The mail provider that handles our newsletter had some difficulty with graphics, so the original mailing didn't display many of the images. This mailing corrects that - apologies for the duplicate mailing. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
A High Chaparral Christmas Carol
By Jan Lucas, Penny McQueen and Ginny Shook
(with apologies to Charles Dickens)
Wishing all of you the Merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year!
Stave 1 (The Ghost)
December fell in Tucson like water hitting fire, temperature plunging as the sun hid behind mountains. The threatened rain stayed in overhanging grey clouds, changing to nightly fog, heavy and thick, leaving the air wet and chilling the bones. Men, hardened to scorching desert air, ached with the cold. “I’d rather face July and August put together,” Joe Butler complained, coughing so hard he dropped a card on the bunkhouse floor.
“Stop whining and make your bet,” Sam griped, eyeing his brother between swallows of whiskey.
“Eh, Wind, have you noticed,” Pedro said casually as he rearranged his cards, “every time amigo Joe has a good hand, he starts to cough? Mira – he is about to raise.”
“I do not cough,” Joe growled, pushing his dollars into the growing pile in the center of the table. He attempted to stifle the next explosion, cleared his throat loudly to mask the sound.
Get a special Christmas present when you purchase the 3-day registration for the High Chaparral Reunion, March 23-14, 2013 or finish paying for a registration you've already reserved. Pay in full to receive your gift at http://thehighchaparralreunion.com/
Get 3 CDs as your special Christmas Present
For your present you'll choose from this list of special CDs recorded by the cast members of The High Chaparral:
1) Henry Darrow's 45 record of Little Green Apples and El Rancho Grande.
2) Don Collier's spooky stories, Arizona Twilight Tales
3) Don Collier's West of the Story Volume 1, real historical adventures in a radio drama starring Don
4) Rudy Ramos Hard Knocks and Bad Times, great music from Rudy
5) Rudy Ramos The High Chaparral Interview, an in-depth radio interview where Rudy tells stories you haven't heard before
If you've already paid in full then contact us - Out West Entertainment has a half-price offer for you on these CDs.
This could be the best thing under your tree – CDs & a trip to The High Chaparral.
So many fans and Chaparral stars have registered, the number goes up weekly. Today we're at 60, headed quickly for 100 in attendance in March. Be a part of the party, join us on The High Chaparral!
Enter to win DVDs on INSP
INSP continues to support The High Chaparral, and now they're running a special Season One DVD contest. Enter to win, and remember to watch The High Chaparral on INSP.
If you aren't in the bunkhouse on Facebook, you're missing all the fun!
All kinds of Chaparral pictures, photos, fan memories, stories about visiting the set, meeting the stars, memorabilia, videos - you name it, we're having HC fun. You'll meet other Chaparral fans, learn a few things, and see something new almost every day.
If you aren't Facebook savvy you don't have to do anything but lurk and enjoy, or take the time to join, LIKE and comment. It's where the action is.
Cameron's His Own Roughest Critic
Vintage article reprint 1967
WHEN Cameron Mitchell comes out flatly and says he thinks NBC-TVs now cowboy-and- Indian series. "The High Chaparral." will be a good one you'd better listen. The free-swinging. outspoken Cameron can tick off on one hand's fingers the roles he's done that he likes.
“ 'Carousel' ? 'Carousel' was Just dreadful." he told me while practicing chip shots in his Regency hotel suite. 'Death of a Salesman?' I thought it was a flop on film; such a shame, because it was so good on Broadway. And listen I made 11 lot of movies in Europe that were among the worst ever produced anywhere."
The stocky, athletic actor still has an unsigned contract from baseball's Detroit Tigers. Mitchell, thus, has extremely high standards for himself. He thought a while and came up with two performances he didn't mind: "Parts of ‘Monkey on My Back.' the Barney Ross picture, were good. And I just finished a low-budget western. 'Ride in the Whirlwind.' that 1 think ought to be up for some awards. It'll be out in the late fall or winter and it's a good one."
Anthropologists tell us man is supposed to be complex, not just a simple animal, and Cameron fits into their image. His whole world isn't acting. "I spent some time in a Zen monastery in Japan." he said, "and who knows if I hadn't become an actor, I might have been a holy man. 1 come from a long line of Pennsylvania ministers.
"But I'm like all humans, I guess--victimized by my own bad habits, like smoking too much. I got used to a good, easy material life and with a family to support. I don't see how I can change. But holy men do inspire me. Gosh, can you imagine a modern, average man spending 40 days and nights in the wilderness?"
Candor is Cameron's middle name, has been most of his life. When he came to New York before World War II from Dallastown. Pa., working as an usher, mail clerk. dishwasher and Radio City sightseeing guide with another unknown, Gregory Peck, he went to see the Lunts act one night and promptly wrote them a letter criticizing their work. "Their secretary told me to come see her." he smiled, "and boy, did she bawl me out. But she let me audition for her and I did a serious scene and reduced her to tears. The next night I auditioned for the Lunts themselves -and won a part in their 'The Taming of the Shrew.' which was my big break. Would I write a letter like that now? I doubt it. I'm aware now that it was a damned audacious thing to do."
Mitchell is blunt about almost everything. He mentioned some movie directors he thought were simply awful- big-name directors—and he said there were no two ways about it, movies cost too much to make these days. "I feel sorry for most producers, whose hands are tied in so many ways.' he said. "They can't do this or that, for fear of offending different blocs and groups."
In "High Chaparral," he plays Buck "a lovely, amiable, active bum" --and he says that Mark Slade. who plays his nephew in the series, can't miss stardom. An old Indian aficionado, Mitchell's happy that "Chaparral" makes Indians out more heroes than villains. "What about that new series on ABC about General Custer?" he demanded, gloweringly. "How can they set that guy up on a pedestal? He was one of the most miserable men of our times, who used to kill women and children - and you know, that was how he lost out, finally, when the Indians baited a trap for him with women and kids."
Mr. Mitchell swings from the heels. If he
says his new show is good, pay a little attention.
He might belt you if you don't.
Did you remember to tell Santa what you want for Christmas?
Chaparral Santa says Merry Christmas to all the High Chaparral family - that means you!
A Letter from Mexico
Fans Jore and Andriana write from Mexico to share their experiences. The High Chaparral fan family stretches around the world!
Everything hit me, I could not believe I was in Tucson AZ with the players and organizers, and talk to them in this series so many stories of life showed us in every episode. The warm hospitality of you all made us feel at home.
The live these days with fans from other countries moved me. Since we met people we create bonds of friendship. The sharing and exchanging comments about the episodes, characters, visiting and admiring at Old Tucson Studios, the home of the Cannons with the stunning landscape of mountains and desert with its majestic desert vegetation around San Xavier Mission, is something that is priceless and I will never forget. I remember with joy and yet these days with nostalgia.
Goodbye to you and sending you greetings from Mexico.
Adriana and Jorge
Todo me impactó, no podía creer que estaba en Tucson AZ con los protagonistas y organizadores, y el conversar con ellos de esta serie que tantas historias de vida nos presentaba en cada episodio. El trato hospitalario de todos ustedes nos hizo sentir como en casa.
El convivir estos días con fans de otros países me emocionó pues conocimos personas con las que creamos vínculos de amistad. El compartir e intercambiar comentarios acerca de los episodios, de los personajes, visitar y admirar en Old Tucson Studios, la casa de los Cannon con ese paisaje imponente de montañas y desierto con su majestuosa vegetación desértica alrededor, la Misión de San Xavier, es algo que no tiene precio y nunca olvidare. Recuerdo con alegría y a la vez con nostalgia estos días.
Se despiden de usted y enviándole un saludo desde México.
Adriana y Jorge
Hollywood Western to Come Alive at Old Tucson
Casting Calls Precede Filming
(TUCSON, AZ) Old Tucson is pleased to announce that principal photography on a new western feature film, HOT BATH-STIFF DRINK, will begin on January 14, 2013 at Old Tucson.
Season One and Two Of The High Chaparral on DVD
Remember if you want your own copy of The High Chaparral, you can order Season One of The High Chaparral from The High Chaparral Reunion.
We are down to only 10 copies left and don't plan to order any more Season One!
The DVD set only is $65.00 plus shipping, this is approximately what you would pay ordering from the Netherlands with foreign conversion/shipping.
Season Two will ship at the end of January, pre-order now for earliest delivery.
For more information visit The High Chaparral Reunion website.
High Chaparral Reunion Merchandise - own a piece of Chaparral Memorabilia!
- Magazine with lots of photos
- High Chaparral Water Bottle
- 2009 CD
Thanks to Ginny Shook for adding Christmas cheer to the Chaparral crew in this and other photos.
John's Christmas Visitor
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the ranch
Not a tumbleweed rustled, nor a leaf on a branch.
The stockings were hung in the bunkhouse with care
and they danced around gently in the warm night air.
The ranch hands snored loudly and dreamed of good things,
Like owning their own spreads and living like kings.
The Cannons were nestled all snug in their bed
While visions of beef herds grazed in John’s head.
Victoria dreamed of a new Christmas hat
and of John in a suit and a blue silk cravat.
Yes, the ranch was so quiet this calm Christmas Eve.
But something would happen John couldn’t perceive.
From out in the stable there sounded a crash
John fell from his bed, nearly getting whiplash
To the stable he sprinted, the door was ajar
He was met by the sounds of a Western guitar.
John thought that the dark had played tricks on his eyes.
For there in the hay sat St Nicholas - life size!
Plucking away at the guitar’s fine strings,
He looked up at John and said, ‘Christmas greetings!’
Mixed in with the horses it soon became clear
with large branching antlers, were eight big reindeer.
‘What’s this?’ asked Big John, ‘Surely this can’t be true?
That’s the last time I drink Buck’s homemade Christmas brew.’
‘I won’t be here long,’ said the guitar playing elf,
‘Just needed a rest for the deer and myself.
It’s tough work doing Christmas when you travel alone.
There are gifts to deliver in every time zone.’
‘I could sure use a hand. Hey, what do you think?
Help me do the last stretch - we’ll be done in a blink.
Time waits while we work and flying is fun!
You can help old St. Nick to get his work done.’
‘What! Fly in a sleigh,’ said Big John with surprise.
‘I was made for the ground, not for the skies.’
‘In the future,’ said Santa, ‘most people will fly.
Why not be the first? Come on, give it a try.’
Always one for a challenge Big John said, ‘Let’s go.’
In a flash they were off – and that sleigh wasn’t slow!
St. Nick told of how much the world’s children had changed,
While John spoke of his struggles with life on the range.
‘There’s a lot to be done, I don’t get much sleep.
I’d like a new bull, but good stock isn’t cheap.
Equipment breaks down, there are wages to pay.
Men must be paid well if you want them to stay.’
‘And what would you choose,’ asked St. Nick as they flew,
dropping presents in houses of people John knew.
‘If you could have one gift to help your ranch thrive,
would it be money or objects or something alive?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Big John as they passed the church bell,
‘I’d like to expand, to have something to sell.
If I can get it together, I do have a dream
I’d love to raise beef that was really supreme.’
‘My beef would be great, the best in the west,
the sweetest, the finest, a cut above the rest.
But tonight I’m just thrilled to fly through the air,
though if Victoria sees us we’ll give her a scare!’
With a soft bump they landed at the old widow’s shack,
where they left her some money and filled the coal sack.
From his bag St Nick pulled out blue fabric and thread,
canned goods and flour, and a big cob of bread.
‘That’s the last for this year,’ he said to Big John,
‘I can take you home now and then I’ll be gone.
You’ve had an adventure no one will believe.
But strange things can happen when it’s Christmas Eve.’
‘Please give Mano the guitar that I played in the stable,
In the bunkhouse the boys will find a card table,
with new decks of cards and some good clothes to wear,
Victoria will find some new combs for her hair.’
Big John asked St. Nick, ‘And what about you?
Such a generous elf deserves something too.’
‘My gift is the joy that I give those who believe,
It brings me a pleasure you cannot conceive.’
With a wave and a whistle, the sled slowly rose.
John’s magical journey had come to a close.
The stockings were full for the bunkhouse boys, too.
And there was, with Buck’s name, a brand new canoe.
As he watched the sleigh rise, John felt a soft bunt.
He then turned around to be met with a grunt.
There in the coral stood a magnificent bull,
a champion beast and a real eyeful.
‘Grow that beef, Big John Cannon and make it the best.
Start breeding a line that will outshine the rest.’
St. Nicholas called out as he flew out of sight,
‘Merry Christmas Big John, thanks for helping tonight.’
Do you have a favorite piece of memorabilia, or an article you'd like to share with other fans? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll do our best to add it to a future newsletter.
Are you cleaning out the attic? Do you have HC or western items you'd like to share? DONATE to the Reunion auction! Email us to discuss how - and know the treasures you pass along will be just as treasured by the fan who receives it.
(Thanks to Chris Stowe for sending two High Chaparral Books, a Gold Key magazine, and some articles for the auction. So many fans support the Reunion in so many ways - you're all Reunion Angels!)
Past issues of the newsletter are available
on The High Chaparral Newsletter Web site.
High Chaparral on the Web
The Official High Chaparral website
The High Chaparral Reunion website
The High Chaparral Newsletter
The High Chaparral Newsletter - searchable articles
El Gran Chaparral Noticias
High Chaparral Fan Fiction
High Chaparral Dutch Fan Site
Getting To Know You with Susan McCray
The Henry Darrow Biography, Lightning in the Bottle
Nightfall by Susan McCray
Out West Entertainment
SmartGuy.com (by Jordan Wexler and Linda Cristal)