The High Chaparral Newsletter

Dear High Chaparral Fans:

Just a week left to sign up for The High Chaparral Reunion. Will there be another opportunity to have so many members of the cast and crew all in one place.... ready and eager to meet you? Who knows? Don't take a chance on missing out on an experience that you'll savor for the rest of your life. Send an e-mail to today. If you need more persuading, check out the wonderful stories and photos from the 2005 reunion on The High Chaparral Official Website. Click here.

But we can't forget the Chaparral members we won't ever get to meet. This issue honors William Claxton.... High Chaparral Director and Producer. Both Kent and Susan McCray talk about Bill in their own words and Bob Hoy provides some never-before-seen photos.





The High Chaparral
2007 Reunion
August 17-19.... 2007
 Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel
 Studio City.... California

(Note that full payment is due by July 31.... 2007. Your registration is non-refundable. A 50% refund will be given to cancellations made after July 1. Unfortunately.... no refunds after August 1.)

High Chaparral Reunion Guest List

Dennis Allen.... Head Wrangler

Victor Campos....Guest Star

Don Collier.... Sam Butler

Henry Darrow.... Manolito Montoya

Ray DeCamp.... Director

David Dortort.... Executive Producer and Creator

Jackie Fuller.... Linda Cristal's stand in

Marie Gomez.... Perlita

Milt Hamermen....Casting

Bob Hoy.... Joe Butler

Jack Lilley.... Leif Erickson's stunt double

Ted Markland.... Reno

Kent McCray.... Producer

Susan McCray.... casting.... daughter of composer Harry Sukman

Bob Michaels.... Haskell Boggs grandson

Gregg Palmer.... Guest Star

Rudy Ramos.... Wind

Robert Shelton.... Old Tucson owner

Phil Rawlins.... Director

Neil Summers.... Stunts

Malachi Throne.... Guest Star

Gregory Walcott.... Guest Star

Dan White....

Jerry Wills.... Stunts

Morgan Woodward.... Guest Star

Now Hear This

The High Chaparral Promo

Recorded by Susan McCray especially for The High Chaparral Reunion.


Some of the guests at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion

High Chaparral on the Web

 The Official High Chaparral website

The High Chaparral Reunion website

Don Collier

Henry Darrow

Bob Hoy

Ted Markland

Susan McCray

Rudy Ramos

Mark Slade

Out West Entertainment




The High Chaparral
Virtual Reunion

Now all loyal fans of The High Chaparral can participate in the 40th Anniversary Reunion. Announcing the Virtual Reunion – a private.... online web conference designed specially for the event.   

Hosted by any fan with a broadband internet connection and browser can connect to the reunion brunch on August 17th.  A webcam will provide a live video feed.... along with chat and voice.... direct from the Sportsmen's Lounge.  Get your questions ready.... because you'll be able to ask the cast.... crew.... and guest stars via your web session.... and hear and see their responses.  

This unique internet meeting allows all Chaparral fans to be a part of this year's very special reunion.... whether they can attend in person or not.  In addition to the excitement of seeing the cast.... crew.... and guest stars.... the capabilities of will be available throughout the reunion.  Participants who have their own webcam will have two-way video.... everyone can chat.... and so paid participants can meet with onsite fans at specific times during the weekend.   

Plans are to have a fan conference at Friday evening's Hug and Howdy check-in.... so we all can meet virtually. Additional online meetings will be available at other times Saturday.... and during the main event – the celebrity brunch on Sunday.  

The cost to participant is $55.  Contact to arrange the paypal payment and receive your username and password.'s web and video conferencing service is browser based and system neutral.  Any operating system – Mac.... Windows.... Linux – can take part in this internet meeting.... without installing any special software.   

If you know you can't attend the reunion in person.... make plans to be there anyway.... by attending the Virtual Reunion!   

Scenes that were never broadcast

Shadows On The Land, by Ken Pettus, opens with Buck, Blue, and Manolito dodging
bullets fired by Apache crouched on an overhanging ridge. Soon the Apache leader, Nolgee, brother to Soldado, is shot and killed, and Buck discovers he was carrying a repeating rifle.

The scene moves quickly, introducing the rifle ‘you can load on Sunday and shoot all week long’, that figures heavily in the plot. But we never know what happened before our heroes were tucked behind those bushes, fighting Apache.

The original script’s teaser, or opening scene, is
much longer. Because Shadows is such an early
episode, the character development is particularly interesting, including the spotlight on both Blue’s
growing abilities and his inexperience. Whether
this was cut from broadcast for time
considerations, production expense, or another
reason is unknown, but the scene is easy to
picture and adds depth to the opening.

Shadows On The Land
By Ken Pettus


Ext. brush country – day – shot – Blue


Shot – steer


Two shot – Buck and Manolito

SITTING THEIR MOUNTS, WATCH Blue, pleased with the way he’s performing. A couple of hobbled mavericks are grazing close by.

That’s the way, Blue boy! Stay with him!

Buck and Manolito exchange big, pleased grin.

Overtaking the steer, swinging his lariat. The steer dodges but Blue wheels his mount and stays right with him.


Blue swings his lariat and catches the steer by the hind legs and trips him up. He reins-in, securing the lariat around the saddle horn. As the horse holds the rope taut, Blue leaps off and rushes to the kicking, BAWLING steer. During the above, four APACHES come FROM BEHIND CAMERA. They’re on foot and are armed with rifles. They start making their way down the slope of the ridge.

As they spur their mounts and ride toward Blue

As they make their way down the slope, keeping low, concealing themselves behind rocks and brush.

He’s tied the legs of the steer and is getting to his feet as Buck and Manolito ride up and dismount. Blue looks up at them, beaming proudly.

Did I do it all right, Uncle Buck?

He knows damn well he did.

That was purty as a picture, Blue boy! Purty as a picture!

Good work, compadre!
(to Buck)
He’s going to be the number one vaquero of this outfit before we know it!

Didn’t I tell ya!

Blue grins broadly, pleased. Buck goes to the steer.

This one’s mighty fat and sassy for a maverick.
(to Blue)
Let’s get this bunch back to camp and slap a brand on ‘em.

Blue knees beside the steer and starts to unite it’s legs. Buck looks around.

Guess we’ve just about beat this part of the brush clean.

Si…we’ll have to start working higher ground.


Blue gets its legs untied and the animal is about to get to his feet when the CRACK of a rifle shot RINGS OUT. The steer is hit in the head and killed instantly. Buck and Manolito instinctively dive for the ground, pulling their revolvers as they drop. Blue on his knees beside the steer, is stunned. There’s another rifle SHOT. A slug digs into the ground only inches from Blue. Buck grabs him by the arm and pulls him to the ground.


Manolito is looking around, trying to determine where the shots are coming from. More slugs PEPPER the ground around the three men, throwing up dirt.

Where are they?!

Manolito spots the Apaches halfway down the ridge. He points.


Firing from the slop of the ridge a hundred yards distant. Three of the Indians have singleshot rifles which they reload each shot; but the fourth Indian FIRES steadily from a new Spencer repeating rifle.

THREE SHOT – BUCK, Manolito and BLUE

As they RETURN the Apache FIRE. Buck get up and moves forward in a crouching run, FIRING as he goes. Manolito follows. Then Blue.

(From here the scene begins to follow the broadcast episode)



The following was told by Kent McCray to Ginny Shook

First, let me give you a little history. In the 50’s, Bill was a film editor at 20th Century Fox and also I think
that’s where he got his first directorial assignment. I met him in 1962 when he was directing episodes of Bonanza.
Then in ‘66 as you know, he directed the two-hour Chaparral pilot. After the pilot was completed he went back and
finished the year directing alternating episodes of Bonanza. In ‘67 he was named producer-director of Chaparral. The first two years he directed roughly every other Chaparral and really was the thought behind the show. At the end of the first two years there was quite a big change from the network in their attitude towards violence. The thought was to make Chaparral more family oriented and less violent with less action. Thus David Dortort replaced Bill and brought in Jim Schmerer. It was a big mistake as far as I was concerned but that’s history. Bill went back to directing Bonanza and did quite a few of them. And then when Chaparral was over and Bonanza was over Bill started with Michael (Landon) directing every other episode of Little House on the Prairie. And when I was producing Father Murphy, he directed every other episode. And after Little House, when I was producing Highway to Heaven he did some of those.

Bill had a great, quiet quality about him. He had a good sense of humor. We referred to him as “the whittler”
because he always had a pocket knife and would pick up a stick and when he was trying to think of something he would kind of ad-lib his answer and start to whittle. He had a very low speaking voice and sometimes you could hear him humming a song or just kind of a little murmur, so he was also nicknamed “the hummer”.

The stunt people were big fans of Bill’s. He really was a great believer in stunts and loved the stunt people. Henry
Wills, was our stunt coordinator, and Bill thought very highly of him and would never do any kind of an action stunt
without Henry’s input.

Bill had a lot of good friends in the business and we all miss him greatly.

Bob Hoy provided these photos from his personal collection; from a party given by the entire cast and crew of The High Chaparral in honor of their beloved director & producer, Bill Claxton, December of 1967.

Bob Hoy presents Bill Claxton with a gift from the cast & crew

Janet & Bill Claxton

Joe Butler never got this close to Victoria



Click HERE  to hear Susan McCray's memories of Bill Claxton.


William F. Claxton
October 22, 1914 - February 11, 1996



Don't want to receive The High Chaparral Reunion Newsletter with the latest information.... photos & reminisces?
Click here to be removed