My column two weeks ago about Bobby Copeland’s B-Western Boot Hill book prompted a response from one of my friends in Warrenton, Wild Bill Brown, who not only has a copy of the treasured book, he also visits The Border Restaurant and gets his hair clipped by Larry at the nearby barbershop.
Wild Bill, who always wears a cowboy hat, is a devoted Western fan. He is a long-time member of a Western Movie Club which meets most every third Thursday night at the McKimmon Center at N.C.State University for a showing of two westerns.
Now this is not just a small fan group. They boast about 300 members, talkative Wild Bill says. One of these Thursdays he’s going to treat me to a visit as a guest.
When I wrote in that column about the cowboy pictures on the Border Restaurant wall, Wild Bill said he had given them to owner Jerry. He also has loads of Western books and pictures at home.
Some other things I learned from reading the 216-page book:
•John Wayne’s pictures made him one of the great box-office draws of all time and of his critics’ complaints of the lack of versatility in his performances, Wayne was fond of saying: ‘Nobody likes my acting but the public’”
•Ken Curtis, who played Festus in Gunsmoke, died at age 75 in 1991. He is still in reruns weekdays on TV and a favorite in that show with his western drawl, squinting eyes and tough verbal battles with Doc.
An interesting thing the book revealed — his father was sheriff in Bent County in Colorado where Ken worked on the family ranch, at the town jail and studied saxophone in high school.
He later joined the singing group, Sons of the Pioneers. He replaced Frank Sinatra in the Tommy Dorsey band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist.
I was shocked when I found a headline in the book reading, “Hollywood Cowboy Legend Bob Allen dies at age 92.”
“His death came only three months after Roy Rogers passed away at age 86, and just a week after singing cowboy legend Gene Autry died at age 91,” the book read.
“The three were icons of a past era, a time when determination went hand-in-hand with the certainty that the villains always finished last.”
I’m sorry, I should, but don’t, remember this Bob Allen cowboy.
Fall coloring best in October
Many folks like to make a fall trip to the North Carolina mountains to view and photograph the breath-taking displays of colorful fall foliage.
And it seems like there is never a definite time. I suggest you call Grandfather Mountain at 828-733-2013 or visit grandfather.com.
Those folks up there should have the information you need to help make your fall foliage trip the best time for peak coloring.
They can also help you locate a motel to make your trip more comfortable and convenient. Or I have a suggestion: If you’re looking for something convenient to Grandfather Mountain and nearby, The Pixie Inn at Linville is very reasonable, clean and within short walking distance to the popular Tartan Restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch only. The phone number for Pixie Inn is 828-733-2597. One word of advice: they do not take credit or debit cards — only cash or checks.
Also, there are places in Banner Elk and Fosco a little more distant, and also near restaurants and stores.
—Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, welcomes and encourages your comments or suggestions at 919-556-3059 or [email protected]