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summer 2003

Howdy Folks,

Have any of you guys ever seen a purple horse? Well, our friends the Voits have one on their mountain out in Colorado. Now they tried lying to me, saying it wasn't purple, but while I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, I ain't blind. Shiloh, that's the horse, has a black mane and tail and dark stockings, almost black; but the rest of that sucker is purple. I don't mean as purple as one of Elton John's velvet jackets, but a sort of the palest lilac coloring when the late evening sun comes through the pines and lights up his coat. Very striking.

Of course, Pam, Shirl, and Bob could not see the lilac coloring; and Pam even came up with one the smelliest pieces of bull puddin' I've sniffed in many a year to explain why. She said the horse's color was "gruella." Give me a bleeding break! "Gruella?" "Gruella" is what they feed sick people or what the serfs eat in medieval romances. But a color? I've heard of bays, roans, paints, grays, and pintos. I know of brunettes, blondes, and redheads (about the last, much more than has been good for me); but I have never heard of the color "gruella." Just try walking into your hairdresser's and saying, "Madge, I think I'll do my hair 'gruella' this time." Madge will start whupping you upside the head with a curling iron until you're a redhead.

I ought to write Elton John a fan letter and tell him he should get himself a "gruella" jacket. Course he might track down old Shiloh and…. Nah, I think Elton is basically a gentle soul. He wouldn't do it. Besides, a horse-hair jacket--even a beautiful shade of "gruella"--would be very tacky. He'd also have the torment of those damned horse flies and no tail to swat 'em with.

I just had a horrible thought. Can you imagine if the Lone Ranger had ridden a horse like Shiloh instead of his white stallion "Silver"? The announcer would say, "Come with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear and from out of the past hear the hardy cry of 'Giddyup, Gruella'!" Aw, man, the outlaws would throw nosegays at the masked man, and Tonto would take a curling iron and whup the ole Ranger upside his head until he was a redhead.

Friends, I'm sorry. I got so worked up trying to get the Voits and Shirl to admit Shiloh's purple that I forgot to take a picture of him to prove it. Guess I was so mad that my mind turned to gruella.

Best,

Jim "Hawkeye"

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Jim in front of a classroom, teaching during his tenure on our local school board.


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Jim posed for the River Nymph book cover, chose the lady with the cards model and created the basic design from which Kim Killion worked.


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Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble
        iBooks             | Kobo                          

Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble
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