Monday, December 7, 2015

My LCC: Clark Lohr

Random Recall: Left Coast Crime 2013, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Yeah, well, the bread of my memories is spread with schmaltz when it comes to LCC 2013 in Colorado Springs. That’s the way it is, so make your judgments. It was a good time.

The snow came down a day or two into the conference. Why? It was March, and we were above 6,000 feet, tucked up on the foothills of the Rockies not far from Pikes Peak.

Things you learn about people: I stood in that snowstorm on an outside deck at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Naomi Hirahara took my picture. The railing behind me formed the horizon line for the image and Naomi got it dead straight, which told me she was a trained photographer. Indeed, Naomi has photographed and written for newspapers.

I remember Lou Diamond Phillips flying in to join Craig Johnson at the awards dinner, getting his flight delayed, and referring to himself as “Chief Standby Bear.” That, and Phillips being photographed by the standing bear sculpture in the lobby of the resort.

I remember Parnell Hall as the Puzzle Lady at the Concealed Weapons Fashion Show—on the cat walk, armed, in drag, and in your face—sporting not the planet’s best legs, by any means, and by intention. Curt Wendelboe quietly telling me a great story about fatal traffic accidents and sacred tobacco. Twist Phelan doing a fabulous, thorough interview with Laura Lippmann. And my favorite panel title of the conference: “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”— starring, in my opinion, Teresa Burrell.

I rode up Pikes Peak on the cog railway with G. M. Malliet, her partner, Bob, and Ragnar Jonasson, from Reykjavik, who is now an even better known novelist, and who translated fourteen of Agatha Christie’s novels into Icelandic.

Finally: Taking a picture of Janet Rudolph (she just won the 2016 Ellery Queen Award—ssscore!) on a sunny day with her hair blowing in the Colorado mountain wind. She told me her mother was always after her to get a haircut.

Clark Lohr grew up on a remote farm and ranch in Montana. Most of his friends were old men who told good stories. Although Clark has been thrown off of horses and thrown out of bars, most of his life has been urban and mundane. He is a Vietnam vet and a member of Veterans for Peace. Clark lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of two border noir novels: Devil’s Kitchen and The Devil on Eighty-five. He is coauthor of Mirandized Nation: The inside story of Ernesto Miranda and the Phoenix Police Department.


  1. These are good memories, Clark. It was at LCCC that I met you and since then we have become fast friends. Conferences are great for making friends--and learning about the craft. I'm on my way to Phoenix in March.

  2. Well written. You made the meeting and landscape come alive!