PANAMA PERTINATE -- BACK TO THE FUTURE?
Yesterday I had an outing with a friend of mine. He owns a small farm not far from the Costa Rica border. The property isn’t that large and it’s not that far away from the inter-American highway (1.3 Km). However, it is a couple of centuries away from our year 2013. It’s just far away from the main infrastructure of Panama that several farms with multiple families exist without electricity, community water, cable, or Internet. The neighbors to my friend, keep an eye on his property, and the dozen head of cattle he runs. In return my friend supplies potable water to their farm through a gas powered pump he uses to fill his own reservoir to his small cabin.
My friend had a chore to perform; replace a leaking pipe in the wall of his cabin. I’ve attached a couple of photos of what he found. Keep in mind this connection was buried inside a block wall and plastered over. The was no evidence of glue. The pvc pipe was heated in a fire, probably hammered to shape and jammed into the smaller connector. Then the builder plastered over the fitting.
It’s sloppy and stupid practices like this that keeps Panama locked into the third world category. In several instances I have seen pvc pipes just stuck together without glue. One cannot find a pvc primer anywhere in the province of Chiriqui. It’s sad that sub-standard workmanship prevails in out slice of paradise.
UNTAMED -- BACK STORY
Curtis Dawson and RC Bellars were created in my novel, PARTNERS back in 1981. They remained true-to-form in the second writing of PARTNERS (partners 2.0) and also into the screenplay, PARTNERS. The script was optioned but the movie was never made so the script rights were returned. Several years later a producer of some merit wanted me to write five (5) screenplays for a mini-series on HBO; all on Spec, of course… Negotiations lasted almost a year. In that time frame I began sketching shorts of some of the experiences, Rick and I had either been directly involved in or had witnessed firsthand. The stories seemed to grow in my mind and I was almost finished with the first screenplay before the negotiations were complete.
I finally condescended when the producer sent me a check for ten grand; once he approved one, he would send me ten thousand for each following script; for a total of $50,000.
I wrote two prequels to the Partners screenplay. NO WAY & UP NORTH. I then spent some time rewriting PARTNERS so the three scripts would fit together smoothly. Then I wrote TRUST ME. All of these screenplays were stand-alone movies; two hours in length. I sent this guy the two prequels and he was supposed to send me another ten grand. That didn’t happen but I kept writing anyway.
At no time in all of this non-communication had I signed over any rights. The end of the story? NOTHING! Never a peep or a centavo mas. So, I had four screenplays with no buyer. I turned the internet and the mail service black with submissions to producers and directors. After a couple of years of this lame nonsense, I discovered e-books. I posted the screenplays on line and sold a few…the format is entirely wrong for the Kindle and Nook. I decided to write the screenplays into novels. That was the case with NO WAY and UP NORTH. Combined they became the outline for UNTAMED. All the incidents in the screenplays were based on experiences my riding partner, Rick, and I had back in our earlier years. The 1970’s and early 1980’s seem a long way back in history for some of the younger generation. For Rick and me this was the last of the truly ‘OLD WEST’ experiences. The RIDE, ROPE & SHOOT, was leaving the west; we were the ones waving goodbye. That mentality and value set may be depicted in novels or movies but in real life; it’s gone. It was a fun time in our lives and I really enjoyed writing the scripts and later the novel. I’ve yet to turn TRUST ME into a novel. Perhaps I’ll start that conversion soon.
UNTAMED has received 5 star reviews from those who have discovered the novel.