Old Tucson Studios … Part 3

4 Jul

I didn’t know there would be so much to see and do at Old Tucson Studios. Heat permitting, you could easily spend most of a day here.

Old Tucson is truly a monument to the dear Western Movies of yesteryear – where heroes were Heroes and rode off into the sunset …
A worthy time capsule of a different day.

Old Tucson Studio Tribute

Moving down Main Street …

Below: Another look at the Grand Palace Saloon … and just across the street is Big Jake’s – named after a John Wayne’s movie that was filmed here in 1971.
Looks like a guy could get a steak there …

Old Tucson Grand Palace

I could almost hear the clink of Duke’s boots on the boardwalk …

Old Tucson McClintock Mercantile

Passing by McLintock Mercantile

Old Tucson McClintock Mercantile 2

Mandatory photo of the Cigar Store Indian (right).

Old Tucson stable

Old Tucson bar

Here comes the stage … again.

Old Tucson Stagecoach

Stagecoaches were often late. Holdups, hostile natives, bad roads, bad weather,
lame horses, breakdowns, etc. Not really a very romantic way to travel.

Old Tucson Stagecoach 2

Rose heads over to the OK Corral Freight Depot

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Suddenly a Tour comes by.
But Rose keeps on shootin’.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

I watch from the safety (and shade) of the Ice Cream Parlour

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Time for some campfire lore and tales by the chuckwagon.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

I think I’m getting the hang of this cowboy thing.

Old Tucson Studios Stagecoach

Old Tucson bar

Next: Old Tucson Studios 4

The Wild Bunch (1969) Revisited

1 Jul


Nice insights in a amazing film – part of a ongoing inspection of what Peckinpah was trying to say. The fact we are required to dig this out and Peck didn’t just throw it onto our plate defies what most people think about this movie.

Originally posted on Tim Neath - Visual Artist:

The Wild Bunch (1969)Yet another western I have been meaning to revisit in order to better understand. My first reading of the film was completely off, as I realised after listening to a lecture from Richard Slotkin, now I really do have a far better understanding of The Wild Bunch (1969) which does indeed overshadow the rest of Sam Peckinpahwork, when he has so much more to offer to cinema. Instead of going over the plot I want to more analyse the film interns of how I read it, looking at certain elements and quotes which really do stand out for me, which probably shows why it stands out more so than others. It’s not just the violence that he wanted to amplify to the audience, Peckinpah, hated violence (not that you’d know it from his films) almost glorifying it, yet this has a knock on effect as we…

View original 1,341 more words

Arizona Holiday continued … Old Tucson Studios: Part 2

29 Jun

Old Tucson Studios is pretty big.

Old Tucson 2

There’s ongoing entertainment at Old Tucson Studios
They have it timed so you can take it all in if you wish.
We took a lot of pictures.

First thing was the well rehearsed Medicine Show.

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 1

Careful though – you might wind up as part of the show.

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 1B

You have to be a skilled photographer to take 2 pictures of a guy
and catch him blinking both times. Grrrrrrr …

Old Tucson 2 medicine show

But the show must go on …

Old Tucson 2 medicine show 2

Old Tucson bar

Next door to the Medicine Show is Town Hall
housing a museum and a gallery …

Below: Badges of the Old West.

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 1

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 2

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 3

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 4

Old Tucson 2 City Hall 6

Old Tucson 2 City Hall

“This town ain’t big enough fer the both of us.”

Old Tucson bar

Onward … to the Grand Palace Saloon

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall

My photography skills are exposed.
Or underexposed ? Whatever.

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall 2

Maybe I was distracted.

Old Tucson 2 Dance Hall 3

Old Tucson bar

Old Tucson 2 Bath House

Over at the women’s bath house …
Heck it’s only 15 cents … 25 if you want soap.

Old Tucson bar

Below: We spotted a guy practicing gun tricks …

Old Tucson gun tricks

He wasn’t very good so I decided to offer him some advice.

Old Tucson gun tricks 2

Below: snickering and holstering at the same time.

Old Tucson gun tricks 3

Don’t try this at home folks.

Old Tucson bar

Next: Old Tucson Studios 3

Old West Medicine …

26 Jun

One thing we can’t celebrate about the Old West is Medicine of that era (though we may wonder at our own).

medicine wagon

I woke up this morning with an excruciating pain in my lower left back. It soon became so bad that I could barely stay conscious and thought I might fall. I knew I had to get some Emergency assistance quickly. Should I phone for an ambulance? or get Rose to take to drive me over to the Hospital? I couldn’t chance driving myself – that was certain. The pain wouldn’t cease. I got dressed as best I could and decided that Rose would drive me over. Staggering to the car we wondering what the hell was going on? I have an abdominal hernia (operated on once) and also a bad back. Was it somehow coming from these? I’ve had some recent symptoms of kidney and liver pain which I figured was coming from using Ibuprofen pain killers (I’d quit all painkillers a month ago) for foot and back pain at work. Something else?? I’d been to the Dentist just yesterday for 2 fillings. One filling was so near to the nerve that the Doc had to put something special on the nerve to deaden any pain (Thanks Doc). Was it something resulting from that? Was it Aliens on special mission to antagonize me?? ???

When we get to the hospital and there’s thankfully very few people in the Emergency waiting room. I didn’t relish sitting there for ANY period of time. It took about 10 or 15 minutes to see to the Docs.

I’m wheeled in … interviewed by about 4 different folks whilst my blood is being removed and I’m placed on a slab. “Ziss vill only take a minute.”

How about some painkillers Doc? … “Vat? did you say someving? Stop viggling!”

Anyway … turns out I have a gal stone .. or kidney stone. Can’t quite recall at the moment .. I was pretty stoned.

But it passed through! YAY ! Not peacefully though.

Turns out I also have Diabetes 2. Too. I’d kinda figured so, but I was avoiding doing anything about it. Western Style.

jcalberta tombstone

No, I didn’t have my boots on.

OLD WEST elixer

medicine wagon 2



snake oil bar

But there’s always medical alternatives.


home medicine kit

Home Medicine Kit

snake oil bar

Old West School of Dentistry

at the dentist

OLD WEST Dentist Sign

What!? No haircut ?

OLD WEST Dentist Sign 2

Painless I tell ya!

Young Doc Holliday

Holliday Dentistry

“Hold still … I’m about to remove your left upper molar.”

Cowboy dentistry

Old West Self Dentistry … not really recommended … or missed

snake oil bar

Real Medicine

Lancaster The Rainmaker

The Magic of Lancaster (Starbuck) and Katherine Hepburn
The Rainmaker (1956)

The Rainmaker poster

Lancaster The Rainmaker 2


Angie’s Ride …

22 Jun

Duncan woman with Huntington’s Disease goes for one last motorcycle ride

Huntington’s Disease doesn’t hold 43 year-old back from going on one last ride

It was a special day for a Duncan woman with Huntington’s disease.

She wanted to go for one more motorcycle ride but because of the advanced stage of her disease she wasn’t able to hold on by herself.

Her mother put out an ad online for someone with a sidecar and the response was quick and exceeded any expectations.

My youngest brother Chris responded to the ad and offered the services of his Ural sidecar motorcycle. Then things just took off as the good folks of Duncan, BC and area joined in.


Chris: “This is going to be fun. It’s a good thing.”

saddle up

Ready to roll


good samaritans

Good folks of Duncan BC !!

Chris' Ural Sidecar Motorcycle

Hope Angie had a great ride !

Way to Go People !!

Arizona Holiday continued … Old Tucson Studios: Part 1

21 Jun

On the way to Old Tucson Studios we drove through about the biggest
Saguaro Cactus forest I’ve ever seen.
Turns out we’re in Saguaro National Park.

Old Tucson

Quite a sight for us Northerners. We have castus in Alberta – a few varieties – notably Prickly Pear – but these Saguaro are a novelty to us.

Old Tucson saguaro cactus forest 2

Old Tucson saguaro cactus forest 3

Below: Rest point.

Old Tucson rest point

Below: looking back – Tucson in the distance.

Old Tucson - Tuscon in the distance

Below: rest point 2.

Old Tucson rest stop

Just another Arizona vista.

Old Tucson the view

Old Tucson moving along

Below: looking ahead – Old Tucson Studios in the distance.

Old Tucson - Old Tuscon Studios in the distance

Below: coming in

Old Tucson Studios coming in

Arriving …

Old Tucson entering

At the Entrance – Gift Shop

Old Tucson Gift Shop


Old Tucson entrance

Next: Inside Old Tucson Studios

The Mission …

19 Jun

On the way to Old Tucson Studios we stopped by Mission San Xavier Del Bac.

When the Spanish weren’t plundering and murdering, they built Missions. Lots of them. This is one. It’s famous – ton of photos on the net.

Here’s ours:

Mission San Xavier Del Bac

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 2

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 3

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 5

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 6

Mission San Xavier Del Bac8

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 7

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 10
Mission San Xavier Del Bac 11

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 12

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 13

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 14

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 15

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 16

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 17

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 18

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 19

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 20

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 21

Mission San Xavier Del Bac 22

hummingbirds 2

the stranger

The stranger




Colossal Cave … Part 3

16 Jun

Game of Thrones Western Style

Gun Bar 2

Colossal Caves: Part 3

Colossal Caverns Park Logo

Some closing shots.

Colossal Ranch cactus

Colossal Cave

Below Colossal Cave there’s other things to see and do in Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Hike, picnic, camp, Ranch, trail rides, field museum, gift shop … and more. We took a quick tour.

Colossal Cave Mountain Ranch Park Map

Down at La Posta Quemada Ranch we find this awesome sculpture
“The Cowboy” by Buck McCain. It’s almost like finding a Rembrandt
in a barber shop.

Colossal Ranch Buck McCain Statue The Cowboy

Colossal Ranch The Cowboy Plaque

THE COWBOY standing 6’8″ high including the a base (32″ x 32.5″) is an edition of 35. He depicts a working cowboy. Dress and gear are authentic reproductions. THE COWBOY stands at the entrance of the Mountain Oyster Club, Tucson, AZ; Evergreen Cementary, Colorado Springs, CO; the Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA; Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Tucson, AZ; Leanin’ Tree Western Art Musuem, Boulder, CO; the Foss Company, Golden, CO and is found in several private collections.

Gun Bar 2

Colossal Ranch phone booth

Southern Pacific Rail Road
Booths like this one, were a vital
communication for rail workers and
engineers. They were positioned about
every seven miles. Keeping the booths
operational included ____ing the
glass ____ed wet cell batteries. They had
to be kept filled with oil and battery acid.
This one was recovered form Pantano.
It had to be abandoned during the 1960’s
when the system was modernized

Colossal Ranch windmill

Colossal Ranch barb wire

What cowboys and ranchers think about barbed wire.

Colossal Ranch CCC fieldhouse museum

Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

Colossal Cave CCC museum 2

Colossal Cave Park ... leaving

Gun Bar 2


After a hot day of caving we earn a dip in the pool!

Back at the Hotel

Back at the Hotel 2

Ya Baby !

Old Tucson Studios

Sir Christopher Lee … A Man of La Mancha

15 Jun

Ghost Riders in the Sky / Christopher Lee

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
(1922 – 2015)

Christopher Lee

‘The Impossible Dream’ (from The Man from La Mancha) is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songs ever written. Here is a man, an old man, a very old man full of daring, bravery, courage, determination, romanticism and dreams.
– Christopher Lee.

Christopher Lee young

Christopher Lee 2

“We don’t always get the kind of work we want, but we always have a choice of whether to do it with good grace or not.”

Sir Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing

Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing (bottom)

Christopher Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Cushing

Christopher Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Cushing

As far as I know (?) (feel free to correct me), Sir Christopher Lee only appeared in one Western: ‘Hannie Caulder‘ (1971) – not regarded as an epic or Western Classic. Possibly worth a watch though, due to it’s great cast: Lee, Robert Culp, Strother Martin, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Raquel Welsh

guns of hannie caulder

In his early film work, Lee was not a good actor. But he was not there to win awards – his chiselled features held charisma. Ironically, by the time he appeared in Hannie Caulder he had become a very good actor and could deliver any line with Shakespearean impact and resonance. He had achieved iconic stature. His role in the ‘Hannie Caulder’ was small, yet excellent – but he was still billed down on the marquee.  That’s Hollywood.

Hannie Caulder poster

In later DVD packages, he moved up the ladder.

Hannie Caulder DVD


Hannie Caulder IMDB Review

Hannie Caulder Rotten Tomatoes Review

Christopher Lee in Hannie Caulder

Christopher Lee and Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch and Lee

Christopher Lee and Robert Culp

Robert Culp and Christopher Lee

Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Christopher Lee

Hannie gets her gun.

Christopher Lee - Time for action

Time for action !

The Notable Badguys: 

Strother Martin, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam

Strother Martin, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam

guns of hannie caulder

Later Lee finally got roles he could really sink his teeth into.
– if you’ll excuse the expression.

Christopher Lee Dracula

Christopher Lee Priest

“A whole new career opened up for me when I was in ‘Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘Star Wars.”

Christopher Lee LOTR

Christopher Lee LOTR 2

Christopher Lee LOTR 3

Christopher Lee 4 Musketeers

Christopher Lee 4 Musketeers 2

Christopher Lee 4 Musketeers 3

Count Duuku Light Sabre

Christopher Lee Star Wars

Christopher Lee Star Wars 2

Christopher Lee Star Wars 3

Christopher Lee Star Wars 4

Count Duuku Light Sabre


Christopher Lee Awards

Count Duuku Light Sabre

“As far as I am concerned, Don Quixote is the most metal fictional character that I know. Single handed, he is trying to change the world, regardless of any personal consequences.”

Christopher Lee Heavy Metal

Christopher Lee Pop Star

Sir Christopher Lee – Pop Star

Count Duuku Light Sabre

‘The Impossible Dream’
composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion.
It was written for the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha

‘The Impossible Dream’

composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion.
It was written for the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To be better far than you are
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To be willing to give when there’s no more to give
To be willing to die so that honor and justice may live
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

Count Duuku Light Sabre

Slow West (2015)

14 Jun

Looks good.

Colossal Cave … Part 2

14 Jun

Silent Partner / Event Departure

Part 2: Colossal Caves / Inside

Colossal Caverns Park Logo

Before we go inside Colossal Cave, I need to clarify something: Rose and I are not ghost hunters. It’s not on our minds. Nor are we paranormal researchers, etc. Yet in our journeys in Arizona we seem to be continually encountering ghostly phenomenon – namely in the form of what paranormal researchers call ‘orbs’ – supposedly ghostly manifestations that are often seen in haunted locations. But it’s only pure coincidence that these places we’ve visited in the past in Arizona are ‘paranormal hotspots’.

Our first encounter was in Yuma where Rose photographed an orb in the notorious “dark cell” at old Yuma State Territorial Prison. The fact is that we were only in Yuma because I was getting dental work done across the border in Algodones, Mexico. Otherwise we wouldn’t have gone there at all.

Our next encounter was in Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theatre. This trip to Tombstone was a gift from Rose to me because of my interest (and Blog) on Westerns Movies. I had not planned to go to Tombstone – and hadn’t known of The Bird Cage’s reputation for being haunted. I’d hoped I’d be able to visit Tombstone someday, but hadn’t counted on it.

Now we come to Colossal Cave – where I’ve now learned is yet another famously haunted location. All of these locations are high on the list of people who investigate and seek out ghostly phenomenon. But we didn’t know that. Even if we had known it, I surely wouldn’t have expected to encounter anything. And apart from visiting Tombstone itself we had no intention of going to Colossal Caves – and didn’t even know it existed. Our experiences were not intentional – or sought out – but hard to ignore – though fun and interesting to us. I mentioned them here and shown what evidence we have for your own interest and fun. I’ve known for a long time that ghosts exist and I didn’t need any proof – and truthfully, I’d generally avoid such any such encounters if possible.


Colossal Caves entrance

Above is the first photograph I took in the caves.
That’s our Tour Guide on the steps.

There’s a small orb right behind Rose.
(You are free to think otherwise, but that’s exactly what it is.)
Below enlarged.

Colossal Caves orb 1

Colossal Caves onward and upward

Below and above: Broken stalactites are evident. There was a lot of this throughout Colossal Caves which had been inhabited, used and visited for hundreds of years by local natives – then miners – then outlaws. This is just one of the reasons the 2 cavers who discovered Kartchner Caverns kept them a secret for 14 years. Soot from fires in the cavern also can be seen. I’m sure there was plenty of graffiti and garbage that was needed to be removed as well.

Colossal Caves Rose

Colossal Caves tour

The second shot with a very visible orb right in the middle.
(No, that is not from his flashlight.)
Pardon my finger in the shot.

Colossal Caves Tour 2

Colossal Caves Tour 3

Below: 2 orbs appear quite clearly at the top center.

Colossal Caves Tour 4

Below: When you Tour these caves, keep a tight grip on your cameras and purses. There are lots of places where you will not recover them if they fall.

Colossal Caves Tour 5

Colossal Caves Tour 6


Colossal Caves Tour 7

Not as spectacular as Kartchner Caverns, but definitely some decent things to see here.

Colossal Caves Tour 8

Colossal Caves Tour 9

Colossal Caves 10

Colossal Caves Tour 11

Colossal Caves Tour 12

Colossal Caves Tour 13

Colossal Caves Tour 14

Colossal Caverns Park Logo

Colossal Cavern … Part 1

13 Jun

One good cave deserves another.

Not really knowing what to expect, the next day we head over to Colossal Caverns.

If you were wondering why 2 cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts decided to keep Kartchner Caverns a secret for 14 years (from 1974), you’re about to find out.

Colossal Caverns aren’t as big as Kartchner Caverns, but have a unique and interesting History. And other things …

We came away with so many photos from around there that I’ll need to do this in 2 or 3 Parts.

Part 1: Colossal Caves / The Entrance

Colossal Caverns 1 at the entrance

Colossal I tell ya !

Colossal Caverns - dismounting

Dismounting from rental steed …

Colossal Caverns -  the sign

Colossal Caverns - cave facility

Cave Entrance and Gift Shop in background

Colossal Caverns - trail to Cave

Path to Gift Shop and Caves

Colossal Caverns gift shop and entrance

Colossal Caverns - plaque

Colossal Caverns - plaque 2 Colossal Caverns - resting

Colossal Caverns - panorama

Nice View

Colossal Caverns - Rose and miner

Colossal Caverns - Frank S

Colossal Caverns - Frank Schmidt plaque

Colossal Caverns view

Colossal Caverns Gift Shop

Colossal Caverns - entrance

Cave Entrance

Colossal Caverns - thermometer

A comfortable 70 Degrees F. inside the cave

Colossal Caverns - panorama 2

Colossal Caverns - view 2

Next: Part 2: Into Colossal Cavern

Kartchner Caverns … Arizona

9 Jun

Caving … Holiday Style

It rained like hell on the second day of our week in Arizona. Poured. Never expected that. And I could see how flash floods can be a huge danger down here.

SO … what to do on a rainy day? AHA ! Caves nearby. Kartchner Caverns. It can’t rain in caves … can it?

Rainy Pool ... Sierra Vista

Nobody in the pool on a rainy day. Not even crazy Canadians.

On the road

Off we go.

On the road

On the road still

Karchner Caves entrance

Rose in the garden

Kartchner Park has hiking trails and a hummingbird garden …

Rose & cactus

Flora and Tourists.

Karchner Caves out back

There’s a fair sized facility here with a theatre and gift shop and all,
but I was annoyed so I refused to take any pictures of it
(because they wouldn’t allow us to take any pictures inside the Caverns).

Well … not totally annoyed.

bat earsYou see they’ve got these big bat ears you can try out …

Un huh.

road runner

Anyway … The Caves: 

(All images taken from the net)

Kept secret for 14 years by their discoverers.
who feared that the caves would be defiled and spoiled.

Karchner Caves map

The caves are BIG so there’s 2 Tours – about an hour long each
if you want to see the whole thing.

We took the the one with the Throne Room and
the magnificent Kubla Khan column

Kartchner Caverns

Kartchner Caverns 2

Kartchner Caverns 3

Below: The Throne Room

Kartchner Caverns 3 The Throne Room

Kartchner Caverns 3 The Throne Room 2

Kartchner Caverns 4

Kartchner Caverns 5_________________________________________________

 “Kubla Kahn” column

Kubla Khan

Kubla Khan 3

“Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment”

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1797

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

Kubla Khan 2

See that person at the bottom ?

Kubla Khan 4

Kubla Khan 5

Bats :

Kartchner is a Living Cave.
The “Big Room” is closed during the summer for bat breeding.

Kartchner bats


From Wikipedia: “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment” /ˌkʊblə ˈkɑːn/ is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in 1816. According to Coleridge’s Preface to “Kubla Khan”, the poem was composed one night after he experienced an opium-influenced dream after reading a work describing Xanadu, the summer palace of the Mongol ruler and Emperor of China Kublai Khan. Upon waking, he set about writing lines of poetry that came to him from the dream until he was interrupted by a person from Porlock. The poem could not be completed according to its original 200–300 line plan as the interruption caused him to forget the lines. He left it unpublished and kept it for private readings for his friends until 1816 when, at the prompting of Lord Byron, it was published.

Some of Coleridge’s contemporaries denounced the poem and questioned his story of its origin. It was not until years later that critics began to openly admire the poem. Most modern critics now view “Kubla Khan” as one of Coleridge’s three great poems, along with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. The poem is considered one of the most famous examples of Romanticism in English poetry. A copy of the manuscript is a permanent exhibit at the British Museum in London.

Steeds of Renown … American Pharoah

6 Jun

American Pharoah Blazes to Triple Crown
at Belmont

American Pharoah 2 American Pharoah 3 American Pharoah 4 American Pharoah 5

American Pharoah 7

American Pharoah 6

American Pharoah 8

American Pharoah


Boot Hill …

5 Jun

creepin midnight / Seatrain

Boot Hill / Tombstone, Arizona

We finally make it to Tombstone’s legendary Boot Hill. The resting place of Clanton’s, McLaury’s, assorted bad guys and ordinary folks – most of who probably died with their boots off – now immortalized at this famous location – though some are marked “Unknown”.

It’s not the only Boot Hill around – just the most famous. A place of graves and ghosts.

Boot Hill 1

Boot Hill 2

 The “Hill” has a nice little tourist shop.

Boot Hill 3

Rose reclining.

Plaques out front.

Boot Hill 5

Boot Hill 4


As cool and clear as an Arizona morning.

And quiet.

Boot Hill 7

Boot Hill 6

Boot Hill 10

Boot Hill 8

Boot Hill 14

Boot Hill 9

Boot Hill 12

Boot Hill 15

Boot Hill 13

Boot Hill 19

Boot Hill 16

Rose puts her boots on Les. I told her that wasn’t cool.

Boot Hill 17

Boot Hill 20

Boot Hill 21

Boot Hill 18

The End

Wyatt Earp House …

3 Jun

On the way to Boot Hill …

Rose spots Wyatt Earp House and Gallery

Wyatt Earp House and Gallery

I wouldn’t have minded looking at the Gallery, but things looks pretty quiet.
It’s closed. But Why? It’s Saturday and there’s a Festival in town … ?

Wyatt Earp House 2

We’re still nosy enough to have a look around …

Wyatt Earp House

Wyatt Earp Statue

Wyatt stands guard

Wyatt Earp House 3

Waitin’ for Wyatt …

Curiosity gets to us … so we head around back …

And out steps Bat Masterson !!

Bat Masterson / Tombstone

Didn’t even know he wuz in town.

Here’s the story: this chap (Greg? Craig? Forgive me, I forgot your name)
drives in from Los Angeles and likes to join in the Tombstone festivities.
He rents one of the 3 existing rental units on this lot.
(There’s no longer a Wyatt Earp House and Gallery – but rental units.)
He’s typical Tombstone friendly and chats with us for a while.
Nice guy. I snap a pic of him with Rose.

Bat Masterson 2 (It was just my guess that he’s portraying Bat Masterson.)

Bat Masterson Tombstone Bat sported a moustache though, but is typically
portrayed as carrying a cane – as was our friend.

Tombstone badge 2

Back home I finally get the back story on Wyatt Earp House:

Wyatt Earp House closing this weekend

Posted: Apr 18, 2013 6:27 PM MDT
Updated: Apr 27, 2013 5:28 PM MDT
By Sonu Wasu CONNECT
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –

“It’s a town where the sound of gun fire is everyday business.

Horse drawn carriages walk down main street and the feeling of the old west is alive every day. Now a town that’s been fighting to preserve history is fighting for self preservation.

Hearing the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery is closing for good is sad news for locals and tourists. It’s been around for more than a century. It closes on Sunday for good, and officials blame it on the economy and a decline in tourism.

“I didn’t know, but I’m not surprised,” said Wyatt Earp Theatre Owner James Ferguson. “Our tourism is dropping pretty steadily.”

Every owner is fighting for their business to stay alive.

“Last couple years, we wound up closing two of our businesses [and we] now just have this photo studio left,” said Old Tyme Photos Owner Jim Newbauer.

Last few months, 11 businesses closed down,” Chamber of Commerce President Susan Wallace said. “We’re also seeing large turnover of businesses, but we also have new businesses coming in.”

The owners of the Wyatt Earp house are not in town today, but we’re told they plan to re-open as a vacation rental. Officials say this is not expected to affect Wyatt Earp Days in May, but some in town feel it will; one less place for visitors to check out.

“Hopefully they’ll keep statue of Wyatt there so people can still take pictures with it,” Newbauer said.

Town officials say an international marketing campaign is now in the planning stages.

Normally, the tourists [whom] Tombstone does well with are Europeans, Japanese [and] the Asians,” the Mayor said over the phone.

But the town is too tough to die and still hanging on.

“It’s very sad but we won’t give up,” Ferguson said. “We want to promote history of this town, Wyatt earp, mining; it’s what this town is all about.”

Part of their marketing campaign includes printing their brochures in different languages. The goal is to bring international tourists to Tombstone, Ariz. They also plan to make their website accessible to tourists by offering options for several different languages in the near future.

Chamber president Susan Wallace says this advertising campaign is expected to cost them a few hundred thousand dollars. They hope to use money from the town’s bed tax, and revenue generated from city-owned attractions like the boothill cemetery.”

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Really ?

There you have it. It’s shocking to hear that Tombstone – major iconic Western attraction – hurting for Tourism/VIsitors. It seemed busy enough to us, but maybe that was just because of the Rose Festival ? Don’t know. The Economy … I guess ? Yet I’d figure that when things turn down, folks would come here rather than travel aboard ? Maybe people aren’t travelling at all – sticking close to home ? Hope that changes.

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Tombstone Ghost Town?

Tomestone Ghosts

To Tuff to Die ?

Wyatt Earp House & Rose

Not if we can help it

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Tombstone steeds

… somebody’s steeds …

Next: Boot Hill

OK Corral Re-enactment … after the shooting …

1 Jun

After the smoke clears we’re all invited down to talk to the Players and have our pics taken with them. Nice.

after the shooting

after the shooting 2

Below: But first you gotta be smart enough to know where to stand.

after the shooting 3

As you can see, as far as charisma and being photogenic goes, I’m about 8 notches short of a cigar store indian (no offense to indians).
But at least I know it.

Below: Then you gotta know where the camera is.

after the shooting 4

I’m your Huckleberry.

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See what I mean?

after the shooting 5

after the shooting 6

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Coming up … Wyatt Earp House and Boot Hill

OK Corral Re-enactment …

29 May

OK Corral sign

– Testimony of Wyatt Earp:

” …Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton’s six-shooters were in plain sight. Virgil (Earp) said, “Throw up your hands; I have come to disarm you!” Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury laid their hands on their six-shooters. Virgil said, “Hold, I don’t mean that!” I have come to disarm you!” Then Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury commenced to draw their pistols. At the same time, Tom McLaury throwed his hand to his right hip …”

Compared to film/movies, live re-enactment of anything – especially outdoors – have several disadvantages. In the particular case of the OK Corral gunfight the actual setting cannot be accurately reproduced.  That’s the first thing. Next you can’t re-shoot anything, theatrically speaking. There’s also no close ups, no fancy camera angles, no overhead shots, no lighting, no sound projection, no special effects, no editing … etc. etc… You’ve got a script – you rehearse – and you go – whatever happens happens.

Then there’s weather – which can be something else – blazing hot, windy, rain … ?? But you advertised and sold the tickets and  ‘the show must go on’ as they say.

Then there’s the manpower: It takes 3 Earps, 1 Holliday, 2 Clantons, a Claiborne, 2 McLaurys, and Sheriff Behan at a minimum: 10 Players. And for the most part these are not professional actors making lots of money. They make something? (I guess) and do a pretty good job, but I doubt that it’s lucrative. Mainly they just love to do this thing – the Old West and it’s Lore – they enjoy what they do in their fraternity of Western Players.

Nor would I say it’s that easy to find people for this. The requirements are pretty unique. Firstly, you gotta have the guns and know how to handle them – no phonys allowed. Those guns aren’t toys and can be dangerous. Nor are they cheap. Then there’s the costumes/outfits. A knowledge and respect for all things Western – especially a knowledge of the OK Corral event, would also be a necessity … most of these guys ARE experts on the whole History, People and Events that surrounded this incident … and so on …

So … how to portray that on an open stage? Combining factual history with a flare of entertainment? Not that easy a task.

Anyhow …  let’s go …

Most folks know the basic storyline: there’s been ‘bad blood’ between the Earps and the Cowboys (Clantons, McLaurys et al) for quite a while and lately the Cowboys have been stirring things up around Tombstone – uttering threats and challenging the Earps … a confrontation seems inevitable.

The Set

OK CORRAL Reenactment Set 2

L to R: OK Corral, CS Fly Studio, Oriental Saloon, City Jail, and Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper

Introduction of the Players

OK CORRAL Reenactment Set

                     Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp tending to affairs at their Oriental Saloon.                       Sheriff Behan sets out on his rounds


Doc Holliday arrives from Tucson – Gets a polite warning to behave from Virgil Earp


Wyatt comes out


Wyatt fills Doc in on the situation …


Meanwhile, drunks Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury and staggering around town uttering threats toward the Earps

Things are coming to a head …


Wyatt sends a message


Tom McLaury gets ‘buffaloed’ (pistol whipped)


Ike didn’t get the memo – shows up at Earp’s bar threatening them again


Old enemies Ike Clanton and Doc Holliday get re-acquainted


No more warnings …

An inevitable conclusion


Morgan, Virgil and Wyatt


Doc shows … we gotta put a stop to this …


“I just heard the ‘Cowboys’ are down at the OK Corral”


Doc gets a badge … and a shotgun.

 The Gunfight


The Earps and Holliday start to ‘pull’ …

OK CORRAL REENACTMENT the shooting begins

… the shooting begins … *Blam Blam !! Pow Pow !!*

OK CORRAL REENACTMENT ... Morgan and Virgil wounded

… Morgan and Virgil are wounded …

OK CORRAL REENACTMENT ... shooting continues ...

… shooting continues … *Bang Bang !! … Pow Pow !!*

OK CORRAL REENACTMENT ... Frank McLaury falls ...

                          … Frank McLaury falls … Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton lie dead …                                  Ike Clanton and Bill Claiborne ran off.

Aftermath … 


Earps 3 … Cowboys 0


… the rest is silence …





… “Damn” …

Of interest: the 2 principle players in this event emerged unscathed: Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton.

Also interesting: Clanton and Billy Claiborne were both unarmed and ran. If you were planning on a gunfight, wouldn’t you bring a gun?

Gun Bar 2

Next … Boot Hill 

Knocked down …

25 May

Brother Doug was asking when I was going to get to Boot Hill.
Maybe sooner than I plan because I’ve been sick for a whole week. Flu again.
If the disease don’t kill ya the meds will.
So I haven’t been up to getting anything done on the Blog.
Despite several attempts.

OK CORRAL Reenactment Set 1

Working on OK Corral gunfight re-enactment. I have about 50 photos that I’m sorting through.
Then on to Boot Hill. I’ll keep my boots on just in case …
The whole thing was a nice adventure and a lot of fun. So I hope I can convey that you to and get along …


The Gunfight at OK Corral … a short documentary

22 May

OK Corral Gunfight – some background

The music is little heavy handed, but this is a pretty good little documentary on the OK Corral shootout … about 8 minutes long.

just a game …

18 May

It means absolutely nothing to us I tell ya …

World Champs

hockey canada

Winnipeg Monarchs

Arizona Holiday: Tombstone: The OK Corral: Part 2

15 May

Outlaw Man / Eagles

(Q) Up to that time, did you see any weapon of any kind drawn by or in the hands of either of the Clantons or McLaurys?
(A) No sir. They all had their hands up, up to that time. Tom McLaury had his hands up, holding his coat open.
– Testimony of Ike Clanton

OK Corral Exhibit / Shop

Tombstone city hall and sign

Out front …

OK Corral site

OK Corral site 3

Inside … 

OK Corral ATM

Insert wallet here

Boot Hill please … 

last buggy ride

Insert body here …

Gun Bar

Out back …

Shades of Oklahoma

Surrey With The Fringe On Top – Unknown rider

OK Corral sluce


Gun Bar

Gunfight Mockup

OK Corral gunfight mockup 1

OK Corral gunfight mockup 2

OK Corral gunfight mockup 3

A not too impressive mockup of the Gunfight – though it does include a decent audio component.

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Next: The OK Corral Gunfight Re-enactment !

Arizona Holiday: Tombstone The OK Corral: Part 1 … update

11 May

Doolin Dalton / Eagles

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”
– Wyatt Earp

The Gunfight at the OK Corral

OK Corral sign

map downtown tombstone

Map of downtown Tombstone showing location of OK Corral\

OK corral brochures

“Gunfights Daily” ! Probably could have published this in 1881 and the gunfights would have been Free !

 Yeah Yeah .. I know you were wondering when I was going to get over to the the OK Corral. I’ve been kinda dragging my boot heels cuz the Earps and the Gunfight at OK Corral is about the biggest event in American Western History. Name a bigger one. Maybe the Alamo or Little Big Horn have equal stature?
Any way you look at it The Gunfight at the OK Corral is Genuine, authentic, unique American History. Americana.

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Depictions in Film 

My Darling Clementine

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gunfight at the ok corral

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Hour of the gun

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tomestone review

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wyatt earp review

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The Real Players

And I can’t of any other Western Event that’s depicted as an essential climatic element – in 5 different separate movies ? – and mostly of them regarded as Western Classics.
All the more interesting since we know pretty well what the heck is going to happen – and who wins!

Earps and doc

Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday

clantons et all

Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Billy Claiborne, Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury

Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers were killed.
Ike and Billy Claiborne ran.

Controversial: The Earp movies seem to portray the Earps as protagonists – albeit somewhat ruthless: But were the Earps right in what they did? or were they just a bunch of thugs wearing badges and legally carrying guns? Did the Clantons et all deserve to be  shot down like dogs by professional gunmen? There are still folks around that think this shootout was outright murder. Not that the Clantons were a bunch of nice folks or anything – as they were rustlers, murderers and robbers to be sure … but …

City of Tombstone Ordinance

Well I’m sure they deserved a spanking … and were asking for it.

OK Corral plaques

And got it.

Arizona Holiday ….

8 May

Tonto / Silent Partner

Arizona Holiday

Small Nose Rose and Dork Holiday

Comin’ Up: a visit to the OK Corral 

Tombstone Diary: On the street 2

30 Apr

Peaceful Easy Feeling / Eagles

Tombstone Diary: On the Street 2

Leaving Big Nose Kate’s, we head down to the famous Rose Bush.

tombstone rose festival

downtown tombstone 2

the rose

“… by any other name … “

tombstone rose 2

Roses above … Rose below

And there’s lot’s of action on the street …

Parade !

tombstone parade

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downtown tombstone 7

tombstone parade 6

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tombstone parade 8

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tombstone ladies parade

tombstone 2 ladies

tombstone on the boardwalk

Tombstone festivities

corvette poster

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Prospecting 2015

Arizona Holiday … Day 2 … Tombstone Diary: Big Nose Kate’s

27 Apr

Twenty One / Eagles

Big Nose Kate

Big Nose Kate

Tombstone tales and history mainly surrounds the exploits of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, but accompanying them are several other ‘Larger than Life’ players that had parts on the Tombstone stage.

One such player was the Big Nose Kate.

Wikipedia says:

“Big Nose Kate (born Mary Katherine Horony Cummings November 7, 1850 – November 2, 1940) was a Hungarian-born prostitute and longtime companion and common-law wife of Old West gunfighter Doc Holliday.
In 1860, the Horony family left Hungary for the United States. Dr. Horony and his wife died three years later and Kate and her younger siblings were placed in foster homes. 

At age 16, Kate ran away from her foster home and stowed away on a riverboat bound for St. Louis, Missouri. Her history is then somewhat murky until the time she met Doc Holliday in the early 1870s.

It’s believed she entered the Ursuline Convent but didn’t remain long. In 1869, she is recorded as working as a prostitute for madam Blanch Tribole in St. Louis. In 1874, Kate was fined for working as a ” sporting woman” in a sporting house in Dodge City, Kansas, run by Nellie “Bessie” (Ketchum) Earp, James Earp’s wife.

In 1876, Kate moved to Fort Griffin, Texas, where in 1877 she met Doc Holliday. Doc said at one point that he considered Kate his intellectual equal. Kate introduced Holliday to Wyatt Earp. The couple went with Earp to Dodge City and registered as Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Holliday. Doc opened a dental practice by day but spent most of his time gambling and drinking. The two fought regularly and sometimes violently.

According to Kate, the couple later married in Valdosta, Georgia. They traveled to Trinidad, Colorado, and then to Las Vegas, New Mexico where they lived for about two years. Holliday worked as a dentist by day and ran a saloon on Center Street by night. Kate also occasionally worked at a dance hall in Santa Fe.

By her own account, Doc and Kate met up again with Wyatt Earp and his brothers on their way to the Arizona Territory. Virgil Earp had already been in Prescott before Wyatt persuaded his brothers to move to Tombstone. Holliday was making money at the gambling tables in Prescott, and he and Kate parted ways when Kate left for Globe, Arizona, but she rejoined Holliday soon after he arrived in Tombstone.

Doc Holliday

Doc and Kate

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Following several misadventures that are too long to mention here, Kate claimed that she was in the Tombstone area with Holliday during the days before the famous shootout. According to Kate, she was with Holliday in Tucson during October 1881. On October 20, 1881, Morgan Earp rode to Tucson to request Holliday’s assistance with dealing with outlaw Cowboys who had threatened to kill the Earps. She refused Holliday’s request that she remain in Tucson for her safety, and traveled with Holliday and Earp. Kate reminisced in a letter about her stay with Holliday at C.S. Fly’s Boarding House which bordered the alley where the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place. Kate accurately described minor details of the shoot out.

On the day of the gunfight, Kate claims a man entered Fly’s Boarding House with a “bandaged head” and a rifle. He was looking for Holliday, who was still in bed after a night of gambling. Kate recalled that the man who was turned away by Mrs. Fly was later identified as Ike Clanton, whom city marshal Virgil Earp had buffaloed (clubbed with a gun) earlier that day when he found Clanton carrying a rifle and pistol in violation of city ordinances. Clanton’s head was bandaged afterward.

Virgil Earp had disarmed him earlier that day and told Ike he would leave Ike’s confiscated rifle and revolver at the Grand Hotel, which was favored by cowboys when they were in town. Ike testified afterward that he had tried to buy a new revolver at Spangenberger’s gun and hardware store on 4th Street but the owner saw Ike’s bandaged head and refused to sell him one. Clanton was unarmed at the time of the shootout later that afternoon. Ike testified that he picked up the weapons from William Soule, the jailer, a couple of days later.

After the Gunfight

Kate is reported to have made trips to Tombstone to see Holliday until he left for Colorado in April 1882.

Kate (died at age 89) was buried on 1940, under the name “Mary K. Cummings” below a modest marker in the Arizona Pioneer Home Cemetery in Prescott, Arizona.”

(Please excuse my judicious editing. Kate’s story is long)

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A visit to Big Nose Kate’s, Tombstone 

Big Nose Kate's

Big Nose Kate’s is definitely one of the fun places to visit in downtown Tombstone  It’s the kind of place where I wish I was still drinking. I’d spin a tale of me dancing on the table and starting a bar room brawl. In my drinking days I definitely coulda got hammered here.

Big Nose Kate's doorway

Kate’s seems to be the heartbeat of Tombstone. It’s in the middle of town on shady side of Allen Street (main street) Unless it’s night, of course. And it outta be.

Big Nose Kates a glimpse inside

It was rocking when we arrived. Noisy, boozy, lively, food and drink. It’s a joyful rock though – not smash mouth. There’s a band playing and it’s Honky Tonk colourful – a great atmosphere. When it’s busy I figure it’s tuff to get a table – or even a seat – but maybe you can sit at the bar. That’s where I’d like to sit anyway. Kate’s will fit your notion of a good time Western saloon.

Big Nose Kates feeling it

Catching the flavour …

Big Nose Kates

Next … a peek at OK Corral

Arizona Holiday: Day 2: Tombstone Diary: On the street

27 Apr

Tombstone Diary: Saturday, April 11, 2015

Downtown Tombstone is mainly 2 streets and 500 saloons.
Just kidding – there’s 3 streets.
In it’s heyday Tombstone had “110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dancing halls and brothels”.

Today’s Map of Tombstone: Hope you can read the print.

Downtown Tombstone Map

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Rose and I exit the The Bird Cage into bright sunlight. It’s a beautiful day.

Downtown Tombstone cowboys

Downtown Tombstone sign board

Lots of things to see in Tombstone

We head for a shop across the street …
But we get far before we’re bushwhacked by this guy:

Dirty Dingus

Dirty Dingus is big and mean lookin’ and smooth talks us into going into
The Gunfight Palace
A place where they do “Famous Gunfight Re-enactments”.

I don’t really want to go in, but Rose is already buying the tickets.

So … in we go.

After the Intro we get down to business …

Downtown Tombstone 1

Downtown Tombstone card game

Downtown Tombstone card game 2

*Bang Bang* !!

Downtown Tombstone card game 3

Uh huh …

We toss a couple of nuggets into the spittoon
and head back to the street.

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Hey ! There goes the stage …

Nice looking rig.

Stage 1

Downtown Tombstone Haunted Hotel

Downtown Tombstone Haunted Hotel 2

Time for some shopping.

Replica Guns for sale
More replica guns

Downtown Tombstone

Downtown Tombstone knives
Can’t afford a gun? Try a knife.

Downtown Tombstone Crystal Palace

Stage 2

Tombstone Visitors Centre
Tombstone Visitors Center

Downtown Tombstone:
Big Nose Kate’s

Arizona Holiday … Day 2 … Tombstone Diary: Inside the Bird Cage

23 Apr

Tombstone Diary: Saturday, April 11, 2015

Inside The Bird Cage you’ll see this guy.

guy in the bird cage

“Howdy Greenhorn”

He gives a 10 minute talk on the history of The Bird Cage.
It’s a good talk. (Though I’m not so sure about the sunglasses)

guy in the bird cage 2

And a damn nice bar it is !

gal in the Bird Cage

Rose ‘bellys up’

Lots of stuff to look at.

Bird Cage entrance

 For 8 bucks, we’re invited to go in back and see the rest of The Bird Cage.
We ante up and mosey in.

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The Bird Cage Theatre

Rose is standing where the seats used to be.
I’m shooting from by the stage.
The Bird Cages line the room on both sides.

inside the bird cage main room

inside the bird cage main room 2

A table of artifacts.

inside the bird artifacts

Below: I found the guns.

inside the bird cage guns

Below: Faro table used by Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp.

inside the bird cage faro table

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Lots of ghost stories and ghost experiences around Tombstone – as you would imagine. I bumped into a couple of gents in The Bird Cage who trying to photograph ghosts or ‘orbs’.
I didn’t encounter or photograph anything myself and it really wasn’t on my mind. Rose, however, did have an interesting experience at the piano. She took a number of shots, but none of them would come out.

inside the bird cage Rose's paino 2

Fuzzy, grainy and with spots all over them.
Below also.

inside the bird cage Rose's paino

True, we are both fully capable of taking lousy photographs, but
I have never seen this effect on either of our cameras before.

Below: I had no such problem.

iside the bird cage my paino

Except for the thing in the circle.
An Orb? or just a spot?

inside the bird cage my paino 23

inside the bird cage my paino 2

Moving along …

inside the bird cage Stage

The Bird Cage stage and piano (image from the internet)

Behind the curtain …

inside the bird cage Doc Holliday

inside the bird cage boot hill

inside the bird cage famous folks

inside the bird cage hearse

Downstairs …

inside the bird cage poker game

I’m in …

inside the bird cage poker game 2

On the way out …

inside the bird cage somebody's room

inside the bird cage on the way out

inside The Bird Cage notice

inside the bird cage merchandise

Replica guns

A good and interesting time in The Bird Cage.

Downtown Tombstone

Arizona Holiday … Day 2 … Tombstone Diary: The Bird Cage Theatre

21 Apr

The Bird Cage Theatre / Tombstone

Old Bird Cage

The Bird Cage Theatre was opened on December 26, 1881, by William “Billy” Hutchinson and his wife Lottie. Its name apparently referred to the fourteen “cages” or boxes that were situated on two balconies on either side of the main central hall. These boxes, also referred to as “cribs”, had drapes that could be drawn while prostitutes entertained their clients. The main hall contained a stage and orchestra pit at one end where live shows were performed.

The Bird Cage Theatre operated continuously – twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year – for the next eight years. It gained a reputation as one of the wildest places in the country, prompting The New York Times to report in 1882 that “the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast”. More than 120 bullet holes are evident throughout the building.

Aside from Lillian Russell, many other famous entertainers of the day were alleged to have performed there over the years, including Eddie Foy, Sr., Lotta Crabtree and Lillie Langtry. In 1882, Fatima allegedly performed her belly-dancing routine at the Bird Cage Theatre.

inside the bird cage 2

inside the bird cage 3

inside the bird cage 4

The basement poker room is said to be the site of the longest-running poker game in history. Played continuously twenty-four hours a day for eight years, five months, and three days, legend has it that as much as $10,000,000 changed hands during the marathon game, with the house retaining 10 percent. Some of the participants were Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Diamond Jim Brady, and George Hearst.

inside the bird cage 5

inside the bird cage 6

When ground water began seeping into the mines in the late 1880s the town went bust, the Bird Cage Theatre along with it. The poker game ended and the building was sealed up in 1889.

Arizona Holiday … Day 2 … Tombstone Part 1

21 Apr

Tombstone Diary: Saturday, April 11, 2015:

Gunfight at OK Corral (1957) / Frankie Laine

I came to Tombstone with the attitude that “whatever’s there, I’m going to enjoy it”. I surely expected a degree of tackiness –  but I also looked forward to a degree of the Historic Tombstone …

We’ll see …

Tombstone badge 2

Saturday, April 11, 2015: A beautiful day. Going to be about 80 F. With clear blue skies. Shouldn’t burn my delicate Alberta skin.

But first, of course, we get lost. Took a wrong turn in the desert.
No sweat. I’m enjoying the scenery.

Then ! a sign …

Tombstone Sign

Yep … this must be the way …

We ride into Tombstone at about 10 a.m.

Tombstone Sign 2

“Tombstone City Limit” – Sure, it could use some paint, but at least there’s no bullet holes.

Wow! … lots of people in town. Something is going on. ? I see some costumed kids dancing in the street …

Tombstone street fair

Seems we’ve arrived on the Tombstone Rose Festival !

Tombstone Rose Festival:

“Celebrating the 130th Blooming of the “World’s Largest Rose Tree”.
Events included the Rose Tree Parade, Rose Queen Coronation, Pet Parade,
Folklorico Dancers and the Nogales Arizona Mariachi Apache Band
and much more.”

Amazing !

There’s also a Corvette Stingray rally as part of the festival.

Tombstone Stingray

I coulda taken a dozen pics of these beautiful Rays’.

But that’s not why we came.

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We find a parking spot … jump out …

First thing we see is a bunch of wagon wheels behind a building.

We think this is interesting. ? *click click*

Tombstone wheels

Tombstone wheels 2

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Walking around the corner and Rose gets right into it …
Snaps a nice shot of some folks in Western attire.

Outside the Birdcage

Sign on door says: “Through these doors have passed some the most famous characters of Western history” 

Sign on the wall says:

Sign on the Birdcage

 We find we’re standing right in front of the famous Bird Cage Theatre !
–  blog buddy Rick (Surrounded by Imbeciles: https://surroundedbyimbeciles.wordpress.com/)
had recommended this to us! 

Birdcage fake

Sign outside of the Bird Cage:

sign outside Birdcage

Curly and Fred get immortalized.

 Next up:

Inside the Bird Cage 

Tombstone …. a brief history

20 Apr

Lindsey Stirling – Transcendence

Tomestone: a brief history

Tombstone Heritage

Wikipedia: Tombstone is a historic western city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. The town prospered from about 1877 to 1890, during which time the town’s mines produced US$40 to $85 million in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. It is best known as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and draws most of its revenue from tourism.

The town was established on a mesa above the Tough Nut Mine. Within two years of its founding, although far distant from any other metropolitan city, Tombstone boasted a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dancing halls and brothels. All of these were situated among and on top of a large number of dirty, hardscrabble mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre, “the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast”.

Under the surface were tensions that grew into deadly conflict. The mining capitalists and townspeople were largely Republicans from the Northern states. Many of the ranchers in the area were Confederate sympathizers and Democrats. The booming city was only 30 miles (48 km) from the U.S.–Mexico border and was an open market for beef stolen from ranches in Sonora, Mexico, by a loosely organized band of outlaws known as The Cowboys. The Earp brothers—Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren—arrived in December 1879 and summer 1880. They had ongoing conflicts with Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and other Cowboys members. The Cowboys repeatedly threatened the Earps over many months until the conflict escalated into a confrontation that turned into a shootout, the now-famous Hollywood-ized Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The actual gun fight was on Fremont Street a block or 2 away from the O.K. Corral.


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Colt 45 2

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Picacho Peak … Arizona

19 Apr

That “unknown Peak” from a couple of posts back was Picacho Peak, Arizona.

Picacho Peak

Heading South to Sierra Vista

Picacho Peak, Arizona

From the other side – This image borrowed from the internet

Rather grand looking.

Picacho Peak State Park


“Visitors traveling along I-10 in southern Arizona can’t miss the prominent 1,500-foot peak of Picacho Peak State Park. Enjoy the view as you hike the trails that wind up the peak and, often in the spring, overlook a sea of wildflowers. The park and surrounding area are known for its unique geological significance, outstanding and varied desert growth, and historical importance. The unique shape has been used as a landmark by travelers since prehistoric times. One of the first recordings was in the 1700s by the Anza Expedition as it passed through the area.

The park facilities include a visitor center with exhibits and a gift store, hiking trails, playground, historical markers, campground, picnic areas, ramadas, grills, dump station, restrooms, and showers. The group use areas, for day & overnight use, are available by reservation. Before you hike, be prepared with enough water and proper footwear as the trails are steep and challenging.”

There ya go.

Arizona Holiday … backtracking

18 Apr

“Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again …”


ARIZONA Territory

Rolling in from Phoenix and Tucson … to Sierra Vista

then Tombstone

On the way to Sierra Vista

Signs of Buffalo

Imagine our shock to see these signs: “Buffalo Soldier Trail“. We had no idea. Pure coincidence that I had been blogging about the Buffalo Soldiers and here we have a Buffalo Soldiers Museum at Fort Huachuca – right across the street from our hotel !

Signs of Buffalo

Then Imagine our disappointment when we discover that we can’t get in !!! Because we have no “Escort”:

“International visitors are required to arrange for a Department of Army identification card holder escort prior to their visit. Please contact … to arrange for an escort at least three weeks in advance.”

Of course, we didn’t know any of this, but I also discovered that the Fort Huachuca museums are presently undergoing extensive renovations. So it’s doubtful we would have been able to see anything even if we were able to get in. Too bad. It would have been a very nice bonus for our trip.

Buffalo Soldiers at Huachuca

Our Sierra Vista home

Oh well …

Tomorrow we head for Tombstone.

Tombstone technical …

13 Apr

Camera problems again. Lost about 1/3 of my pics. Then my camera went deader than mainstreet in a rainstorm – though it had been charging up for a whole day. ?? Fortunately Rose saved the day by taking plenty of shots. Unfortunately, we brought no device to get them off her camera …

Also, can’t access any of my email … ?

File:Big Nose Kate's Saloon Tombstone.jpg

So … will have to wait till I get home to do anything.

Drat. Sorry.

Arizona Holiday 2015 … Day 1

11 Apr

Busy Friday: up at 6 a.m., catch plane to Seattle, connect to Phoenix (the flying was smooth) rent a car, drive through Tucson down to Sierra Vista,
arriving at 6:30 p.m.

going to phoenix 2015

Selfie Realized

Eat, tour around a bit, go to bed.

Tomorrow: Going to Tombstone

Flames make it !

9 Apr

Missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs 6 years in a row (longer than a California drought) and after being picked to do the same thing again – the Calgary Flames beat (and eliminated) the Stanley Cup Champions, Los Angeles Kings – to claim one of the last Playoff spots – with only one game left in the their NHL season. Amazing stuff.

Flames make it

Johnny Gaudreau (from Boston College) (above left) will undoubtedly win National Hockey League Rookie of the Year – celebrating with linemate Sean Monahan.

Off to Tucson …

9 Apr
Tucson sign

“Bullet holes Sir? Hell no, thems termites.”?

Been trying to get something on the board before I head down to Tucson on Friday. Going down for a week or so. So I’m not sure I’ll be able to put anything on the blog till then. I’ll try.

Tucson Park

Don’t really know much about the Tucson area except that it’s not far from Tombstone – so we’re definitely going to head over there for a day or two.

Earps OK Corral

Tucson is about the same size as Calgary population-wise: a million people. And I’m sure we’ll find plenty to do.

Old Tucson Studios sign

Naturally going to head over the Old Tuscon Studios – where they made a lot of Westerns. That should be a bit of fun. Too bad I don’t drink anymore cuz I’d sure like to slug back a jigger of rotgut at the saloon. Ah well, this old greenhorn dude has probably stared down his last desperado anyway. But cha never know.

Old Tucson Studios

Any ideas? I’m listnin’.

Old Tucson Studios Train

Tim, I think i found yer train.

Tucson rattler

The Glory of War …

6 Apr

the sword

my dugout

the hole

Fragments of France

Buffalo Soldiers: The Reality?

6 Apr











Remington … a quick sketch

2 Apr

Frederic Sackrider Remington
(October 4, 1861 – December 26, 1909)

Wikipedia says: “was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U. S. Cavalry.”

Some of My Favorite Remingtons:

The Scout, Friends or Foes

The Scout, Friends or Foes

Mounted Cowboy In Chaps With Race Horse

Mounted Cowboy In Chaps With Race Horse

A dash for the timber

A dash for the timber

The Cowboy - Frederic Remington - www.frederic-remington.org

The Cowboy

Downing the Nigh Leader

Downing the Nigh Leader

The Bronco Buster

The Bronco Buster

Comanche Brave, Fort Reno, Indian Territory

Comanche Brave, Fort Reno, Indian Territory

Fight for the waterhole

Fight for the waterhole


Coming to the call

Coming to the call



Shotgun Hospitality, 1908

Shotgun Hospitality, 1908

End of the day

End of the day

Remington Sculpture

The Mountain Man

The Mountain Man

So many, many images I could put here …

Gun Bar

Does this look like a Great Western Artist?:

Frederick Remington

Frederick Sackrider Remington

Frederick Remington 2

Frederick Sackrider Remington


OK … how about this?:

Frederick Remington 3

(Frederick Remington: Self Portrait on horse.)

Frederick Remington: Self Portrait on horse.

That’s more like it !

Steeds of Renown: The Buffalo Soldier

1 Apr

Buffalo Soldier?

There’s no question where the name “Buffalo Soldier” comes from. During battle a Soldier would often lose his horse, but the Buffalo Soldier had the uncanny ability to mount a nearby buffalo and charge back into the fray. Imagine the terrified Indians as a mounted Buffalo Soldier was bearing down on them!!! Amazing !!

Yeee Haww

Yeee Haww !!!


The bond between a Buffalo Soldier and his steed is legendary.


Sgt Miles Toopistal and Daisy



Black Cowboy … The Buffalo Soldiers: The Romance: Part 2

31 Mar

Buffalo Soldier




READY FOR TEN by Don Stivers

Buffalo Soldier #5 by James Goodridge

Buffalo Soldier #5 by James Goodridge



by Robin Lauersdorf

by Robin Lauersdorf

Riding Point II - Al Brown

Riding Point II – Al Brown

Buffalo Soldier - 9th U.S. Cavalry - by Freeman

Buffalo Soldier – 9th U.S. Cavalry – by Freeman



BUFFALO SOLDIERS - artist unknown to me

BUFFALO SOLDIERS – by Andy Thomas 



Scout's Out - by Lee Brubaker

Scout’s Out – by Lee Brubaker

Buffalo Soldier by Jim Clements

Buffalo Soldier by Jim Clements


Buffalo Soldier - by Armand Cabrera

Buffalo Soldier – by Armand Cabrera

Buffalo Soldier by Michael Gnatek

Coming up …

Black Cowboy … The Buffalo Soldiers: The Reality?: 

Black Cowboy … The Buffalo Soldiers: The Romance: Part 1

30 Mar

Buffalo Soldier

Definition via Wikipedia: “Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This nickname was given to the “Negro Cavalry” by the Native American tribes they fought; the term eventually became synonymous with all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866.”

Buffalo Soldiers Balimore, MD Chapter http://baltimorebuffalosoldiers.org/

“Nearly sixteen months after the end of the Civil War … authorized the formation of the two regiments of cavalry composed of “colored” men.

“For over two decades, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments conducted campaigns against American Indian tribes on a western frontier that extended from Montana in the Northwest to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the Southwest. They engaged in several skirmishes against such great Indian Chiefs as Victorio, Geronimo, and Nan.”Buffalo Soldiers” was the name given the black cavalrymen by the plains indians.”

When not engaged in combat with Native Americans, both regiments built forts and roads, installed telegraph lines, located water holes, escorted wagon trains and cattle drives, rode “shotgun” on stagecoach and mail runs and protected settlers from renegade Indians, outlaws, and Mexican revolutionaries. Elements of both regiments fought in Cuba during the War with Spain and participated in the famous charge on San Juan Hill. Troopers of the 10th Cavalry Regiments rode with General John J. Pershing during the punitive Expedition in Mexico in search of the outlaw Pancho Villa.

In 1941, the two regiments formed the 4th Cavalry Brigade, commanded by General Benjamin O. Davis Sr., at camp Funston, Kansas. In 1944, the end came to the cavalry regiments and the curtain was lowered on the long and glorious past of the “Buffalo Soldiers”. The 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association traces its beginning to the year 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Baltimore Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Association hosted the 132nd Anniversary Reunion in Baltimore last July 27th thru August 2nd of 1998.”


I thought it was going to be difficult to find much on the Buffalo Soldiers. I was gunned down fast. There is so much: photos. books, statues, movies, songs, paintings, websites, blogs, etc … that I couldn’t possibly include it all in one post. And though it is stated that the Buffalo Soldier was once a neglected part of American history, the current homage and heritage of the Buffalo Soldiers is substantial and intact.

Lets’ start with the romantic vision/version:

Charge of the Buffalo Soldiers - Frank C. McCarthy

Charge of the Buffalo Soldiers – Frank C. McCarthy


Below are a few of the many images of the Buffalo Soldiers by famous great Western artist Frederick Remington.

Marching in the desert with the Buffalo Soldiers

US ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ marching in the desert, from a drawing of 1888 (engraving), Frederic Remington, (1861-1909)

BUFFALO SOLDIER - Frederick Remington

BUFFALO SOLDIER in pursuit - Frederick Remington

Buffalo Soldiers in Pursuit, Frederick Remington

Captain Dodge's Colored Troops to the Rescue - Frederick Remington

Captain Dodge’s Colored Troops to the Rescue – Frederick Remington


Charge !

Painting by Bobb Vann

Painting by Bobb Vann

Charge 1


Buffalo Soldiers-Painting By Don Stivers  Troop A Tenth Cavalry led by Captain Nicholas A. Nolan at the Battle of Rattlesnake Springs,Texas August 6, 1880.

Buffalo Soldiers – Painting By Don Stivers – Troop A Tenth Cavalry led by Captain Nicholas A. Nolan at the Battle of Rattlesnake Springs,Texas August 6, 1880.

Charge 3



Coming up …

Black Cowboy … The Buffalo Soldiers: The Romance: Part 2

On the Horizon …

24 Mar

I haven’t posted anything in about a week so some folks think I’m not doing anything. Wrong!

I’m actually doing too much – spreading myself a bit thin.

Here’s what I’m working on:


The Wild Bunch:
Casting Robert Ryan

RYAN Wild Bunch Cast

longhorn bar

Steeds of Renown

Profiles of Western Stars and their wondrous mounts


Dale Evans and Buttermilk

longhorn bar

Richard Farnsworth
and the Stuntman’s Association

Richard Farnsworth


longhorn bar

Black Cowboy:
The Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers

longhorn bar

and much more …

Hang in there.




A small universe … Leonard Nimoy in Vulcan

18 Mar

In my recent tribute to Leonard Nimoy “Leonard Nimoy … Cowboy” I was remiss in not mentioning Leonard’s Nimoy’s wonderful and classy visit to the small town of Vulcan, Alberta.

Thought I’d make up for that now.

Leonard Nimoy mourned in Canadian ‘home’ of Vulcan, Alberta

Leonard Nimoy, right,  laughs as he is greeted by Erin Crane, of Vulcan, Alta., on April 23, 2010. (CP)Leonard Nimoy, right, laughs as he is greeted by Erin Crane, of Vulcan, Alta., on April 23, 2010. (CP)

A small Alberta farming town, nestled halfway between Calgary and Lethbridge, is in mourning today.

The most famous citizen of the planet of Vulcan, “Star Trek” star Leonard Nimoy, died on Friday at the age of 83, and now the town of Vulcan, Alberta has to say goodbye to Mr. Spock.

“He was such a humble and great ambassador…and just a great person to visit with,” Mayor Tom Grant told Yahoo Canada News.

“Our condolences are definitely with his family and friends.”

A replica of starship Enterprise from the from Star Trek series at the highway 23 entrance to Vulcan, Alberta on Aug. 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougalA replica of starship Enterprise from the from Star Trek series at the highway 23 entrance to Vulcan, Alberta on …The tight-knit community was initially named after the Roman god of fire by a railway surveyor in 1910, and for many years its greatest claim to fame was a large collection of grain elevators.

But as Star Trek” grew as a cultural touchstone through the latter decades of the 20th century, Vulcan embraced its connection to Spock’s homeworld. The Vulcan Association of Science and Trek was established in the late 1980s to use the city’s link to one of science fiction’s most beloved franchises to attract tourists. In 2009, with Nimoy’s help, it became the Official Star Trek Capital of Canada.

Trek town

Now, a welcome plaque greets visitors not just in English, but in the alien tongues of Vulcan and Klingon. A Trek-inspired tourist centre sports an array of memorabilia, while a replica of the Starship Enterprise is mounted nearby. For visiting Trekkies who still need more, the TrekCetera Museum opened in 2013.

The Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station in Vulcan, AlbertaThe Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station in Vulcan, AlbertaIn March 2009, the town campaigned to host the world premiere of director J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek.

Nimoy pushed for the screening, and said it was a “terribly sad and disappointing day” when their bid was ultimately rejected.

“I made some calls to some people at Paramout, and I arranged for Paramount to do a screening in Calgary for the people of Vulcan, and to bus some people from Vulcan to Calgary.”

He said that around 300 people ended up making the trip.

One year later, Mr. Spock beamed into Vulcan, arriving as something of a rock star.

Grant says that the estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 people came to Vulcan “just to see the man” — a significant draw in a community of less than 2,000.

After unveiling a bronze bust of Spock commissioned by the town, Nimoy addressed the cheering crowd, many sporting pointed ears and Starfleet uniforms.

“I’ve been a Vulcan for 44 years,” he said. “It’s about time I came home.

“In all these experiences I’ve never had an experience quite as touching as I’m having here today and I appreciate it, thank you.”

He concluded his last words to the town with a traditional Vulcan greeting.

“May all of you live long and prosper.”

Gun Bar

There ya go.

Live long and prosper.

Broncho Billy Anderson … Posters

14 Mar

“Broncho Billy” Anderson

I noticed that I spelling Broncho Billy’s name incorrectly throughout my last post (now corrected). It’s spelled Broncho – not Bronco – with an H in there.

I was feeling embarrassed about this until I noticed that other folks have made the same mistake – such as on Hollywood Walk of Fame Star!

See below:

Bronco Billy Anderson Star

Did they do that intentionally?

I just know that I can fix my mistake more easily than they can theirs.

Then there’s this:

Bronco Billy poster

I don’t feel so bad now.

Gun Bar 2

The Posters

Though Broncho is said to have made some 400 films, film posters for his movies are scarce. I’m guessing there was plenty made, but now are long lost. I hope to discover some more … ??

Bronco Billy poster 2

Bronco Billy poster 3

Bronco Billy poster 4

Bronco Billy poster 5

Bronco Billy poster 7

“It’s BRONCHO … pardner.”

Bronco Billy poster 8

Bronco Billy poster 9

Happy Trails Broncho.

Broncho Billy Anderson

13 Mar

“Broncho Billy” Anderson

Bronco Billy Anderson

I was doing some research for images of Early Western Movie Stars. I’d already done some work about William S. Hart, but I discovered that a chap called Broncho Billy Anderson was probably the first Western Movie Star. Anderson made about 400 silent Western films – and had multiple roles in the great Western Classic: Great Train Robbery (1903).

Bronco Billy Anderson 2

If you had seen The Great Train Robbery in its original showing you’d be about 112 years now. Pardner.

The Great Train Robbery

Famous still shot from silent Western Film Classic, The Great Train Robbery

Anderson played three roles in The Great Train Robbery (1903)

Most of these films were very short and now (unfortunately) are long-lost – but not forgotten as there are a couple of agencies like the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (http://www.nilesfilmmuseum.org/) who find, restore, and show any that may still be around. Good work Niles!

Nile Essanay

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Bronco Billy Anderson 4

Broncho Billy Anderson / Handsome Gentleman

Bronco Billy Anderson 3

Gilbert M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson
(March 21, 1880 – January 20, 1971)
American actor, writer, film director, and film producer, who is best known as the first star of the Western film genre.

Bronco Billy Anderson 5

The genre’s first Western film hero and star, who made about 400 “Broncho Billy” westerns, beginning with Broncho Billy and the Baby (1910); his last silent western role was in The Son of a Gun (1919).

We are favored with several wonderful portrait and publicity shots of Billy.

Bronco Billy Anderson 11

Bronco Billy Anderson 8

Bronco Billy Anderson 9

Bronco Billy Anderson 6

Bronco Billy Anderson 7

Bronco Billy Anderson 10

Anderson was immensely popular in his day, a superstar in contemporary terms. In 1958, Anderson received an honorary Academy Award as a “motion picture pioneer, for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment.”


National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Gilbert M. “Broncho Billy” Anderson
Hall of Great Western Performers

Bronco Billy Anderson Western Award

Bronco Billy Anderson Star


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