February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:56 am

Buffalo Soldiers Book


From the American Revolution to the present day, African Americana repeatedly have stepped forward in their nation’s defense.   Although the story of black participation in the U.S. armed forces has been told elsewhere, Fighting for Uncle Sam breathes new vitality into the subject with an emphasis on the role African American soldiers played in opening the Trans-Mississippi West.  This comprehensive, expertly researched study reveals that the course for blacks serving in the U.S. Army on the frontier was not smooth, straight, or unobstructed.  Indeed, blacks in uniform continually fought on two fronts—against enemies who faced them with bullets and arrows, and a less tangible yet very real foe—discrimination.

Fighting for Uncle Sam reveals a cast of characters as big as the land where they served including Henry O. Flipper, Chaplain Allen Allensworth, Charles Young, Fredric Remington, Benjamin Grierson, and a host of equally interesting, but all too often unknown or forgotten blacks in Army blue, while at the same time weaves sound military history into the broader context of social history while hundreds of images painstakingly gathered for more than four decades from public and private collections enhance the written word as windows to the past.  The reader literally can peer into the eyes of formerly enslaved men who bravely bought their freedom on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War, then trekked westward to earn honor as “buffalo soldiers,” carried the Stars and Stripes to the Caribbean and Pacific as the United States expanded its influence beyond its shores, and pursued Pancho Villa into Mexico with John “Black Jack” Pershing.  These visual links to a bygone era combined with a compelling narrative are meant to inspire, enlighten, entertain, and acknowledge the contributions of black warriors in the complex history of the American West.

About the Author
As a teenager in the 1960s John P. Langellier participated in High Chaparral Days. He subsequently left his hometown of Tucson to pursue his BA and MA in History from the University of San Diego, and his PhD. from Kansas State University in Military History.  He is the author of scores of articles (many for True West magazine) as well as dozens books including his most recent title–Fighting for Uncle Sam: Buffalo Soldiers in the Frontier Army, which will be available at the High Chaparral Reunion. Dr. Langellier has served as a consultant to film and television such as Geronimo: An American Legend, Posse, and for the PBS production For Love of Liberty, hosted by Halle Barry.

Additionally, he co-produced two episodes of A&E’s Time Machine series, “The Buffalo Soldiers” and “The Buffalo Soldiers: The Legend Continues”.  He is an honorary member of the 9th and 10th U.S. Horse Cavalry Association, and a Smithsonian Institution fellow.  Moreover, in 1992, he was named as the Montana Historical Society’s James Bradley Fellow to conduct research on African American soldiers in Big Sky Country.

  Photo by Bob Boze Bell

post Ricochet Radio Ranglers

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:54 am


post Like Nothing Else

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:53 am

Like Nothing Else

Are you coming to the Reunion? Do you want to come but don’t have the funds?

I understand that…that was me when the Reunion began back in 2003. And I decided to be frugal and not go that first year. I’m still kicking myself. Even telling myself that it was the smart thing to do, even seeing that I’d really have to scramble to make ends meet…it didn’t stop me in the years to come. The first three Reunions were held in LA so I could drive to them. But driving in LA traffic terrified me to the point where I was sure I was going to have a heart-attack. No exaggeration. Those who are afraid to fly know what I’m talking about. But I white-knuckled it. Hated every minute of the trip but the reward more than made up for it.

The Reunion is like nothing else you’ve every attended. If you are a High Chaparral fan you will not mind for one second the money it costs to attend. Many fans have said that it changes their life. Honestly. When its over and you are back home, it can be months before real life sets in again – if it ever does. I can’t really describe it, but I know its a feeling that’s shared, based on other attendees descriptions.

So I just want to say, if you can scrape up enough to come, do it. Have this life-changing experience. The money will work out in the end. It just does, somehow (now you know why I am not a financial planner in real life smile emoticon ).

The whole Reunion works this way. It is not a money-making venture. We squeak by somehow. Because we want YOU to have this experience.

Hope to see you there.


post Never Look Back

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:53 am

Never Look Back

By Ginny Shook

When Linda Cristal called to ask me for a favor, I bit the bullet and asked her for one in return. Would she allow me to interview her for the High Chaparral ReunionNewsletter? “I haven’t done an interview in 20 years,” she told me, “but for you, of course I’ll do it.”

To say that I was nervous with such a gift is like saying The High Chaparral was just another TV show. But I was ready with questions and was sure that my interview would be full of pleasant reminisces and stories.

I was not prepared for the gift she gave me – a personal insight into her philosophy of life. I’m not sure that was her intention. But her mindset and beliefs have colored every aspect of her life, including her career. Every question about High Chaparral came around again to her beliefs. I felt that I was getting an important life lesson; that I was being mentored by someone with a deep and important wisdom.

What she has accomplished was no accident. No being in the right place at the right time. It had nothing to do with her talent, or her beauty (so she says). It was her life philosophy; a code, if you will, that she put into place long ago and has lived by ever since. It’s kept her out of the Hollywood mindset of measuring herself against someone else. Beauty can only by measured by comparison, and she didn’t measure or compare herself to other people.

Linda never said that her way was the best way, but what worked for her. Everything she told me, in a voice which has not changed one bit from her days as Victoria Cannon, was serious, sincere, and almost curious about what she herself was saying. There is confidence, certainly. But it is not ego. If anything, there is an absence of ego in Linda. Her confidence is a result of her ability to see a goal, focus on it, and make it happen. It is this ability that drives her life.

And what character does that remind you of?

I know I can’t do justice to her philosophy. So I will share our entire conversation, uncensored, as it unfolded.

GS: I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Henry Darrow. He said the High Chaparral actor he most enjoyed working with was you.

LC: He was my favorite. It was a joy working with him – a joy. They gave me carte blanche to ad lib, whatever I thought was good for the scene and I used it. I used it with Henry most of all because we had a natural facility with each other by ad libbing entire scenes. We would say “how long do you need it?” and that would be it. We’d start in English and end in Spanish.

GS: A lot of fans have said that Victoria was such a role model to them – she was so strong, but still so feminine. In the late sixties there weren’t women role models on TV. How much of Victoria was Linda Cristal?

LC: One hundred per cent. Absolutely, that’s the way I am.
When you grow up alone and you educate yourself – I used to take classes in the night – and I used to work on the weekends, in singing groups with Mark Slade – every weekend we were singing somewhere in one state or another.

I planned my life the way I wanted it to end. Everything happened the way I planned it. I have to say there wasn’t one battle I didn’t win.

GS: Your male cast members have mentioned more than once how much they admired you for having to wear such hot costumes on location in Old Tucson.

LC: This again goes back to the root – my willpower has always been beyond what you can conceive.  It goes beyond everybody else that I know. Everybody tells me – my best friend says “I don’t envy you your beauty, your money, your position. What I do envy is your willpower.” So it was hot. But you don’t fight it. You never fight the enemy. You befriend him. You keep him close to you. It was all willpower. So I took the heat as an acceptance as what life is about.

And of course we used bags of ice on the neck when we weren’t in front of the camera and behind the knee. I never fainted. Everyone that came to see the location fainted. There were two ambulances going back and forth to the hospital with the ones who fainted. But I never did because I don’t fight…I don’t fight it. I give in on the surface and only fight it inside me. I accept it.  Don’t fight it. Don’t fight the enemy – its trouble.

GS: Even that blue velvet dress with the jacket that Victoria wore? Didn’t you just want to kill them for bringing you these heavy clothes to wear?

LC: No, no, I didn’t entertain any ideas against them. If it was good and it fits right – the rest didn’t matter. But when I took my clothes off at the end of the day they were soaked like you wouldn’t believe. But instead of resenting it I thought “good, I’m losing weight.”

GS: But you were already so thin.

LC: But with the kind of food they fed you at the studio – you have to try to lose weight so you don’t gain it.

GS: I’ve been told that you are even more beautiful now than you were then.

LC:  I never understood what it was to be beautiful. By age five people would stop and – I  say this without false modesty – but the truth is my mother was stopped all the time just to tell her how beautiful the child was. Since then I heard it all my life. So how do I know I have it if I hear it all the time? I didn’t know it, no, I didn’t. And then as I got older – the fact is, because of genes or something, I never look my age. Never, not even today. My doctors are flabbergasted. It is nothing I do, it’s just the genes.

You know what you have when you have it. Do you think a rich woman knows that knows money is money? No, she doesn’t know. Only if you were to become homeless you would understand about money. You cannot see what is too close to you . I never understood the words “you are beautiful”. I didn’t know what it meant. I couldn’t savor it. It sounded like Chinese to me. It didn’t elate me. It’s a very strange thing.  Now, today, when I see these beautiful women on television, the models and other beautiful women, I understand beauty. But not because I don’t like the way I look – I like it. It’s just that their youth puts a slant on their beauty that I didn’t conceive before. It puts it together. Makes it real.

GS: The guys have all said they used to play poker when they weren’t filming.

LC: (laughing) Yes, they did.

GS: What did you do to pass the time on the set?

LC: Go to bed very early, memorize – its hard to memorize in a foreign language – and try to sleep early so I would look fresh in the morning. The thing about that was always “she’s such a trooper.”

GS: Did you enjoy your time making High Chaparral?

LC: Unfortunately, again, it was too close to me. First of all, I wasn’t supposed to do that show. It was Joan Caulfield who had the part. And then when I got it…That’s the way I always got things. Even if someone else had them, if I approached it I would get it. So, I don’t know…when United Artists went to look for a star for Comanche to star with Dana Andrews, and she had to speak English – and I didn’t, not a word – I got the part anyway.

I never lost any battles in my life. It was just my conviction, I guess. Before I opened my mouth they thought I was the right person for the part. When they said “but do you speak English?”  I said “don’t worry, I speak Italian, French, Spanish – I will learn English in no time” – they believed me.

I can’t think of anytime in my life when I lost anything. I hope it doesn’t sound unromantic. In looking back it’s like I’m talking about someone else. Nothing is that important. In fact, when I got awards I said “how nice” but I never got the impact of what the award was saying, based on this or that, or recognized as that – I never understood it, until not too long ago. Now, that is a shame. Imagine how wonderful it must be for someone who really has the ability to appreciate winning.  Maybe it’s because I have always been alone. So, who are you proud to show it to?

GS: That sounds like a good philosophy.

LC: The only philosophy I came with is, which my father taught me, is never look back. Never look back. And that was very, very helpful. So I never look back – never look at my films. It’s very rare that I do an interview, very rare – I only do it because its you, and yesterday because of David Dortort backing that magazine. I would never – not for 20 years. When you say goodbye to something it has to be a complete goodbye, not a little bit of a goodbye.

GS: What if someone approached you now to do a film?

LC: It would have to be so tempting for me to do it because I feel I stopped at the right time – maybe a little late – but at the right time, anyway. And that was fine, that was fine. I’m satisfied with what I did. It’s not like I think about “Oh, if I could have done…no, no – I did it all. My God , I did it all. My son was asking me the other day “name the country you haven’t been in.”  I had to think a while to name a country I haven’t visited. It was hard. What life is about – I’ve done, or I’ve seen, or I’ve experienced. Or I’ve faced and decided that’s not for me. You know?

GS: Do you have any story about High Chaparral you’d like to share?

LC: I am one of those who never says “no.” For instance, when David Dortort said “you know, this character is very often on a horse” and I had never been on a horse – well, I had been, but very little. Not much – walking, maybe. And I had to look comfortable on a horse. And he put us – it was Mark Slade and myself in one of those round corrals. And I said “of course.”  You know. And the horse felt hard and it felt like it was going to start bucking. And I said, like I always do, “No, no, no. You go forward. Go forward.

So, he never threw me. In fact, I got so comfortable that I used to run faster than I was supposed to, to sneak in and do my own stunts. And when they caught me everyone was angry with me because they were afraid I was going to hurt myself. But that was my fun. And it was challenging. And I like that.

post High Chaparral Blend

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:52 am

High Chaparral Blend

Have you tried Arbuckles’ Coffee, the coffee that won the west?

Arbuckles’ Coffee began in the post Civil War Era of the 19th Century. Two brothers, John and Charles Arbuckle, initiated a new concept in the coffee industry; selling roasted coffee in one pound packages.  Until that time, coffee was sold green and had to be roasted in a skillet over a fire or in a wood stove.  You can imagine the inconsistency of the coffee.  One burned bean ruined the whole batch.  The Arbuckle Brothers were able to roast a coffee that was of consistently fine quality and the first to be packaged in one pound bags.

Needless to say, Arbuckles’ Coffee caught on like wild fire.  It was soon shipped around the United States and became a favorite in the Old West.  In fact, Arbuckles’  became so popular in the Old West that most cowboys didn’t even know that there was any other.  Arbuckles’ Coffee was prominent in such infamous cow towns as Dodge City and Tombstone.  To many of the older cowboys, Arbuckles’  is still known as the Original Cowboy Coffee.

When you purchase The High Chaparral Blend of Arbuckles’ coffee a portion of every sale goes to help fund all our HC activities. The Arbuckle folks are big supporters of The High Chaparral – Don Collier, HC’s ranch foreman Sam Butler is even the Arbuckle cowboy!

Included in the great western High Chaparral coffee blend is a random picture of the HC cast members from single portraits to group shots; Arbuckles’ has 10 high quality 4×6 inch photos. Be sure to collect them all.

Order at

Watch the Video


post Experience of a Lifetime

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:51 am

Experience of a Lifetime

By Debora Ann New

The High Chaparral Reunion is rapidly approaching.  If you have not made up your mind about attending it still is not too late to go. You will be missing a really great opportunity to meet and interact with the actors who made Westerns one of the most popular genres ever on Television if you do not make those reservations and head for the Reunion.

I know, from personal experience, how truly wonderful several of the actors who will be at the Reunion really are.  I made up my mind to go the the first Western Heritage Festival in Boise, Idaho, last year.  After making my non-refundable flight reservations, I started having second thoughts:  Would there be enough time to meet the actors?  Would they just go through the motions of signing autographs?  Would I fit in to the group I belong to on Facebook (Robert Fuller Fandom)?  Fortunately several of the other Fandom members, especially Dee and Carol, assured me that I would have a great time, would fit into the Fandom group, and that the actors were really easy to approach.

I am so glad that I listened because having the opportunity to meet Don Collier, Robert Fuller, Roberta Shore, and Alex Cord was one of the best experiences of my life!  That may sound like an exaggeration, but it is the truth.  The most impressive thing about all four of these individuals is how truly kind they are.  They appreciate their fans, are really genuinely nice human beings, and they are very interesting individuals.

None of us are getting any younger so take advantage of the opportunity to meet all the wonderful actors who will be at the 2016  High Chaparral Reunion!

post Don Collier, The Long Way ‘Round

February 18th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:51 am

Don Collier, The Long Way ‘Round

Vintage reprint article

The boy who discovers at six or seven, or eight – that the one thing he wants to do in the world is to become an actor bears no resemblance to actor Don Collier, who this season is sole star of “Outlaws,” seen Thursdays at 7:30 ET on NBC-TV. Don was born and grew up in Van Nuys, Calif, within shooting distance of the Hollywood studios, but “Acting?” he says. “Never even thought about it.”

Don, whose name then was Donald H. Mounger, was interested in football and stuff like that; joined the Navy as soon as he picked up his high-school diploma; and in 1946, when he was discharged, headed for Oregon to work on a ranch. That’s how much he thought of the gold in those Hollywood hills.

The ranch bit didn’t work out, and neither did a job in an Oregon sawmill. Late in 1947 he found himself in Seattle, broke and discouraged. In order to eat regularly, as much as anything else, he joined the Merchant Marines as a seaman, but after one trip, to Japan, he was called home by the illness of his only sister. That ended his seagoing.

At the time, his parents were working on the huge San Fernando Valley ranch of actor Francis Lederer, and for the first time it occurred to Don that acting couldn’t be such a bad way of making such a good living. He asked Lederer for help and, after six months’ coaching, the star got him small parts in three movies. Then came a lull when Don was “At liberty,” as being without a job is called in show-business circles.

From where Don sat, it looked as if mining the gold in those Hollywood studios might take too much time and effort. He joined a high-school tam-mate and took up an athletic scholarship at Hardin-Simmons University, in Texas. By the following year – 1950 – he had transferred to Brigham Young University to study geology, working with the college drama group when he wasn’t out looking over the rocks.

This didn’t hold his interest long, either. In 1951 he went back to Southern California; was married; and in the years that followed became the father of three children – Pamela, nine; Diane, eight; and Don, Jr, six.

A man with a wife and family to support can’t pick up and leave whenever the spirit movies hm. For the next five years Don operated a fish and poultry business.  That wasn’t very successful and, deciding to give acting another real try, he signed up with a drama coach, working by day as a surveyor while he want to class nights.

In 1959 he joined the Valley Playhouse in Los Angeles; appeared in a production of “The Tender Trap,” where he was seen by an agent, and began to get TV and movie parts. Last year he was tested and turned down for two other series, but as a result of one got the “Outlaws” role.

Some tow and a half years ago, his marriage collapsed and later Don met up with Joanne Gray, a childhood sweetheart who had also gone through an unsuccessful marriage. They tied the knot in January, 1960, and settled down in Van Nuys with a quartet of children  – Don’s three and Joanne’s son Dave, who’s the same age as Don, Jr. Steven James made the foursome a quintet on December 10, 1960, and the stork was expected to make another landing early this winter.