Was that John Wayne?

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Don't forget the Alamo - again!
Yes, again, in our first RV travel blog we visited San Antonio, TX, the site of The Alamo and I think at the time John Wayne may have had a mention. This time John Wayne definitely gets a mention - one of the reasons for picking Fort Clark Springs on our way to the Gulf Coast for Christmas is the fact that a few miles north of here is the complete "stage set" built for the movie "The Alamo", directed by and staring the man himself. The set, built in 1957 is on a working ranch and the site also has a complete replica 1800's town and is still used to shoot movies today including music videos and commercials.
Having seen the original Alamo and so many of the big man's movies it's yet another of those "must see" places that we didn't know we must see until we got talking and someone says "you must..."
Well, it's a stage set, a bit hollow and a bit false but every now and then it scrubs up well for another bit of filming. There are signs of constant repairs but it seems that if any part is not actually required for filming then it is left to deteriorate.
Some of the buildings are constantly used as in the bar/saloon that is now a café there is the obligatory gift shop and a fascinating John Wayne cowboy museum with photographs and artefacts from that film. I found it conjured up some wonderful pictures in my mind as we had a drink in the saloon where JW had many a "fight" as we walked around the whole village set I found myself imagining being there during that 1959 filming - see more boys stuff :)
Not all was hollow as I said the better built structures are used daily even though it may just be for storage, sometimes props sometimes hay/animals as this is still a working ranch. We bumped into the Sherriff and the Marshal (not sure of the difference, except one was skinny and the other not?) Telling tales and name dropping of the many films they had also been involved in, the way big budget movies "authenticate" the whole place and maybe the less expensive productions just use "as is".

What the heck - it was a great day that could have only been made better if we could have witnessed it all being used and a movie being shot. I think the big man himself is still there really, he was for me!
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