Thursday, January 07, 2010

January 7, 2010
Charlie Meadows, aka Arizona Charlie, shows up from time to time in different books but not much has ever been done on him.

His father, John Meadows and a brother were killed when Apaches raided their ranch northeast of Payson in 1883. The subsequent fight up on the rim near Blue Ridge Reservoir became known as The Battle of Big Dry Wash and is the last major U.S. battle with Apaches.

As I mentioned yesterday, Arizona Charlie competed in "Cowboy Competitions" in Prescott, Payson and Phoenix, then joined Buffalo Bill for a European tour. He came home and started his own Wild West show which started out well, in Phoenix, but then went off the rails on the road in California. Charlie tried to stage a bull fight in Colorado, then went to Alaska where he eventually opened The Palace Grand Theater in Dawson. It was a huge success for a while, then petered out as the miners left. Meadows sold out for $17,000 and came back to Arizona. He either died in 1912 or 1932 in Yuma. If you want to know more, here is a nice piece written on Arizona Charlie by my friend Jim Cook.

Meanwhile, after Marshall Trimble told me yesterday about The Duke spinning his Winchester in Stagecoach and a shell is ejected and blows by he ear, I went home last night and tried to find it. It's not in the famous scene where we first meet the Ringo Kid and the camera pans in, goes out of focus, then comes to rest on Wayne's face as he realizes Curly, the sheriff, is on the approaching stage. I ran this scene over and over looking but couldn't see it. Finally, I let the scene play out and as the Ringo Kid walks to the stage with his saddle, he has words with the sheriff, then the cavalry, which has been following at a distance, rounds the corner, coming in sight, and Duke turns and spins his Winchester one more time (Marshall is correct, he already has a shell in the chamber, why is he re-cocking? Because it looks cool!). And, it is here, that the shell clearly shoots by John Wayne's right ear.

Now capturing this off the DVD was tricky. Robert Ray spent most of this morning trying to isolate the frame. This is as close as we could get it:

"A boor is someone who is successful in the endeaver you failed at."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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