February 7, 2014
Dealing with a tricky subject in the book. There's an ugly side to every little town.
Race Back In The Day
Kingman wasn't perfect. Like most of America in the 1950s and 1960s, there were virulent pockets of racism (some would argue there still is). I talk about my own family's prejudices and how it affected a black family, the father was stationed at the Air Force radar base. But I didn't want to just throw my mother under the bus for her views on the matter, so I thought I'd better cast a wider net. That led to this True West Moment which will run in the book as well:
Several who have read this have flinched and said it's not funny, but it's the truth! Or, at least, more true than most would admit. But, my friends and family in Mohave County didn't restrict their ire to ethnicity, which is exactly why I created this dude:
The Doper Roper Cleans Up Mohave County
Mohave County cowboys had a tough time accepting non-conventional types with long hair and—heaven forbid!—bellbottom pants! I know this because, as a member of a rock band, I found myself in the crosshairs more than once. I wasn't alone. I created the character The Doper Roper in 1972 as a reaction to the bellicose attitudes of my Kingman cowboy cousins and their disbelief at my betrayal of the manly traditions of the past. Grantham P. Hooker, or D-R, as we called him for short, was based on several Kingman area cowboys, most notably Buzzy Blair.
We're missing the scene where D-R pounded nails into his hood and wrapped bailing wire into tight little stirrups so he could lean out into the wind like that.
—Grantham P. Hooker