Sunday, August 26, 2018


Booger Brown doing his best Jack Benny

If you’re on the West Coast, Booger and Cody and Bubba and their brides and kids will be back for season four of THE COWBOY WAY today at 5 pm. If you’re on the East Coast it’ll be 8 pm.  It airs again on Thursday night -- check your local listings for times.  Just a couple of days ago I had the chance to talk to Booger Brown about the show, the network, his partners and family, and what’s in store for fans. 

For those of you who haven’t watched the show, Booger, Cody and Bubba are partners in the Faith Cattle Company. They’ve been friends and co-workers for many years. Cody Harris is married to Misty, and they have a son, Carter. Bubba Thompson is married to Kaley, and they have a daughter, Andie. Booger married Jaclyn, a widowed pharmacist, with a young son, Matthew, in season two. Booger began by talking about the article I wrote about the show for True West Magazine.  If you haven’t read the piece, you can CLICKHERE.

Booger Brown: Mr. Henry,!

Henry Parke:   Booger! How are you doing, sir?

Booger Brown: Now I'm doing good. How are you?  I just looked at that magazine just this morning, man. You did a heck of a job. Everybody was real excited, and our photographer, he was pretty excited that he got his pictures in a magazine.

Henry Parke:   Well that's great. It was such fun to meet all of you and it's great to talk to you again. I can't believe when we met you had just wrapped up season three and now you've got another season ready to go. It seems so quick.

Booger Brown: Yeah.

Henry Parke:   My wife is a huge fan of the show and she made me promise that I'd tell you that she loved your wedding. Jaclyn looked gorgeous. My wife especially loved your having the pillow made out of your granddad’s shirt there.

Booger Brown: Thank you.

Henry Parke:   How are you enjoying being a daddy to Matthew?

Matthew, Jaclyn and Booger

Booger Brown:  Oh man, it's great. There ain't no if, ands or buts about it. I couldn't draw a picture or couldn't write down a kid who would be any more perfect fit in my life then my little old son Matthew. I mean, he is it. When I first met Jaclyn, Matthew loved cars. His daddy passed away when he was 13 months old, and he sold cars.  And Matthew, he's turned on this cowboy thing, and especially when I'm keeping him, he comes home and he puts on his cowboy shirts and cowboy hat and cowboy boots and cowboy buckle belt -- he calls it not belt buckle but his buckle belt. And he wants to ride his pony and he goes with me. You can't ask for more.

One evening about a week ago, I was real tired, and  he said, “Dad, I want to ride my pony. Will you catch Trigger so I can ride him?” And I was thinking, I waited my whole life for a little old kid to ask me that, to want to go do what I do. And you can't turn it down. So I called his horse and kind of caught my second wind. And I thought, you know, I need to pen them heifers, bring 'em in. I went and caught my horse and I was leading Matthew everywhere I went, and he followed me while we penned the heifers; he likes being big boy and he likes being a country boy. At that point he said, “Dad, can I take my shirt off?”  And I said, “You bet you can: take it off!” He throws his shirt off and he thinks that's cool, you know. And his boots, he's got slip- on boots and they're a little big for him, and they slide off his feet while he's riding the horse. I had to fix them a time or two, and I was trying to pen them cattle. And he said, “My boots! My boots!” I said, “Give 'em here.” And I threw them over by a tree. We went out of the house this morning and he couldn't find his boots, and Jaclyn said, "I don't know where they're at." And I thought about it, and they're still there in the pasture by that tree! (laughs)

Henry Parke:   I have to tell you I just got to see the first episode of season four, where you get Matthew his own horse and it's just the dream of my childhood.  

Booger Brown: Did you see him when he took his hat off? He got his horse, and he's trotting around the yard. He takes his hat off and holds it up in the air. Like 'Howdy y'all!'

Henry Parke:   A lot of season 3 was about you and your partners getting into the restaurant business. Were you disappointed that it didn’t work out?

Booger Brown: No, I wasn’t. It was something we thought we could go and do, it’d be profitable for us guys. And we got us a belly full of it, and we decided we were already married, and we was in the cattle business. We didn't need to be in two things. Couldn't be married to anything else, you know?

The trio plus one: Cody, unidentified,
Booger and Bubbah

Henry Parke:   Have you spent all of your life in Alabama?

Booger Brown: No, I actually grew up in South Florida. We had ranched in South Florida and  my family had a lot of historythere ; you should check it out sometime. William Brown come over from England when they were laying the transatlantic cable. He hid out in Cuba and then got a ride on over here to America.  He become an Indian Agent, and he started the Brown’s Boat Landing where the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation is now. There’s a video on Youtube called MYSTERY OF WILLIAM H. BROWN AND BROWN’S TRADING POST. I honestly haven't watched the whole Youtube video because it starts showing my granddaddy talking and I know I can't really handle seeing him, you know, but it's good stuff. The day they buried him, when they got done with a funeral, the Indians came and treated him just like he was an Indian and held an Indian ceremony at his grave. That's pretty cool, you know.

I was in my teens when we came to Alabama and bought a piece of property. (In Florida) it just got tough with the environmentalists and we realized if we were ever going to actually own anything ourselves, we had to get out of there.

My Dad is still a rancher here today. My mom and dad have been together for 35 years. Got married young and my Dad tells a story of when him and my mom got together. There was lots of wild cattle, and they had 'em a jeep, and a tranquilizer gun, and they would go around and tranquilize wild cattle in this old jeep, and had me in a car seat riding that old jeep at two years old. They would go around and tranquilize them, then come back with a trailer and load them up, and that's why they made extra money.

Henry Parke:   Without giving too much away, what can viewers look forward to in season four of THE COWBOY WAY?

Booger Brown:  We kind of expand, you know? We sign on with another business partner and we grow.  I mean, it just gets better. And I'm hopeful there'll be more action in there. I know they filmed a lot of action and it just depends on what makes the cut and what everybody wants to see on TV. And INSP is so supportive of us. They are so wanting to see the real cowboy side of things, and they treat us like real people. It's really good to work for somebody like INSP and know you're appreciated for what you do and what you stand for. They shoot us straight and we shoot them straight as well.

Henry Parke: And how are you doing personally?

Booger Brown: I've sold more cattle and traded more cattle this year than I have in the past. The economy is looking good and things are looking up for us. It's just a good feeling, and going back to the show, it seems like we're having such a positive influence on so many people.

Henry Parke:   Any other future plans, outside of the series, that we should know about?

Booger Brown:  Me and Jaclyn's really eager to find us a piece of property if we don't get my granddaddy's property back. And who knows, in the future might have a child. We're really ready to grow with what we got going on, expand our business in trading cattle and raising cattle.


Happy trails,


All Original Contents Copyright August 2018 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 3, 2018




The folks at Paramount TV are so delighted with the popular and critical success of YELLOWSTONE that they’ve given the Kevin Costner vehicle an early renewal – the 10th and final episode of the tyro season will air on August 22nd, and the cast and crew will be heading back to Utah and Montana shortly. Reactions of Western aficionados to the Taylor Sheridan series have been mixed – Facebook complaints run the gamut from improper calf-delivery to no likable characters to “LONGMIRE did it better” – but all gripes seem to end with, “…but I can’t wait for the next episode!”

The series follows the Dutton family, led by Costner’s John Dutton, and their struggle to hold on to the largest cattle ranch in America, and the attempts of a developer (Danny Huston) and an Indian activist (Gil Birmingham) to take it apart.  It’s the 2nd most watched series on basic cable, following AMC’s WALKING DEAD.

What with production of YELLOWSTONE’s 2nd season imminent, it’s fortunate that Costner’s next project, THE HIGHWAYMEN, is already in the can. Made for NETFLIX, Costner and Woody Harrelson star as Fred Hamer and Maney Gault, respectively, the legendary Texas Rangers who got Bonnie and Clyde. Originally announced for October, the date has been changed to March of 2019. The movie is directed by John Lee Hancock (THE ALAMO) from a script by John Fusco (YOUNG GUNS).


Things are busy at Gene Autry’s old Melody Ranch these days, where WESTWORLD is moving out, and DEADWOOD is coming home. Absent since 2006, David Milch’s series that did so much to reinvigorate excitement about the genre, is returning to HBO. Everyone involved is being tight-lipped about story-lines, returning characters, and whether it will be a series or a movie. What is known is that it will be directed by Daniel Minahan, who directed the series in the past, and has been busy of late helming HOUSE OF CARDS and GAME OF THRONES.


Tim Blake Nelson as Buster Scruggs

The Coen brothers’ Western series THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS will have its premiere at The Venice Film Festival, which begins at the end of August.  It was originally announced as an anthology series with a difference – six episodes with six intersecting story lines.  You can read the details about the stories and casts from my earlier coverage, HERE.

Of course, an international film festival seems an odd place to premiere a TV series, but the Coens, who brought you the remake of TRUE GRIT and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, have decided to recut the series into a 132-minute movie.  NETFLIX says they will be premiering BUSTER SCRUGGS by the end of 2018, but no word yet on whether it will be in feature form or episodic. Or both (that’s my guess).


Booger Brown closing in on a steer

Bubba, Booger, Cody, and their wives and youngins make the move to Sunday nights with the 4th season of INSP’s remarkably popular and enjoyable reality series, THE COWBOY WAY.  The real-life day-to-day challenges and adventures of the Faith Cattle Company partners are a perfect antidote to citified stresses. You can read my Round-up interview with Bubba Thompson HEREYou can read my True West article on the series HERE.


It seems like THE REVENANT made a deep impression on a lot of filmmakers. After years of the sandy, gritty, deserty oaters that took their inspiration from Spaghetti Westerns, independent filmmakers have decided to look to the mountains.

The two new Westerns that open this week were both shot in heavy snow; A RECKONING in Montana, and THE IRON BROTHERS in Idaho and Wyoming.  And at the end of the month, a third Western, ANY BULLET WILL DO, from the writer-director of A RECKONING, Justin Lee, is also snowbound.  Below is an exclusive-to-the-Round-up clip from A RECKONING.

A RECKONING is the story of Mary O’Malley (June Dietrich), a young wife whose husband is brutally murdered. It’s not the first unsolved dismemberment murder in the small community, and the nominal mayor, played by Lance Henriksen, hires a flock of bounty-men to catch the killer. When Mary, with no faith in that rabble, tries to sell her property for a rifle, a pistol, and a horse, to find her husband’s killer herself, only one townswoman, played by Meg Foster, will help.

June Dietrich in A RECKONING

As Mary searches, through stunningly photographed forests, in snow, by lakes, we see she’s correct in her assessment: the bounty hunters are more interested in hunting each other than the killer. The problem is, you never get a sense that she has a plan. She isn’t following tracks, isn’t looking for sign, rarely speaks to anyone, has no suspect. She just rides or walks through stunning visuals. She once makes a comment that she’s sticking to well-travelled roads, assuming the killer would do the same, to look for more victims. But what she travels doesn’t appear to be a road or even a path; she’s just stumbling between trees, until she stumbles upon her husband’s killer, and that’s when the action starts.  A RECKONING is being released today by SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

IRON BROTHERS features a pair of real brothers, Tate Smith and Porter Smith, as Abel and Henry Iron, two mountain-men struggling to make a living as fur trappers since their father died.  Lazy and short-tempered Henry blows up at traders who offer him an insulting price for his pelts. In moments, a man is dead and Henry is on the run. At the same time, the more even-tempered Abel has an unexpected run-in with Shoshone hunters. Suddenly a chief is dead, and the Iron brothers are running a gauntlet of dangers on their way out of the mountains, trying to reach the safety of civilization.


As with A RECKONING, there is a wealth of beauty, but a poverty of incident. As Mary slogged through forest and snow, the Irons slog through snow and more snow. When the action comes, it’s entertaining, but the brothers, despite being engaging at times, mutter a great deal of their presumably improvised dialogue. Many of the conversation scenes are framed ala Ingmar Bergman, and shot in one take. If you have great actors, well-rehearsed, this can be very effective. But if you have actors doing their first film, what you have is a scene that cannot be edited, either to speed it up, or to use the best parts from several takes. THE IRON BROTHERS is co-written and co-directed by brothers Josh Smith and Tate Smith, and is available on many platforms, including AMAZON, from RANDOM MEDIA.



Back in the late 1930s, World War II was raging in Europe, but Japan had not yet pulled the sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor that would propel the U.S. into the fray. A group of American intellectuals, among them writers Dorothy Parker, Archibald MacLeish, Lillian Hellman and Ernest Hemingway, took the side of Spain’s democratically elected government, against the fascist Generalissimo Franco, and decided to finance a documentary to try and sway American public opinion. Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens shot the movie, and Orson Welles performed the narration written by Hemingway. But when Hemingway saw the finished version, he found Welles’ delivery too gentle and cultured – he rewrote the commentary, and recorded it himself. It’s a fascinating documentary, and a fascinating document, whether you are a history buff, or a Hemingway fanatic or, like me, both.


In 1948’s DEADLINE, Sunset Carson is a Pony Express rider on his last run. The Western Union Telegraph is putting the Pony Express out of business, and when sabotage and murder occur, Sunset seems a likely suspect. A decent entry in the Sunset Carson cannon, it’s written and directed by Oliver Drake, whose greatest service to Western movie fans was co-writing Yakima Canutt’s autobiography.

But of much greater interest than DEADLINE is a half-hour educational film sponsored by Standard Oil, INJUN TALK.  Apparently the last film directed by B-movie whiz Nick Grinde in 1946, at a powwow, Col. Tim McCoy and chiefs from several tribes tell the fascinating history of Indian sign-language. As a form of communication used then mostly by elders, there was real concern at the time that sign-language would be lost. And Tim McCoy was no casual signer. Before his movie career he’d been Adjutant General of Wyoming, lived for a time on the Wind River Reservation, and was considered one of the most articulate of its practitioners – he taught Iron Eyes Cody among others.


RIDERS was one of eight ROUGH RIDER films that Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton made for Monogram in the 1940s, movies that traded on the charm of Western stars who were getting a little too old for the rough stuff. They would have made more but, incredibly, Col. Tim McCoy was drafted – recalled to active Army duty at age 51. Shortly thereafter, tragically, Buck Jones, on a cross-country bond-selling tour, died in a fire in a Boston nightclub, The Cocoanut Grove, along with nearly 500 others.

As with the previous set, the best part here is the short, an episode of THE BUSTER CRABBE SHOW from 1951. Much like THE GABBY HAYES SHOW and a number of others, Crabbe hosted a half-hour program where he chatted with the viewers, and showed a truncated B-Western. The fun of this one, of course, is watching Buster. The film he shows is GUNS OF THE LAW from the P.R.C. TEXAS RANGERS series. Normally these chopped movies are hard to follow. Fortunately, P.R.C. Westerns tended to be so short on plot that this is probably the best way to watch it!


I hope you’re having a grand summer!
Happy Trails,
All Original Contents Copyright August 2018 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved