post Friday Night Sponsor’s Dinner

November 15th, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:49 pm

Speech by Penny McQueen

Listen to the audio version of the Sponsor’s dinner presentation

Mariachi band plays at the Friday evening cocktail reception

Good evening and welcome to The High Chaparral Reunion Sponsor’s Dinner!

Those gorgeous balloons were designed and provided by our own Susan McCray – so to Susan, thank you for providing the perfect crowing touch and for making tonight special for all of us. Kent – you may be Big Daddy, but when it comes to parties, Susan is Head Honcho.

Fans of High Chaparral know that John Cannon had a dream when he went to Arizona – that all kinds of different people could learn to live together in peace, despite their differences and no matter where they came from. I think because of that idea, fans of High Chaparral are special and represent a fulfillment of that ideal. This weekend we have different people, from all over the world, who speak different languages and come from different cultures, gathered here to celebrate The High Chaparral.

Fans talk with cast and crew on Friday

This is the Sponsor’s dinner and tonight you are sitting with the Reunion Sponsors – and of all the extremely special High Chaparral fans, this group stands out. To our sponsors – thank you for being so joyfully open with your hearts and (something that is close to MY heart) warmly open with your checkbooks. Many of our Sponsors are here, but there are so many who sponsor who can’t attend the Reunion. They send money anyway.

I want to be sure that all the Chaparral cast and crew understands something I think is important: All these Sponsors – the ones sitting here tonight and the ones who are at home anxiously waiting for Facebook photos and stories to be posted– give so generously. They give because they love the show, they love what you created, and they love you. They give because they wanted to bring The High Chaparral home to Tucson.

To all our sponsors– thank you. Without you there simply would not be a Reunion.

Now – to our well-loved Guests of Honor –thank you for coming home to the ranch, and for spending your weekend here with us.

Don Collier and Henry Darrow

40 some years ago we all sat far too close to the television on Sunday nights to watch you. We thought you were the bravest, most handsome and hottest cowboys we’d ever seen. We thought you were amazing and fascinating. And we still do.

The High Chaparral is a cultural icon – not only here in the U.S. but all over the world.

I want to tell you about a tiny little community in Malaysia of about 300 people. It’s a traditional Malay Indian village, they raise some cows and basically live off the land which is quite beautiful. The families who live there were deeded their land about 150 years ago, but in 2007 the title was taken in a property scam by some large developers. This almost certainly illegal land grab threatened the 65 or so Malay families, and ignited protests as the villagers fought in court and refused to leave their home. There are well over 100,000 internet pages when you do a Google search about their fight.

Do you know what that little Malaysian village of 300 people nicknamed their village? And what is mentioned in those 100,000 internet pages? The High Chaparral. They named it The High Chaparral. They chose it because they raise cattle, they know the show and love it.

You created a cultural icon that people the world over love and remember.

All the celebrities were presented with awards from their fans. Rudy Ramos poses with his, which is engraved
‘Rudy Ramos.
Wind. The High Chaparral’

Your loving fans believe you deserve an award for your work and talent, and so tonight we’re giving you one. It doesn’t have an academy, university or studio behind it, but it has the love and respect of your fans.

Please accept this award in recognition of your accomplishments, talent, creativity and artistry. Thank you for your work and for making the finest television western ever created.

Now if you turn your attention to your table, you see there are small cowboy boot trophies. Notice that although this is a boot and golden, I didn’t call it a golden boot. That’s because the very last golden boot award was presented to Bob Hoy in his hospital room shortly before he left us. It was the last Golden Boot that will ever be presented.

Few people know the great debt The High Chaparral Reunion owes Bobby Hoy. Back in 2003 a small group of around 12 fans decided it would be fun to meet up in Tucson. One of them mentioned it to Bob, and it was Bobby who said if they met in Los Angeles at the Sportsmen’s Lodge he could get other cast members and production crew to attend. And then he got on the phone and started calling, getting addresses for invitations, and told folks they needed to come.

I knew Bobby, and I can imagine very few people turned him down when he called.

Tribute Video for Bob Hoy

It’s been 8 years since that first Reunion – they had 12 fans and 8 celebrity guest and a few others…no one kept records because it was all so unexpected, exciting and surprising. This year is our 5th Reunion, and tomorrow at the Ranch there will be hundreds of people. TV cameras, newspapers, magazine reporters. The Reunion is now a non-profit corporation because it’s grown so much. All because Bobby thought he could probably get a few people to come to lunch.

Over the years Bob continued to be a very active advocate for the Reunion and for High Chaparral fans in general. I think it’s fair to say these Reunions as they exist today would look much different if Bob hadn’t been involved.

So in addition to thanking our wonderful sponsors, and all of our handsome, dashing and brave cast and crew, The High Chaparral Reunion is very proud to thank Bobby Hoy.

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