September 15th, 2011
by Patty Schantz
The 2009 Reunion in Tucson was a dream fulfilled. Every time I watched an episode, I wished it was possible to actually visit the High Chaparral house. So, for me, one of the highlights was the day spent in Old Tucson. Seeing, touching and entering the actual Cannon ranch house was as much of a thrill as meeting Henry, Don, Rudy and Ted and all the friendly fans. I was determined to bring home a piece of the High Chaparral, so under the sizzling hot sun, went out behind the house and dug up a bit of honest-to-goodness Arizona desert dirt from under a bush and put it in a plastic baggie for safe keeping.
On my way to rejoin the crowd, something rusty poking up from the dirt caught my eye, and I unearthed a horseshoe! I couldn’t believe it! An actual Cannon ranch horseshoe! It was immediately obvious — to me, at least — that it had belonged to Mackadoo (Manolito’s horse). (It’s most likely from a draft horse, but I’m happy with my little delusion.) I told Henry about it later that evening, and he agreed that it most definitely did belong to Mackadoo. “Yes, believe that!” he enthused.
With all the security restrictions at airports these days, I had to be absolutely certain it wouldn’t be confiscated as a “weapon” and was prepared to ship it home, if necessary. When I contacted the TSA and explained my dilemma, the agent laughed and said it was okay to pack it in the carryon bag because it was unlikely that I could “horseshoe someone to death with it.” The Tucson airport security personnel got quite a kick out of my declared baggie of desert dirt and the rusty horseshoe.
Mackadoo’s shoe — one of my most prized reunion souvenirs — now resides on the fireplace mantle. Next to it sits a little bottle containing a smidgeon of the real High Chaparral.