Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Pilfering through old diaries stored in the recesses of old libraries, I am often confounded and a little peeved that the big events are omitted. The reason, of course, is obvious. The soldiers were just too busy to write while the important things were happening.

That's been my life lately. Between moving, and moving, and moving and somehow trying to eke out a living with my various projects. (By the way, tickets are on sale at for my one woman show as Dixie Lee Jackson on June 26.)

Okay, at this time of the morning, while I'm on the phone, checking emails, making the beds--my greatest pleasure is watching Cheyenne and Maverick. On today's episode of Maverick, Bart encounters a witch in the Smoky Mountains. Talk about hillbilly stereotypes! Big unkempt hair, corncob pipes, slouch-brimmed hats, white liquor -- and the pronunciation and grammar! Hollywood has always taken liberties with Southern accents and eccentricities and rarely gotten them right. I want to recommend a book, as soon as I find it in my packing, that discusses the variety of Southern accents and how even folks in the same household may not be consistent. This was certainly true in our home. . . ah well, I'm headed to Hollywood to consult and remedy the situation.

I'll be seized by cats if I ain't scandalized by the portrayal!
(The photo is from this site! It has some of the most beautiful images I've ever seen and makes me homesick!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Small TV World Syndrome

Just finished watching Cheyenne and there was a pretty, young guest star and I didn't realize who she was until the final credits. It was Susan Seaforth, who starred in the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, nearly every day of my life. She became the wife of her costar, Bill Hayes, who had gained fame by singing the themesong of our collective childhoods -- Davy Crockett.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Follow the River

During the French and Indian Wars, the western part of Virginia where I was raised was the wilderness, the frontier. A couple of counties over, on the New River at Drapers Meadow, there was an Indian raid and Mary Ingalls, pregnant with her third child, I believe, was kidnapped and taken into what was then Ohio. Her baby was born along the way, and the Shawnee took it away and I believe another child died, and another boy was later found. She managed to escape and followed New River home. It is an absolutely incredible story and the little museum in New Bern, Virginia, on Interstate 81, has her bed. There are few facts about her journey, but Alexander Thom wrote a fascinating book about her adventure and it became a movie. I highly recommend the book, though the scenes about sexual encounters are probably apocryphal. It is doubtful that any captive would not have been raped. This would be true in any culture, I think.

The movie is on now and Mary Ingalls and the German woman who escapes with her are going to cut sassafrass. This is their ruse to leave the group.

I dug up sassafrass roots one time and made tea. It was some of the hardest work I've ever done. I was disappointed when it tasted like root beer.

The past that is not too far behind us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spreading the Gospel

About 400 bushwhackers visited the Lone Jack Battlefield yesterday and my buddy, Dan Hadley (above) kept them entertained and informed.
Okay, so they weren't bushwhackers. . . .they were actually 8th grade students but what's the difference? (And if you doubt me, click the link to the right and read The Life of Tug for a machismo high school "homeck" adventure.)
After a while, you forget how long or just how you know people. Dan's one of those folks I feel like I've known forever. He does such good work out at Lone Jack and they have other events coming up giving you the opportunity to visit the site and learn more. If Lone Jack sounds familiar, especially to my British friend Nick, that's where Rooster Cogburn lost his eye!!!
Radio On, or Online Radio
Will be on the air from 10 -Noon today and the website is Full website should be up next week. Call in folks! Rich is on at 8, Steve on at noon, just make sure you listen while I' there!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I am watching The Undefeated. God, I love this movie!!!! Rock Hudson and John Wayne (above), Dub Taylor, Jan Michael Vincent, Lee Merriweather, Roman Gabriel, Ben Johnson, John Agar--there's no end to the list of stars in this film set in post-Civil War West.
Sometimes I try to recall what life was like before the Western Channel, and then I realize, hey, these movies were REAL movies back then, REAL TV shows, and a part of REAL life.
For any reader out there who really wants to make an impression on me, the real deal of the poster below would make me a REALLY happy camper.
Tune in to the Encore Western Channel and treat yourself to some Randolph Scott. Tell 'em Deb sent you.