Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Neon Necklace

December 17, 2013
   Remember the Gene Autry movie, "Man From Music Mountain"? The story was inspired by the real Music Mountains in Mohave County, named because Beale's men thought the strata looked like music bars.

The mountains that inspired "Man From Music Mountain"

   And thanks to Gay, here is the synopsis of the Gene Autry movie:

The Man From Music Mountain
   When Boulder Dam opens, the Southwest awaits the electrical power that will soon be available. Although Gold River, Arizona, is not scheduled for electricity yet, The Western Development Company is trying to convince people that it is, and as an inducement, is offering everyone who buys land in Gold River fifty shares in the Betsy Lee Mine. The formerly deserted town becomes the new home to dozens of victims of the swindle, who need electricity to open businesses. When local rancher Gene Autry and his men ride into town, he realizes that John Scanlon and William Brady, backers of the development company, are swindlers, but he can't convince the new arrivals. Hairdresser Helen, to whom Gene is attracted, and her friend Patsy, who is smitten with Gene's friend, Frog Milhouse, need the income from their new shop so badly that Gene resolves to help them and the others by using his own money to pay the general store owner so that the townspeople can buy on credit. When he suggests that people get their money back from Scanlon, he only succeeds in making Scanlon want him permanently out of the way. Using gold dust that his father kept from a strike in Alaska, Gene decides to "salt" the Betsy Lee and tells Frog to go to a saloon and brag to Scanlon's men that he has found a rich vein of ore. The gang then goes to the mine to see if Frog's claim is real. Gene meanwhile convinces the townspeople to try and sell the mine stock back to Scanlon. As they are ready to do so, Buddy, a young orphan left in Gene's care who doesn't know about the ruse, then rides into town and tells everyone about the gold found in the mine. The town then turns against Gene, thinking he is mixed up with Scanlon, but, when Helen discovers that Gene has been paying everyone's grocery bills, she realizes that he has been trying to help them. As reports of a gold rush spread, the town is inundated with new people, so the power company decides to bring in electricity after all. During a dance to celebrate, Scanlon and Brady decide to take another look at the mine before agreeing to Gene's new offer of buying forty-nine percent of the mine for machinery needed to work it. After killing a guard, they discover the truth, but accidentally set off a burglar alarm rigged by Frog as the electricity starts. Gene then rushes out to the Betsy Lee, and, during a gun battle, part of the mine caves in, revealing a genuine vein of gold. As Brady rushes to Scanlon to tell him to take the town's offer, Gene and Frog sneak out a back entrance and arrive just in time to stop the sale and arrange for the sheriff to arrest Scanlon and his gang.

   So predictable, so lame, and yet so compelling. Why is that?

   Got up this morning and went for a brisk walk up Morningstar. My cardio doctor increased my walking regimen so now I walk farther, but the good news is I get more ideas (oxygen to the brain: what a concept!). Got back and whipped out this little study, based on a quote from Michael Wallis:

Daily Whipout: "Kingman at The Crossroads: Neon Necklace"

This is Kingman at night, from the air, with the lights of traffic on Route 66 and Highway 93 forming a neon necklace as seen from space. Spacey, eh?

"Route 66 is a necklace of neon lights. . ."
—Michael Wallis