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Saturday, April 11, 2009 

Deming, NM. 70 miles. Cold. Windy. Empty field.
In the 1960s the best collection of rattlesnakes in the world wasn’t found in Arizona, or a big zoo in California, or Illinois, it was on Staten Island. Staten Island zoo director Carl Kauffeld spent his carreer amassing the collection. The hardest animals to find were the small montane rattlesnakes of Arizona and New Mexico, some species barely hard of and occurring only tiny mountain ranges known only to herpetologists and the border patrol. Driving south today headed for Deming I could see those ranges along the border south of the interstate and I remembered what it was like visiting them twenty years ago with my first wife Sharee Carton who has gone on to make her mark working with seasnakes back home in Australia. We were married in Reno and spent our honeymoon collecting the Great Basin Rattlesnake, so it made all the sense in the world to visit the Animas Mountains when we traveled through New Mexico a afew years later. In the circus I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about montane rattlesnakes. But here in Deming where in the 1950s Clyde Beatty wintered his circus, I look to the south and I remember the talus slopes on the mountains there and the living jewels that call it home in their splendid isolation.
One week from today we arrive in California.

I don't know your e-mail so I will try to reach you here.
The last few years Culpepper & Meriwether has played California but We only found out too late to catch the show. If you are coming anywhere L.A. Riverside or south (We are in San Diego) please let us know. Bill Burger who is featured on the National Geographic special about Culpepper & Meriweather would also appreciate a heads up.
Ralph Doris and Mark Horton

Ralph, write me at mudshowmedia@yahoo.com. Early next week well be playing some dates that might work.

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