Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that you're enjoying your holiday weekend. We sure are. It has been a busy May and I am happy to see it come to an end. Now, I'm looking forward to the end of the school year! Yay!

We enjoyed the opening of the pool and then we headed to NYC. My hubby took Little A to the American Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs and live lizards. Big A and I headed to Kinokuniya for a craft book and manga book fix. I'll have to post photos of some of the books that I saw there. I'm still going through Quilt Market photos.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I thought I'd show you this lovely Jasper Johns painting of the American flag that was adorning the Christie's window.
xo, L


Writer/Director THADD TURNER informs me he's planning to roll camera Monday, June 14th, on PALOMINAS, with location work at the Eaves Movie Ranch and Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, both in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The story takes place at the turn of the century, near the border with Mexico, where a rancher and sheriff must face down hired gunmen. I should have cast info in the next week or two. Turner has previously written and produced MIRACLE AT SAGE CREEK (2005) and SEVEN MUMMIES (2006).


Wes Studi is the newest cast member of the Jon Favreau-directed COWBOYS AND ALIENS, joining Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford and Keith Carradine.


Travis Fimmel will be playing the Lee Majors-created role of Heath Barkley in the feature film version of THE BIG VALLEY, which starts shooting July 19th in Baton Rouge. The Ausie-born sctor played continuing roles in TARZAN (2003) and THE BEAST (2009). He joins Jessica Lange as Victoria Barkley, Jason Alan Smith as Nick, and Bruce Dern, Richard Dreyfus, and Lee Majors, who portrays the never-seen-in-the-series Tom Barkley, who sired all the Barkley kids, legit and otherwise.

Writer/Director Daniel Adams may be new to westerns, but not to period films. He's recently written and directed two films set and shot in Cape Cod. In 2009 he made LIGHTKEEPERS, currently in limited release, starring Richard Dreyfus as a lighthouse keeper who finds an amnesiac washed up on his shore. In the romantic comedy GOLDEN BOYS (2008), David Carradine, Rip Torn and Bruce Dern are turn-of-the-century retired sea captains, determined that one of them will marry Mariel Hemingway.


Photographer Joe O'Connell posted the picture above, of Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn on the set of theTRUE GRIT remake. The production will be moving this week from small Central Texas towns to downtown Austin.


I’m not in the Academy, and I don’t know the criteria involved in Oscar nominations, but I do know that REEL INJUN is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in years. Opening with a group of Indian children watching the climax of THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON -- the death of Errol Flynn as Custer at Little Big Horn -- director Neil Diamond narrates: “Growing up on the reservation, the only show in town was movie night in the church basement. Raised on cowboys and Indians, we cheered the cowboys, never realizing that we were the Indians.”
A Cree living on a reservation near the Arctic Circle, Diamond decides to journey across the United States, to Hollywood, by way of numerous landmarks and reservations, to tell the story of the Indian portrayal in American film and culture, and the parallel story of the lives of real Indians.
By turns it’s enlightening, heartbreaking, and extremely funny – from the sly wit of Indian stand-up comic Charlie Hill; to the goofiness of some westerns, playing dialog backwards to simulate Indian speech; to the self-effacing humor of Diamond and others. His description of ‘the rez car’ alone is worth the price of admission. Editor Jeremiah Hayes seamlessly flows the documentary footage and western movie clips together.
We visit Pine Ridge Reservation, the poorest in the nation, and meet a Lakota chief who is a direct descendant of Red Cloud, standing at the spot where Crazy Horse was murdered.
We hear the fascinating, sometimes tragic stories of ‘movie Indians’ like Buffalo Child Long Lance and Iron Eyes Cody. And speaking of ‘movie Indians,’ we see the homogenization of all the distinct tribes into generic ‘Plains Indians.’ We learn why, among many Indians, LITTLE BIG MAN is better thought of than DANCES WITH WOLVES, why BILLY JACK was so important, and why Jesse Wente, an Ojibway film critic calls John Ford’s great STAGECOACH, “One of the most damaging movies for native people in history.”
The film also takes an amused look at the ‘Indian cool’ fashions of 1960s hippies, and the tribal elements of summer camp that brings a counselor all the way from Austria to lead his ‘Sioux’ band. Sacheen Littlefeather, who was a fashion model at the time, shares the story of Brando asking her to refuse his Oscar, and the importance of that gesture to Indian activists during the occupation of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee. I must confess that, prior to seeing the story of those occupations from the prospective of activists John Trudell and Russell Means, I simply thought they were crazy. Now I understand.
Among the familiar faces who add their perspectives are Clint Eastwood, Jim Jarmusch, Graham Greene and Wes Studi. Additionally we hear from actor Adam Beach, and directors Chris Eyre and Zacharias Kunuk, who are in the forefront of a renaissance of films made by Indians.
In addition to screenings in Canada, REEL INJUN will be shown in New York at The Museum of Modern Art from June 14th through June 20th. October 12th through the 17th it will be screened at The Indigenous Film Festival in Denver, Colorado. Beyond those screenings, I don’t know how available this film will be to see, prior to airing on PBS stations in the future, but I’ll keep you informed. In the meantime, CLICK HERE to see the trailer and visit the official website, which has more information.


The actor who made indellible impressions in films as varied as REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and SPEED, was born in Dodge City, Kansas, an appropraite locale for an actor who did so many western roles so well. His first feature film appearence was in JOHNNY GUITAR, and he followed that by playing the title character in the pilot episode for THE RIFLEMAN, 'The Sharpshooter,' seen in the picture above. He appeared in GIANT (1956), played Billy Clanton in GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1958), played Billy The Kid in an episode of SUGARFOOT, was seen in SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965), HANG 'EM HIGH (1968), episodes of CHEYENNE, ZANE GREY THEATER, WAGON TRAIN, BONANZA and GUNSMOKE. In 1971 he wrote, directed and starred in THE LAST MOVIE, a film about making a western while surrounded by South American Indians. His last western was BLOOD RED, in 1989.


The actor whose whiny voice and piercing blue eyes made him a natural for portraying all manner of despicable villains, was born and bred in West Virginia. He made his film debut as the title character in MAD DOG COLL (1961), about the perpetrator of the Harlem Baby Massacre. It would be his only lead. He leant his villainy to three Sam Peckinpah westerns, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY(1962), MAJOR DUNDEE (1965) and PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID (1973). In addition to episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, THE VIRGINIAN, HIGH CHAPARRAL, GUNSMOKE and THE TRAVELS OF JAMIE MCPHEETERS, he appeared in RETURN OF THE GUNFIGHTER (1967), BAQUERO (1970), SHOOTOUT (1971), and for Clint Eastwood in OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (1976). He did many non-western roles as well.


Hollywood's New Beverly Cinema will be showing DUCK, YOU SUCKER! and BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA from Sunday, May 30th through Tuesday, June 1st.


To read my review of The Good, The Bad and The Weird, check out May 9th's entry. It's currently playing at the Mayan Theatre in Denver, and opens at the Main Arts Theatre in Detroit on June 4th.


Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.


This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.


Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.


Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run THE LONE RANGER at 1:30 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

That's about it, folks. I haven't even looked at what's on cable TV yet. I'll try to later on in the week, but I make no guarantees. Don't forget that it's not just a three-day weekend, it's Memorial Day: FLY YOUR FLAG!



All Contents Copyright May 2010 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved

You Milked the Mare, Right? - Day Four

Sunday brings our out of town excursion. The guide, Medina, is surprised when she meets me; when she'd heard that we had travelled from Dubai, she expected Arabs and I, apparently, look very Russian. We jump into the 4x4 and are greeted by a guy named Stass. He looks like a cross between Vincent Cassel and Stan Laurel and though he can understand English (he even compliments my accent in Russian) he is not confident enough to speak it at length. This is primarily down to the fact that he has been up all night.
"I am drunk now," he says to me over his shoulder, simultaneously doing the De Niro frown and nodding. "You like whiskey?"
I laugh.
"You like whiskey? I get."
I laugh.
"He's serious," says K.
"Oh. Uh, I guess," I offer timidly.
Soon we are on a detour to his flat before we can leave town. He hands me a large shot of Jack Daniels.
"Cheers," he says as we knock them back. It's 8:16am.
Leaving Almaty, we get to see more of rural Kazakhstan. It is the ninth largest country in the world by area, yet one of the most sparsely populated. Occasional settlements cling to the sides of the road, like moss on a tree trunk, hoping to entice travellers into stopping with their colourful stalls laden with fruit, veg and clothing.
The conversation in the car switches to Russian and as I drift in and out of sleep, it sounds something like gentle impressions of drum kits; all rolling Rs and complex snare-drums.
I'm brought back to life by the hiss of a cola bottle about an hour later and immediately handed another Jack D. I don't think the talking has stopped and I can only guess at what they might be discussing. We stop in a nameless village for a quick break. Medina is a little embarrassed that the public toilets are portaloos and apologises well in advance for the stench. Her English isn't quite good enough to understand my point that once you?ve been at a festival for four days, you know what it is to experience sensory overload.
Back on the road with another bourbon and my cheeks are beginning to flush with the booze. Though I manage to distract myself by pre-emptively writing some of my feature in my head, I really wish I'd brought a book or my MP3 player or a massive carryout. I sleep again and the next time I wake up we are out on the steppe, bumping along a straight road, flat desolation all around.
Occasionally we pass a dead cow at the side of the road or a donkey pulling an impossibly large cart, a haggard Kazakh sitting precariously on top. Really, though, there isn?t a lot out here. This is the land that Ghengis Khan and the Mongol hoards swept across, carrying all before them.
One more Jack gets handed back to me and suddenly we veer off-road down a barely perceptible desert path. Medina may be pretty and petite and wear designer glasses, but she drives with the fearless abandon of a rally champion. The car rattles so that it feels like sitting in a massage chair but within about ten minutes we've caught up a car that was over the horizon.
When we finally reach our destination, we've been driving for a total of four and half hours. We park up next to an old stone yurt that has dozens of pieces of fabric tied to its ancient frame. As soon as we have stopped, I run up to it to take a much needed leak while everyone else gets ready to hike.
When I get back to the others, I ask K what the bits of cloth represent.
"People do it and make a wish," she says.
"Oh," I say, too ashamed to admit that I was literally pissing on people's dreams.
We are overlooking Charyn Canyon, or Valley Of Castles, a deep fissure in the earth caused by innumerable earthquakes over time. Stass says the continuing seismic activity has changed the shape of the place a couple of times since he arrived in the region seven years ago. Perhaps in a few more years, it won?t exist at all ? we're lucky to see it.
We make our steep descent and find the floor littered with technicolored shale, evidence of dozens of different archaeological periods. I verge on boastful when showing off my geological knowledge to the rest of the party: here is limestone and this is granite and these are fossilised plants and, hold on, yes this is copper ore.
Compared the chilling winds from the steppe, the air at the bottom of the canyon is remarkably warm and still. We trek for half an hour until we reach the river and find a disappointingly high number of people already there. Stass tells me that he once came to a massive trance party at this very spot which, if true, must have been an amazing experience.
He leads us round the meander of the river and to a rock face; over and beyond lie waterfalls. He and K begin to climb ahead of me. I get up a couple of metres and stop. The next step will extend my right leg to a position of vulnerability. Clairvoyance washes through me: my knee is going to snap, as I fall back and crack my head, I'll be glad of the concussion distracting me from the blinding pain in my leg.
"I can't follow," I say, feeble, defeated, pathetic.
K explains my disability to Stass. I'm ashamed. She tells me that the light isn't good enough for decent photos anyway. I'm not sure if she's telling the truth, but it doesn't really matter.

On the way back we stop at a roadside cafe. And by cafe, I mean stone shack. There are no lights inside and I'm not sure it has power at all, but it offers shelter some hearty scran and the chance to warm up.
By this stage in the day, though, I'm quite miserable, partly because my weakness has been exposed in front of strangers and partly because they are rapt in conversation, none of which involves me.
I sit on my uncomfortable wooden stool, staring into my mystery broth. Like most of the food here it's stodgy and peppery and contains pasta. The plain, stone walls look like they could have been built a hundred years ago. Perhaps they were. A similarly aged clock ticks on the wall. I watch it for an hour during which no one talks to me other than to offer more tea or bread. I look at the clock again and wonder if people have always been similarly bored in this region.

Quilt Market Snippets - Part One

The night before Quilt Market opens, there's Sample Spree. It is a crazy, frenzied pre-sale of the newest products. There are deals and there's a lot of shop owners who line up several hours early for the wonderful opportunity to preview products. Here are Larry and Scott having some fun and working hard at the Henry Glass booth.

Here are Alex and Davide from Aurifil . They were having a rare relaxing moment because the desire for Aurifil threads soon lead to pandemonium.


The next day, I stopped by their booth. Ooooh, look at the new color card!! I didn't think that things could get any better but they added new colors!!

When I'm at Quilt Market, I get to see a lot of eye candy. I'm not the typical designer who has a booth. Long story for another time. I used to have a booth but now I get to wander around and absorb all that my senses allow me to. I sit down with editors and talk about what we want to work on next and I get to see lots of new things. I thought that I'd show you some snippets of what I see. There's just so much.

Alex Anderson is a funny lady and she gives good advice on dealing with one 6-year old boy who acted up before his mommy left for MN. Have you checked out her new magazine, The Quilt Life ?

Darlene Zimmerman , gave me one of her new rulers. I am excited to used this one because I've always wanted to make a wedding ring quilt and now I can make a small one and I don't have to think!! Can you see the adorable mini wedding ring quilt right beneath the ruler?

P&B Textiles  had an awesome display of its new "Bear Essentials" line! I love all of the colors and I loved the graphic display of all of the fabrics in their booth. Well done!

xo, L

You Milked the Mare, Right? - Day Three

Bagdad should be retired. Technically he is, but there aren't any young people who can speak English and are interested in occasional seasonal work, so he still takes these tours. We head to Memorial Square and he gives me a crash course in Kazakh history including the story of 28 grenadiers who were called to the front line in the second world war and who found themselves having to fend off 40 advancing Nazi tanks. 
In recognition of their bravery an enormous bold statue has been built next to the Church of Ascension, the tallest wooden building in the world to be built without the use of nails. It's an inspiring, colourful place, but K is still not happy - the eternal grey of the sky is sucking the light and life out of her shots. Not that that affects her enthusiasm. While I am immobilised by Britishness, she bounds up to perfect strangers and snaps away. Amazingly, in five days of this no one ever complains - in fact barely anyone bothers to ask why she is doing it; they simply stand looking confused or smile. To her annoyance, a lot of them also pose, ruining any chance of a natural shot.
From the square, we head to the hills to visit Medeu ice rink, a mountain-based facility that during the days of the Soviet Union saw over 120 world records broken. It's just behind a man-made avalanche barrier which only a couple of years after building was completed, saved the city from certain disaster when an earthquake dislodged a deadly deluge of snow and rock. Next we head to Chimbulak Ski Resort 2200m above sea level, where the 2011 Asian Winter Games will be held. When we reach the base of the run, one skier tells us that if we get the lift to the first station, there is daylight. Sceptical but without a great deal else to do, we head up. 
I let the lift bang into the back of my bad knee as it scoops us up and launches us up the slope. Suddenly the lift stops and from somewhere below there is someone shouting "Jeem! Jeem!" I look round - we haven't pulled the safety barrier down and Bagdad is panicking. 
Soon we are in the gloom, quietly passing over pine trees. The only thing to permeate the cold white blanket is the occasional scything of a snowboard somewhere in the distance. We are in an all-encompassing silence as we travel through the milky sky. I take some photos, but we've both accepted that we have been lied to.
Yet no sooner have we voiced our scepticism than soft yellow disc appears in the sky. A moment later we are breaking through the grey, ascending above the clouds. It's extraordinarily beautiful, almost overwhelming. I can almost feel the moment searing into my brain. The views of snowy mountain peaks and the great sea of grey below us are genuinely breathtaking. I spend a moment sitting on a wooden fence just being grateful, grateful, grateful while K takes dozens of pictures. 
Some minutes later, almost incomprehensibly, I feel my pocket vibrating. The number is from Dubai. I reluctantly answer and can immediately feel my ecstasy draining. It's the bank. There's been a problem with my wages. Something about an incorrect account number. I have no money.
I consider throwing the thing into the clouds, but instead just hang up and stuff it back in my pocket. The fresh snow shimmers around my feet like so much glitter. I let out a sigh - no matter how far I travel, no matter how fast I run or how high I climb, I can never escape it.

You Milked the Mare, Right? - Day Two

Getting a taxi in Almaty is a funny, if simple process. You just stick your hand out and in no more than about 30 seconds a car will stop. It's unclear whether the drivers do this as a profession or just because they have a spare few minutes. Meanwhile, the cars themselves are a minimum of ten years old and the majority bear one or more cracks in their windscreens. The price is always fair and rarely needs to be haggled, even if the drivers sometimes need very clear instructions about where they are going. Maps and Russian speakers are therefore essential. One of the few things that Almaty shares with the hated desert city is the bad driving itself: as with Dubai, the drivers prize road position and one-upmanship way ahead of trivial things like courtesy and road markings. The changing of lights, though, is carefully adhered to, perhaps because the large number of inner-city trolley buses and trams are not to be bargained with.
Our first stop is the Hotel Kazakhstan; a large Soviet building that looks as though it has been designed to fend off attacks from winger beasts. Looking at it looming in the grey sky, we are relieved to be staying in the Kazzhol.
K, though, is not happy. The sky hangs heavy with the same shapeless blanket of cloud that covers Scotland for about 80% of the year, and while this is a pleasant change from the merciless blue of Dubai, it's no good for photography. Even the Simpsons-esque statutes don't look up to much.
If the Hotel Kazakhstan's aesthetic isn't helpful, though, its staff are, and after some advice about where to go, they also help me get in touch with the tourist board. Amazingly, they are able to organise two tours at this short notice: one around the city, the other in the surrounding countryside.
We walk and talk for the next five hours and while I am simply happy to see autumnal colours and leaves, the experience is something altogether more intense for K. Cyrillic writing and bleak Soviet buildings may remind her of her childhood, but the fact that Kazkahs generally look Chinese yet speak Russian is an oddity that takes her several days to adjust to – it'd be like me travelling to Tokyo and discovering that everyone used Glasgow patter.
After our long walk around the city, we decide to go out for dinner at a local Kazakh restaurant. I get K to order me besparmak and kumis. The former is horse meat served with onions and pepper on a bed of sheet pasta, the latter is fermented horse milk which arrives in a soup bowl. She orders tea and honey – she seems to subside on little more than fruit, nuts, natural sugars, coffee and occasionally sweets. Having woken up one morning to discover she simply didn't have an appetite for it, she no longer eats meat, but like me is too curious not to have at least a nibble of horse. If anything, it tastes half way between lamb and braising steak; fattier than expected, but certainly not unpleasant. The meal is typically Kazakh with an emphasis on high carbohydrate and fat intake, presumably harking back to their nomadic days spent roaming the steppe. The kumis tastes something like yoghurt mixed with sea water, slightly alcoholic, almost gritty... I fleeting worry that they may have milked the stallion by mistake. I put down the cup and settle the bill.

Baked Chili and Egg

It's not so strange for me to be writing about leftovers. I have always believed in avoiding food waste, and efficient use of leftovers is a step in that direction. I’ll keep writing about using my leftovers here just in case there is a teeny chance that one of you might need some help in figuring out what to do with yours.

Not so strange either for me to be writing about it now -- getting our new home in shape is leaving me less time to play in the kitchen (the saga continues…now I am caught between two plumbers!), hence having only enough time to grab those leftovers from the fridge for a quick meal. I’m not complaining though because, as I’ve maintained before, leftovers need not be tired or boring.

This is a hearty, stick-to-your-gut meal that will fuel you through even the most trying rounds of intense clean up. Yes, including looking through 4 years worth of debris accumulated by a little rat who never throws anything away…including 4 year old credit card receipts and pay slips from her first job (I plead oh so very guilty)!

Anyway, back to the dish at hand. I had made a big batch of chili for a potluck barbecue and had lots left over. I am hoping that this does not reflect on my chili-making abilities but instead on the amount of food served on said occasion. In any case, C was quite pleased that we had leftovers because that boy does love his chili. But unless you are C, one can only eat so much chili, in exactly the same way, day after day.

This is a variation you can try if you find yourself with some leftover chili and are looking for another way to serve it. I like to think of it as halfway between huevos rancheros and oeufs en cocotte. I’ve always loved a good cross-cultural mix when it comes to food :)

What I’ve done here is simple: For each serving take a cup of chili (or half, or anywhere in between…depends on what you would be comfortable calling “one serving”) and place in a ramekin, clay crock, or any oven-proof single serve dish. Make a slight indentation where you want your egg to sit and crack the egg into it. Shave some cheese onto the chili (I used gruyere because that is what I had on hand but feel free to use any cheese you think might work here). Place the whole affair into a pre-heated 180C oven and bake until the egg white is set but the yolk is still jiggly. I overshot that mark (hence the overdone yolk) so make sure to keep an eye on your eggs as all ovens (and eggs!) are different. Remove from the oven, garnish with cilantro and enjoy immediately with some warm tortillas or bread, or even rice!

I hope this goes a little way towards moving some of us to make the most of our leftovers…every bit helps in our efforts to avoid food waste!

To Market, To Market

Oh, little blog, it has been a while.  I've been busy and playing. I'll have to update you on all of the fun. I just returned from Minneapolis where the Quilt Market was hosted this spring. What a great show! The show is full of inspiration and it is a wee vacation for me. I get to do some business, be inspired by new things and to see or meet friends.

Here's the cool second colorway.

The lovely people at Henry Glass were showing my newest line, Hugs and Kisses, and Bella Flora. I'll tell you about it in the weeks to come. The quilt above is the free pattern for Hugs and Kisses. Speaking of cool folks, here are some Henry Glass designers. Lovely, lovely ladies. From left, Barbara Jones of Quilt Soup, Carrie Nelson, Mary Ellen , me, and Heather Mulder Peterson . I had dinner with Barbara, her sister, Glenda and Karen from Henry Glass. It was at an awesome and funky restaurant, Zelo. We had such a blast and the food was seriously amazing.

The convention center is an interesting place in downtown Minneapolis.

I don't have a booth there so I am lucky because I book appointments or wander around and meet my favorite people. I get to meet with magazine and book editors, fabric people and others. Here's my fave guy, Mark Lipinski. He was very busy with presenting his fabulous new magazines. You're in for a treat this fall when the magazines make their debut.

I chatted with my friend, Amy Butler. Her booth was awesome as usual. We met a few years ago at a retreat that the terrific folks at American Patchwork and Quilting invited us to. Amy's got tons of new projects going on. Most exciting for many is the debut of her new line of yarns. The colors are very fun and very wearable. She has a new book coming out with Chronicle Books. Wait until you see it! I think that it is the best book yet because the designs are really wonderful.

She graciously signed books for her fans.

Here's a glimpse at her newest line of fabrics.

This is an image of the projects from her book.

Onward to other booths. This one from Clothworks, caught my eye. Check out these adorable little "shirts" that are hanging on the lines.

Ok, it seems that my little blog is having a fit and not letting me post my photos properly. Will be back tomorrow. [Keepin' my fingers crossed.]
xo, L

Daily Dose of Inspiration

If you do nothing else today, go meet Jenny aka THE BLOGGESS.  She is wonderful.  Read her Traveling Red Dress blog and then go out and find your red dress.  And twirl around in it many many times.  I am now sitting here at my desk pondering what mine is or what it could be.

It is a beautiful dose of inspiration, and I found another one not shortly after.  It's called the Art O Mat.  A group called Artists in Cellophane recycle banned cigarette vending machines and make it so art is distributed instead.  I found the location of one in Chicago and I plan to seek it out before the week is over.  Absolutely brilliant.  In Hamburg, the machines sell books, which are all original texts by Hamburg authors.  If this was more common, maybe I would have quit smoking sooner.  I had a great addiction to cigarettes for many years, but my addiction to books has lasted a lifetime. 

I have found my inspiration for today, and I hope you find yours as well!

You Milked the Mare, Right? - Day One

October '08

Try telling anyone that you're going to Kazakhstan and the depressing majority will do one of the following:
a)  Say something along the lines of "What? Where Borat's from?"
b)  Do an excruciatingly bad impression of said character
c)  Look a bit bamboozled, like a monkey with a remote control, before finally spitting the same two syllables from their idiotic mouths: "Bo-rat?"
Thus the two weeks preceding my trip to Almaty passed. Thankfully I've never seen the film and, truth be told, never found the character too entertaining. Being the sort of ungainly arsehole who stumbles from one embarrassing situation to another, I don't get much pleasure from watching others similarly humiliated. As with the worst sitcoms, daytime chat shows and radio phone-ins, I cannot sit and listen to awkward situations develop without wanting to eat my own ears. Before going to the ex-Soviet state I spent quite a long time variously looking at my shoes, grinding my teeth and occasionally whistling while people got the B word out of their system.
With a trip to Nepal having fallen through at the airport, I was understandably twitchy about this trip going ahead. Just when it looked as though everything would run smoothly, though, our plan hit a bump in the road. Having already downgraded hotel from the Hotel Kazakhstan (the tallest building in Almaty) to the far more discreet Kazzhol to save on budget, I was then told that the payment for the hotel hadn't gone through and that I'd need to take cash instead. This meant a dash to the office this morning to pick up a fistful of dollars to pay for our accommodation.
All this plural talk is because I've got a photographer with me. This was good because, as I prove with frightening regularity, a story is no good without pictures and also because few people can speak English in Kazakhstan. While it does have its own language, as a former Soviet state, virtually everyone is bi-lingual with Russian. The photography department, in order to send someone who could act as both snapper and translator, had the choice of sending me with K, a female Georgian, or D, a male Russian. They opted for the former.
Pre-trip, the only things that people had told me about her were that she was good at her job, feisty and that she possibly had a boyfriend. We meet at the gate (which partly out of nervousness, I delay getting to until the last moment) and within about 30 seconds it's clear we're going to get on alright. As it happens, she doesn't have a boyfriend at all, but rather a husband of five years who also lives and works in Dubai. We talk excitedly about the impending journey into the unknown, but when I mention that I've printed a list of bars and clubs in Almaty from the Hedonist's Guide website, she seems pretty underwhelmed: she doesn't drink.
K and I are seated next to each other, either side of the aisle. The window seat next to my right was occupied by an aging South African who, like most of his countrymen, flits almost accidentally between English and Afrikaans. He's returning to Kazakhstan from a three week break at home and while I manage to work out that's involved in copper and gold mining, much of what he says is quite hard to follow.
Drinks come and despite K's abstinence, I opt for red wine. This is my first mistake of the trip. As the table flips out faster than expected and smashes the plastic cup from my hand, I sigh as though it had all been inevitable. I pick up the cracked remnants and the remainder of the liquid spurts from an unnoticed crack, landing neatly on my crotch. It looks as though an alien has burst from my balls or, as my South African friend amusingly puts it, "It looks like you've been shagging a very sick lady."
"Man, if she let it get this far, I don't think she'd have been much of a lady."
The flight time is about four hours, most of which I spend trying to explain to the barely-comprehensible Afrikaaner why I'm nowhere near ready to write a book, only to be roundly chastised. "Listen bro, you have a lekker, job huh? You get started or by the time you rub the shit out of your eyes, you'll be my age."

We land and it's cold; wonderfully, wonderfully cold and there are trees and it smells like a real country. We are both so excited we don't even check if our taxi driver has ripped us off. 
After checking in at the hotel we meet in the lobby and head out into the night air. Thankfully Almaty is designed almost completely in a grid-iron formation, so after two hours of walking the new streets in the dark, we still manage to find our way back without any problem. 
I check my emails. The day before I left, I'd sent a slightly indignant email to the Almaty tourist board, complaining that I was soon to travel and yet they had not confirmed anything with me. To my surprise, there is a panicked reply. I'd told them I was arriving in November, please call immediately.
"Hah!" There's no way they've got that right. Having spent a month of to-ing and fro-ing with unanswered emails and confused phone calls I'd conjured an image of their tourist office being nothing more than a portakabin without a door, populated by a lonely, bewildered goat. For argument's sake, I flick through my sent mails ... And there it is: arriving November 30.
My cheeks turn red. Suddenly five days with nothing to do seems like a very long time indeed. A little distressed, I open the fridge and reach for a can of the local lager. Before I can get it though, I fall out my seat laughing - sitting next to the cans there is a packet of condoms. Johnnies on ice, price: £1.50.


As the theatrical version of TV's THE BIG VALLEY gets set to roll camera on July 19 in Baton Rouge, they keep switching the chairs (see photo of Barkleys waiting anxiously for music to begin again). This time, Susan Sarandon is out as Victoria Barkley, and Jessica Lange is in. The EMMY winning actress, for GRAY GARDENS, will be taking on the role made famous by Barbara Stanwyck in the long-running series. Listed in the cast are Bruce Dern and Richard Dreyfus, who both guested on the original series, Jason Alan Smith in Peter Breck's role as fiery Nick Barkley, and Lee Majors, not as Heath, but as his illegitimate father, Tom Barkley.

Conspicuously absent from current listings is Ryan Phillipe, who had been announced as Jarrod, the Richard Long role. Billy Bob Thornton had also been rumored for an unannounced role, but his name has stopped popping up.


Or maybe the cowboys. Keith, of the great Carradine acting dynasty, has had many western roles, frequently portraying real people: he was Jim Younger in LONG RIDERS (1980), Buffalo Bill Cody in WILD BILL (1995), starred on Broadway as WILL ROGERS, and was Wild Bill Hickock in the first five episodes of DEADWOOD. (And for the record, the biggest mistake the producers of DEADWOOD ever made was to kill off their most interesting character so soon!) Now he joins Danile Craig, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford and Heavy D in COWBOYS AND ALIENS, for Director Jon Favreau. Incidentally, Favreau will be working with his same cimenatographer and editor from IRON MAN 2, Matthew Libatique and Dan Lebental, respectively.


Turner Classic Television continues with their NATIVE AMERICAN IMAGES ON FILM series on Tuesday and Thursday, and Wednesday, smack in the middle, is John Wayne's Birthday! TMC will be showing a whole passel of Duke B-westerns, capped by STAGECOACH. Next I'll be reviewing a fascinating documentary, REEL INJUNS, examining Hollywood's portrayal of Indians from an Indin's point of view, and a look at several Indian-made films, including SMOKE SIGNALS (1998), which plays on TMC on Tuesday. Here's the whole line-up:

Tuesday, May 25th

5:00 p.m. THE SQUAW MAN (1914) The one that started it all -- DeMille this film, purported to be the first western made in Hollywood.


8:30 p.m. SMOKE SIGNALS (1998) When his best freind's father dies, an Indian funds their trip to deal with his remains. Starrin Adam Beach.

10:15 p.m. NATURALLY NATIVE (1999) Three Native American sisters decide to try and sell a line of cosmetics.

Wednesday, May 26th

12:15 a.m. RAMONA (1910) D.W.Griffith directs Mary Pickford in this two-reel version of the classic tale.

12:45 a.m. LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1920) Rarely seen silent version of James Fenimore Cooper's tale, starring Wallace Beery, and directed by Maurice Tourneur and Clarence Brown.


3:00 a.m. HAUNTED GOLD (1932)

4:00 a.m. RIDE HIM, COWBOY (1932)

5:00 a.m. THE BIG STAMPEDE (1932)

7:15 a.m. SAGEBRUSH TRAIL (1934)

8:15 a.m. SOMEWHERE IN SONORA (1933)

11:00 a.m. THE MAN FROM MONTEREY (1933)

12:00 p.m. THE TELEGRAPH TRAIL(1933)

1:00 p.m. RANDY RIDES ALONE (1934)

2:00 p.m. THE STAR PACKER (1934)

3:00 p.m. STAGECOACH (1939)


5:00 p.m. NANOOK OF THE NORTH (1922)Ground-breaking Robert Flaherty documentary.

6:15 p.m. THE EXILES (1961)Three young Indians feel isolated when they leave the reservation for the big city.

8:00 p.m. INCIDENT AT OGLALA (1992) A trial follows a deadly shootout between federal agents and Native Americans, directed by Michael Apted.

10:00 p.m. BROKEN RAINBOWS (1985) The government relocation of 10,000 Navajo sheds light on continuing mistreatment of Native Americans. Stars Martin Sheen, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Burgess Meredith, directed by Victoria Mudd.

11:15 p.m. THE SILENT ENEMY (1930) The story of the Ojibway Indians before Columbus, starring Cheekah, Chief Akawanush, Chief Yellow Robe.

Friday, May 28th

12:45 a.m. RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE (1976) starring Richard Harris, Gale Sondergaard, directed by Irvin Kershner.


Across the street from the Hollywood Bowl, this building, once the headquarters of Lasky-Famous Players (later Paramount Pictures) was the original DeMille Barn, where Cecil B. DeMille made the first Hollywood western, The Squaw Man. They have a permanent display of movie props, documents and other items related to early, especially silent, film production. They also have occasional special programs. 2100 Highland Ave., L.A. CA 323-874-2276. Thursday – Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for senior, $1 for children.


This small but entertaining museum gives a detailed history of Wells Fargo when the name suggested stage-coaches rather than ATMS. There’s a historically accurate reproduction of an agent’s office, an original Concord Coach, and other historical displays. Open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Admission is free. 213-253-7166. 333 S. Grand Street, L.A. CA.

Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, EXT= Showtime Extreme, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.


Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.


Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run THE LONE RANGER at 1:30 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

Happy Trails!


All contents copyright May 2010 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved

My Current Mantra: What Would Emma Do?

As many of my friends know, I have been trying to quit biting my nails FOREVER.  It's hard though, when you are an anxious, nervous person and by the time you catch yourself, the damage is done. 

For the last couple of days, I have been trying something new.  Whenever I catch myself about to bite a nail, I simply say, "Emma wouldn't do that."  And since I somewhat idolize that redheaded fashionista, it just stops me cold.  I put my hands back down, take a deep breath, and go on to do something else less destructive... like lotioning my hands.  Lotion is my friend, I'm realizing. 

I realize this mantra/idea may sounds strange to some of you, but it's actually working.  I have tried painting my nails, coating my fingers in nasty tasting stuff, putting rings on my fingers (because I knew I wouldn't want to show off my jewelry on stubby fingers), etc.  Nothing worked. 

I'll keep you updated on how this goes, but if it goes well, then I am going to purchase something wonderful for myself.  Probably something Emma Pillsbury-ish.  What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear has a fantastic giveaway going on right now from this etsy shop: Candy Shop Vintage.  When I was browsing through the selection of this shop, I fell in love.  I am now offering myself a reward if I can go a month without biting my nails.  A brooch to put on my sweater I picked up from Ragstock would be nice.

Emma Pillsbury ... and ramblings about shoes

I love Emma Pillsbury. 

Shocking, I know, because who would love a redhead with great fashion sense and a heart full of gold?

And by great fashion sense, I mean awesomely superior fashion sense. 

I had mentioned yesterday about What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?  And I am convinced that everyone needs to look at this blog, if for no other reason than to appreciate the bloggers who track down similar affordable looks all over the Internet.  Seriously - the shoes they find are incredible.  I love shoes.

I know my boyfriend often wonders why I buy so many pairs of shoes.  I tell him it is because shoes are not depressing.  I know I wear a size ten.  I don't have to play a guessing game and try on three different sizes in order to get a proper fit.  I go into Payless Shoes and walk to the Size 10 section and I know what my options are.  If I go into a department store to look for clothing, however, or even an upscale designer store (like the trendy ones on State Street), I know there is a very good chance of them not carrying my size.  Size 12 is enormous and no one wears it apparently.  I wish more people catered to curves, but that is a note for another time.  So back to shoes. 

A pair of size 10 shoes may be uncomfortable, so I put them back and I don't buy them - but for the most part, they do fit and make my feet do a happy dance.  I don't have to go through the anguish of feeling like I am having a fat day, or bemoaning the fact that I do have breasts.  I can just buy shoes, and that is a complete confidence booster.

My boyfriend now sees it from my point of view - which is good, since these shoes go in his closet. 

Chicken Sautéed with Cheese & Milk

As I settle into my new “office” I can’t help but feel a sense of contentment that is altogether new. It’s not a real office, the type that comes in a 40-storey building made of glass and steel, with a million desks and phones with lots of buttons. It’s a home office, 2 desks and a computer tucked in the corner of our new den. I’ve been working from home for 5 years now and I’ve had 3 “offices” including this one. The first was a laptop on a dresser in my bedroom before I was married. When C and I moved in together, I had the whole second bedroom to myself. Now I share the space with our (ok, C’s) tv and shelves of our (ok, my) books.

Why does this feel different? Maybe it’s the little trill of permanence (or at least semi-permanence) that I feel in this, our first co-owned bit of concrete space. Maybe it’s the feeling I’ve had since we have moved in, even as the mammoth piles of boxes lay a mess at our feet, that this is really home. Maybe because, no matter how small and pigeonhole-ish, a space of one’s own is truly a magical thing.

It’s nothing fancy. As I mentioned, two simple desks, a computer, some shelves, a chocolate brown wall and matching sofa. Above me are my books (and cookbooks) that always manage to make me smile no matter how frenetic the day. Beside me is a window from where I can see the buildings across the street, the busy stream of people going about their business, and most importantly, some trees (a view of green in the city is always something to be relished).

The best thing about my little home office though is the unlimited access to homemade lunches like these (well, that and the dress code).

Chicken Sautéed with Cheese & Milk
(adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros)

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets
  • about 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large thin slices of fontina cheese (I used grated cheddar, but feel free to use whatever cheese you wish, I think gruyere or manchego might also be nice)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt

- Pound the chicken thigh fillets between two sheets of plastic wrap with a meat mallet until they are a bit thinner and of even thickness.
- Mix the flour with the paprika and dust the chicken in this mixture. Shake off excess flour.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and when hot add the four chicken fillets. Cook over medium heat until the undersides are golden brown. Turn and season the cooked sides with salt. When golden underneath, flip again and season the newly cooked sides.
- Put a slice of cheese over each fillet so it more or less covers it completely. Add the milk to the pan, cover, and cook until the cheese has melted and there is a bubbly, thickened sauce. Make sure the chicken is completely cooked but do not overcook.
- Remove from the heat but leave the lid on the pan until just before you serve it so the cheese carries on melting. Serve hot.

I’ve mentioned my love for Tessa Kiros before, and for Apples for Jam in particular. This is what Tessa describes as a homely dish. But not in a bad way. It’s gentle and reassuring…like a very familiar hug, or a well-loved blankie. She also says that this is the kind of dish she likes to call her kids down to after their bath…and I imagine I would too.

I substituted chicken thigh fillets for the chicken breast fillets in the original recipe and the addition of paprika is mine. This cooks up in no time flat, perfect for a busy day at the “office” :)

Dear Spring: I miss you!

When, oh when, will this awful winter end?!  It is barely creeping out of the 40s here in Chicago, and it gets to be quite the downer.  I want to put away my coats once and for all - they are taking up much needed closet space!

Sewing lately hasn't been extremely exciting, aside from some neat refashions and a summer tunic dress from One Yard Wonders.  I will have to post pictures once my boyfriend's computer stops hating me.  The P.D. needs a few more alterations, but I managed to make it wearable (with a LOT of cleavage showing).  Mostly the sewing going on is just basic mending and repairs.  It is as if winter decides to tear apart my hems and buttons in its attempt to go out with a bang. 

I've also been using this past month as a chance to organize my sewing space.  From my previous posts you can see I was sewing in my boyfriend's guest bathroom.  Sewing while standing = lower back pain.  Dragging a stool into the space really didn't help the situation, so I moved all of my sewing goodies into one corner of my boyfriend's office.  On top of my lovely vintage Singer machine and sewing cabinet sits my Kenmore machine.  My dress form stands at attention beside it, and behind it all is a closet where my fabric is organized (but my bias tape and trims have run amok).  I never really comprehended how many different types of lace trim I had until I managed to gather it all in one place.  Where did it all come from?

The great thing about my new sewing space is that now I can watch television through the one closed French door that my sewing table is against.  I just open the other door for sound to come in, and keep the windows clean on the closed one.  This may sound silly, but I get more done when I can multitask.  (And yes, I call watching TV and sewing multitasking - especially when its GLEE because I sing along at the top of my lungs.  Can we talk about how wonderful Emma Pillsbury's outfits are?!)

So this time away has been used for organizing and assembling, but also repairing and recovering from a less than wonderful winter.  Silly winter - go away.  The first day of summer is right around the corner!

June Workshop!

Join us for two sessions: Children's Picture Books:
When Text Meets Art
Monday, June 14 & Thursday June 17 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Writers' Center of Indiana!
Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Sharon Vargo

When text meets art, it creates a new world on the page—an expressive balance where each complements the other. Join poet/author Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and illustrator Sharon Vargo for a hands-on workshop in which participants will experience writing from an illustration, and sketching an illustration from a poem or prose quick-write. This is a great workshop for both writers and illustrators. No previous drawing experience is needed.



The new western from writer-director-producer Fred Olen Ray arrives at video stores on Tuesday, May 18th. See the review below.


Even as cameras are grinding away on the TRUE GRIT remake, Warner Brothers is planning a remake of THE COWBOYS (1972). The original is a classic, from the novel by William Dale Jennings, and a screenplay by him and the great husband and wife western team of Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch, who also scripted HOMBRE (1967),THE REVIERS (1969), and THE SPIKES GANG (1974). In addition to non-western work, director Mark Rydell made THE REVIVERS as well as ten GUNSMOKE episodes. The story, about a rancher who hires a bunch of schoolboys for his cattledrive, showcased several fine young actors, including A. Martinez and Robert Carradine, and a wonderfully hateful villain in Bruce Dern. The excellent 2nd unit action was directed by Buzz Henry.

The new version is being produced by Donald DeLine, whose BURLESQUE is out soon, and who last year produced the comedy I LOVE YOU, MAN. Director Jonathan Mostow made last year's SURROGATES, and back in 1997 wrote and directed the excellent BREAKDOWN. Screenwriter Les Bohem is no stranger to the western form, having written 2004's THE ALAMO, and back in 1989 scripted the TV movie BADLANDS JUSTICE, part of the Elmore Leonard-created DESPERADO franchise. It all sounds promising!


Singer Clint Black, whose squinty eyes have oft been compared to Roy Rogers' pair (see photo above) will be playing Roy in a movie tentatively titled HAPPY TRAILS. Clint's beautiful bride, actress Lisa Hartman-Black will portray Roy's beautiful bride Dale Evans. Clint can currently be seen as the wrangler in the new FOX direct-to-video release FLICKA 2. Attached as director is Walter Hill, whose many fine westerns include LONG RIDERS (1980), GERONIMO (1993), WILD BILL (1995), the pilot for DEADWOOD (2004) and BROKEN TRAIL (2006). The script will be based on a pair of books by Chriss Enss and Howard Kazanjian.


This gritty western-themed video game for Play Station 3 and XBOX 360 has an elaborate website with a lot of clips and info -- to check it out, CLICK HERE.


Opening with the James gang’s murderous robbery of a military payroll, you know that you’re in for something unusual, because within minutes one of the protagonists is gravely wounded. With the brothers in need of medical help, and their accomplices in need of escape, there’s no time for a split of the loot. Amidst grumbling, they plan to regroup four days hence in a ghost town – not knowing that instead of being deserted, it's but populated with a handful of refugees from a recent stage coach hold-up, stranded without transportation.

That’s the framework for AMERICAN BANDITS: FRANK AND JESSE JAMES, an obvious labor of love from prolific writer/director/producer Fred Olen Ray. Unlike most westerns, the point of view is decidedly Southern, depicting border-state residents as much-abused victims of an occupying Northern Army. During Reconstruction, their men were not allowed to vote, to serve on juries, and their preachers were not allowed to preach. This goes a long way towards explaining the aid the James boys, veterans of Quantrill’s Raiders, received from much of the local populace.

The film stars George Stults, veteran of six seasons of 7th HEAVEN as Jesse, and Tim Abell, of Soldiers of Fortune Inc. (1987-1999) and Miracle of Sage Creek (2005) as Frank, and both men are well cast, good in action and on horseback. For a change, the title lists Frank James before Jesse, which makes sense as Frank carries the majority of the film’s action. Abell’s portrayal of Frank’s wise calculation makes a nice contrast to Stults’ playing of Jesse’s impulsiveness.

Among the fine actors featured are Lauren Eckstrom as the beautiful and chillingly bitter preacher’s granddaughter who tends Jesse’s wounds, Peter Fonda in a low-key performance as the Marshal who wants the James boys brought in, and Jeffrey Combs as Ed Bass. Combs, an actor with a large following for his RE-ANIMATOR horror films, is truly frightening as the James accomplice who wants to take over the gang, his antics bringing to mind the ‘heavy’ work of Claude Akins and Lee Marvin.

Cinematographer Theo Angell gets takes full advantage of the beauty of rural locations as well as Melody Ranch and Peetzburgh. Editor Randy Canter keeps the film moving at a steady clip, without rushing through the dramatic scenes that need time to build tension. Director Ray, with over a hundred features to his credit, draws thoughtful performances from his actors – one senses this is a much more personal project than most, and the care in production belies the fact that this is a film made with more love than money. To see a trailer, CLICK HERE.


To read my review of Sweetgrass, check out last week's entry. Sweetgrass is currently showing at the Mayan Theatre in Denver, The Ritz at The Bourse in Philadelphia, and opens at the E Street Cinema in D.C. on Friday, May 21st.


To read my review of The Good, The Bad and The Weird, check out last week's entry. It's currently playing at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta, Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco, The Ken Cinema in San Diego, Varsity Theatre in Seattle, E Street Cinema in D.C., Lagoon Theatre in Minneapolis, and opens on Friday the 31st at the Mayan Theatre in Denver and The Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis.


For one week only, Friday May 21st through Tursday May 27th, the Film Forum will be screening a brand-spanking-new 35mm scope print! John Sturges directed this excellent, tough, noirish post-war western from a script by Millard Kaufman, and Millard's son Frederick Kaufman will introduce the Friday 8:20 p.m. show. It start Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin.

Note:AMC=American Movie Classics, EXT= Showtime Extreme, FMC=Fox Movie Channel, TCM=Turner Classic Movies. All times given are Pacific Standard Time.


Every weekday, TV LAND airs a three-hour block of BONANZA episodes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They run a GUNSMOKE Monday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and on Friday they show two, from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.. They're not currently running either series on weekends, but that could change at any time.


Check out your cable system for WHT, which stands for World Harvest Television. It's a religious network that runs a lot of good western programming. Your times may vary, depending on where you live, but weekdays in Los Angeles they run THE LONE RANGER at 1:30 p.m., and two episodes of THE RIFLEMAN from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.. On Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. it's THE RIFLEMAN again, followed at 2:30 by BAT MASTERSON. And unlike many stations in the re-run business, they run the shows in the original airing order. There's an afternoon movie on weekdays at noon, often a western, and they show western films on the weekend, but the schedule is sporadic.

Tuesday May 18th

TCM 5:00 p.m. DAVY CROCKETT, INDIAN SCOUT (1950) One of Davy Crocxkett's decendants leads a wagon train through perilous territory. Georege Montgomery, Ellen Drew, Philip Reed. D> Lew Landers

TCM 9:30 p.m. A MAN CALLED HORSE (1970) An English lord kidnapped by Indians becomes a part of the tribe. Starring Richard Harris, Judith Anderson, Manu Tupou. Directed by Elliot Silverstein, who, to show his western range, also directed CAT BALLOU.

TCM 11:30 p.m. WINDWALKER (1980) A dead chief returns to help his tribe fight off invaders. Stars Trevor Howard, Nick Ramus, James Remar, directed by Keith Merrill.

Wednesday May 19th

TCM 1:30 a.m. THE VANISHING AMERICAN (1925) Rarely seen silent version ofthe Zane Grey novel. An American Indian college star meets with racial intolerance when he returns to the reservation. Stars Richard Dix, Lois Wilson, Noah Beery Sr. Directedd by George B. seitz.

FMC 3:00 a.m. RIO CONCHOS (1964) Richard Boone, Anthony Francisoa, STuart Whitman and Edmund O'Brien fight over a shipment of guns. Directed by Gordon Douglas. Clair Huffaker adapted his own novel, with the help of Joe Landon.

FMC 7:00 a.m. THE PROUD ONES (1956) Marshal Robert Ryan must protect his town when a Texas herd arrives with murderous Jeffrey Hunter. Directed by Robert D. Webb, also starring Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan, Robert Middleton. Verne Athanas's novel was adapted by Edmund North and Joseph Petraca.

Thursday May 20th

FMC 7:30 a.m. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CONDOR (1953) The remake of 'Son of Fury' concerns a young man (Cornel Wilde) cheated out of his inheritance by his uncle (George Macready) who travels to the Mayan hills of Guatamala seeking a hidden treasure. Based on the Edison Marshall novel, written and directed by the excellent Delmer Daves.

TCM 1:00 p.m. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) The finest of John Ford's later films, and his last great film with John Wayne. James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck adapted Dorothy M. Johnson's story, told in flasback, about a Senator (James Stewart) whose career turns on the fact that he shot outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin).

TCM 3:15 p.m. THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955) Tough-as-nails Anthony Mann/James Stewart story about a wandering cowpoke caught between an elderly rancher's ruthless sons. With Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Alex Nicol -- great performance. Story by Thomas Flynn, screenply by Philip Yordan and Frank Burt.

TCM 5:00 p.m. DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950) An Indian Civil War hero returns home to fight for his people. Starring Robert Taylor, Louis Calhern, Paula Raymond, directed by the great Anthony Mann from Guy Trosper's screenplay.

TCM 6:30 p.m. LITTLE BIG MAN (1970) As a little big fan of director Arthur Penn and screenwriter Calder Willingham, I couldn't wait to see this adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel about an incredibly old Dustin Hoffman recalling his upbringing by Indians and fighting alongside Custer. But it's just ghastly, nearly unwatchable, and absolutely pointless, for 140 minutes! It strives to be funny on occasion, but fails utterly. Hoffman doesn't suck, but he can't save it. Faye Dunaway is fetching as she seduces Hoffman. Chief Dan George was nominated for as Oscar, in a performance that reminds you of Bela Lugosi's later work -- when he was at such a higher level of professionalism than those around him that you wondered how he could stand it. Great make-up by Dick Smith. Burn the negative.

TCM 9:15 p.m. THUNDERHEART (1992) An FBI man gets back in touch with his native roots investigating a murder on a reservation. Stars Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene, directed by Michael Apted.

TCM 11:30 p.m. JIM THORPE - ALL AMERICAN (1951) The famous Native American athlete figts prejusdice in his pursuit of sports stardom. Burt Lancaster, Phyllis Thaxter, Charles Bickford, directed by Michael Curtiz.

Friday May 21st

TCM 1:30 a.m. THE LAST HUNT (1956) Two frontiesrmen clash over the slaughter of a buffalo herd. Stars Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Lloyd Nolan. Directed by Richard Brooks.

AMC 1:30 p.m. SILVERADO (1985) Larry Kasdan directs from a script he wrote with his brother Mark. Lots of good stuff in it, but at 133 minutes, it's at least a half hour too long. Starring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner.

Saturday May 22nd

FMC 3:00 a.m. The Big Trail (1930) Raoul Walsh directed John Wayne in his first lead in this epic from Hal G. Evarts' story, and good as it was, it was a box-office disappointment, sending the Duke to do leads in Bs until Stagecoach (1939). Beautiful telling of the story of a wagon train, with Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Ty Power Sr., with uncredited early roles by Ward Bond and Iron Eyes Cody. Shot in 35 MM by Lucien Andriot, and 70MM by Arthur Edeson -- I don't know which version they show.

FMC 5:30 a.m. THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) A delight! Rouben Mamoulian directs John Taintor Foote's adaptation of the Johnston McCulley story. Ty Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell et al have great fun, and the audience has even more.

AMC 8:00 a.m. THE COMANCHEROS (1961) John Wayne arrests Stuart Whitman, but they must join forces to defeat evil gun-running comanchero Lee Marvin. Great fun, written by James Edward Grant from a novel by Paul Wellman. It was Michael Curtiz's last film. When he became too ill, John Wayne took over the directorial reins, but refused credit. Fine Elmer Bernstein score. Biggest weakness: Lee Marvin is supposed to be horribly scared from surviving being scalped, but he actually looks like he's wearing a horse-shoe crab on top of his head.

AMC 10:30 a.m. THE STALKING MOON (1968) An aging cavalry scout (Gregory Peck) tries to protect a woman (Eva Marie Saint) and her half-Indian child. Directed by Robert Mulligan from Theodore V. Olsen's novel.

FMC 7:30 p.m. BROKEN ARROW (1950) James Stewart is an ex-soldier, and Jeff Chandler is Apache Chief Cochise, trying together for peace. D:Delmer Daves, W:Albert Maltz(another writer's name may be one the credits -- Maltz was blacklisted and had someone 'front' for him).

AMC 10:00 p.m. PALE RIDER (1985) Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a mysterious stranger (can you believe it?) protecting a town from bad guys. Moody and effective, script by Michael Butler and Dennis Shyrack, and featuring Carrie Snodgrass and Michael Moriarty.

Sunday May 23rd

AMC 8:00 a.m. PALE RIDER (1985) Clint Eastwood directs and stars as a mysterious stranger (can you believe it?) protecting a town from bad guys. Moody and effective, script by Michael Butler and Dennis Shyrack, and featuring Carrie Snodgrass and Michael Moriarty.

FMC 1:00 p.m. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER (1982) An Australian 'western' based on a poem by A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson, scripted by Cul Cullen, directed by George Miller. Stars Jack Thompson, Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas, and the lovely gal from the under-appreciated series, PARADISE, Sigrid Thornton.

AMC 6:00 p.m. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) Directed by George Roy Hill from William Goldman's original screenplay. This film and WILD BUNCH, about the same people, came out the same year. Very different treatment, and both excellent - this one won four Oscars. Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katherine Ross.



All contents copyright May 2010 by Henry C. Parke -- All Rights Reserved