November 12th, 2009
By Penny McQueen
Rusty provided hand-made leather name tags
Friday, October 16, 2009 marked the official beginning of The High Chaparral Reunion weekend at La Posada. At 9:00 am the first fans arrived for registration and received their custom leather name tags, hand crated by Rusty. The tags were a big hit with fans and cast, and Sponsors and the Posse – those who helped work on the reunion – had their own special tag.
Fans picked up a wonderful gift bag from Susan McCray, containing a High Chaparral 2009 Reunion coffee mug, a CD of High Chaparral music (with the Theme from High Chaparral and Harry Sukman’s High Chaparral Suite), a cast photo to collect autographs, and a photo button of the ranch house to wear. The large white gift/tote bag even had a photo of the ranch house!
Arbuckle’s Coffee generously provided gifts of a coffee mug, a pack of the coffee that won the west, peppermint stick, and history of Arbuckle Coffee. Don Collier is Arbuckle’s official cowboy spokesperson, you can listen to Don on their website.
Henry Darrow, Denny Allen, Bob Shelton, Susan McCray, Kent McCray, Don Collier and Rudy Ramos at the Friday Discussion Panel. photo by Patty Schantz.
While people met and got acquainted, they perused the weekend schedule, watched an episode on the large screen, shopped auction items, and read a history of David Dortort provided by Andy Klyde. Sponsors admired their own souvenir copy of The High Chaparral Reunion 2009 invitation with artwork by Patty Schantz.
Bids were made immediately at the silent auction table, especially on two hotly contested goodies – Patty’s beautiful large prints of John and Victoria, and Buck and Blue. Other heavy hitters were The High Chaparral Songbook, Annual, and HC paperback books.
After lunch at Miguel’s at La Posada we resumed with a two hour panel discussion featuring Henry Darrow, Rudy Ramos, Don Collier, Kent and Susan McCray, Bob Shelton and head wrangler Denny Allen.
Henry Darrow (center) reacts to a story by Don Collier (left) as Rudy Ramos (right) listens,
during the Friday panel discussion. photo by Penny McQueen.
Jan Pippins and Susan McCray present Penny McQueen with a plaque at The High Chaparral Reunion Sponsor’s Dinner. photo by Crystal Hudson.
At the 7 pm Sponsor’s Dinner, Penny McQueen, reunion organizer, recognized the Sponsors, whose generous contributions made it possible to bring The High Chaparral home to Tucson. Announcing ‘dinner is served’ she was interrupted by Kent and Susan McCray and Jan Pippins, who had an announcement of their own – presenting her with a lovely recognition plaque from the cast, crew and fans of The High Chaparral. It reads, “With Appreciation To Penny McQueen From the Cast Crew and Fans of The High Chaparral for your love, devotion and hard work in making the 2009 Reunion a special event for us all.” When Penny began to thank everyone, Big Daddy Kent McCray shushed her as he wasn’t quite finished speaking, proving once again he is still definitely The Boss when it comes to all things Chaparral! Dinner was followed by Arbuckle coffee and cookies, then high quality, uncut High Chaparral episodes provided by Andy Klyde.
For the complete panel discussion and coverage of the entire day at Old Tucson, get your copy of The High Chaparral Reunion 2009 DVD.
Henry Darrow and Rudy Ramos at the Friday panel Discussion. Photo by Patty Schantz