Arizona Highways

It didn’t take me long on my recent travels to Arizona’s sunshine to realize it would be the topic of my next Reader column in Not Eudora. I jotted down a dozen ideas the night before we left and pulled them into a column on a flight between Phoenix and Chicago. I wasn’t sure I’d get it to the Reader but things worked out. They even got four of three edits I asked for in one last hasty email I sent them. The first three were mistakes I caught after sending the column as an attachment to them. The fourth was a correction I hadn’t asked for. I wrote that actor, Jack Palance, was the bad guy in the story. When I read my column just now I saw that the Reader had made a terrible fourth correction. My column now read that the gunslinger was played by actor Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin!!!!! How could they do that to me?

I owe the Readers a little more love. They were right. Jack Palance made a great bad guy but that was in some other movies. I shouldn’t be surprised. The folks behind the Reader are old movie buffs having restored Duluth’s “original art deco theater, The West.” And Marvin did play heavies. He was a great heavy in The Ballad of Cat Ballou. He was even better as the hero in that movie. The last time my late father-in-law visited us in Duluth I suggested he might enjoy the movie. He never watched movies but for my sake he watched this one. He had a lot of good laughs. Someday I’ll add it to the oldie movies I’ll have my grandsons watch.

“The Duke” with sidekick, “The Three Ears Kid”, photo by Claudia Welty

It begins:

When I was a Cold War kid I paged through a lot of Arizona Highways. It was a popular magazine in dentist offices. The eye-popping colors were dismissed by drab Soviet critics as unrealistic American propaganda. That was high praise indeed but entirely false. My cell phone is crammed full of similar pictures. Read the rest

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