Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
July 28, 2008
All dogs go to heaven
The Desert Sun
When Ruby Montana first met the dog, his name was Fritz. He was a wisp of a thing, not even three pounds.
It was Christmas Eve. The sign on his cage simply read, “Heartbroken and homeless.”
The pup had been living with an Alzheimer's patient who fed him nothing but Pepperidge Farm Milanos and beer. After his owner was admitted to a nursing home, the family wanted to put the dog to sleep. Instead, he ended up in a pet grooming shop, waiting for the right home.
Ruby Montana saw the Chihuahua and fell in love.
“Well, come on. I had to take him home,” she says. “There was no way I could walk away from him. Even though I thought my two cocker spaniels would kill him.”
She christened him Louis L'Amour.
This is what Ruby Montana does. She is a collector of many things — people with stories to tell, broken animals, vintage salt and pepper shakers.
Until eight years ago, Ruby owned an eclectic shop in Seattle, Ruby Montana's Pinto Pony, a 2,500-foot space chock-full of retro kitsch, like pig-faced cookie jars, old postcards and Aunt Jemima pitchers.
There, Louis L'Amour helped run the Pinto Pony. As Ruby tells it, he was “the hardest working dog in retail.”
Ruby Montana holds a photo of Louis L'Amour, her 21-year-old Chihuahua who died last week. People in the community and around the world have responded with flowers and messages of condolence. (Richard Lui, The Desert Sun)
Ruby herself is something of a throwback. She is all red lipstick and bombshell blonde hair, propelled by the high-octane coffee she calls “jet fuel.”
She's the only person in the world who would have created the famous Seattle Spam-carving contests, judged by author Tom Robbins. (He wrote a story about Ruby that appears in his 2005 work, “Wild Ducks Flying Backward.”) The Spam-themed festivities “came in a dream,” she says.
Eight years ago, Ruby packed up truckloads of her stuff, drove to Palm Springs and began a new phase of life as the owner of Ruby Montana's Coral Sands Inn.
The place is sweet and quirky with seven theme rooms, like “The Howdy Doody Goes to Bali Suite,” “Yippy Ky Yo Ky Yay Rodeo Suite” and “The Yiddish Cowgirl Suite,” each decorated with vintage artwork, Formica tables and the kind of glassware you would find at grandma's house.
“It attracts a certain kind of person,” she says.
Ruby runs the inn herself. While she doesn't particularly like scrubbing toilets or changing the bed sheets, she's in the resort business for other reasons — for the family it creates.
“You don't make money at these endeavors, but what you do make are friends,” she says.
Louis L'Amour, too, settled into his new position and gathered new fans from all over the globe.
The guests never arrived without gifts for Louis, who ended up with more sweaters than an L.L. Bean catalog.
“He fell into a new kind of retirement lifestyle,” Ruby says. “More glam than retail.”
There are other dogs that help run the joint, too.
Ruby Montana has a shrine set up for Louis at her Palm Springs home. (Richard Lui, The Desert Sun)
A couple years ago Ruby had Louis L'Amour firmly tucked away in her purse at Trader Joe's. At the checkout, the pooch popped his head out, prompting another woman in line to exclaim, “I know his soulmate and she's in jeopardy!”
That's how Ruby ended up with Lola, a sassy grey dog who fell head over heels in love with Louis L'Amour.
Then, just last year, Ruby was driving on a back road in Emporia, Kan., when the driver of the car in front of her tossed a dog out the window. Ruby pulled over, chased the dog down and gave her a new home and new name — Dusty Springfield.
Last Sunday, just after the storms, 21-year-old Louis L'Amour slipped and drowned in the resort pool. He was carried to Ruby in a towel.
“I heard the knock on the door and just knew. It was the hardest door I'd ever opened,” she says.
Ruby Montana has no problem collecting things. It's letting go that is the problem.
She didn't make an announcement about Louis L'Amour's death, but word spread anyway. Within a day, she had received hundreds of phone calls, dozens of messages on her blog and kind words from all over the world.
“The best part of life is that each person is so unique in what they bring to the table,” she says. “That's what L'Amour had. You truly felt his soul. Everybody did.”
Ruby's neon green cell phone rings. It's a woman in Wisconsin. There are choked-back tears on the other end as a woman says, “My heart is broken for you.”
“It's hard to imagine life without him now, he's been stalking my ankles for so long,” Ruby says, sorrowfully.
Maggie Downs is a features reporter for The Desert Sun.
She can be reached at 778-6435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Photos : Richard Lui, The Desert Sun
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Louis B. "Guard Dog" L'Amour, maybe 10 inches tall at the ears, was pointing dead-on toward the entrance to the Coral Sands Inn. Every time he barked, he shot skyward, each leg a little synchronized rocket.
Outside, some guy Louis the Chihuahua didn't know was ringing the bell next to the motel's locked gate, jumping up and down, trying to see in.
Wouldn't ya know it. Louis's mama was out running errands, one guest was asleep in her room, another was sitting alone, poolside. Everything had been calm in Louis' capable paws — until now. Then comes this guy, acting like some kind of nut.
What's to see, Buster? It's a motel. A six-unit, pink motel. It was here in Palm Springs before you were a bullet in somebody's six-shooter. Why don't you just high-tail it to some other place to bed down. Rawf!
Wait a minute! The guest by the pool is going over to let the nut case in — the guy says he has a reservation. Why does this always happen? Why do so many guests figure they run the place?
Louis glowers and turns away.
Life's just like that at Ruby Montana's Coral Sands Inn.
The Seattle Times
P.O. Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Suffer the little children . . .
And he did. Louie L'Amour loved children and none more than his nephews Caleb and Nathan pictured here at the Brooklyn House in 1997. When Ruby found him, Louie (then known implausibly as 'Fritz') had been sewn into a horse hair sack by his owner, an elderly woman suffering from dementia and who fed him nothing but Milano cookies and beer -- her own diet.
Yes, Louie was a rescue dog and he never lost sight of those humble beginnings. He made it his life-long policy to rescue a small (or large) portion of every heart he encountered on his journey, but he was especially dear to children. Rube even worried that little Fritz was too small and frail to survive her whirlwind life, including the rough and tumble of twin boys.
But Louie, as usual, exceeded expectations transforming himself from little, hairless, shivering Fritz into the gadabout Louis L'Amour, special secret agent, cowboy, clown, pretend hostage -- whatever the game, he was up for it.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The little one had a big impact on many hearts.
As this goes up,
more than 40 love notes have been posted on the Coral Sands site.
and tributes to Saint Louis L'Amour have been popping up across the blogosphere.
The dessert rains come, the skies weep,
but the roses bloom.
from The Joanie-n-Rebecca Golf Experience
So Long, Louie L'Amour, A Dog for All Seasons
From claudia's surf city
louis the love
from the Brockowskis of Michigan
Happy Trails, Lou
AskDavid version on blogger
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Beginning of Time - July 20, 2008
Surveying his property, as he did at sunrise every morning, L'Amour, who was deaf and going blind, fell into the pool and slipped away. Befitting the occasion, the desert skies in July tore open and wept, flooding arroyos, taking out traffic lights, and washing the ancient sands, the skies wept, wept, wept at the loss of Louie the Love.
He is survived by his pet Ruby Montana, his bitches Lola and Dusty, a dozen stray cats, and the enduring Sands. The finest Chihuahua ever to play the game or run a motel, Louie was beloved by literally thousands or perhaps even millions. His gifts were in reverse proportion to his size and, in fact, cannot even be measured. Friends gathered throughout the day to comfort Ms. Montana.
May all the Saints embrace him, choirs of angels sing upon his arrival. We know God is smiling upon our Louis -- restored to his youthful vigor and handsomeness, he is working the perimeter in the Great Beyond.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
We call Her Flipper, Flipper...Faster Than Lightning...Elliott Walker Veith My Beautiful and Brilliant God Daughter in Bozeman Montana Happy Birthday
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Ruth and Calyn Dougherty pictured here on the front porch of the legendary Brooklyn house in Seattle...
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Isabelle Lynn and Kay Kershaw At The Double Kay Mountain Ranch in Goose Prairie Washington/Chinook Pass
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Cee Cee Ponicsan turned 65 today...She makes it all look so easy. She has found an inner peace that balances with her Model quality beauty that make the Gods smile. My CeeCee is a true friend and the Queen of many hearts. Happy Birthday to you today my Dear Friend...Ruby Loves You.
Whatever, the church is open for business and will commence weddings, commitment ceremonies, baptisms, cake walks, and other accouterments of the spirit in due order.
C'mon down for a little communion. You know how we feel about bread and wine here. Let the spirit move you, we'll groove you.
The Reverend is waiting for you in the desert. Answer the call.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
TONIGHTS THE NIGHT, COMPLETELY...MY PRECIOUS AMANDA PANDA VEITH WILL WED HER ANGEL BOY JOHN HOLCOMB ON THE STOOP OF THEIR OWN LITTLE BACK PORCH
The never ending river--Mary Nastali who begat Vita Alea who begat Elliott and Amanda who, with her soon-to-be-husband John, is begetting The Bean (also pictured above) concealed by mother's blouse.
Amanda Veith (daughter of my best of friends Nick, Vita, Bruce and Jennifer) will marry her Angel Baby John Holcomb tonight as the stars twinkle above them. Could one of those stars be Mary? The ceremony, on the stoop of their back porch, will legitimize the Bean... A bittersweet moment for us all with the passing of Gram just yesterday, and the birth of a new little family...Gram will take out a few lights around us in these 24 hours...one of mine is twinkling now...(Mary Nastali ..is the Grandmother of Amanda and the Mother of Vita). Mary always thought someone from the other side was communicating...now we know it is her. A big hearty Congratulations to two of the sweetest young people on the face of this planet. I cherish this moment and you.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
1914 - 2008
Mary and her sisters, The Farmeretttes, sang on Chicago's WLS. Its call letters referred to Sears & Roebuck, then the Worlds Largest Store--WLS.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I had a lovely birthday here in Ptown. I had my first sold-out show of the summer, had drinks with John Waters, then capped the evening off by having more drinks with Lea Delaria and Janette. A lovely day.
I'm determined to come visit you in the next year. . .
I don't know if it'll be in January or what, but I'm going to get down there!
Love you, Ruby,
John Waters, a fan of Dina Martina's, of course
Lea Delaria and Janette Mason are also regular Sanders and I love them. (Lea is a famous comedian).
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Jamie Kabler Hosted the Launch Party for Cinema Diverse Last Evening at Leisureland...He is the consummate Host....Brilliant gathering...
This Festival will run at Camelot Theatres July 22-27th, 2008...
This will be a showcase of the best in LGBT filmmaking from the US and around the world.
Visit their website:
Jamie and Ruby will see you there.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
A Very Happy Birthday Shout Goes Out to Sander and Friend Dina Martina . . . riding here in the Seattle Gay Pride Parade (left) with Love(ly) Laverne
Happy Birthday, Darlin' . . . RZM