Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cowtown Keeylocko

Last night Steve and I drove out the Ajo Highway past Three Points to Cowtown Keeylocko. This is a working cattle and horse ranch owned by Ed Keeylocko, who bought the land after returning from the Vietnam war. Ed loves the Wild West myth, and has built a small town that he proclaims is "The Way the West Really Was".
Actually, he has improved on the way the west was and is, because his house rules require a level of civility that has never been seen in the real world.
The Blue Dog Saloon is a barn with a sand floor and two bars. Suspended from the ceiling, hanging on the walls and crowded onto every surface are saddles, ropes, photos, animal heads, a baby buggy and an accumulation of decades of dusty old stuff.

Inspired by the movie "Lonesome Cowboys", filmed by Andy Warhol in southern Arizona, French-born Tucson singer Marianne Dissard filmed part of "Lonesome Cowgirls" at Keeylocko last night. Thanks to incorrect directions in The Tucson Weekly, we missed the filming, which must have been fun. By the time we finally found this ranch at the end of six miles of dirt roads off Highway 86, the costumed actors, including Tucson's own magical Flam Chen, were busy drinking and listening to Marianne crooning in French.

Keeylocko is a delightful Tucson treasure that reminds me of Valley of the Moon. Generous, imaginative men of vision created their versions of utopia, and then invited the world into their homes.