May 12th, 2015
The HC Reunion
By Marc Mitzell
I recently attended my third High Chaparral Reunion, and, yes, the third time was truly the charm. I felt I was back among friends this year. I got to meet and know so many warm and friendly HC fans during the previous two HC Reunions that I really feel that they are friends, almost like attending my high school and college reunions. Not only is the cast and crew very gracious and friendly, but the fans of the HC seem to be especially dedicated to the show, maybe not quite in the same manner as Trekkies are to Star Trek, but I would say, almost the same in spirit and loyalty.
During my first HC Reunion, I frankly didn’t know what to expect, but I was really looking forward to the experience, admittedly with some nervousness. I did not know anyone. Henry Darrow and Don Collier were the only two stars I recognized when I entered the Friday evening cocktail soiree late, utterly exhausted after a long 10-hour trip from winter-weary Pennsylvania. I had not yet had the chance to meet Kent and Susan McCray, or Steve DeFrance, or the DeWaays, or Neil Summers, or Bob Shelton, and other people originally associated with the show. Penny McQueen extended me a warm welcome after strongly encouraging me to attend during a previous exchange of emails.
Later on, I was touched by what appeared to me as a groundswell of interest and support for my late Uncle Cameron in his role as Buck Cannon in the show…and this kind of interest after over 40 years!! I know Uncle Cam would have been thrilled to have seen this sincere interest in both Uncle Buck and the High Chaparral. He could be quite sentimental, and I suspect he would have had an ecstatic reaction upon seeing his old colleagues and the loyal fans. His response to the fans would have been quite rousing and he would have regaled them with lots of stories about filming the High Chaparral.
It was great seeing Henry Darrow, Rudy Ramos, Don Collier, the McCrays, Bob Shelton and all the previous people I encountered at the previous reunions. I also enjoyed meeting a host of new HC fans and new guests, as well as experiencing new activities and watching tweaked versions of Don Collier and Rudy Ramos’ one man shows, and even hitting a bucket of golf balls on the new golf club’s driving range. I am definitely looking forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s reunion, as well as a host of new attendees, not to mention spending some time in warm, sunny, welcoming Tucson.