Monday, March 5, 2012


The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has announced its Wrangler Award winners for 2012, and YELLOW ROCK has won for Outstanding Theatrical Feature.  That puts the Michael Biehn/James Russo/Lenore Andriel starrer in some pretty heady company: recent winners include TRUE GRIT (2011),  APPALOOSSA (2009), 3:10 TO YUMA (2008), and OPEN RANGE (2004).  The Museum has been bestowing their honors since 1961’s THE ALAMO, and they’re not shy about their opinions: many’s the year that no award is presented in a category if there isn’t enough quality to choose from.

The Outstanding Television Feature is LOVE’S CHRISTMAS JOURNEY, for the Hallmark Channel, starring Natalie Hall and Dylan Bruce, and featuring Sean Astin, JoBeth Williams and the great Ernest Borgnine.  The winner for Outstanding Documentary is MAIN STREET WYOMING, directed by Kyle Nicholoff and written and produced by Tom Manning.

Their awards for outstanding literature include RODE by Thomas Fox Averill for western novel, MILAGRO OF THE SPANISH BEAN POT, by Emerita-Romero Anderson for juvenile fiction, AFTER CUSTER by Paul Hedren for non-fiction, SHOOTING FROM THE HIP by J. Don Cook for photography, WHEN WYNKOOP WAS SHERIFF by Louis Kraft in Wild West Magazine for best article, and MARRIED INTO IT by Patricia Frolander for poetry. 

Their music awards go to R. J. Vandygriff’s KEEP THE CAMPFIRE A BURNIN’ for Outstanding Original Composition and Dan Robert’s BEST OF VOL. 1 for Outstanding Traditional Western Music Album. 

Inductees into the Hall of Great Westerners and Western Performers include the late Fess Parker, Bruce Boxleitner, author Temple Grandin, and the late historian Walter Prescott Webb.  The Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award will be given in honor of Jerry Cates.   The black tie event will be held on Saturday, April 21st, hosted by Katherine Ross.  To learn more, go to the Museum’s websiteHERE


This morning, Sunday, March 4th, guests at the Laemmle Theatre in North Hollywood got to see the documentary A LITTLE PRINCE – A HOLLYWOOD STORY with its subject, Peter Ford, who was also seeing the finished work for the first time.  Peter is the only child of movie stars Eleanor Powell and Glenn Ford, and Peter’s bio of his dad, GLENN FORD, A LIFE was reviewed HERE in the Roundup. 

The forty-minute documentary, produced and directed by Alexander Roman, is an extended interview with Ford, and utilizes hundreds – maybe thousands – of images, home movie footage, and clips from a featurette featuring Glenn and Peter but, interestingly, no movie clips.  There’s just a moment from the 3:10 TO YUMA trailer, and all of the Eleanor Powell dancing clips, even those from the sets of her MGM musicals, were home movie footage.  All of which makes sense, because this is a film about how Peter, and not the public, saw his parents.  Much of it is very sad; the collapse of the marriage; the lack of a relationship between father and son – all the more ironic considering the endless stream of posed pictures of the two together doing ‘guy stuff.’

Alexander Roman and Peter Ford

It’s an eye-opener for all of us who’ve ever thought we’d be happier growing up in a 32-room mansion full of servants.   There are definite perks, but there can be a tremendous price to pay, as the all-too-familiar stories of Hollywood offspring who have crashed and burned can attest.  Roman has done an impressive job of assembling the material, with a use of imagery that often borders on the hypnotic.

Among the friends who attended were child star Jane Withers; legendary Paramount producer A.C. Lyles – who took time to praise Ford’s book; actor Bo Hopkins, who appeared with Glenn in BEGGARMAN, THIEF; and RIFLEMAN star Johnny Crawford, who did an episode of CADE’S COUNTY with Glenn Ford.


Period costume designer Karin McKechnie is very excited to be designing the costumes for Bob Buhrl’s western musical short, WHAT HAVE I DONE?, set in 1883.  Buhrl is directing and starring, “And he’s got some good people on board.  He decided to switch his project (from one) where they use a lot of reenactors, to actually use actors, and get a real costume designer, and that was me.  It’s a great project for me because, except for a few reenactors in the background, everything is mine.  Everything is out of my own studio.  It’s not going to look like your typical western, because there’s going to be a lot of antiques, a lot of original clothing, and a lot of things that have been made from scratch, by yours truly.  I’ve been working on it for a month.  Usually everything is last minute: people show up at my house and rent what I have.  This time I got to make everything from the ground up.”

She’s costuming about thirty characters in all.  “There’s townspeople, there’s ladies of the evening, there’s cowboys…it’s going to be a lot of fun.  And it’s going to be at the Whitehorse Ranch.  I think they’re going to use every building on the set.”

Karin and German Peter on the WYATT EARP'S REVENGE set

Karin is a particular fan of Whitehorse Ranch, which was built by German Peter and his son in Landers.  “They built it from scratch, and the look of the town is kind of western decay.  It looks like you’re on a spaghetti western set, where everything is like Bodie (the famous ghost town), but usable.  That level of arrested decay.”      


When I asked Leon, who’ll be portraying a tracker, for an update on THE LONE RANGER situation, he told me he couldn’t tell me a ton.  “I really don’t know anything about The Lone Ranger, not having been there; I’m just thankful that I’m a part of it.  I’ve got some fittings and stuff to do.  And there’s a beard on this character.  And not having one of my own, it will have to be one of their creation.   Hey, I’m giddy about doing it, man.   I’m excited to get over there and get on the back of a hopefully spirited animal, and just have some fun. Any day I’m paid to ride a horse is a good day.

“My heart’s in this Lone Ranger thing – any time I get to step back in time for a little bit is an amazing thing.  It’s like living out every childhood fantasy I ever had.  I remember standing on my little section of the wall when we did THE ALAMO (2004).  These reenactors were positioned up there with me, and looking out over these 150 Hispanic soldiers charging, and guns firing, and I…I’ve gone to heaven.”

And where do things stand with the mysterious Dr. Beauregard?  “With ALCATRAZ, I don’t know what’s going on there.  I finished my turn in it, and I thought I was going for only two episodes, but it wound up being a lot more, so I guess they were pleased with my offering.   He’s getting stranger by the minute, it seemed.  Halfway through, the director was giving me a little direction, and I said, ‘Well, I have no idea what’s happening here.’  And he said, ‘Nor do I.’ I’m sure the powers that be have some master plan.”  The master plan for Leon and the Lone Ranger is to start shooting near Albuquerque, New Mexico in late March.


Leon Rippy had mentioned that, prior to heading out for the masked-man adventure, he’d be doing some riding with Peter Sherayko, the actor/writer/all-around western expert who owns the Caravan West Ranch.  I checked in with Peter, whose ranch has been busy of late, though not exclusively with westerns.  “Last week I had three little films at the ranch.  One was from Wisconsin, to be used as a fundraiser, to build a school on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  This week I just did an episode of AUCTION HUNTERS.  And tomorrow we’ve got AMERICAN DIGGERS for SPIKE-TV.  It’s a new show.  They dig up artifacts at battle fields and so forth.  So they come out one day a week, and I recreate for them what they found.  So they found an 1851 Navy (Colt revolver), but all rusted.   So I brought a working 1851 Navy, loaded it, fired it, showed them how it shoots.  Also a ’58 Remington.  And there was a Sharps, and a Springfield.  And buttons, dice. 

“Tomorrow we’re shooting a pepperbox, a flare-gun, a .32 Smith & Wesson, a Forehand and Wadsworth.  I’ve got two other shows coming out.  One’s a show for Justin Boots.  A webisode series.  And on the 18th we have a documentary on the Civil War battles of the west.  Glorietta Pass and two or three others.  So they’re going to bring some cannons out and stage some battles out there.  I got a call for a commercial the other day.  I don’t know what it’s about, they’re just taking bids on it, but I hope we get that because he wants me to play the bad poker player.   And Adam Sandler is doing a new movie, WALTER MITTY, and they called me to make twenty saddles, bridles and breast collars for Bedouins.  I sent them the photos the other day, and I waiting to hear back from them.” 

More and more, classic TV Westerns are available all over the TV universe, but they tend to be on small networks that are easy to miss. Of course, ENCORE WESTERNS is the best continuous source of such programming, and has been for years. Currently they run LAWMAN, WAGON TRAIN, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, LAREDO, RAWHIDE, GUNSMOKEandMARSHALL DILLON, which is the syndication title for the original half-hour GUNSMOKE.Incidentally, I see on Facebook that a lot of watchers are mad as Hell at losing CHEYENNE and THE VIRGINIAN.

RFD-TV is currently showing THE ROY ROGERS SHOW, first at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Pacific Time, then repeated several times a week.They show a Roy feature every Tuesday as well, with repeats -- check your local listings.

INSP-TVshows THE BIG VALLEY Monday through Saturday, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE seven days a week, DR. QUINN: MEDICINE WOMAN on weekdays, and BONANZA on Saturdays.

WHT runs DANIEL BOONE on weekdays from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time, and on Saturdays they run two episodes of BAT MASTERSON. They often show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

TVLANDhas dropped GUNSMOKE after all these years, but still shows four episodes ofBONANZA every weekday.

GEB is largely a religious-programming cable outlet that runs at least one Western on Saturdays – the ones I’ve caught have been public domain Roy Rogers and John Wayne pictures –and sometimes have weekday afternoon movies as well.

For those of you who watch TV with an antenna, there are at least a couple of channels that exist between the standard numbers – largely unavailable on cable or satellite systems – that provide Western fare. ANTENNA TVis currently running RIN TIN TIN, CIRCUS BOY, HERE COME THE BRIDES, andIRON HORSE.

Another‘in between’ outfit, ME-TV, which stands for Memorable Entertainment TV, runs a wide collection: BIG VALLEY, BONANZA, BRANDED, DANIEL BOONE, GUNS OF WILL SONNETT, GUNSMOKE, MARSHALL DILLON,RAWHIDE, THE RIFLEMAN, and WILD WILD WEST.Some of these channels are hard to track down, but if they show what you’ve been missing, it’s worth the search.

And for those of you on the other side of the pond, our British correspondentNilton Hargrave tells me CBS ACTION has begun showing GUNSMOKE.


Built by cowboy actor, singer, baseball and TV entrepeneur Gene Autry, and designed by the Disney Imagineering team, the Autry is a world-class museum housing a fascinating collection of items related to the fact, fiction, film, history and art of the American West. In addition to their permenant galleries (to which new items are frequently added), they have temporary shows. The Autry has many special programs every week -- sometimes several in a day. To check their daily calendar, CLICK HERE. And they always have gold panning for kids every weekend. For directions, hours, admission prices, and all other information, CLICK HERE.


Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.


This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.


That's right, the segment I was interviewed for is now viewable here:

That's it for today!  Have a great week, and if you do anything of a western nature, fill me in!

Happy Trails 'til then!


All original contents Copyright March 2012 by Henry C. Parke - All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Always fun to read about Peter Sherayko. I used to see him at the gun shows in Pomona and Ventura... At a Ventura show I bought a Tombstone script from him and he autographed it for me. Fun stuff...