What do you do when your comments start taking up unwieldy amounts of space on the comments page? Well, if you're the webkeeper (and I am) you make your own little spot. That's what this is. Just me, holding forth and not stopping the brain from following it's aimless ASJ wanderings.

Here a Pete, there a Pete:
Now, I know the page is about Alias Smith and Jones but in pursuit of thorough research I sat myself down to watch several episodes of Gidget. Pete in Gidget...well, OK, so Dave isn't as cool as Heyes, but watching him on Gidget has it's own rewards -- a muscle shirt and the name Panther comes to mind. At least he doesn't look like Darren Stevens like he does in Love on a Rooftop

Address info?
I have received countless requests for Ben Murphy's address, 6 people sending me what is alleged to be his home address and several others telling me where I can find his home address. People, that address will NEVER appear on these pages, nor will I ever give out anything that professes to be someone's home address without their knowledge and permission. Since I can hardly imagine that Mr. Murphy would want that, I think it's safe to say that you will not find it here. If he calls and says "Deb, go right ahead." -- even then, I might hesitate (after I picked myself up off the floor). So please, don't ask me. I have very few hard-line beliefs about this site but this will not change.

What if's: Where I ponder things that may not have been addressed on  the show but which occur to me when I am home alone and the TV isn't on ;-)
When are Heyes and Curry's birthdays? I mean, they have Fourth of July 3 times in the course of the show but nary a birthday between them. How sad. What they might have given each other as gifts. What do you think? Hmmmm...Also, since they seem to be good guys with solid senses of humor, I think they probably sent something along to Lom for his birthday -- sent from Mr. Smith and Mr., Jones of course - but Lom knows and is amused, exasperated and embarrassed all at once. Hey! I can theorize Lom any way I want, so there! :-)))

Since it's my hypothetical, it's goofy Lom (from the pilot) as opposed to manly Lom (from later in the series). Many of you have been subjected to my theory of multiple Loms and for those who haven't -- it's way to complicated to explain in a short note. Suffice to say that as the actors portraying the beleaguered sheriff changed, the portrayal changed significantly and this made it difficult for me to make him act in character when writing fiction. So, I started to specify which Lom I meant. See, I told you it was convoluted. :-)

The listserv:
Things on the listserv have been hopping lately -- with discussion of the episodes giving some underlying structure but all sorts of tangents cropping up to make the whole thing a delightfully chaotic mix. The deeper psychological discussion of Kid Curry's actions, reactions and motivations in "Smiler with a Gun" have been particularly interesting; where did the Heyes and Curry families sympathies lie during the Civil War; what would one do if the other were killed; if the Kid got the Philly - what for and when; as always, there is pensive pondering of "Who we would cast in the movie" but we've recently started thinking of recipes we can name after the characters -- Big Mac (and cheese) McCreedy is one of the more amusing.

The ASJ influence on Titanic:
I have demonstrated a worrisome tendency to see all entertainment in terms of ASJ. Wanna see? Ok, you asked. (You *did* ask didn't you?) Watch this (cracks knuckles)

Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes, having achieved their much longed for amnesty go to Wisconsin and settle down. The Kid meets a young woman, falls in love, marries her and has a few kids. The last of these offspring is named Jack.

Jack gets into minor trouble with the law but not wanting to endanger his father's well earned good standing in the town by allowing too deep a probe into the family past (Both Heyes and Curry still go by Smith and Jones), he takes off to parts unknown (incidentally changing his name to Dawson). After many adventures (both at home and abroad), Jack finds himself homesick for the States (He's in England, you see). By chance (or perhaps it was the poker skills learned from his father's cousin), he wins a ticket on the newest wonder of the world, The TITANIC where he meets a troubled girl name Rose....yadda, yadda, yadda... No? Oh, never mind. :-))))

Website thanks and notes:
The first anniversary of the page was October 4, 1997 and I celebrated by...ummm...well, lying on my floor staring at the ceiling because I threw my back out that weekend. But I *thought* about celebrating the anniversary of the page and that should count for something. I'd love to hear how people come across the page by the way. Do most of you get here by web searches, links from other sites, recommendations from friends?

On a happier note -  I'd like to say thank you to some very key people. To everyone who has come by in the past year, to those who have helped when I just needed someone to bounce ideas off of, to Catherine who is the best snark reporter I can ever have asked for, to Cinda who is a endless source of useful facts and trivia, to Annie who didn't run screaming in terror as we pelted her with early questions and who must have spent hours in front of a VCR for my benefit, to Laurie for having the tapes that I couldn't believe anyone still had, to Cynthia and Jane who posed the question that started me down this road in the first place, to my beta readers (ASJ fans and not) for not laughing and jeering, to my guest snarkers for being brave enough to try something new (see guys, it didn't hurt), to Carole who makes me laugh, to Mary for a special "Fernando extra", to Lil for the latest breaking UK news, to the "loop" for all their fun and discussion, to the Salon for letting me blather on enthusiastically when I am sure you were wondering when I'd stop...and to everyone else who I may have missed -- thanks more than I can say for making this one of the most enjoyable projects I have every worked on.

Books I really don't have room for but which I had to have:
You know -- I adore going to Barnes and Noble and checking out their "bargain" books. You know the ones -- they cost roughly $5 and are either Barnes and Noble reprints of midlist history books that the publishers were practically giving away or they are remainders. You'd be surprised but some of the things I have picked up there have spawned lots of Alias Smith and Jones related conversations, musings and fanfic. That's where I got my "Wild and Wooly Encyclopedia of the Old West" (known affectionately as the WW) which is chock full of useful and useless information -- much of it helped me decided what year the show takes place (In my personal universe it's 1884 -- more on that later) and "Triggernometry" was an interesting look at men who survived by the gun -- none as good-looking as the Kid I might add. I also got the "Ghost Towns of the Old West" and "The Old West Quiz and Fact" book. They are truly cheesy, tremendously poor quality paper, bad photo reproduction and a real hoot! Hey you can't go wrong for $4 (GTOW was $12 but it is really big so it's OK) . So, I thought I'd share a few tidbits with you and my Alias Smith and Jones related thoughts that go along with them.

Thoughts on Kid Curry:
Moving on now from my library of cheap, tawdry history books, I will waste even more of your time by musing on more actual show-related things. Shall I tell you what I have concluded about the Kid and women? I think he's a hopeless romantic. Yes! Mock me if you will. Well, maybe hopeless isn't the right word. Carole suggested gallant or Knight Errant. Well, OK. I see that but I wanted to get that hopeless thing in there as well. I mean, he knows these attachments can't go anywhere. Another person might become wary of getting involved with people just to avoid coming up against that realization over and over again. And yet, he doesn't become hardened to it.

And how does he win them over? Not consciously. I mean, you rarely see him set out to bowl some young woman over. The women seem to have the idea all on their own. And why not? He pays attention to them. Of course it helps that they are generally fresh-faced young things -- but when I say he pays attention to them, I mean that instead of going all "Mr. Machismo Rider of the Range" or "Teller of Impressive Tales" or the other weird peacocky sorts of things that men do, he focuses more on them than having them focus on him. They don't need any help in this regard. They practically goggle. He's a pretty good a listener. A lot of "Curry courtin' time" (if I may call it such) is spent nodding sympathetically as some sweet young thing poor out her tale of woe. Did that make any sense? I am sure it choking on grammatical errors and run on sentences abound but I babble when I character analyze and the typing comes out in a stream of consciousness.

Favoritism: Nonesense?
Catherine and I were once accused of indecent favoritism for Heyes over the Kid. I believe that this was in reaction to some small slight in the snarks. I stepped forward to defend myself as having a big old soft spot for the Kid and the entire rest of the show as well. I don't think we slight the dear boy in the least. In fact, lots of the discussion has nothing to do with either one of the boys. We ponder important questions like -- Why doesn't anyone get Kyle a trip to the dentist for Xmas? Where is Wheat these days? Does Armendiarez have more than one suit? Why is everyone always going to Santa Marta? What's there that is so special? Why do all the women of the west wear that same plaid dress (Except George since Michelle Lee is so much taller than the other guest actresses)? Does Kid Curry ever feel like just bopping Heyes on the head when one of his "great ideas" goes wrong?

As for talking the imbalance when talking about Heyes and Curry -- Sure, I do tend to wander off into streams of consciousness rambling about Heyes, "he who can crack a safe with the skill and delicacy of a Renaissance craftsmen". So sometimes it amounts to gushing but what can you do when you are confronted with eyes that sparkle like the sunlit sea and a smile that could light up the eastern seaboard. I don't blather exclusively about him...or about his convincing way with words, his skill at sleight of hand, his outstanding poker abilities, his dashing fashion sense. It's not my fault if I happen to mention once in a while his ability to crack a safe and look like he's having a hell of a time while doing it (Oh Heyes, tell me what it's like to crack a safe. Describe it to me -- in great detail.), or the fact that the perfect way to tweak my interest is to never show a spare inch of naked flesh. (Damn it, a flash of bathtub moistened flesh almost sent me into a swoon -- you think that's healthy?), or that he has the most adorable, irresistible dimple in all of history, (Is that the only dimple you've got, Hannibal? Come on, you can tell me. It'll be our little secret.), or that his silver tongue makes him the smoothest talker since Peter Wimsey (The minds reels at the level to which he can take whispering sweet nothings) his...uh, what?

Where was I?

Oh yes, I was talking about Kid Curry....Didn't I just declare him the most darling of hopeless romantics? Wasn't he my initial AS&J crush when I was a young girl? How can you not admire someone with a fastdraw like that? How can you not feel admiration for someone who sticks to his...uh, guns (What is it about this show that makes people pun so badly?) like he did in McCreedy Bust: Going, Going, Gone? Sure, it would have been easier and less humiliating to leave the gun off and not dance the jig but he stood his ground. He did not cow down in the face of cheesy bad guys. No. Kid Curry stood up to the Six Million Dollar Man and jigged for his right to carry his gun. Of course, these days I am able to focus on him more since I have been working my way through Roger episodes. And of course, the preponderance of Kid flesh in these later episodes is helping inspire lots of new trains of ...uh, thought

But don't think I am blind to Heyes' faults. Heaven forfend. Heyes is a man without flaws? Even I, who would walk seven miles in cowboy boots to be on the receiving end of one of those dimpled smiles, see BIG flaws!

  • Flaw number 1: He obviously likes Clem.

  • Flaw number 2: "We'll take the safe *with us*." Hello? Earth to Heyes.

  • Flaw numbers 3-10: He likes Clem.

  • Flaw number 11: He flips coins for women. (this flaw he shares with his blue eyed, curly headed cousin)

  • Flaw number 12: Did I mention Clem?

  • Flaw number 13: The brown suit

  • Flaw number 14 -- oh, forget it. Even with all these flaws (minor, though they are), I adore Heyes. Sigh.

True, I can be distracted from discussing either Heyes or Curry by the overwhelming machismo of Big Jim Santana or the suave and debonair Senor Armendiarez (does he have the *best* lines or what?) but in the end, I think both Heyes *and* Curry get fairly equal amounts of my attention all things considered.

Big Jim Santana:
Speaking of Big Jim (and when I am ever not ready to do that), have I mentioned this thing I have for Big Jim? All the usual. Swooning, shortness of breath, and uncontrollable urge to do Fernando Lamas imitations (which I am rather good at, if I do say so myself). Big Jim is one of the only characters that can get me to tear my eyes away from "he of the dazzling dimple". I think Jim is muy macho and very suave (despite the fact that he fell for "frosted eye shadow woman"). He makes me laugh. He's just a cool character. As an aside, I must mention that I squeal with delight every time Ceaser Romero comes on too. He too is suave and, though we do not see him wooing women, he has the *best* lines and delivers them with a panache I envy. But, this evening, my thoughts turn mainly to Big Jim. His life of crime, his time in jail, his life after the Devil's Hole Gang.

I like Jim. I think he's cool. He's the only one who calls Heyes by his first name. I like the way he says it -- Han-ee-bahl. I like the way Jim punches Heyes just to make a point. Now, now, I am not suggesting that everyone do it. But as soon as he did it, he explained his reasons and they made perfect sense to me. And gave Heyes' hair a adorable tousled moment for which I hope Fernando got a nice fat bonus. Gracias Fernando.

So, Jim was the leader before Heyes, right? And Jim went to jail -- and got out? The leader of the Devil's Hole Gang got out in what - a few years? How long did he serve? 7 years? Heyes and Curry were going to go away for 20 years, right? Are we to assume that Jim was not as big a crook and therefore the Devil's Hole Gang was a lesser threat to railroads and banks while he was in charge. That doesn't seem right. When Jim came back, he had some very elaborate scheme cooking for a BIG job so I guess I assumed that these were the kinds of jobs that they was used to pulling under Jim's leadership. It's under Wheat that they went small time, no? Then perhaps Jim was a model prisoner -- maybe he got good behavior points for having taught the warden how to tango and play canasta. But let's accept that he got out. So, there is Jim, out of jail, back at Devil's Hole and then flees a life of crime forever thanks to love of a good -- well, all right, an OK woman. She would be good if those eyelashes hadn't been so bad. I was wondering what Jim saw in her and I think it was the fact that she had hunted down and planned to shoot the man who had stomped on her heart. Muy emotionale! How very *latin* of her. Ole!
 

To further my obsession and fill in the blanks, Joanne writes: Now if Heyes became leader when Big Jim went to jail, he would have been 22 years old by then, and the Kid would have been 20. That is if we can judge by the wanted posters. But who knows, it could be that those posters were not completely accurate. After all, this is the Wild Wild West we're talking about, and maybe they did not update all those wanted posters every year. So it could be that Heyes and the Kid were a few years older. Maybe Big Jim was sort of Heyes' tutor in the early days. Big Jim does mention that his strong point is planning, not shooting, and Heyes is pretty damn good at planning and thinking too, to say the least. Maybe he learned a trick or two from Big Jim before he became leader himself and then went on from there to bigger schemes and plans than Jim had done, which would explain why Jim spent 7 years in prison and Heyes and the Kid would have to spend 20 years when they got caught. Does all of this make a little bit of sense or am I babbling nonsense again?

So what do you suppose Jim found to do with himself out there in the law-abiding world? Do you think it worked out for the two lovebirds? Did they get married? Were Heyes and Curry invited to the wedding? What did they get the happy couple as a gift?

The Unresolvables: Timelines,etc...
In regards to the ASJ timeline question -- here's something that seems to have some bearing on the question. In "Whatever Happened at the XST", the boys encounter Sheriff Frank Canton, alias Joe "Sorry I keep forgetting to call you Frank" Horner. According to the Quiz/Fact book (and WW), Frank was Sheriff of Johnson County, Wyoming from 1882 until 1884. He was voted out of office in late 1884. Then moved to Oklahoma, etc...so I'm thinking that this, taken together with the Mark Twain thing ( In "Something to Get Hung About" Heyes was reading "Life on the Mississippi" which was published in mid to late 1883), 1884 must be about right. Just an additional Frank note -- apparently old Frank was a bit of a softy. He arrested a man who had $2500 on his head but when he heard how the man had rescued a married couple from a ice floe a few days earlier, he let him go. Yes, he seems like a man who would put in a good word for his friends when he got the chance. :-) Also in regards to XST -- I believe it is Kid Curry that says they should have told the ranchers that Bill Longley and John Wesley Hardin were hold up in the hills instead of Heyes and Curry. Well, that would have been particularly ineffective since Hardin was in jail from 1877 until 1894 and Longley was hanged in 1877. I begin to see the problem in rationalizing the timeline of the show -- sigh. Either that, or Kid Curry fell asleep while the news of these two events made the rounds.

Tidbits:
Kansas cattle towns offered at variety of amusement for cowhands seeking recreation after a long cattle drive. They had roller rinks and bowling alleys in addition to saloons, gambling halls and brothels. I can't be the only one that would give anything to see Heyes and Curry trying their hand at roller-skating.

It strikes me now and again that $10,000 was an awful lot of money in the 1880s. Since we got so many shots of Sheriffs going through piles of wanted posters, and none of them were much higher than $2000 or $5000, I guess we were supposed to think it was because Heyes and Curry were so successful. But I guess it wasn't so out of line with some other notorious names prices -- the price on the James brothers (at the time brother Jesse was shot) was $10,000 offered by the state of Missouri.

Did they do the right thing staying together? Would splitting up (as they obviously discussed at some point) have been easier or not?

Has Heyes never wanted to go west of the Mississippi or is it that the opportunity never presented itself?

What the heck is the deal with Wheat? He seems to drop off the face of Devil's Hole for a while and then he crops up again -- well, someone with a bag over their head that Kyle calls Wheat crops up -- and then he's gone again. Wisp-o-willow-Wheat is how I think of him now -- when I think of him at all.

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