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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Visit to Old Tucson movie town

Well we both paid for our fun yesterday. Bill’s cold got worse and my whole foot was aching. When I favor the sore toe I aggravate the old break in my arch and it acts up. As the saying goes “ age doesn’t come by itself.” But today is another day and we are both FINE – that’s for you George. Probably just going to do laundry (horrors first time I’ve had to do it in four months) and get ready to leave tomorrow.
So the rest of yesterday’s adventure – we had no trouble finding Old Tucson. 
It is a movie set – over 300 films and television productions have been filmed there since 1939. A bunch of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and other western classics – remember Rio Bravo? And McLintock – who could forget that mud fight?
This is hard to read but it talks about the mercantile building and what films it was used in.
The building.
Thought this sign was interesting. Especially the one about donkeys sleeping in the bathtub. Really they need a law for this?
And this one too – Invigorator Corsets – doesn’t that sound fun? Corsets for kids and boys?
Just a panoramic shot of one of the streets. We were all waiting for the obligatory gun fight.
The sheriff and one of the bad guys. 
This is the blacksmith building used in several movies. In Rio Bravo it was where Dean Martin waited for the bad guys to ride into town. It was also used in El Dorado – a younger James Caan bought his gun here.
The Mission used in many, many films and also used for the daily stunt show. There is no building there just the facade. 
The stage coach ride. It kept busy. No we didn't take it. But it was included in the price of admission. 
High Chaparral set.
The hotel used in McLintock – Maureen O’Hara came off the balcony into a hay wagon.
Inside one of the buildings. Just took this because of the Montgomery Wards catalogue from 1895. I used to love to look through all the catalogues – Sears, Penny’s and Wards. And the kids would fight over the Christmas catalogues with all the seasons’ toys. Things our grandkids will never experience. 
We enjoyed sitting down (!) and listening to the "Coozie" talk about the chuchwagon and life on the trail. 
The cook was second in command of the trail drive. On the drive the cowboy’s average age was between 16 and 23. When they were working cattle at a ranch they carried enough food in their saddle bags for a day or two. But when the drives from Texas to Kansas started there had to be another method to feed everyone. An ex Texas Ranger Charles Goodnight came up with the idea of the chuck wagon in 1866. A Studebaker wagon was used as the base a "chuck" box was added to the back of the wagon. It had drawers and shelves and a hinged back that came down for cooking. This box went to  the first rib – used to carry two days supplies and utensils used daily was added. The remaining part of the middle and front of the wagon carried the rest of the supplies for the trip. And the cowboys personal items like sleeping bags. 
The cook with his wagon conferred with the trail boss to decided on that days stopping place then the chuck wagon went on ahead to set up. The cook fixed breakfast – among other things beans and coffee. Lunch was biscuit sandwiches wrapped up and stuffed in the cowboys pockets to be eaten during the day. Dinner was more elaborate. Some canned foods were taken – of course there was usually beef. By the time the cowboys showed up dinner was started. Cow chips were used as kindling - 
After eating the cowboys put their plates etc. into a wash tub. I water was not available the dishes were “washed” with sand which did a very good job.
Coffee was very important. And most coffee was called Arbuckles. [Like kleenex today] This crate held 100 one pound bags of coffee beans. The cowboys were happy to help the cook grind the beans as a piece of peppermint was packed inside each bag. Here's an interesting web site about the Arbuckles coffee history  Coffee Link
And there was always the jug of medicinal whiskey. Cook also acted as doctor and dentist.
When the drive was over everything in the chuck wagon was sold as was the wagon it was cheaper to start with a new one for each drive.
After leaving Old Tucson we stopped at Safeway to pick up a few things. I just noticed this designated parking area. Golf Carts – guess they are legal to drive on the roads here.
Then back to Jennie to nurse our respective ailments.
Oh Oh there might be a change in tomorrows plans. Plans are made to change right?


  1. What an interesting! Just loved reading it. Noticed that men were not included in the corset list....we all know a few men that could benefit from a corset (or deserve to suffer through the wearing of one). LOL

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