I'm a cowboy, hootie, hootie

Trip Start Oct 06, 2013
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Trip End Mar 15, 2014


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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, November 21, 2013

We went to the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage. If you grew up watching westerns they have all the cowboys. Of course, Gene Autry; The Singing Cowboy, Roy Rogers; the King of the Cowboys, 

The Lone Ranger (wasn't it sad when they took away Clayton Moore's mask) all the cowboys of Saturday morning television of my youth, before cartoons squeezed out the western. But they had all original Hollywood cowboys: Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, Hopalong Cassidy. It was great. Of course they had real cowboy stuff too, saddles and ropes and guns. Even bob wire, we have a history, as you know.

Bobby, Fran and I spent hours looking through all the cowboy artifacts, western art, amazing Indian bead work and weaving. This is my kind of museum. Bobby and Fran were worse than I was in slowly working through this amazing collection. They were as pokey as Gabby Hayes driving a chuck wagon.

The most amazing thing is they had my Davey Crockett bedspread from when I was 5. The one with him fighting the bear in that soft chenille ribbed cotton.  My sisters will remember. I have not seen that bed spread in well over 50 years. Going to bed underneath the image of Davey Crockett killing a bear with a knife gives a kid the feeling that they can do anything. Of course, Davey "killed him a bear when he was only three," so I felt I was slipping a bit having not even seen a bear by the time I was five. I still think I should have a big Bowie knife under my pillow, particularly in bear country.

Fess Parker was a hero. Although, I was crushed when I found out that Ed Ames, as Mingo, was really a singer and really wasn't an Indian, in fact he was Jewish. So, Jay Silverheels, as Tonto, replaced him as my Indian Hero even though Mingo had a better outfit.

I even got to shoot a scene from a cowboy movie!  Check out the video. http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/hawkinsw/1/1385134034/tpod.html? view=preview#pbrowser/hawkinsw/1/1385134034/filename=destiny-rides-again.mov

The museum also had a show on the Jewish community of LA, which focused on Boyle Heights, but also talked about all the Jewish impact on Hollywood and the movies. Really interesting but close to home as Bobby's grandparents lived in Boyle Heights in the 40s and 50s.

Did you know that Upton Sinclair, that muckraking journalist, in 1935 ran for the Governor of California. Among supporters of the Stop Sinclair effort were MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, and Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler. During the campaign, Mayer turned multiple studio lots in Los Angeles into propaganda machines, churning out fake newsreels to be played before feature-length films in the state. Republican Frank Merriam won the election. This was the first use of film in politics.

I also got to listen to the music of Chuck Higgins, Spade Cooley and Slim Gaillard that made music that was popular in Boyle Heights, including such hits as Dunkin' Bagels, Boyle Heights Bop and the Pachuko Hop. Sax player Chuck Higgins influenced Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. Spade Cooley, claimed to be the King of Western Swing and brought Tex Williams into his band. Unfortunately, Spade's career was cut short when he killed his wife after she had an affair with Roy Rogers. Everyone now says Bob Wills was king of swing. By the way, Ry Cooder named his dog "Spayed Kooley." Slim Gaillard made famous that old bop favorite, Flat Foot Floogie (with a Floy Floy), a song my dad loved, and he never told me what it meant. Man those cats in Boyle Heights were cool.

We ended up meeting Jim, Fran's brother for dinner at this great Italian Restaurant; Mezzomondo and had some excellent wine and spectacular food. Jim and I had the veal saltibucco which was incredible. Jim is a wine distributor so he brought some of his selections to enjoy. We talked baseball and our travels and the wine biz. The most impressive thing for me was that the restaurant is quiet and we could eat and enjoy the wine slowly, talk and be heard. The owner, Elio and his wife, Luba, came over to discuss what to eat with us. We had pumpkin ravioli as an appetizer. We also had The 405 Salad, which Elio thought up when in a traffic jam on the 405; hearts of Palm, papaya, raddicio, baby greens and the secret dressing. Wow! We finished with frozen lemon cello with cream. Great place. You should go, tell them Jim sent you.

Meantime. Sadie and Roamin' enjoyed each other and had the run of the place. Sadie was very happy to see us.
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Comments

LaurieJo on

So, the Gene Autry Museum won out over the Granada Hills Museum? !!

hawkinsw
hawkinsw on

No contest

Carol on

Yes, I do remember your bed spread. I think you had a coonskin cap, too. :)

hawkinsw
hawkinsw on

I did, I did!

Sister Sandy on

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Greenest state in the Land of the Free
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!

Sleeping under Davey every night must be why Mom called you Wild Bill!!!
Loved that someone saved your bedspread to spur some special memories!!!
Loved the video with your riding through those stampeeds. You are one Wild Bill!!
True Hero's never die!!! Love all those Cowboys even have Hop a long Cassidy game with the fancy saddle with the studs. I may have to save it for you and your tales of the wild west for your Man's cave!!!

Happy Trails to you until we meet again!!!

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