WICKENBURG, AZ—Citing past instances in which their portraits were ruined by everything from killer dust storms to rapid-onset smallpox, frontier woman and mother of three Anna Goode expressed her strong desire Thursday to get one nice photograph of the family without someone dying in the process. “Just one portrait where we’re all appropriately straight-faced and alive—that’s all I ask,” said Goode, adding that if the camera flashbulb happened to burst into a fireball while taking their picture, she hoped the portrait itself could be salvaged and that the explosion wouldn’t permanently disfigure her husband or her children. “We’ve tried this time and time again, and we always end up with a shot where someone’s eyes are closed, or the boys’ faces are blurry from holding a smile, or we’re trying in vain to resuscitate our daughter Emily after a cottonmouth wandered into the frame and bit her on the ankle. It would be so lovely to have a proper, serious photograph of our remaining children before they’re all grown up or killed in a saloon brawl.” At press time, Goode’s hopes were dashed when, in the midst of sitting for their latest family portrait, her husband was approached by a rival rancher and promptly decapitated.
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