Dear High Chaparral Fans:
40 more days until the reunion but a mere 23 more days left to register. Please don't miss out on the chance to meet the cast and crew of the greatest TV Western. They are, without exception, warm, wonderful people who are looking forward to meeting you. You will return home knowing you have made new friends and been reacquainted with old ones. Kent McCray can answer any question about the show that you have. Susan McCray may want you to be on her radio show. Henry Darrow will charm you. Don Collier and Bob Hoy will treat you like an old friend. Ted Markland will make you laugh. You'll rush home to watch the fourth season after meeting the captivating Rudy Ramos. Interested in horses? Talk to stunt man Jack Lilley, who trains them for TV and movies. Want to hear what it was like to work on Gunsmoke? Neil Summers and Alex Sharp will be waiting for you (Alex doubled James Arness!). A John Wayne fan? Guest Star Gregg Palmer worked with him, and does the best impression of the Duke you've ever heard. Jerry Wills was on Chaparral all four years, as was his father, Henry. Since he doubled Mark Slade, he might have a story or two about our Blue Boy.
And surely you want the opportunity to say thank you to David Dortort.
The High Chaparral
(Note that full payment is due by July 31, 2007. Your registration is non-refundable. Cancellations made before July 1 will be refunded in full, and a 50% refund will be given to cancellations made after July 1. Unfortunately, no refunds after August 1.)
High Chaparral News
Don Whaley, a camera operator on
Bonanza, attended past reunions with High Chaparral cameraman Wally Johnson.
Don sends his regrets, but thoughtfully sent along information he recently
learned about Leif Erickson.
He studied photography in 1942 at
the Naval Training School in Pensacola, and after graduation taught as an
instructor/lecturer. It comes as no surprise that he was assigned to a Combat
Photographic Team, shooting stills and movies in combat zones, until he left
the navy in 1945, a Chief Photographer’s Mate. Life experiences that must’ve
added richness to the role of John Cannon.
Now Hear This
Speaking of Don Whaley, The High Chaparral
cameraman had this to say in a recent letter:
produce a highly intelligent, well-written newsletter and I'm grateful that
you sent it. The general quality of the photos, IN COLOR YET, speaks well for
the entire operation. As I understand it, one of the goals is to prod whomever
has the final say to release HIGH CHAPARRAL to market on DVD.' It's
difficult to figure as BONANZA has been bouncing aroundfor a number of years,
first on VHS and currently on DVDs. And this while an L.A. channel (30) runs
chopped-up BONANZA's one-a-day, five days a week. They gotta be wearing out
the sprocket holes. I don't get the politics of it at all. In my later years
I ran a camera on TAXI and CHEERS, and they've been available in the after
market for a long time.'
High Chaparral on the Web
Rather than share memories of
past reunions, we present the following
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 Megameeting.com, 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 Megameeting.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange the paypal payment and receive your username and password.
Megameeting.com'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!
My Favorite High Chaparral Episode
With Buck in charge for a change, the men from the High Chaparral take a mule team into Tucson, load up with supplies, and plan to return home after a short time for some fun in town. But when two mountain men observe the "richest, fattest mule train ever seen" they convince our favorite bandido, El Lobo, to ambush the Chaparral crew on the return trip. El Lobo has broken out of Yuma Prison and is more interested in revenge on Manolito for putting him there
than what the mule train holds. He traps the HC men like a "covey of quail" and lets the hot sun do the work for him. When it looks like he is going to succeed, Buck comes up with an ingenious plan that saves the day.
This episode is full of fast-paced scenes with snappy, funny dialogue that writer Alex Sharp excelled at. One running gag has Sam asking for the five dollars Joe owes him. "What five dollars?" Joe asks ever-so-innocently. Sam reminds him that he was playing poker with Pedro and drinking. "Sam, you know better than to lend me money when I'm drinking."
Later they have a wonderful fist-fight in the saloon. But when they have been trapped by El Lobo in the blazing sun without water and it looks like the end is near, Joe wants to make things right. He tries to give the money to his brother. "Keep it and pay me later," Sam tells him. "If there is a later. 'Cause where I'm going everything is free. But where you're going - you might need five dollars."
Other favorite moments include Sam, Joe, and Pedro huddled over a horse trough, trying to wash away their hangovers. Rubbing an aching head, Joe asks Pedro what Tequila is made out of it. "This morning I don't know," Pedro moans. "They say it's made out of cactus." "Cactus, huh?" says Sam. "Well, I sure wish they'd take the stickers out before they bottle it."
Buck asks Blue is he's seen any strange looking men around. "They're mountain men - they smell funny." "I didn't smell any," Blue says innocently.
When Blue is trying to sing along with his new guitar, Buck, with a grimace asks, "Blue Boy, how much you pay for that guitar?" "Only two pesos," Blue replies. "I'll give you three to shut-up." (Blue is not discouraged and continues his impression of singing throughout the episode).
One interesting note - the script for The Covey reveals that there was an opening scene that didn't make it into the episode. At least, not this episode. It starts with the ranch hands playing polo with a beat-up ball and broom sticks. In this version, the Butler Brothers even use their broomsticks like sabers when the game gets heated. Buck is enjoying the fracas but Big John puts a stop to the fun.
Gene, Roy...and the Bunkhouse Boys?
by Penny McQueen
with one of The High Chaparral stars, it’s difficult to remember they aren’t
the characters they played. They use the same voices and gestures, on
occasion exhibit similar attitudes, so an occasional dizziness, a little out
of the TV screen and into reality deja vue, can be excused.
turns and looks at Manolito: He smiles broadly.
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