“Tell him that Wild Bill sent you. You are friends of Wild Bill. Tell him.”
Gonul listened hard, trying to be sure that she was understanding correctly for it sounded to her like the man we were talking to had just said he’d been shot. She looked at me for confirmation and I nodded. Wild Bill had been shot. He’d also been stabbed multiple times and he’d ridden with an outlawed gang.
After that last stabbing he realised he had to change his ways. He cut his hair. The revolution had started.
Having just finished our 8km Grand Canyon rim walk, we headed for the toilets of the El Tavor Hotel. Recognising the State of a car licence plate, Gonul remarked to me “I’ve been to Kentucky”. We walked past the car and towards the hotel entrance when a voice from behind us boomed out: “Where? Where in Kentucky?” It was the car driver, who wound down his window to ask his question. We turned and Gonul told him “Louisville”. He got very excited as he was from just nearby. He wanted to know if she had seen the derby, the grass and the bourbon factory <I’ve been told by residents of Kentucky that bar one famous Colonel that completes Kentucky’s attractions. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it did make me smile that those were the only things he mentioned.>
We chatted for a few minutes before he asked if we knew anything about art, and announced he was the son-in-law of the famous artist Steve Jackman. Our blank faces weren’t quite the reaction he was going for, but undeterred he handed us a card for a gallery and insisted that if we were ever in the vicinity we should visit. I informed him that we would be there in a couple of weeks and now, much happier, he instructed us to mention his name. “Which is?” I enquired, “Bill, Bill xxxxxx [obsured for security reasons!]” and then “but I’ve changed – for my father-in-law just say Wild Bill sent you. He’ll treat you right. Just as the Good Lord has looked over me.”
And so it was that we were referred to a fine art gallery by an ex Hells Angel.
You never know who is listening when you mention you’ve been to Kentucky.