July 31st, 2014
Henry Darrow Says Why He Likes Playing the Jester
Vintage German article, translated
“The jester lives happier than the king,” says Henry Darrow. “I am playing the jester. That brought me luck.”
The actor laughs his famous Manolito laugh from “High Chaparral”. But his eyes remain sad. They do not laugh with him.
It is “High Noon” in the desert of Arizona, lunchtime. The sun shines down so hot on cacti, sand and the set of the High Chaparral ranch that the director rings in lunchtime early. Time to talk to Henry Darrow.
Talking to him, Henry does not strike me as vulnerable* as Manolito. And now, after five strenuous hours of filming, he looks all of his 36 years. He says: “Jester may not be the right word. I am more a lebenskünstler, a happy-go-lucky kind of person. I laugh so that others can laugh. It’s a trick that enables me to avoid all difficulties. In the role as Manolito as well as in private life, it suits me to a T. It works every time.”
The cowboy from Puerto Rico, who plays a Mexican [in “High Chaparral”], laughs again. This time, it is not as outright as on screen, but more thoughtful. Then he tells me: “My parents were Puerto Rican immigrants. They lived in New York. I was born there and grew up in the Spanish quarter of the Big Apple. I talked Spanish, ate Spanish and thought Spanish. Just like my parents. No wonder we did not stand a chance in this English-speaking country. We went back to Puerto Rico. There, on this isle in the Caribbean, our situation improved. So much so that my parents could even finance my studies: political science and theatre. I graduated and went back to the United States. But first I married – actress colleague Lucy de Puy, who had studied with me.”
Henry searches his pockets and shows me a photo: “By now we have two children – Denise, she is eleven, and Thomas, he is almost seven.”
“I never forgot my parents’ return to Puerto Rico. To me, it felt too much like defeat, and I wanted to go back. But the second try started just as lousy. I managed to get minor roles from time to time – for theatre, cinema and TV. Barely enough to make a living, too much to give up again. They always gave me the same role: either a Mexican bandido or a Mexican idiot. I got fed up with this. Then I changed my name. Henry Delgado became Henry Darrow, and that brought me luck.” He roars with laughter – the irony is palpable now.
“No, I know it was not that. I was lucky in that I changed my philosophy of life. I became a lebenskünstler who plays the jester. A little like the Pagliacci in Leoncavallo’s opera.** And I succeeded with that.”
Henry Darrow the jester got more roles on TV and finally a main role in a TV show: Manolito in “High Chaparral”. He loves this role.
“You have to understand. Manolito – that’s me. The jester of the Cannon family, but the guy who always lucks out. Why should I be concerned or afraid? Fate will come anyway. Fate will take care of things. In real life I think similarly. Of course I do not pull stunts like Manolito, but lo que de ser, sera – what will be will be. And another thing I like about my role as Manolito: our show does not center around just one main character. That means not so much work for all of us. And because I am the last one in the Cannon family, it means the least work for me.”
Then he smiles again. “I’ll tell you something. Our audience likes Manolito so much that my part got bigger. I have to work more.”
He gestures to the hot desert. “That’s the curse of success.”
* The author of the German text did not really know how to describe Manolito and used a word that is usually reserved for a woman. The best translation I can come up with is “vulnerable”. If you would like to see for yourself, go to http://dict.leo.org and key in “zierlich” and have a look at the translations there. Actually, I think this is a pretty huge compliment for Henry. It means his character of Manolito is too complex to be described in a single word. And it makes this interview twice as interesting, telling me that what I see in Manolito is not just my imagination, but others see it as well.
** At least I think this is what Henry means. Wikipedia tells me that “Lache Bajazzo” is a German proverb, but I never heard it.
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July 31st, 2014
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July 31st, 2014
HC and INSP back on DirecTV
We are celebrating the agreement that returned INSP to DIRECTV. As of July 21, 2014, INSP is available on channel 364, the same channel before it was removed on February 1, 2014.
High Chaparral fans with DirecTV can once again watch the Cannons, Montoys and bunkhouse boys – spread the word!
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July 31st, 2014
Facebook: Buffalo Gals
By Lydia Hopson
When the Buffalo Gals was created it was to be a page where “High Chaparral” fans could not only share their love of all things and people “High Chaparral” but share time with each other. I spent a lot of time on the Henry Darrow Friends page and the Cameron Mitchell page and while members there wanted to talk about themselves we tried to keep our posts focused on the High Chaparral and the actors themselves because that is what the pages were for. I wanted a page where the focus was more the fans themselves, where it was like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend.
I asked myself why not start a page with “High Chaparral” at its heart but make a place for fans to visit together to talk and share about, not only the show, but their lives as well?
Since its beginning in May 2013 the page has forged strong friendships and become a “place” where members come to vent, post pictures of family, be silly, share their day, their fears, share good news and bad, ask for prayer or advice and of course, they share “High Chaparral.” The name for the page came from the song of the same name that “Buck” is often heard singing on the show.
The cadre have become sisters of the heart and when gathering for the first time at the High Chaparral Reunion in March 2014, BG members said it was like meeting friends you had known for years. Coming from all walks of life and all ages (the youngest members are 26) a strong bond has formed over tears and laughter. There are even a few brave men who have joined the ranks.
Since the Buffalo Gals page really belongs to its members, I got comments from some of them. They can best tell you about the group.
“I like it because it is like a haven where you can talk about anything, share laughs and cry with a bunch of amazing people, and at the same time our favorite cowboys are right there with us the whole time (in mind and heart),” said Isabell Larsson, a resident of Sweden.
“My life was changed by the forming of BG. I have become friends with fascinating and loving people from all over. I don’t think I would have gone to the reunion without the encouragement and pull of the BGs. We truly have such a strong bond and I feel I can say anything and get help or comfort or a laugh … anytime,” was Susan Getty’s description of what the group means to her. She joins in from Washington state.
Germaine Manzi, from New Jersey, had this to say, “It is a unique bonding experience. HC kind of brought us together but a sisterhood developed among all of us. Even though we’re from all over and from different walks of life, we share life’s ups and downs, we pick each other up, look after one another and genuinely seem to care about each other.”
Terri Welborn, a Texan, used little elaboration to describe Buffalo Gals, “It is the family you get to pick and not what genetics stuck you with.”
Another Texan, Mj Muller, had this to say, “It’s a safe place. Everyone builds each other up. No one is critical or catty, no snarky remarks allowed. We are serious about ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all’, although some of the teasing is the kind you can only get away with around close friends! I notice a lot of our bunch don’t have a lot of opportunities to get out and socialize, but when they have a chance they can check in here and know we’ll all be happy to hear from them. Some of the things going on in their lives amazes me! There are some very strong people dealing with some really tough stuff. They know they can check in here for some morale support when needed, and they’re always ready to offer the same to someone else.”
Sherrod Baden, from Georgia agrees. “This group is a place we can gather for friendship and support while sharing our love of all things Chaparral. It is a place of empowerment. We can be flirty, sassy, and a bit silly at times, but all in good fun. Some of my friends thought I was nuts to go to the reunion alone … even sharing a room with someone I’d never met! But the interactions with the people here gave me the confidence to take that step outside my comfort zone and realize a lifelong dream!”
Susan Malchione Ross, from Pennsylvania, was that roommate. “I found it amazing even though the reunion was the first time we all met face to face … it was as if we all knew each other forever,” she said.
From the west coast, Sarah Ortega, along with Isabell, is one of the young members of the group. We always say she and Isabell were born in the wrong decade.
“The BG’s really did give me a whole new family,” Sarah told me “It’s not only a place where we can share our love and craziness over all things HC but also our quirky humor and sisterhood. Yes, sisterhood, how many times have these great gals and guys circled the wagons? It always touches my heart to see how caring my BG’s are. Even when I’m pressed for time, I like to take a quick peek at the BG page before and after work because it always makes me smile. It’s safe to say that I’m a BG for life.”
So that the men can’t say we didn’t give them a chance to speak, I asked Bill Atherton, also of Texas, what his feelings were about the Buffalo Gals page.
“I’m a member of a lot of groups, but none of them are like the Buffalo Gals. All of the Gals have accepted me as a friend and I look forward to reading their posts. They brighten my day when they include me in their discussions and value my thoughts and opinions. I don’t have a lot of friends because of the crazy work schedules that my wife and I had through the years and the BGs help make up for that. They make me feel like I’m one of the gang.”
On the BG page, we have lots of fun in what we call our virtual High Chaparral world, even having events like a virtual summer camp at the “ranch” every year. We choose dresses, shoes and jewelry from the 19th century for the barn dances, balls and dancing around the bonfire during camp. And so that we have something to show for it, even crafts, virtually taught by the Cannons, Manolito and the Bunkhouse Gang. Do we get silly? Yes, we do, but it is a great escape. Terri put it best, saying,”Where else can a bunch of middle-aged women play dress up every Friday and still be considered normal???”
Come on over and have some fun with us. You never know what we will be doing.
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July 31st, 2014
Facebook: Mark Slade
by Sharmon Loggains
It was with great anticipation, as was the case with any TV show having cowboys, Native Americans, and especially horses that my dad and I watched the 2 hour movie of a new Western that premiered in September of 1967 on NBC. We were already big followers of Bonanza and I had grown up watching the likes of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers with my older brother. I’ll always remember when John Cannon, starring Leif Erikson, called out “Blue! Blue” to a yet-unseen and out of pocket son, and then he appeared, walking hand in hand with his newfound sweetheart, Sarah. From the first time I saw the blonde headed, bashful young cowboy that had eyes that rivaled the color of a clear summer sky, I was -well- pretty smitten, let’s just say!
Many years have gone by, and even after the show had passed into what I thought was a fond memory, I held on to my admiration of Mark Slade’s portrayal of the shy but impetuous Billy Blue Cannon. When Hallmark syndicated the show, it was the first time in over 30 years since I had last seen The High Chaparral and was thrilled to have all of those great memories come alive again.
I began to follow the website, ”The High Chaparral” and joined up on the High Chaparral Newsletter. I also found the Yahoo Discussion Group by the same name, and for some time, this is where I would go for my High Chaparral ‘high.’ These websites provided both past and current information about all things Chaparral and I was glad that there remained such enthusiasm for the show. Then I discovered on one of those sites that the High Chaparral had a Facebook group page, as well as one for the HC Reunion.
The first Facebook ‘character’ page that I joined was the Cameron Mitchell group page with administrators Sondra Hill and Lydia Hopson. Lydia and I began to message one another about our mutual drive to write, talking about High Chaparral fan fiction stories and the like. One night, it occurred to me that there were pages beginning to appear for the other characters, but, as of yet, there was no “Blue” group. Since I was still such a ‘true Blue’ fan, I thought, “Why can’t I start one?” And working fast before the same idea occurred to someone else; I did just that, naming it the “Mark Slade/Blue Cannon fan page.” The group description is: For friends and lovers of Billy Blue Cannon of the High Chaparral TV series.” That was sometime in March of 2013, and as of today, there are 509 members!
The group is a family friendly one open to anyone who wants to join, whether they join in on the fun and post photos with great captions as some of the members enjoy doing, or just read along. I hope that it is a group that Mark Slade and his family, friends and fans can be proud of. Please come on board and be a part of (to quote Nancy Thomas’ fan fiction title) our “Blue heaven.”
The Administrator of the Mark Slade Facebook page is Sharmon Loggains
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July 31st, 2014
Facebook: Cameron Mitchell
By Lydia Hopson
In late 2012 Sondra Hill and I had become friends thanks to two Facebook pages, Henry Darrow Friends and the “High Chaparral” page. We were connected by our love of the “High Chaparral” show and like most “High Chaparral” fans, we each had our favorite character, Uncle Buck for her, Manolito for me. Quickly, we became fast friends and messaged each other several times a day.
Sondra said she had thought about making a FB page for Cameron Mitchell and our conversation over the next few days went from “I have thought about ..” to “Let’s do it.”
She told me what she wanted on the page and I went to work. It didn’t take long and soon Sondra was messaging me that she loved it. I was delighted that after thinking about it for so long she finally had what she wanted, a Facebook page for Buck. It didn’t take long for fans, and friends from the other “High Chaparral” pages to join and we watched happily as membership numbers climbed.
A few months later, I created the Buffalo Gals page which took up a lot of my time and though still an administrator on the Cameron Mitchell page I don’t spend as much time there as I did in the beginning. I have noticed that since it began, the page has changed from one about “Uncle Buck” to one that celebrates all of Cameron’s work.
Members post any photos of Cameron they can get their hands on, movie stills, pictures that ran in newspapers or magazine articles, stills from the “High Chaparral”, memories of those who met him or worked with him, you name it, it is posted there. There are “Cam alerts” advising page members of any show or movie to be seen on television in which Mitchell has a starring or guest starring appearance. It is easy to see that Mitchell’s fans range far and wide and they are just as dedicated now as ever.
Membership of the page includes at least two of Mitchell’s family, a nephew and the wife of another nephew. They have shared pictures of many personal family items. Group members always appreciate something of this nature. It brings them closer to the man they admire so much.
Even more exciting is the effort by Bryan Sellars, Mitchell’s former business manager, to honor Mitchell in his home town by naming a street or even the baseball park in honor of him.
“We should honor the legacy of a man who, arguably, could be the finest actor to ever come out of York County,” said an editorial in the York Daily Record recently and added “Among those efforts: Raising money for a scholarship to go to a promising student at Susquehannock High School who is planning to study the arts in college. The scholarship would also honor Helena Hartenstein, who taught language at the former New Freedom High School and inspired and encouraged Mr. Mitchell to take up acting. One of the fundraising ideas is a screening of one of Mr. Mitchell’s films — the classic comedy “How to Marry a Millionaire” is under consideration.
“That would be more than fitting,” the editorial went on to say. “It would also be more than fitting to rename a street in Mr. Mitchell’s honor in Shrewsbury and perhaps attach his name to the town baseball field. Mr. Mitchell was a standout baseball player in high school and turned down an offer from the Detroit Tigers so he could go to New York and pursue acting.”
If this happens you can be sure the Cameron Mitchell page will be one of the first to know and shouting the honor from the rooftops.
Sondra is still as dedicated to the page as she ever was and wants very much for fans to participate.
“I want it to be very fan-based,” she said. “I want Cam’s fans to know it is their page.”
With 813 members now and more added every week, it is certain the page will continue to grow and to celebrate the life of a man that means very much to “High Chaparral” fans. So if you are a Cameron Mitchell fan join the group and grow with them. You won’t find any place that acclaims him with more love.
Administrators for the Cameron Mitchell Facebook page are: Sondra Hill, Debra Cox, Lydia Tilbury Hopson and Marianne Rittner-Holmes.
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July 31st, 2014
Facebook: The High Chaparral
By Ginny Shook
I started the High Chaparral Facebook Groupback in 2008. There had been (and still is) a Yahoo Group called the HCDG (High Chaparral Discussion Group) but it didn’t allow for sharing photos or video clips. It was time to try another type of social media and try my hand at running my own group. I wanted to share my love of the show, cast and crew with others. Penny McQueen was taking over the running of the High Chaparral Reunion and we needed a new home to attract more High Chaparral Fans to this great event – we knew you were out there. And of course, we wanted to meet you and share our love of the best television Western of all time with new fans.
Little did I know that six years later we would be almost 2,600 strong. And the other High Chaparral fans have become even more than friends…you are all family. Thank goodness we don’t have to buy each other birthday presents. Just your participation is enough of a gift.
Every member is precious. Just ask Don Collier (Sam Butler) who contributes regularly, sometimes just to say Hi or to remind you to come to the High Chaparral Reunion. And Kiva Hoy is also great about sharing stories about Bobby (Joe Butler). Susan McCray posts now and then and so does Linda Cristal (Victoria). They are all part of our family, too.
Please join us for all the latest news on what the cast and crew are up to, discussions on the episodes, the sharing of photos and video clips of the show. There is always room for another family member.
Administrators for The High Chaparral Facebook page are Ginny Shook and Penny McQueen.
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July 31st, 2014
Come Home To The High Chaparral
High Chaparral Reunion
March 19-22. 2015
Since 2003, fans and artists have gathered every two years to celebrate the ground-breaking, highly acclaimed NBC Western, The High Chaparral . Loyal fans, who have kept the beloved characters alive in their hearts and minds for 40 years, will once again host a reunion for cast, crew, guest stars and production staff.
Taking place in March 2015, this not-to-be-missed event provides the thrilling opportunity to meet the artists who brought the Cannons, Montoyas and Bunkhouse Boys to life! Meet Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya, Don Collier (Sam Butler), Rudy Ramos (Wind),—along with a long list of guest stars, production and crew members.
Is this your first Reunion or you’re traveling alone? We have a special program to make it easy for you. If you wish we’ll match you up with another fan who’s attended in the past so you can ask questions and have a buddy before you arrive.
Register TODAY at www.thehighchaparralreunion.com, and Come Home To The High Chaparral!
Download your FREE e-book, ‘How To Attend The High Chaparral Reunion!’
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July 31st, 2014
DVDs – SELLING OUT!
We’re down to 4 sets of the 4th season of The High Chaparral on DVD and don’t plan to order more for a few months, so if you’re been planning to get HC on DVD get your full set now at
The 4th season has a copy of the Bill Claxton ‘director’s cut’ of the pilot of The High Chaparral. Transferred from the original 16mm film this fascinating artifact is old and faded but still a treasure for fans as it contains never broadcast scenes.
The 4th season of High Chaparral introduced Wind (played by Rudy Ramos) and includes the two part tribute to Frank Silvera’s Don Sebastian Montoya – New Lion of Sonora.
All seasons in stock today until they sell out.
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July 31st, 2014
The High Chaparral Reunion is proud to announce the first in a series of fundraising events in honor of Cameron Mitchell—over very own Uncle Buck Cannon—and we’re a part of it!
Bryan Sellers, who is leading the grassroots efforts in York County, Penn., to recognize the famous native son, says “How to Marry a Millionaire” will be shown at the Zion Lutheran Church in Glen Rock, Penn., on Sept. 27. Donations will be accepted at the door, and all monies raised will be applied to the Cameron Mitchell Scholarship Sponsored by The High Chaparral Reunion, with Special Recognition for Helena Hartenstein. (Ms. Hartenstein was Cameron’s high school teacher who encouraged his acting career and even gave him money to go to New York.)
The Reunion’s special events section has been working behind the scenes with Bryan and his team for several months to move this effort forward. The evening will include personal appearances by Cameron’s nephews, Marc and Roark, along with Cam photos and memorabilia. There will also be food and door prizes.
The Cameron Mitchell Scholarship sponsored by The High Chaparral Reunion, with Special Recognition for Helena Hartenstein will be administered by the Southern York County School District Foundation overseen by Dr. Wayne McCullough. Special thanks to the Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society for sponsoring this event and the Zion Lutheran Church for allowing the hosting!.
The High Chaparral Reunion special events team, headed by Reunion CEO/Producer Penny McQueen and coordinated by Marianne Rittner-Holmes, will continue to work with the local York, PA team so stay tuned for information on how you can help to make Cameron’s scholarship a reality. It will benefit high school seniors in his home area who wish to pursue college studies in theater, film, media arts, and/or journalism.
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