Archive for the ‘Old Tucson’ Tag

Morning Coffee   2 comments

Old Tucson — Photo-Artistry by kenne

. . . ?

on the muffin

refuse to jump

hot all around

long forgotten

reset questioned

big-bang theory

in the fine print

barely enough

monkey in zoo

‘tween hot and cold

broken wing bird

tomorrow’s dead

tomorrow’s strength

cup still half full

— kenne

High Chaparral, Revisited   1 comment

Old Tucson High Chaparral-B-W blog framedHigh Chaparral (December 29, 2013) — Image by kenne

I’d saddle up ole Sugarfoot and I’d hit a mountain trail,
And time and place and boredom were no more.
I was Little Joe or Blue, riding the High Chaparral.
There were fights to fight and new worlds to explore.

— from My Heart Beats Free, by Keith Ward

Railroad Station   Leave a comment

Old Tucson-9428 Railroad Station blogRailroad Station — Image by kenne

Posted January 6, 2014 by kenneturner in Information, Photography

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Capturing the Moment — Train Ride at Old Tucson   Leave a comment

. . .  the moment is not about now, but about forever.

Nick, Kate, Matt (behind Joy) & Joy enjoying the train ride at Old Tucson during visit to Tucson last week — Image by kenne (More to come.)

Posted April 23, 2011 by kenneturner in Capturing the Moment, Family, Photography

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Whatever Happened To The Old Westerns?   5 comments

Image by kenne, 2006

It was just another Saturday afternoon in a small rural northeast Alabama town located along the railroad tracks. You may know the picture, a roll of mainly one story buildings store-fronting all the basics for the rural farming community – post office, bank, drugstore, general store and feed store on one side of the tracks. The other side of the tracks was mainly entertainment-oriented businesses, including the area’s only movie theater (There was a drive-in out on the main highway.) where kids spent their Saturday afternoons at the movies – western movies where we could see all our favorite cowboys, like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Johnny Mack Brown, Smiley Burnette, Hote Gibson, Red Ryder, Tex Ritter, Rex Allen, William Boyd, Cisco Kid and many others. We had our favorites, but we loved them all. And, I can’t forget the romance side of the movies. I didn’t talk about it with my friends, but I was always falling in love with the pretty girl trying to lasso the cowboy – it was what dreams are made of. Yes, I’m talking about the classic B-Western movies produced between 1929 and 1954.

There was something special about the westerns we would see once a week. Maybe it was because there was no TV. Maybe it was because we would see other kids, talk about our cowboy heroes and later play “Cowboys and Indians” games.

Historians and sociologists have been, and will continue to debate the question; “Whatever happen to the old westerns?” This question is a regular topic of discussion each Saturday morning on KVOI-AM Radio in Tucson, “Voices of the West.” The radio program with co-hosts Emil Franzi and John Komrada is “dedicated to the proposition that America was better off when its TV shows were about cowboys instead of lawyers.” (This too is a debatable point, since a lot of ideology is sprinkled into such comments.) I recently heard a presentation by Emil at one of the local Rotary clubs that stirred up old memories.  Emil and John are two of the “Magnificent Six” on the “Voices of the West” website, where you will find their “Top Ten Lists.”

When I was first in the Tucson in the late sixties, one of the things I learned about southeast Arizona was that it was the place for many of the old westerns I grow up loving as a kid. Many of the town sets were filmed at Old Tucson Studios, originally build in 1939 for the Arizona, which today is more of a theme park than movie studios. Southeast Arizona serves as an ideal place for making movies because of its diverse countryside and abundant days of sunshine.

As the interest and production of westerns in that latter part of the last century, Old Tucson Studios served more as a tourist attraction. But it wasn’t till a fire destroyed much of the Studios that the movie industry moved away from Tucson. “After 20 months of reconstruction, Old Tucson re-opened its doors on January 2, 1997. The sets that were lost were not recreated; instead, entirely new buildings were constructed, and the streets were widened. The soundstage was not rebuilt.”

Now its up to people the likes of Emil Franzi and John Komrada of “Voices of the West” and the Empire Ranch Foundation, on which Franzi and Komrada are board members to further the western heritage. The Empire Ranch Foundation is a non-profit volunteer organization that was established in 1997.  Acting in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, the purpose of the Foundation is to protect, restore and sustain the Empire Ranch historical buildings and landscape as an outstanding western heritage and education center. The Empire Ranch is located in the high Sonoran Desert and rolling grasslands of Arizona, about 50 miles southeast of Tucson, and 10 miles north of Sonoita.

We urge all our friends who are considering a visit with us to come out this October. One of the things we plan on doing is attending the Annual Roundup & Open House at the Historic Empire Ranch on Saturday, October 23rd. (Of course, feel free to come anytime. There’s always plenty to do!)

Image by kenne, 2010

The Empire Ranch Roundup & Open House is an annual event celebrating Arizona’s Western history and culture.  The Roundup also showcases Bureau of Land Management and Empire Ranch Foundation’s efforts to keep the Empire Ranch for future generations to enjoy. This is the 10th anniversary of both the Roundup & Open House, and the creation of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Ar

It’s funny how something happens that is then followed by a related happening. After hearing Emil’s program, I received an email from Rotarian friend in Santa Fe, Texas titled: “Ride ’em Cowboy.” Click on this site about those old westerns:

“There are only two things that are better than a gun: a Swiss watch and a woman from anywhere. Ever had a good… Swiss watch?” — Red River, directed by Howard Hawks and Arthur Rosson, with John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru. (1948) This line is not from a b-western, I’ve just always liked it.


Image by kenne, 2010

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