Ted Markland (Reno) and fan Chris Casey
at the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion in Tucson
Sand, snakes, sunsets, and survival are the key elements that make a good TV Western. It’s these and a passion for the Old West that keep fans of The High Chaparral television series returning to Tucson. The next reunion for the cast, crew, production staff, and their fans is slated for October 22 at the Old Tucson Studios.
The High Chaparral, filmed in the Sonoran Desert over 40 years ago, captured more than the hearts of thousands of fans around the world. If you ask the remaining cast members and crew, it was the only Western in a long line of colorful serials portraying true grit and historical depth of the cowboy, Indian, and ranchero.
If you ask anyone who was on the set, cast or crew, you’ll hear the devotion in their voice, and see the memories in their eyes.
“It was one of the best groups I was ever associated with. We all enjoyed the show, the location, and had a wonderful time,” said Don Collier, actor who played the role of foreman Sam Butler on the series. He returns each reunion signing autographs and telling stories to fans. He may have played the part of ranch foreman but he still commands the respect of the Bunkhouse Boys who filled the supporting cast and ran the ranch. This older generation of actors still look forward to seeing each other and stepping down the dusty boardwalks of Old Tucson.
When asked about the up-coming Reunion, Don Collier said, “I get a kick out of going to the reunion – it’s a great bunch of people. I’ll keep coming to the reunions as long as they keep having them.” Most of the celebrities and guest stars attend the Reunion when their schedules permit. Traveling around the country to autograph shows and film festivals has been mainstay for many of them.
Since 2003, the fans have honored the screen memories and the personal meetings … time celebrities give to the devoted fans who travel from all over the world to see and meet them in an intimate setting. The fans may not be in their prime either, having to make their pilgrimage to Tucson from places like New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Holland, Bolivia, Germany, Canada, and Greece.
This year the entire reunion celebration is being held from Oct.21-23 at the prestigious Lodge on the Desert Resort. It’s charm and detail to Southwest history and décor will be appreciated by fans who may be attending for their first time. High Chaparral fans have a tendency to obsess on the elements that Tucson and its desert offers: golden sunsets, cactus gardens, Old West charm, and a perfect backdrop to indulge in memories of the world-class TV series that brings veteran actors back again and again.
So now is the time to make reservations and gather to celebrate the ground-breaking, highly acclaimed NBC Western, The High Chaparral.
Meet the artists who brought the Cannons, Montoyas, and Bunkhouse Boys to life! Notable attendees this year are: Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya), Don Collier (Sam Butler), Ted Markland (Reno), Rudy Ramos (Wind), and Kent McCray and Susan McCray (producer and casting) —along with a list of guest stars, production, and crew members.
One highlight of the event is the “Reunion at the Ranch” at the original Cannon ranch house, located at Old Tucson Studios. During the 2009 Reunion, an unbelievable number of former High Chaparral family came to meet fans, reminisce, and marvel at the numbers of people on the set. “It’s just like the old days,” was often heard. Many of them met for the first time in decades.
It’s all happening soon. Time’s a wasting. For more information about the reunion, special tours, and accommodation packages log on to www.thehighchaparralreunion.com