It was a quiet night in the town of Rawhide, AZ. Festivities for the evening had wrapped and the steak was digesting, so we were just about ready to hit the trail. Suddenly a gunshot echoed throughout the empty streets and people scattered. I turned around to face the Marshall, fifteen yards away, toting a 6-shooter and clad in Old Western gear, staring back at me with an itchy trigger finger. “Brendan Nagle! You are under arrest… for freeloadin’!”
My Uncle and cousins had me arrested that night. For freeloading. I’m sure glad that law has become a little more lax in the 21st century.
After the initial shock wore off it was a pretty routine arrest. You know, walking to the town jailhouse at gunpoint, waiting for the hangman, until finally singing I’m a Little Teapot to get let out on good behavior. But I swear, those first few seconds when he was staring me down and belted out those words… it was one of the coolest feelings ever. I’ve had a lot of different Thanksgivings in my life, but I’d never been arrested in an Old West town.
I wound up there for the holiday with a small band of West-side Nagles that live in Orange County, about an hour south of LA. Needless to say, since moving here I may have freeloaded a night or two. My younger cousin plays hockey in a college-level recreational league whose games take his folks all over the country. This time it was Arizona, so I naturally hopped in the back seat. A few years back when I finally realized that moving to LA was inevitable, the idea of driving across the country absolutely captivated me for a solid six months. Still kind of does, but it’ll be different, whenever or however it finally happens.
I was probably most excited about seeing the Southwest region of the country since one of the big movies I’d like to make in the next few years would be a Western, but for a while, people had been telling me it’s a hard type of movie to sell, especially internationally, without any real star power or a massive budget. After spending the week at AFM and evaluating my future from a business perspective, I’d finally accepted the fact that an actual “Western” may not be my next project. So, of course, the next day I would get invited to Arizona for an extended weekend with plans to visit an Old West town. Ahh, the way the world works sometimes…
Arizona is a pretty laid back place. Across the parking lot from the ice rink in Phoenix was a Macintosh Dealer, basically an Apple store without the big apple icon, whose idea of casual Friday was a tapped keg and two open bottles of red wine. Free for customers and people just passing through. I can only imagine their Sunday mornings.
Other highlights of the trip included decapitated palm trees, eating rattlesnake tail and rocky mountain oysters, playing with guns and bows at the redneck Disneyland known as Cabela’s (it had a small museum of stuffed animals), the first Patriots game I’d seen in a while as they stuffed the Jets, relaxing and writing next to an oasis in the desert, then finally a two hour traffic jam Sunday night on the way back in.
‘Twas a great trip with some real progress in developing two more feature treatments to pitch around in discussion with companies interested in distributing The Essentials over the next few weeks. Speaking of which… big news for it tomorrow (really this time, it’ll be there, I promise), so check back again soon!