Friday, March 06, 2015

Back to High School

March 6, 2015
   Left the True West World Headquarters at 11 on Wednesday and, after flying all day, got into Richmond, Virginia at about ten in the evening. Forty-five minutes later we were heading down the freeway in a white van, in the rain, towards Williamsburg. I was sitting up front in the Captain's chair, talking to Ray, the "celebrity" driver who has been doing this for the past 19 festivals. Behind us, sat two movie stars and a therapist. John Wayne held one of them in his arms, one made out with Steve McQueen and one of them slept with Nick Nolte. Full disclosure: I'm married to one of them.

   I know what you're thinking: that's so high school, Bob.

   True, I remember thinking at the time—1965—that high school was so petty, so juvenile, so cruel and so unfair and I couldn't wait to get out of there, only to discover that high school is actually a perfect little training ground for the real world and virtually everything I do today I learned in high school.

The Williamsburg Film Festival Host Larry Floyd with 30 True Wests he bought from a vendor at the show for $30.

  Our host Larry Floyd is having the welcoming breakfast at the Holiday Inn the next morning. All the celebrities and the festival volunteers are in the buffet room (Johnny Crawford of "Frifleman" fame is sitting next to Kathy) and our host is standing at the typical Holiday Inn podium with the usual thin microphone sticking out and he's trying to get everyone's attention, "Excuse me, could I have your attention," he says three times, but even though he's on the mike they keep talking, so I yell out, "Shut Up! Larry's talking!" There is a kind of shocked pause, and then they all laugh. This is a stunt I I learned in high school and I have used it many times (in fact I think I used it at the last Williamsburg festival I attended in 2012 and it killed then as well).

   I know, I know. So high school.

   It's always fun to meet the people, like this young lady who I originally met at the Booth Museum in Cartersvilled, Georgia back in 2009 (and where I probably pulled the Louder-than-a-microphone stunt as well).

BBB with Cindy and her new book "Time To Contention"

   Another guy I met is Charles Hughes who pulled out a couple Old West items. One was a jack knife from 1880 and the other is an 1881 Elgin watch. I placed them on one of my daily whip outs for a better look:

Daily Whip Out: Old West Jack Knife and an 1882 Elgin Watch courtesy of Charles Hughes from North Carolina.

   The big celebrity here is Johnny Crawford, who has lines all day long. And just like in high school, the popular kids are just out of reach. Lana Wood is at the autograph table with Johnny. She was in "The Searchers" with John Wayne (she played her sister Natalie as the small child) and then she played Plenty O'Toole in a Bond film ("Diamonds Are Forever") and Sharon Farrell was in the van as well and she starred in "The Reivers" with Steve McQueen. Did get to spend some time with Dick Warlock, who doubled Kurt Russell for 25 years. Dick also doubled for Richard Dreyfuss in "Jaws."

BBB and Dick Warlock

   Lots of great stories, some of them even true.

"Show business is high school with money."
—Martin Mull