post High Chaparral is Still as Relevant Today as Ever

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:12 pm

by W. St.Germain

Just before The High Chaparral comes on television, I am lucky enough to have The Virginian air as well. In a recent episode there was a scene where The Virginian (do we ever find out this guy’s name?) shoots and kills a man and would himself have been killed were it not for two federal agents who shoot the other men who are after him. Lots of shooting! When it’s over, the agents introduce themselves and tell The Virginian to inform the sheriff that they said it was an act of self defense. The agents don’t even escort him to the sheriff’s office. They simply send him with the message, trusting he will do it. I thought wow, have times ever changed. Nowadays he’d be taken into custody, paperwork would be completed in triplicate, forensic teams would be photographing the body, seizing The Virginian’s gun for testing… the lot. Yes, times have changed.

Then High Chaparral comes on and I am reminded that some things never change. It’s remarkable. This and other westerns lay quietly in our memories for years. After decades in the dark, they have traveled through the corridors of time and caught up with us in the 21st Century where I find myself nodding and thinking, ‘Oh yes, been there, done that.’ We are reminded that love and struggle, faced by families are one of the constants of the universe.

Fans at the 2003 High Chaparral Reunion

Blue and Manolito discuss responsibility, consequences and fathers in this
video clip from To Stand for Something More

Pretty much every HC episode has something I can relate to as I’m sure you can, too. Consider To Stand for Something More. How timeless is that one! Blue finally gets the chance to run the Chaparral for a day while Big John, Buck and Mano leave to deliver horses to the army. Fired with enthusiasm, he learns the hard way that leadership isn’t just about giving orders, one must lead by example. Blue realizes, after trying to express his regrets about being hard on Pedro, Joe and Felipe, that with the right to approve privileges come the consequences of what might happen when you do. John’s prize stallion is stolen.

We see our own children rising to new challenges in Blue’s struggles. We are also reminded that one can love and be loved by step-parents as much as by our biological parents. We see this when Victoria tries to help Blue with his struggles that day. Indeed, we see Victoria’s devotion to her husband and his family every week, shattering the myth of the wicked step-parent. We feel John’s pain and regret when he humiliates Blue in front of others after he learns that his stallion is missing and that Victoria and the ranch were endangered by having no staff present. How often have we embarrassed or lost patience with our children then regretted it? John reminded us that even the best of parents sometimes gets it wrong. We are only human and so are our children.

Fans at the 2003 High Chaparral Reunion

Buck and Manolito continue the practical joke on Blue in The Reluctant Deputy.

The Reluctant Deputy has Blue facing responsibility again. Unlike the previous episode, this time he didn’t want the job. Watching Blue’s efforts to deal with his unwanted duties in the most mature way possible, we again see our own children struggle with new responsibilities. When Buck and Mano sneak out of jail to help Blue without his knowledge, we smile at the things we’ve quietly done to help our children. How often have we secretly tried to ease some of the burdens they carry? Only we know we did it but it made a difference. This often helped to build their confidence as well.

In A Good Sound Profit, John comes across as the villain when he offers to supply Mexican rebels with guns, ammunition, horses and saddles. The whole town turns against him and to his heartbreak, so do Victoria, Buck and Mano. Most of the bunkhouse boys also suspect his motives. Naturally Victoria and Mano are hurt to think John would put profit before morals. Only Wind and Sam trust John’s judgment, never losing faith that there must be method to his madness. When we discover that John was assisting the Mexican government in revealing who funded the rebels, another lesson is learned. If we have always trusted a person’s judgment, they deserve the benefit of the doubt when we question them.

There’s hardly an episode of High Chaparral where I don’t identify an issue my family has faced, with a problem being faced by the Cannons. Oh, I don’t mean concerns like dealing with horse thieves or Indian raids but things like trying to guide and nurture without pushing. What about the sadness we feel when our children didn’t listen to our advice and suffer for it. Like Mano’s comment that one can’t put a cow’s head on a dog’s body, we as parents must learn that we can’t put an old head on young shoulders. Sometimes we must let children learn the hard way and I often wonder which of us suffers more.

Another noteworthy feature of with this show is how Mano evolves. He starts out as someone who isn’t entirely likeable. Through Don Sebastian we learn that he is what might be called a bit of a layabout. He really doesn’t do much besides drink, chase pretty women and hang around waiting to inherit his father’s estate. Then he is sent to the Chaparral to ensure Victoria is treated appropriately. Once there he is dealing with new people who haven’t labeled him. Here we are taken back to the expression I think, therefore I am.

Prior to arriving at the Cannon Ranch, Mano was treated like a lazy nuisance but in his father’s defense, he behaved like one. However, I suspect Don Sebastian’s opinion of his son troubled Mano. Then he is placed in a new situation where people start to count on him, expect him to work like the rest of them and trust that he will. Over time, he does. He makes new friends and the transformation is wonderful. The people at the Cannon ranch believed in Mano so he started believing in himself. We are reminded that showing a bit of faith in them can make a difference to how our loved ones see themselves.

High Chaparral had wonderful writers. They never preached yet managed to drive home timeless messages. I take comfort in knowing that in this age of globalization, high-speed technology (that is obsolete before I’ve even worked out how it operates) and the other difficulties that come with modern life, the problems faced at the Cannon ranch are still relevant and we can still learn from them. This is why we think of the characters as our friends. Yes time flies, yet some things remain the same.

post In Memory of

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:10 pm

High Chaparral stuntman Walt LaRue passed away on June 12th at the incredible age of 91. Walt was a very good friend of Bob Hoy’s. A lifetime member of the Stuntmen’s Association, Walt did stunts in classic Westerns like El Dorado, Fort Apache, Paint Your Wagon, The Cowboys, Blazing Saddles, Pale Rider and Young Guns just to name a few.  He gets credit for an acting part in the HC episode “Assassins” as a bandit. Walt was also an accomplished artist. Do a google search on him and check out his outstanding paintings of cowboys and the West.

Jerry Wills

High Chaparral Stuntman Jerry Wills

High Chaparral stuntman Jerry Wills, son of legendary stuntman, actor and HC stunt coordinator Henry Wills, has passed July 12. Jerry followed his father into the business at a young age; according to Don Collier he first worked with Jerry when he was only 12.

Jerry doubled Mark Slade and Rudy Ramos, and appeared with thebunkhouse boys or in small parts (watch for him in Too Late the Epitaph or Sangre). His resume included Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy, Highway to Heaven, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Blazing Saddles, Wild Wild West, and many others.

He worked with Bob Hoy in the Little House episode No Beast so Fierce, and worked amemorable fight sequence in the first episode of Highway to Heaven.

post My Heart Beats for Two Cowboys

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:09 pm

Vintage reprint article from Bravo (Thanks to Tanja for providing the scans and translations! )

Bravo page 1

Bravo 2

Bravo 3

post Thank you and correction

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:08 pm

It’s a real honor for me to be included in this month’s HC newsletter. (ed. note: June article on Out West Entertainment) Thanks, Penny, for the terrific write up. Something I should have added is, that I still after all these years, have to pinch myself to believe these great actors who I admired so intensely when I was a kid are part of my life. And if you come to the reunion, they will get to be your friends, too. It was a real blow to all of us to lose Bobby Hoy this year. Don’t miss a chance to spend some time with those cast members who are remaining.

Just one little note…that group photo in the newsletter from the reunion is from 2005, not 2003. I see my grinning-like-a-fool face in the photo and I didn’t make it to the first (2003) reunion. Haven’t missed one since, though!

~Ginny Shook

post Ta Ta Sisterhood Charity T-Shirts Available

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:08 pm

Ta Ta Sisterhood t-shirtTa Ta’s Sisterhood of the Cape Fear, a breast cancer charity started by Lauren Levian (Mrs. Henry Darrow) and film producer Gail Calloway after their experiences with breast cancer, is seeking donations and has cute t-shirts for sale. The Ta Ta’s Sisterhood will support low-income women in the Wilmington/ Cape Fear area who don’t have access to breast cancer screening, education and other supportive services. The registered 501(c)3 charity will provide funds for mammograms, transportation, medicine and education. Funds will come from sales of merchandise like t-shirts and calendars. Calendars will be out soon, but t-shirts are available now on the website. To donate directly, please send checks, cashier’s checks or money orders to: Ta Ta’s Sisterhood of the Cape Fear P.O. Box 15434 Wilmington, NC 28408 Facebook members can also visit the group’s Facebook page.

post Victoria: Linda Cristal – The Lady Loves to Sing

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:07 pm

by Tina Sweet

Linda Cristal CDLinda Cristal is a lady of many talents including a lovely singing voice. I caught up with Linda to chat about her CD and her love for music.

Linda keeps her musical talent all in the family. Her father, she says, could have been a concert pianist. Her mother had an absolutely beautiful singing voice. Linda sings and plays the piano. Both her sons also play the piano. When asked if she played other instruments she replied, “Oh no no, only my IPod. But I love listening to music!”

I knew from previous conversations with Linda that she had her own band for years singing on the weekends even when she was due on the set of the High Chaparral on Monday morning. When asked how she started her band, she replied, “I always loved singing, just loved it!” She would sing at gatherings, parties, etc. People kept telling her how great she could sing and eventually she got the group together and they performed all over the country. They did both western and Spanish numbers. She and Mark Slade also performed together in many areas. Unfortunately, they never recorded any of their concerts or rehearsals.

Linda Cristal

Linda Cristal photo provided courtesy of Ginny Shook of Out West Entertainment

I asked her how she kept up the pace – singing on the weekend, traveling, and then reporting early on the set at High Chaparral on Monday. She had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to be on the set. Her answer didn’t surprise me at all. She said, “I am the ‘Bionic Woman,’ I love to stay busy!”

After singing with her group for a while the idea of the CD came up, and she went into the recording studio. She said the odd thing was that the guy who made the arrangements for the songs was tone deaf. Linda chose all ten selections, all romantic songs, because as she says, “I am a romantic.” Her favorite selections are Me Muero (my favorite) and Lalo. A clip from Te Dije Adios is included at Out West Entertanment to give you a small sampling of Linda’s lovely voice. A mixture of both soothing romantic selections as well as a few lively numbers, Linda puts her heart and soul into every song – her love for music clearly demonstrated in each selection.

High Chaparral CDs, Personalized Autographed Photos Available

Did you know that several of the High Chaparral cast members have CDs available? Check out information on each of them in this and future newsletters.

You can get your own personal Linda Cristal photo, signed by Linda with a note to you! CDs and photos can be ordered from

CDs and photos from your favorite Chaparral stars – Linda Cristal, Henry Darrow, Don Collier, Rudy Ramos and Ted Markland, are available at Out West Entertainment.

post Chaparral Stars Honored at Walk of Fame

August 30th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:06 pm

Kanab Walk of FameUtah’s “Little Hollywood’, Kanab, honored The High Chaparral stars Don Collier, Bob Hoy, and Ted Markland. At Kanab’s Walk of Fame, reminiscent of the stars that line the streets of Hollywood and Vine, movie and TV greats are enshrined in permanent markers.

Each year Western move greats are added to the growing list of honorees which includes Ronald Reagan, producer Howard Koch, Tom Mix, Ben Johnson, the entire cast of Gunsmoke Glenn Ford, Chuck Connors, George “Gabby” Hayes, Jim Davis, Whitney “Whit” Parry, Lex Barker, Peter Ford, Denny Miller, Ed Faulkner, Peter Brown and now Don Collier, Bob Hoy, and Ted Markland.

It takes more than fame to be remembered at Kanab’s Walk of Fame. These movie greats all have one thing in common. They came to Kanab to make movies.

Kanab is a backdrop for movie westerns that defined the genre. John Ford shot parts of Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon there, and scenes from The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Rainmaker, and TV westerns like Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Have Gun Will Travel, Wagon Train and F Troop called it home. More than 100 films have been shot in Kanab and the surrounding area, and more westerns have been shot there than anywhere else outside of California. It’s more than earned it’s nickname as Utah’s “Little Hollywood”.

As host to Hollywood stars, the remote location has often had to be flexible with accommodations. When Frank Sinatra, in 1961, filmed the comedy-Western Sergeants 3 around Kanab, he and the “Rat Pack” (including Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin) stayed locally at the Parry. But the Pack had a heavy concert schedule in Las Vegas, so the football field at the high school was pressed into service as their helicopter’s landing pad.

Just a few of the films and TV series shot in Kanab:
“The Lone Ranger,” Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels
“In Old Oklahoma” or “War of the Wildcats,” John Wayne
“Duel at Diablo,” James Garner, Sidney Poitier
“The Pony Express,” Charlton Heston
“Planet of the Apes,” Charleton Heston, Roddy McDowall
“The Outlaw Josey Wales,” Clint Eastwood,
“How the West was Won,” James Arness
“The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again,” Tim Conway, Don Knotts
“Sergeants Three,” John Sturges, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.,