Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Personal and Professional Life of Steve McQueen

By Allan B. Colombo

Steve McQueen was many things to many people. To those of us who enjoy watching westerns, he provided many hours of entertainment over the course of his life. Not only that, he fit the part so well in those roles that he projected the very feel and look of the old west, and convincingly so.

Early on, Steve McQueen became a motorcycle and motor car race driver and, like his father, he also became an airplane pilot. He used these skills to augment his income for many years. Steve credited his interest in these and other things to his Uncle Claude who, at the age of four, had given him a red tricycle.

“McQueen [earned] money by competing in weekend motorcycle races at Long Island City Raceway and purchased the first of many motorcycles, a Harley-Davidson and Triumph. He soon became an excellent racer, and went home each weekend with about $100 in winnings (equivalent to $900 in 2018). He appeared as a musical judge in an episode of ABC's Jukebox Jury, that aired in the 1953–1954 season” (Wikipedia:

Steve learned to act by attending acting school as part of the GI Bill benefit. To be given this benefit, Steve joined the U.S. Marine Corp at the age of 17. He served from 1947 through 1950. After a series of theater parts and minor parts in a number of films, he became a successful actor in the western movie venue. In 1974, he became the highest paid actor in the world.

In brief, there are five notable accomplishments in western acting that comes to mind. They include:

Wanted: Dead or Alive (Television: 1958 to 1961)
The Magnificent Seven (Film: 1960)
Nevada Smith (Film: 1966)
Junior Bonner (Film: 1972)
Tom Horn (Film: 1980)

We've attempted to assemble each full-length movie for your watching enjoyment. Where possible we have provided the free version. Otherwise, a YouTube charge may apply.

Wanted Dead or Alive 1958 1961 The Legend of Cool: The King of Cool Steve McQueen starring in my third favorite all-time TV western "Wanted: Dead or Alive" originally aired in Black and white on CBS. The pilot aired on the series "Trackdown" in March 1958. Bounty hunter Josh Randall was unlike any bounty hunter, he usually gave half or all of his reward money to good causes. He was a gentlemen and very respectful of the elderly.

The Seven Gunfighters: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's Japanese-language film Seven Samurai. The supporting cast features Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz. They play a group of seven American gunfighters hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding native bandits led by Calvera. The film's musical score was composed by Elmer Bernstein.

Nevada Smith (1975): A half-breed gunslinger and a friend he hasn't seen in years join together to escort a shipment of explosives across Utah. I believe this was a failed pilot for a TV. NEVADA SMITH is a rugged innocent boy born in the 1890s during California's gold rush days to a Native American mother and white father. When he finds his.

Junior Bonner Western 1972 Steve McQueen, Robert Preston & Ida Lupino: Junior Bonner is a 1972 film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen, Joe Don Baker, Robert Preston and Ida Lupino. The film focuses on a veteran rodeo rider as he returns to his hometown of Prescott, Arizona to participate in an annual rodeo competition and reunite with his brother and estranged parents.

Steve McQueen & Linda Evans - Tom Horn ( 1980): Tom Horn is a 1980 Western film about the legendary lawman, outlaw, and gunfighter. It starred Steve McQueen as the title character and was based on Horn's own writings.

Steve McQueen’s Personal Life

McQueen’s full name was Terence Steven McQueen, born March 24, 1930. His parents were William McQueen (1901 to 1958), a stunt pilot with a barnstorming circus, and Julia Ann Crawford (1910 to 1965). The family started out in Beech Grove, Indiana, however his father left the family to never return.

In 1933, his mother, who allegedly had a drinking problem, gave her 3-year-old son to her parents, Victor and Lillian Crawford, who lived in Slater, Missouri. Due to the Great Depression, the Crawfords, along with their young charge, eventually moved to his Uncle Claude’s farm. Claude was his mother’s brother.

Uncle Claude was like a father to Steve, eventually giving him a gold watch that bore the inscription, “To Steve -- who has been a son to me.” Steve later said that he had learned a lot from his Uncle Claude.

It was probably Steve’s experience with Claude that influenced his own care and love for his own children. In fact, according to Neile Adams, McQueen’s wife of 16 years, Steve had become the world’s greatest father to their two children. Adams was a Filipino-American actress, singer, and dancer.

Problems in the Family

When Steve was eight years old, his mother, who married and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, sent for him. Unfortunately his step father turned out to be a harsh man, often beating his stepson. Thus, young Steve ran away from home at the tender age of nine. He ended up on the streets committing acts of petty crime in a gang environment, and so his mother returned him to his Uncle Claude.

At the age of 12, his mother once again asked his Uncle to return young Steve to her. She had remarried and was living in Los Angeles. According to Steve, his new stepfather was even worse than the last one, often beating both he and his mother. His mother sent him back to Uncle Claude’s farm one last time, and at the ripe age of 14, Steve left Slater to never return.

He joined a circus, and shortly after that he returned to his mother and abusive stepfather where he began roaming the streets of Los Angeles, becoming once again involved in gangs and criminality. After the police caught him stealing, he was returned to his stepfather who beat him harshly.

After Steve threatened to kill his stepfather if he touched him again, he was sent to Boys Republic, a reform school, where Steve eventually took a leading role in student leadership. So instrumental was Boys Republic in changing his life that Steve later returned to the school as an adult, endeavoring to assist troubled students in any way possible. In fact, at the end of his life, it was rumored that he had willed $200,000 to the school to assist them with expenses.

On November 7, 1980, Steve McQueen died of heart failure at Juárez clinic, 12 hours after doctors attempted to remove metastatic tumors in his abdomen and neck. He died at the age of 50.

To hear more about his life, please watch the following video:

Editor's Note: We will feature one or two more stories on Steve McQueen over the coming months. Be sure to tune in again next weekend!

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Advantages of Riding Bareback

The common, ordinary horse was a necessity for those who lived in the day of the Old West. Today, as a beginner, or even as an experienced rider, if you haven't already been introduced to it, you might want to get some exposure into the practical art of bareback riding.
It wasn't until I was in my late-twenties that I became interested in horses and western riding. After several rides at two riding stables while visiting in Michigan, I was hooked. While it may have been wise to seek out professional training of some sort, I mostly learned by trial and error and with some additional informal coaching by the patient owners of a local riding / boarding stable just outside of my home town in Ohio.

They sort of kept an eye on me as my confidence level and balance progressed, and allowed me to ride horses of increasing spirit and agility as time went on. There were two of the better horses there which I preferred. One was a large paint horse gelding named Comanche and the other was a black quarter horse mare named Susie. Susie liked to buck occasionally when you prompted her to run, but she was very responsive to neck reining and leg pressure, and had a nice fluid gait.

Comanche was a good energetic mount, but a little hard to stop sometimes, and did not give to the bit and leg pressure nearly as well Susie.

The riding stable was open seven days a week during the summer months, but operated mostly on weekends the rest of the year. It's a good thing that they began to tolerate my showing up to ride on so many of those off-season days. But that's when I figured that my two favorite horses would be available. But since those good folks also appreciated my help when it was time to cut and bale hay that previous summer, they decided to put up with my frequent mid-week arrivals, I guess. So, in the off season, I pretty much had my favorite horses all to myself on those week days, and on many winter days they were mine even on the weekends, weather permitting. We would grab the appropriate bridle and saddle from the tack room, and I'd saddle-up and ride. By the time spring rolled around again, the folks at the stable started to drop little hints that maybe I was ready to own my own horse, and I readily agreed.

As it turned out, one of the former boarders from the stable had a horse for sale, so I headed down to her mini-ranch to check it out. She had named him Dale for some reason. He was a bay-colored gelding with a black mane and tail. I could see that he was well cared for and in good health. After a relaxed ride around the pasture where we went through the usual walk, trot and canter with some short turns and and S-turns, I was pleased with the smoothness of his gait, his response to the reins and leg pressure, and the way he carried his head.

I didn't bother to dicker on the price, and made arrangements to haul Dale back to the boarding stable where we had a stall waiting for him. The woman wanted to keep her saddle, but preferred that I use the bit & bridle that Dale was accustomed to, and threw them in with the sale.

I still needed a saddle, but I soon found an old, but well-preserved, hand-made M.L. Leddy saddle with quarter horse bars. And as my horse was a Quarter horse-Morgan mix, it fit him perfectly. Needless to say, Dale and I put in many hours getting to know each other, and while showing no signs of meanness, Dale had his unique 'moods' sometimes. His occasional bucking was easy to ride through, and he seemed satisfied that he let me know that he was still young and feeling good, I guess. And I was satisfied that he was not able to dislodge me from my saddle. We soon got our collective acts together, and after some long trail rides in one of our state parks, I became even more confident in Dale's sure stride and balance on those extensive rugged trails. Being part Morgan likely gave him that sure-footed ability and maybe the Morgan and Quarter horse bloodlines combined gave him plenty of endurance.

Then it was time to join the bareback world that many of the other horse owners at the stable were enjoying. So, after a few practice vaults up on his back with someone holding the lead rope, I was ready to ride. And here's where I want to inject a few thoughts and precautions to new riders and maybe for some experienced riders also... whether you ride western or English style, if you ride often, you need to take heed to that old adage that says: “It's not a matter of [IF] you are going to fall, it's a matter of [WHEN] and [HOW OFTEN].

I would also advise something a little different here. My suggestion would be for you to get involved in Judo or any of the martial arts that teach you how to break a fall. I'm convinced that this was one of the things that helped me avoid serious injury during my attempts at horsemanship. It was either that, or my reflexes were so slow that I did not have time to tense up before I hit the turf.

After riding Dale bareback for many hours, I acquired a much better balance and a feel for what was going on with that horse under me. We rode the trails in the fields and woods there at the stable for a many weeks, or maybe several months, without me falling off. We even cleared a few low-level jumps over some small logs I had stacked up without incident. And when Dale tried his bucking act, he still failed to dump me. But one day... while we were running along a fence line at a pretty good clip, and a pheasant flew out of the brush in front of us, (and you guessed it) Dale suddenly reversed direction while I continued going through the air in the previous direction. I hit the ground with a thud and a few rolls, but with no injuries. But now, Dale knew how to get me off his back, and used this little move on purpose several times. And there were other times I came off while riding bareback, like when there was a collision with another horse, or similar odd incidents that happened for one reason or another.

But that extra time spent riding bareback improved my balance and confidence in the saddle for sure. And with the proper precautions, I'd recommend it to everyone. If you are a beginning rider, you should be able to find a riding instructor who would coach you on the correct way to safely accomplish this challenging, but rewarding method of riding. For even some of you old-timers who may have thought about riding bareback but never quite got around to it, there should be an experienced bareback rider that you know and trust who could help you get started.

And when you think about it, in some ways, bareback riding is safer than using a saddle. If you do fall from your bareback mount, at least there's no danger of getting hung up in a stirrup and being dragged across the arena or over a dangerous rocky trail where the terrain and the horse's hooves could really spoil your day.

Just a thought.

Happy Trails,
Gary Miller

Editor's Note: Many thanks to Isaac for the great photographs! Isaac lives in the nation, Colombia. --Allan Colombo

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bill Cody on the First Trip of the Pony Express

By Buffalo Bill Cody (born Feb. 1846, died Jan. 1917)

The first trip of the Pony Express was made in ten days--an average of two hundred miles a day. But we soon began stretching our riders and making better time. Soon we shortened the time to eight days. President Buchanan’s last Presidential message in December, 1860, was carried in eight days. President Lincoln’s inaugural, the following March, took only seven days and seventeen hours for the journey between St. Joseph and Sacramento.

We soon got used to the work. When it became apparent to the men in charge that the boys could do better than forty-five miles a day the stretches were lengthened. The pay of the rider was from $100 to $125 a month. It was announced that the further a man rode the better would be his pay. That put speed and endurance into all of us.

Stern necessity often compelled us to lengthen our day’s work even beyond our desires. In the hostile Indian country, riders were frequently shot. In such an event the man whose relief had been killed had to ride on to the next station, doing two men’s ride. Road-agents were another menace, and often they proved as deadly as the Indians.

In stretching my own route I found myself getting further and further west. Finally I was riding well into the foothills of the Rockies. Still further west my route was pushed. Soon I rode from Red Buttes to Sweetwater, a distance of seventy-six miles. Road-agents and Indians infested this country. I never was quite sure when I started out when I should reach my destination, or whether I should never reach it at all.

One day I galloped into the station at Three Crossings to find that my relief had been killed in a drunken row the night before. There was no one to take his place. His route was eighty-five miles across country to the west. I had no time to think it over. Selecting a good pony out of the stables I was soon on my way.

I arrived at Rocky Ridge, the end of the new route, on schedule time, and turning back came on to Red Buttes, my starting place. The round trip was 320 miles, and I made it in twenty-one hours and forty minutes.

Excitement was plentiful during my two years’ service as a Pony Express rider. One day as I was leaving Horse Creek, a party of fifteen Indians jammed me in a sand ravine eight miles west of the station. They fired at me repeatedly, but my luck held, and I went unscathed. My mount was a California roan pony, the fastest in the stables. I dug the spurs into his sides, and, lying flat on his back, I kept straight on for Sweetwater Bridge eleven miles distant. A turn back to Horse Creek might have brought me more speedily to shelter, but I did not dare risk it.

The Indians came on behind, riding with all the speed they could put into their horses, but my pony drew rapidly ahead. I had a lead of two miles when I reached the station. There I found I could get no new pony. The stock-tender had been killed by the Indians during the night. All his ponies had been stolen and driven off. I kept on, therefore, to Plonts Station, twelve miles further along, riding the same pony--a ride of twenty-four miles on one mount. At Plonts I told the people what had happened at Sweetwater Bridge. Then, with a fresh horse, I finished my route without further adventure.

Editor's Note: This story was taken from the February-March 1979 issue of Frontier Times, partner to True West, page 3.

Be sure to watch a series of movie videos, documentaries, and a book review on Buffalo Bill Cody: click here.

Also, tune in next Sunday, 8 a.m., when we'll feature a story about saddle vs. bareback riding, authored by WMD's very own horseman, Gary Miller.

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Buffalo Bill Cody: Movies, Documentaries, and Reviews

The infamous Buffalo Bill (Cody) was born on February 26, 1846 and died on January 10, 1917. Almost anyone of us who have a special interest in the Old West by way of movies and historical accounts know of this man and his Wild West Show. This is a collection of movies, documentaries, and music reviews concerning this most famous of all Wild West figures.

Be sure to read Bill Cody's own words concerning the first pony express: click here.

History Summarized: Buffalo Bill's Wild West

Buffalo Bill (1908) - William F. Cody on Horseback - Wild West Show Tour

Buffalo Bill Western 1944 Joel McCrea, Maureen O'Hara, Linda Darnell

The Life of Buffalo Bill. 1912

Inventing the Wild West: Buffalo Bill Cody - Biography, Facts, Quotes (2003)

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

An Interview with “The Virginian” (part 2)

Unlike other shows of its kind, The Virginian ran for 90 minutes, was shot from the debut in color and featured a unique format which saw a semi-mysterious lead character journeying through varied conflicts in intriguing stories with famed guest roles and an endearing family unit.

Comprised of 249 episodes, NBC’s The Virginian, was television’s third longest-running western and rated in the top 30 programs for most of its nine-season run, making the top 10 in 1966. Veteran actors Lee J. Cobb, Charles Bickford and John McIntire portrayed the ranch’s owners as the years progressed, with Stewart Granger filling the role for a final season, titled The Men from Shiloh, with a slightly retooled approach.

Based on the 1902 novel by Owen Wister, the popular western story was filmed numerous times for the big screen before being adapted to television in 1962. It was in that medium that the enigmatic character of The Virginian was brought to life famously by actor James Drury. With a wide knowledge and respect for all things western and a wealth of tremendous stories to tell, he keeps active today with public appearances and a website dedicated to the iconic show. We were very fortunate to have an enjoyable and informative talk with him recently.

Editor's Note: The following is part 2 of an edited transcription of Christopher Robinson's discussion with James Drury. Part 1 published on August 25th. To read it, click here (opens a new window).

Western Magazine Digest: You mentioned reusing stories. Also, despite good production values on the series, it looks like some familiar sets were used over and over again.

James Drury: When they started the series they built ‘western streets’. You had one with a saloon, general store, hotel… For instance, they did our show and then they shot Laredo and changed the signs from ‘Medicine Bow’ to ‘Laredo’. But if you’re spending time looking at the buildings, the actors probably aren’t doing a good job capturing the audience’s attention. We had a lot of western streets. We’d go to another studio like Paramount or Columbia, all available for rental. We moved around quite a bit.

WMD: There was also a large ensemble of performers over the duration of the series. But it always had a family atmosphere where everyone seemed to make the best out of working as a team.

JD: That’s part of any major family-owned ranch operation that you see today. They’re all pitching in to get the work done. Any kind of feedlot or cattle operation requires incredible amounts of energy and work to keep everything going. The cattle can come down with more illnesses than you can shake a stick at. You practically have to be a doctor, nurse and a chiropractor combined to take care of them. It’s the cowboy’s way.

WMD: I guess that’s why I live on the east coast.

JD: That’s why you live in New Jersey, right? But you still eat hamburgers, don’t you?(laughs)

WMD: Is there a favorite episode for you?

JD: There are a couple that I was quite proud of. One is “Felicity’s Spring” with Katherine Crawford, which was a major love story that was very well done. It seems to be one of the most popular episodes. Then there’s one called “Mountain of the Sun” with Dolores Hart. After we did the show, she entered a convent. She’s in charge of it now, in a town called Bethlehem in Connecticut. She was planning to go there long before we did that show. She fooled everybody. One of our mutual friends is Jan Shepard.

Jan has been my leading lady many times. She said to Jan, “I’m getting married”! Jan said, “Who’s the lucky guy”? She said, “I’m marrying God”. No one knew she was planning that. She went in, I think, two days after she finished shooting The Virginian. She was, and is a wonderful actress. She did a great job on that show and it stood out as one of the better episodes. And we had some wonderful performances from our cast. Everybody was able to carry the load if they were up to it. We put it together that way. No one person carried the show.

WMD: What ever became of the maroon shirt and black vest?

JD: (laughs) I don’t have any of them. Somebody swiped them from a hotel room. Those elements are all gone. I have some hats and boots but not the trademark costume.

WMD: Should’ve ended up in the Smithsonian.

JD: Well, I don’t know about that but it’s great to see a lot of young people watching the show now. I get letters from grandparents saying that their grandkids are watching it but they didn’t ask or tell them to. That’s very gratifying. When you get to be 85, you have a lot of memories to cherish and I have a lot of fun thinking about it.

WMD: Firehouse was a series that came later. Another active, rugged role. Were they typecasting you because of the Virginian role?

JD: Well, they had to have a captain, a leader. It was a bad show. The writing was uninspired. The producers wanted three disasters in twenty-one minutes. So we’re doing a disaster and running to the next one and the next one… So that ‘family feel’ you talked about, where everybody’s working together, you don’t have that. You couldn’t see us. We had masks on for those compressed air tanks. We’re howling through the masks, “Put out that fire!” You never got a sense of camaraderie or connection. Whereas a show like Chicago Fire, which is on now, those people are a family. You get to know each of them. They all have something to contribute. You never saw that on Firehouse. We were too busy putting out dumb fires.

WMD: Too much action.

JD: They paid me a lot of money to do that show but I’m not that proud of it. Thirteen weeks of agony.

WMD: We just commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, so I thought it would be worth mentioning The Young Warriors, a war film you starred in. Was that made during a hiatus from your TV schedule?

JD: That’s right. It was 1966. I took my own USO unit to Vietnam to entertain troops and we were there for twenty-eight days and I came back and made that picture. We used eighteen minutes of stock footage from To Hell and Back, all the big scenes with the German tanks and all. I wore the exact uniform that Audie Murphy wore. That gave it a lot of scope and breadth that it wouldn’t have had. We were lucky to have it. I’m proud to have made that. It was a nice little picture.

WMD: You and your fellow Virginian cast members continue to hold reunions, something the fans greatly look forward to. Are there any highlights of these gatherings?

JD: We love to get together. We’re all close friends who have great fondness and respect for each other. Lately, I’m not in a position to do more than one a year, but we do a film festival called ‘Spirit of the West’ in Ardmore, every May.

WMD: Finally, what are your favorite westerns that you did not star in?

JD: The Magnificent Seven, The Searchers, Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Professionals with Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster… There aren’t too many I don’t like. I sure liked being in Ride the High Country. I did that with Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea with Sam Peckinpah directing. I played the lead villain and it was a lot of fun. We had Warren Oates, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler… It was quite a group of talent to put together. Over the years we developed what we call ‘The Cowboy Way’ and it’s something I think everybody ought to remember. Real simple… ‘If it’s not true, don’t say it. If it’s not yours, don’t take it. And if it’s not right, don’t do it’… That’s a pretty good way to live.

In closing, James Drury is the kind of icon that Hollywood, sadly, no longer makes. That’s probably because the western ideal is concurrently simple and complex. It speaks to many universal qualities, chiefly the spirit of honor, hard work, cooperation and respect for others as well as the land and its resources. It can’t be prepared, rehearsed or mimicked for the duration of a movie or television production every now and again. Perhaps that’s why he plays the part so convincingly and makes it unequivocally acceptable as the real deal. He knows the American west’s past and that makes his optimism for its future credibly encouraging. It’s why the Cowboy Way has served him so well and why we can all rest assured that it won’t be fading into the sunset anytime soon. --Christopher Robinson, WMD

Read Part 1:
Also, visit The Virginian Official Website!

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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Upcoming: An Interview With 'The Virginian,' Part 2

This last Sunday, the Western Magazine Digest (WMD) published part one of An Interview with The Virginian, written by Christopher Robinson, a WMD author. Response to part one was very good, to say the least. Hundreds of avid western television fans flocked to the website to read the first installment of a two-part story the likes which is rarely told. Christopher Robinson did an exquisite job of capturing the bravado and unique style of The Virginian himself, James Drury.

In part 1, James Drury, The Virginian, provided insights into his varied acting career. This is a brief discussion of part 2 of An Interview with The Virginian, yet to be published on WMD on September 8th, 2019.

"I started out when I was eight years old in children theatres in New York City. My mother took me down at Christmastime to a place where they cast me in a Christmas play about King Herod and the Christ Child, and I played King Herod," says Drury. "But I didn’t want to get on stage. My mother just booted me onto the stage to start out. I got out and at the end of the thing, people clapped and I thought, ‘Well, if they’re gonna clap at something like this… I’d better find out more about it.’ So I started studying."

One of the things that surprised me when I read through the interview was that Drury had trained to be a versatile actor, and without any thought of working in western films. And yet, somehow, by some quirk of fate, he ended up on our television sets in what became one of the longest running westerns of its time: The Virginian.

This reminded me of the fact that so many of us ignore the obvious, often striving to attain those things that we don't have. In this case, Drury, who had a good deal of experience doing ranch work, hadn't thought much about acting in westerns, seeking out other venues for his acting aspirations.

"I wasn’t conscious of it, but I had been raised on a series of ranches in Oregon and had been around horses and stock all of my life and had my first horse when I was twelve. That horse taught me to ride, pretty much. Luckily, I had all that ammo in my briefcase. As far as the motion pictures go, I did one picture for MGM in that first year with Lana Turner called Diane," says Drury.

On The TV Western and Movie Fan Page on Facebook, member Chuck W. Johnson commented, "and not one costume leather hat....and maroon shirt...," and I have to admit, I had never thought about the lack of variety in the Virginian's attire. In part 2, the issue of wardrobe comes up and Drury briefly addresses it.

After the ninth year of The Virginian series, Drury was once again cast into another series called, if you'll recall, Firehouse, which I had all but forgotten and probably for the very reasons cited by Drury in his response to author Robinson's question.

Robinson asks, "Firehouse was a series that came later. Another active, rugged role. Were they typecasting you because of the Virginian role?"

Drury replies, "Well, they had to have a captain, a leader. It was a bad show. The writing was uninspired. The producers wanted three disasters in twenty-one minutes. So we’re doing a disaster and running to the next one and the next one… So that ‘family feel’ you talked about, where everybody’s working together, you don’t have that. You couldn’t see us. We had masks on for those compressed air tanks. We’re howling through the masks, 'Put out that fire!' You never got a sense of camaraderie or connection. Whereas a show like Chicago Fire, which is on now, those people are a family. You get to know each of them. They all have something to contribute. You never saw that on Firehouse. We were too busy putting out dumb fires."

That made me chuckle when I read it. In fact, the entire part 2 of James Drury's interview was very informative, interesting, and it filled in many gaps. If you haven't read part 1 yet, you should do that now, before part 2 comes out next Sunday, September 8th. To read it: click here. See you at the debut of part 2.

Al Colombo

Also, visit The Virginian Official Website!

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