Posts Tagged ‘Michael Wallis’

VIDEO: Michael Wallis reads from David Crockett: The Lion of the West

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Michael reads an excerpt from his new book “David Crockett: The Lion of the West.”

Michael Wallis and Marian Clark

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Michael Wallis and Marian Clark

In 2004, best-selling author Michael Wallis and Marian Clark, the recognized authority on all culinary aspects of Route 66, teamed up to produce Hogs of 66: Best Feed & Hangouts for Roadtrips on Route 66, published by Council Oak Books. In this now classic road book, Michael regales his readers with personal stories from the historic Mother Road while Marian shares generous tips on havens of hospitality and dining options along the entire length of the highway as it makes its way from Chicago to Santa Monica. All together, the book is a savory stick-to-the-ribs stew sure to please any travelers of the open road.

VIDEO: Michael Wallis reads from Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Michael reads the prologue from his book “Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride.”

The Spinners

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The Spinners

“The Spinners,” Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jan. 1, 1970. From left, Easy Gravy, Michael Wallis, Louis De Carlo, Suzanne Fitzgerald, James Fitzgerald (kneeling), Proud Mary Wall, Ed from the East, Soapy Foster.

On the very first day of 1970, we climbed into a battered red Chevy pickup truck in Santa Fe, and struck out for Taos. Joining us was our brother Jimmy, between boot camp and Vietnam, along with a band of creative co-conspirators – Proud Mary, Louie, Easy Gravy, Soapy, Ed from the East, and the pickup’s owner, Matt, who during the years of the Vietnam draft lived by the alias of T.K. Flannigan. Filled with much of the spirit that drove Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, we dubbed ourselves the Spinners.

As gypsy-footed as our name and spontaneous as our freshly-drafted New Year’s resolutions, we made the decision to leave in a heartbeat. Some of us wore remnants of our old army and Marine uniforms, others were clad in vintage cloaks and plumed hats and an assortment of colorful caps, mittens, and costumes. Between us we had a few dollars, a couple of old blankets, a bit of rum, and a lot of hope. A tarot card – The Fool – dangled from the rearview mirror.

It was bitterly cold and snow covered the ground. In deference to the low temperature that hovered in the teens, we didn’t take the preferred High Road to Taos that winds through a string of mountain villages. Instead, we chose the more direct route on the highway that slices through canyons and rock walls flanking the icy Rio Grande.

We were on a quest, hoping to find a woman we had heard and read about. We believed she could help us understand all we would need to know in order to start a renaissance. We were young and filled with optimism. No challenge seemed too great – not a seventy-five-mile ride on a frigid winter’s day in the back of a pickup, not the ordeal of securing shelter for the night, and not even the rather lofty notion that the Spinners could actually launch a major cultural movement.

VIDEO: Michael Wallis Discusses Barbecue

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Michael reads an excerpt from his book “Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation: Writings from America’s Heartland” about one of his favorite meals, barbecue.

A Writer’s Life

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

As the old proverb puts it:
Live not in the past, look instead towards the future,
But in order to know where we are going
It is well to look back to see where we have been.

As a writer my job is to depict life and its events in the way I see them. I need to stay in tune with everything going on around me. I have to feel what others do not feel. I have to see what others do not see. I have to reveal the human condition. Because of that I am difficult to live with and I know that full well. So do others near and dear to me.

Still I go on. I have to write. I have to do that. It is so important that I leave behind the best of my work. My writing must be good. It has to be. Nothing else matters but that. Nothing.

I think of John Steinbeck. I consider him on an October morning all his own.

It was the morning of October 26, 1938. Steinbeck, fighting flu and facing all the demons that writers have to battle daily, completed writing The Grapes of Wrath. The last sentence of his diary entry for that date reads: “Finished this day — and I hope to God it’s good.”

I know that feeling. Many of you know it as well.

Through my published books — and I hope they are good — I pray I am leaving enough of the past to help others know where they are going by looking back to see where we have been.

Early in my life I was fortunate to figure out that I wanted to be a writer. I had no notion it would be such an interesting journey and one littered with all sorts of decisions.

Writer’s decisions. Countless decisions that go into every single act of writing. Daily decisions we all face. Which way to go . . . which way to turn . . . The sweet cruise … the ride to a rendezvous with danger.

Along that path I made some decisions that were very difficult. Most I stand behind; there are some I deeply regret — more than any of you will ever know.

Yet I have no choice but to move forward. To make amends where and when I can and continue to work at what I do best. In the end, my own life is of little consequence. I know that. I remember Georgia O’Keeffe saying it this way: “Where I was born and how I lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”

You need to strive to be all you can be. Make every single day your own masterpiece. Make wise choices but never be afraid of risk. Seek out the crooked paths, the roads of genius. Enjoy the journey.

Michael Wallis Interviews Andy Warhol

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Michael Wallis Interviews Andy Warhol

In 1980, while working as a Special Correspondent in Time Magazine’s Caribbean Bureau based in Miami, Michael Wallis covered iconic Pop artist Andy Warhol’s visit to Miami Beach. Warhol’s series of silk-screen prints called “10 Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century,” depicting such luminaries as Gertrude Sten, the Marx brothers, and Albert Einstein, had just opened at the Lowe Art Museum in nearby Coral Gables. Warhol also was keenly interested in seeing the stunning architecture of the Art Deco district that was just emerging in the South Beach area thanks to the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), founded by Barbara Baer Capitman, a noted preservationist. Wallis was not only working as a journalist in the area at that time but also was a member of the MDPL and a close friend of Ms. Capitman.

“My fondest memory of the several days I spent in Warhol’s company,” recalls Wallis, “was how he enjoyed taking photos of all the photographers who appeared wherever we went during his stay in the Miami area. He carried his own small camera and constantly used it to snap pictures of the restored hotels of South Beach as well as the journalists on his trail.”