.
It's December 31, 2010, I'm sitting here at this computer in Phoenix, Airheadzona, and outside it's colder than I can ever remember it being in the 15 awful years I've been living here.
.
There is frost on my lawn and on all the rooftops in my neighborhood and yesterday I heard multiple reports of snowflakes falling in North and West Phoenix. Forget Tiny Tim having a second Top-40 hit song, if snowflakes in Phoenix isn't a sign of the End-Times I don't know what would be!
.
Yeah, this may not sound much like "Winter Weather" to those of you in the Mid-West and back East, but believe me, for us Central Airheadzonans, this is freakin' bizarre! I've been going around saying, "But it's a DRY cold."
.
So, with frost on my roof and The End Of The World just around the corner (well, a man can hope, can't he?), I've decided to post some photographs I took recently.
.
One weekend late last month, my buddy DiscConnected (also known as DiscConnected) and I took a quick run down to Tombstone and Bisbee. I snapped a bunch of pictures along the way. Nothing "artistic", nuttin' fancifully or funkily framed - just snapshots to compile a photographic record of where we'd done been at. Here's a sample of stuffs I photography-ed:
.
Between Tucson and Tombstone is an old Western movie set called Mescal. On our way to Tombstone, DiscConnected and I stopped long enough for me take a few pictures. Some of the many Western movies that have been filmed here include 'The Outlaw Josie Wales' starring Clint Eastwood, 'Tombstone' starring Val Kilmer, the original 'Monte Walsh' with Lee Marvin and Jack Palance (the story of my life), and the mindbogglingly bad 'The Quick And The Dead' starring Sharon Stone as Clint Eastwood:
.

.

.
Later that day, DiscDude and I checked into the Larian Motel which boasts of "large clean rooms", "vacancies" and "lodgings". I didn't see any vacancies or lodgings, but the square we stayed in was medium-sized, clean, and definitely a room:
.

.
When DiscDude and I checked in at the Larian, the female desk clerk asked us if we wanted one King size bed or two Queens. We both shouted simultaneously, "Two Queens!" It's kind of ironic when two guys shouting "Two Queens!" are in fact casting unmistakable, unequivocal votes for heterosexuality.
.
Not that there's anything wrong with homosexuality . . . except, you know, like what The Bible says about it being an "abomination" an' all that.
.
The next morning, DiscDude told me, "Your snoring has a good rhythm, you can dance to it."
.
.
Of course, if you haven't been in The Bird Cage Theatre, then you haven't been in Tombstone. While Virginia City, Nevada, and Bodie, California, are my two favorite Old West towns, The Bird Cage Theatre is my single favorite Old West "artifact". It was opened in 1881 and it was closed and boarded up on Christmas Eve in 1889. Then one day in the Twentieth Century, the owner unboarded it, and simply opened it up to the public as the most authentic Old West museum possible. It looked just as it did the night it closed in 1889:
.
.
.
This is the front bar area of The Bird Cage Theatre:
.
.
An 1880s jukebox:
.
.
The belly-dancer Fatima once performed on The Bird Cage stage and later donated a painting of herself to the theatre. Despite a bullet hole or two and a knife cut in it, the painting still hangs in the same place it did in the 1880s. You go, girl! Shake yo' money-maker! . . .
.
.
An 1880s bullet hole in a post of the Bird Cage Bar:
.
.
Inside the Theatre (they recreated it nearly identically in the movie 'Tombstone') . . .
.
.
The Theatre's stage curtain boasts, "Tombstone: Pure water - Good Schools - Wonderful climate". No mention of the large clean rooms, the vacancies and lodgings:
.
.
Below is a photograph looking down a creepy hallway that leads to the second story "Bird Cage" cribs overhanging the stage. It was while peering down this same hallway through a knothole in 1991 or so, that my then-girlfriend, the Countess, felt someone run their finger down the back of her calf. I was the only other person in the Theatre at the time, and I was on the opposite side of the stage. Weren't me! . . .
.

.
In the basement of the Theatre, below the stage, there is a gambling room. It was here that the longest-running poker game took place. The game went on continuously - nonstop - night and day, for years. Various gamblers came and went but the game played on:
.
.
DiscDude and I paused for a little liquid refreshment at The Crystal Palace Saloon. Oh, look! Someone left a glass of Grand Marnier on the rocks right in front of the spot where I'm sitting. I might as well drink it, I guess - would hate to see a glass of Gramar go to waste. (Don't you just love bartenders? You ask them for things and they bring them to you.) . . .
.
.
Later that night, we went to Ringo's Place (I think that was the name of the Place), and I got to see my buddy karaoke. He sang Helen Reddy's 'I Am Woman', and boy could that dude "roar".
.
OK, I better tell you the song DiscDude really sang or he will knock my block off the next time I see him. He did Bruce Springsteen's '10th Avenue Freeze-Out'. Sorry, no pictures. I'd post 'em if I had 'em.
.
The next morning, just before getting out of Dodge . . . er, Tombstone, that is . . . DiscDude and I managed to remember to stroll by that place where those long gone gunmen did that thing that made this town world famous. Yup, here's The OK Corral, the place where they plugged 'em:
.
.
Having had our fill of Tombstone, DiscDude and I drove down to Bisbee, a funky little town with skinny little streets that cling to the side of a mountain near the Mexico border:
.
.
.
Below the Silver King Hotel is a bicycle shop. DiscDude went in and bought some part for his bicycle while I went next door to the "Art"sy-Fartsy store and purchased a new flea collar for Ariel O. O'Airedale, my dog of a girlfriend:
.
.
.
Back in June of 2009, I read the cover story of the Phoenix New Times about some local artist named Rose Johnson who had gone to Bali, fallen in love with some guy (who looked more female than she did, if you ask me), married him and then disappeared. Murder it seems.
.
Evidently Rose Johnson was very fond of posing sans clothes, and even the photograph used on the New Times cover for the story 'The Legacy Of Rose Johnson' by Kathleen Vanesian featured the "artiste" in her art studio and naked as an unpainted canvas:
.
.
After reading the article and looking at samples of Rose Johnson's "art" and being very unimpressed, I couldn't resist taking my ballpoint pen and writing down her front leg: The "artist" is naked. The "artist" has no clothes on. Yeah, I'm clever that way. I should be made emperor!
.
However, although Rose Johnson's "art" didn't really do anything for me, there was something about her mural painted on the side of the Jonquil Motel in Bisbee that did appeal to me; probably her choice and use of colors. So, I made up my mind that if I ever found myself in Bisbee again (I'd been there twice before), I would search for and photograph Johnson's Jonquil Motel mural.
.
It's funny though - when DiscDude and I were there, I didn't have to search for the motel at all, it just kind of appeared in front of us on the hillside while we were looking for a gas station:
.
.
.
.
.
"Federico Garcia Lorca"? I order his omelette everytime I eat at The Sidewalk Cafe in Venice Beach, California!
.
Well, that pretty much covers it, my dear reader(s?) I have taken you from a Western movie set to a medium-sized clean room with vacancies and lodgings, to the bowels of the Bird Cage Theatre, to a glass of Gramar on the rocks in an old saloon, to the site of the most famous gunfight in history, to a bicycle shop in Bisbee, to a mural by a naked emper-- er, a naked "artist". What more could you ask for? I mean, at this price?
.
And that concludes this broadcasting year for the blog 'STUFFS'. I hope you enjoyed 2010's blog bits as much as I didn't, and we'll Yak Later, Y'all.
.
Stay safe tonight; remember that drunks like me will be out on the roads! And whatever you do - if you survive New Year's Eve - don't forget to have a Margarita or two tomorrow on Margarita Day - "A tradition since 1986 (except for 1994)".
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
.

8 comments:

DiscConnected said...

McDogg-

I'll concede the last few days-it's been cold! Is your heat on yet?

>mindbogglingly bad 'The Quick And >The Dead' starring Sharon Stone

It was only bad because Sharon stayed fully clothed...I was looking for "Basic Instinct Old West Style"

>It's kind of ironic when two guys >shouting "Two Queens!" are in >fact casting unmistakable, >unequivocal votes for >heterosexuality.

Good one! I think we scared her by yelling too loud.

For the record, I was out in a snow flurry on Thursday-I seen it with me own eyes.

But after complaining for seven months about the heat, I'm trowin' a yellow penalty flag for you complaining about the cold.

If you want 70 all year, move back to Hollywood!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DISCDUDE ~
Oh yeah, the heat's on. But we only turn it on for about five minutes at a time, just to take some of the chill out of our bones. Then we turn it off until it gets unbearably cold in the house again. (Gotta conserve those Federal Reserve Notes as much as possible, ya know?)

Oh, "The Quick And The Dead" was bad for far more reasons than just that Sharon Stone remained fully clothed. Although I will admit that "less would have been more" and might have made the movie at least "watchable when horny".

>>...But after complaining for seven months about the heat, I'm trowin' a yellow penalty flag for you complaining about the cold.

Suddenly 110 degrees in the shade doesn't seem so bad.

>>...If you want 70 all year, move back to Hollywood!

Would if I could, Brother. Would if I could!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Frozen Underground'

Sheboyganboy #6 said...

Another good road trip story from STMc.

I had relative that lived in Bisbee. A great-aunt named Laura chased a naked Indian away from their ranch down there once. Most of the relatives lived up by Camp Verde, though.

I was wise in avoiding The Quick and the Dead. I usually watch all westerns I can, but that one looked SO unpromising I saved my money.

Say... have either of you seen the new True Grit? I am trepidatious about it since the first one was really good, but I will see it anyway when I have time.

The motel lady should not have even asked you about the beds! Just assumed that you were modern men, unafraid of your sexuality - rather than repressed and prejudiced "Christians", and stuck you together in ONE queen! HA!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~

>>...I had relative that lived in Bisbee. A great-aunt named Laura chased a naked Indian away from their ranch down there once.

Oh heck, Naked Indian Chasing is the most popular sport in Bisbee. Everyone plays that down there! They have a professional league with teams and everything. In Bisbee, it's bigger than bowling, Jesus, OR The Beatles. The kids learn the game at an early age. You've heard the term "Soccer Moms" - well, in Bisbee, there are no Soccer Moms, just "Naked Indian Chasing Moms". It's not unusual to see a Naked Indian Chasing Mom driving a station wagon full of kids to their Naked Indian Chasing practices at Ye Olde Bisbee Naked Indian Chasing Stadium. Well, it keeps the kids off the streets and the Indians in good shape, ya know?

>>...I was wise in avoiding The Quick and the Dead. I usually watch all westerns I can, but that one looked SO unpromising I saved my money.

Absolutely The Dreck Of The West. Only "The Outlaw" and "The Shooting" rates as low in my book.

As for "True Grit"... on several occasions I have said of the John Wayne original: "Like the tail fins on a 1959 Cadillac, it's a true American classic." And as far as I'm concerned, you don't REMAKE true American classics. So, when it comes to this newer version, I am in full boycott mode.

>>...The motel lady should not have even asked you about the beds! Just assumed that you were modern men, unafraid of your sexuality - rather than repressed and prejudiced "Christians", and stuck you together in ONE queen! HA!

ONE QUEEN! That's the worst of all options. So bad that it hadn't even occurred to ANY of us!

I would have thought that just the scent of my Brut cologne alone would have clued that woman into the fact that I'm a "Real Man" and needed a separate bed... if not a separate room!
:o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Loved that post! I was thinking of both those places as I was "passing by" them on I-10 on January 5th. I would have loved taking that trip with you guys. In fact, spent that same Wednesday night in Phoenix as I made a brief over-nighter at my sister's house. I was thinking how it would have been cool if we could have met up, but I only had a few hours with my sis. I'll have to make it back one day.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

r-LEE-boid ~
Yeah, too bad you didn't have more time. Unless we're at work, DiscDude 'n' me usually ain't doin' nuttin'. We coulda got together.

Out of curiosity, what area in Phoenix does your Sister live? What are the major cross streets? (I'm just wondering how far you were from me.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

My sister and her husband live in Gilbert near the intersection of Ray and Cooper I believe it is.
Maybe sometime in the future I'll be there for more than a day. I'll let you and DiscDude know in advance if it happens.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McLEE ~
Yeah, Gilbert's a little bit of a drive for DiscDude and me - we're both on the West side of Phoenix.

But regardless, yes, someday we'll all get together out here and drink a little GraMar... well, except for DiscDude who's more of a Bud Light drinker. (I try to overlook that because he does have some otherwise commendable qualities.)

Of course, before we three all get together out here, I might have already relocated to Reno. In that case, we'll all just make a trip up to Virginia City instead. Heck, I like Virginia City better'n Tombstone anyhow.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'