Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lewis Kingman Stakes Out Kingman

December 18, 2013
   We have a new 60 inch TV screen, inspired by watching movies at my daughter's house and realizing just how much better movies look when played big like that. So I ordered a DVD of "Edge of Eternity" and last night I watched it on the big screen. This is the movie filmed in Kingman in 1959 featuring Al Bell's Flying A, El Trovatore, The Jade and many other classic Kingman locations. It is a veritable time capsule of Kingman from that era. Here is Cornele Wilde pulling away from my dad's service station at sunrise:

Master Shot: Al Bell's Flying A for the movie "Edge of Eternity"

   I am standing to the left with a ton of crew members and trucks parked everywhere. It was cold that morning and quite a few of us were in the office most of the time. Two guys were talking about the hair raising scenes they had just filmed at the Grand Canyon with stunt doubles leaning out of the bat guano bucket and faking a fight scene. Gusts of wind rocked the gondola and according to the guys talking, the fact that the stunt doubles had cables tied to their wrists was the only thing that saved them. I, of course, didn't have a clue what this meant until I attended the premiere at the State Theater and saw the fight scene at the end, high over the Grand Canyon.

   Meanwhile, back at my dad's service station, who is this character actor, who plays the service station attendant?

Familiar character actor playing Flying A service station attendant. That's Harry Tyndall's Caddie parked outside the Tydeway Cafe in the background.

   In addition to my father's gas station being in the movie here's a sequence shot at Doctor Arnold's house near the Kingman Country Club and in the background you can see Radar Hill:

Gabbing about a mysterious killer with the Hualapais and Radar Hill in the background.

   Coincidentally I'm working on a new True West Moment on Lewis Kingman who got to name the town I grew up in because he surveyed the streets for the railroad (no town existed before the survey).

   So my dilemma is what kind of transit did Lewis use in 1880? Would he have a flagman or rodman or chainmen? He allegedly laid out the streets so that a wagon could turn around so the streets are very wide. Almost too wide.

   I dream of doing these True West Moments and books and documentaries but sometimes I doubt the dream. Gee, I wonder what ol' Walt has to say about this?

"If you can dream it, you can do it."
—Walt Disney