So, when I was off in the desert a couple weeks ago blasting away with our evil black rifles the Missus was attending the annual Cowboy Poetry Festival held in our happy little valley at the Melody Ranch. This is an event that has been gong on for quite awhile and is a lot of fun. When it first started some years ago it was fairly small and not that well attended but it has grown each year to a really big event. I haven't gone for several years but the last time we did, we saw the group "Riders in the Sky" perform and not only were they an excellent singing group but they were so funny I laughed until my eyes watered.
As I mentioned the event is held at Melody Ranch, formerly owned by Gene Autrey and the location for many, many movies and TV shows. It is currently owned by the Veluzat brothers who make the venue available for the festival. Previously when we attended there were not any displays of movie memorabilia and if I had known what I was missing I would have gone with the Missus instead of to the desert! The last time I went I picked up some fired blank cartridge cases from the dust in main street left behind from a recent filming.
The Veluzat's also have a storage yard for their movie armored vehicles near one of the main streets in town and about 20 years ago when passing by I noticed the front gate was open so I walked in! I introduced myself and got a quickie tour of the movie vehicles parked there. They were busily converting an M-4 Sherman tank to an ersatz PZKW Mk4 for an Arnold movie (that was never made) called SGT Rock. The Missus saw the same tank on her visit and took a picture for me. They also had armor used in Red Dawn and Flight of the Intruder. I noticed later that they no longer keep the gate open so I guess my visit was a lesson learned for them.
|Here you are - entering Melody Ranch!|
|Main street with Cowboy enthusiasts|
|Lots of western stuff going on - rope tricks|
|Artists (he's signing a poster for me)|
|There has to be horses and riders|
|Some cowboy music|
|Now the fun stuff! From Tremors|
|The stagecoach at work in the movie|
|Last Man Standing|
|Last Man Standing That had to hurt!|
|This looks familiar...|
|Ah! Doctor Jones I presume...|
|the Missus' favorite TV show - she brazenly walked onto the set one day when it was filming in our area and got to meet Dana Delaney|
|This has probably been in several dozen films and TV shows over the years|
|The ersatz Mk4 that I saw being built a long time ago|
|From Red Dawn probably built on an M47 chassis|
|Speaking of M-47 tanks - the very tank that Arnold drove as a draftee in the Austrian Army. He was goofing off one day during his service and forgot to set the parking brake and it rolled unmanned into a river. Seems not to have hurt it at all.|
All in all the Missus had a great time and I wish I had been there. I'll have to be sure to go next year!