The High Chaparral Newsletter, High Chaparral Reunion, Henry Darrow, Mark Slade, Cameron Mitchell, Linda Cristal, Leif Erickson, Bob Hoy, Don Collier, Ted Markland, Kent McCray, Susan McCray, Alex Sharp,

The High Chaparral Reunion 2007
& 40th Anniversary Celebration

Dear High Chaparral Fans:

The invitations for the reunion guests have been sent, and RSVPs are rolling in. We share a photo of the invitation in this issue. After all, it is you - the fans - that the invitation is actually from. You have made your own reservation, haven't you? This year's celebration promises to be the best yet.

Rudy Ramos graciously took time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed for the newsletter. Enjoy Part One of the Rudy Ramos conversations in this issue.

The wonderful comments that have been received regarding the content of The High Chaparral reunion newsletter are much appreciated. We hope to make each issue better than the last. If there is something you would like to see in an upcoming issue, or if you would like to submit an article or your reunion memories, don't hesitate to write us at






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

High Chaparral News

Mark Slade as Blue Cannon

Mark Slade's artwork is on view at the Housewarming group exhibition at The Works Gallery, 451 South First Street, in San Jose, CA, May 29 through July 19. A selection of Mark's artwork can be also be viewed at The Saatchi Gallery website, as well as Mark's studio website.

Robert Shelton (left) and John Wayne
in Old Tucson

Saturday, May 26th was John Wayne's 100th birthday. One of the many celebrations in his honor was held at Old Tucson, home of The High Chaparral. Four classic John Wayne movies were filmed at Old Tucson: "Rio Bravo" (1959), "McLintock!" (1963), "El Dorado" (1966) and "Rio Lobo". His association with Old Tucson created a lasting friendship with the owner, Robert Shelton. It was only fitting that Robert narrate the documentary made for this special occasion. Titled "Old Tucson Remembers John Wayne", it features an interview with Don Collier, who appeared with Wayne in "The Undefeated," "The War Wagon," and "El Dorado". Don also participated in the Old Tucson celebration.

Happy Birthday, Duke!

Now Hear This
The High Chaparral Promo

Recorded by Susan McCray especially for The High Chaparral Reunion.

From the 2005 Reunion
The High Chaparral ranch hands reunite
(left to right)
Rudy Ramos, Don Collier, Bob Hoy

High Chaparral on the Web

  The Official High Chaparral website

The High Chaparral Reunion website

Mark Slade

Don Collier

Bob Hoy

Ted Markland

Susan McCray

Rudy Ramos

Out West Entertainment

Penny McQueen and Jan Lucas created the 2007 High Chaparral Reunion invitation. Their labor of love produced the following piece of art:







2007 Reunion Fees

R eservations are $45, and your remaining balance will be $135. After July 1, fees will be $145.00 Registration closes  August 1.

Payments must be made in U.S. dollars and can be made by: personal check, money order, or Paypal to

(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.)


This issue continues with reminisces  from past Reunions. Rusty, charter member of the High Chaparral Discussion Group, shares her experiences of the very first reunion.

"My first thoughts of reunion with High Chaparral celebrities goes back to the first autograph show I attended that Rocky Whitehead sponsored in Tucson, October 1999. There were only a few of us brave enough to meet then. (Carol Ann, Lisa, Pat L., Denise L., myself and I think one more, sorry I can't recall.) We had barely organized the HCDG (High Chaparral Discussion Group) for 12 months, and made promises to meet there; we were actually attending an autograph show. I met Don and Bob and their wives, and Ted plus other featured stars. There was just so much to take in all at once. They were great and friendly and genuine personalities. 

But to get there I had to con my husband and daughter to go on a family vacation to Tucson. Neither of them was very thrilled with a hotter desert than where we already lived in the Mojave Desert of California (Barstow area). So I had to pack the vacation with other treats like: the Pima Air Museum, Sonora Desert Live Museum, and a visit out to Old Tucson Studios during their Halloween weekend, where the town was literally turned into a haunted ghost town. It's called Nightfall. If they are still doing that, don't miss it. I had to admit, it was fun.  

While at Old Tucson, we enjoyed the atmosphere so much, we relaxed and daydreamed on the porch of the photographer's studio. Next thing I know, my shy husband, Jeff, is asking me if I want a photo in costume!! I never pass up a good thing, believe me. Because during all of the razzle-dazzle of our meeting celebs and being tourists, my husband shocked me again by asking if I wanted to go horseback riding in Old Tucson. Did I? I didn't expect he wanted to even get near a horse. He was 14 the last time he rode. We all enjoyed the 30-minute ride through the trails around the spectacular scenery that I relived over and over again. It's High Chaparral Country. Everything was perfect.

To round out my HC experience, we attended NightFall and wandering through the fabricated "haunted" hideout near the High Chaparral ranch house, I suddenly found my spooky walk taking me right into the ranch house!!. It's closed off to visitors but on this occasion the haunted house was part of the ranch. I was in it. And I came out into the night sky right through those famous front doors. Can't beat that. 

But now we have something much better and more personal, a weekend with our HCDG friends and a day with all of the cast and crew that made our cowboy dreams come true. At the HC Reunion, we talk with them, laugh with them, take pictures, get a kiss, and even stay up all night unable to sleep. It's the highlight of 40 years of memories.

I'll be there."

Rusty (left) with fellow fan Jackie at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion


"O Wind, that sings so loud a song"

By Penny McQueen

In 1970, M*A*S*H premiered, the Beatles split, Apollo 13 made it home and a half-Pawnee, half-white loner stole one of John Cannon's cows, then stayed on at the High Chaparral.  

Rudy Ramos as Wind

When 20 year-old Rudy Ramos joined the seasoned cast of a critically praised series, a few nerves were understandable.  Six months before taking the role of Wind on The High Chaparral, his dark, intense good looks and talent won him his first professional job on another popular television show, Ironside. Now he had his second.  Forty years later, he recalled, "The High Chaparral was my big break, so to speak, so you have to give all of the credit to Mr. Dortort for taking an unknown actor with only one credit and making him a principal actor in a series that was already an established hit." Serious and thoughtful about his craft in 1970 and now, Rudy said, "That was a big chance he took hiring me and I hope I didn't let him down."

Evidently not. At David Dortort's birthday party in 2006, Rudy asked the man himself. "He just smiled and said 'You were great and everything we had hoped for. You were Wind.'" 

The role opened doors for the young actor in a tough business.  Most actors recall the perks of a high-profile role on a top rated show, fan magazines, and guest appearances. Worshipful teenage fan letters to stars of hit TV dramas make the air downright rarefied. But Rudy Ramos remembers his colleagues best.  "Number one on my list of what I enjoyed most about The High Chaparral was the wonderful cast. They really protected me from all the fuss that surrounds a new star of a hit show. I was welcomed from day one with open and loving arms. The cast and crew were like family."  

With a shooting schedule that kept them in Tucson for six months at a time, the newest kid on the block looked to veterans for pointers.  Like Uncle Buck, Cameron Mitchell assumed responsibility for teaching the youngest cast member the facts of acting life. "Cameron Mitchell really took me under his wing and was like a big brother, dad, or mentor to me." One of Mitchell's favorite destinations, the dog races in Nogales, provided opportunities for discussion.  "During the drives there we talked about many things, some of which are not printable. We talked about acting mostly. He was a very serious actor, but he made it look so easy. I loved him very much."  

The lost episodes beyond the fourth season tantalize all fans, who wish this groundbreaking and successful television series had continued for many years.  Rudy provided a glimpse of a storyline between Buck and Wind, one that today fuels speculation among fans of the show. "I've always heard that had there been another season of The High Chaparral, it would be discovered that Wind was his son from an Indian woman he had met."   

Rudy found willing teachers in other cast-mates. "Henry was there to greet me from day one and was always available to me for any reason. Linda really looked out for me from a business standpoint and gave me a lot of good advice about how to handle my money. The bunkhouse boys taught me that tequila was the drink of choice, how to play liars poker, and they loved to play practical jokes on me daily."

The hard-headed, stubborn, character of Wind stirred up controversy on the ranch and among fans. Theories still surface that Wind was added as a replacement for Blue Cannon, who disappeared in the fourth season. Rudy disagrees, saying, "The reason Wind was added to the cast was, and I was told this by the higher ups, because they wanted to get younger." Although the Blue/Wind controversy will likely continue among the fan base, the actors and crew who created the show deny any connection.  Rudy insists scripts would've included both characters if it had been possible. "I've heard over and over again that most The High Chaparral fans think I replaced Mark Slade. That is absolutely not true. Wind was created before Mark quit the show and there would have been some great storylines had we both been in the show that last season." 

Rudy Ramos today

An actor since his teens, his career now spans five decades, with credits in feature films, television movies, series television, and stage. Rudy continues to work seriously at his craft, recently appearing in a staged reading of Beyond the 17th Parallel at the ART/New York Spaces.  

(Part 2 of the Rudy Ramos interview will appear in a future newsletter. Read more about Rudy at  Rudy's CD's, including an interview about The High Chaparral, are available on

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