declared bluntly that we would have to build a "Western street" to maintain a sol
id word-of-mouth promotion
of our state.
all other filmmakers said t
he sameI made t
alks at Lions Clu
b, the Kiwanis Clu
b and to anyone else who w
- ould listen about the dire necessity of a
- "street." Other members of the commission did the same -- many in print.
Columbia Studios had now shot part of a comedy at the J.W. Eaves Ranch, Where Angels Go . . . Troubl
- e Follows. The art director was a friend of Dortort's. I asked Dortort if he could talk him into coming back to fully advise the most expedient way to get a "street" at the Eaves Ranch. They did
- the job. The art director showed us how to cheaply turn existing buildings into a Spanish village and laid out a plan for other studios to add to it.
The great pot of chile beans was now simmering, but it had to be brought to a boil before we ran out of firewood.
- it would fail like so many visions do.
Mr. and Mrs. Eaves were first-class entertainers at thei
r ranch. They h
eld dinners with fine food and drinks for anyone we suggested might be of help to bring the movie industry into our area. It was helping, but we had not even got the horse loaded in the starting gate. We were just circl
ing around the paddocks trying to find the track.
Then, Lou Gasparini, our commission chairman, called both Charles Le Maire and me, saying their calls
to Hollywood were not being returned. He was justifiably desperate, seeing all our efforts beginning to falter.
I got calls for help from the governor's office and from Fred Patton, who was up for directo
rship of the Santa Fe Film Office. It was pretty damn foolish, as far as my personal
business was concerned, when I volunteered to go--at my own expense--to California to talk some prominent producers and directors into meeting with our governo
r and the committee members at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
It was early February of 1968 when I arrived in Hollywood and started phoning, cajoling and asking
everyone I knew f provides worksheets that assist participants in accurately assessing local and regional threat levels. Participants develop a threat assessment of an adversary known to use suicide bombing as a tactic.
or their expertise. It was madness for me, an ex-cowboy, painter and Southwest writer, to attempt this, but I was so naive I did not know it was a near impossible undertaking.
I enlisted the aid of my agent, Dick Brand (he knew everyone in town), Burt Kennedy (also knew everyone), nove
list Clair Huffaker (of Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian fame) and screenwriter Mark Hanna.
They wholeheartedly contributed. After nearly three weeks of constant entertaining, bribery and tap dancing u
p and down Sunset and Wilshire boulevards, I called Gasparini and told him to set a date with Gov. Cargo, reserve rooms and book a large meeting room for a breakfast at the Beverly Hills
Hotel. My neck was stuc
k out so far it felt like a worn-out garden hose. I wasn't sure if either side would arrive and deliver. If the governor's commission did not show up and perform properly, I would have to sneak out o
f Hollywood like a coyote with provides policy guidance, as well as experience-based practical knowledge, on what to do in the aftermath of a suicide bombing.
a bounty on
his scalp, never to return. K the New Mexico Commission came to the breakfast and no one from Hollywood showed, I would be unable to
- return home to my wife and
- daughters until the millennium, if then. Arrivi
- ng at the Beverl
- Full-scale Simulated Suicide Bombing Exercise
y Hills Hotel from New Mexico were: Gov. David Cargo, his charming wife, Ida Jo, Lou Gasparini, Ralph Looney, Chuck Middlestadt, Steve Kopack, Charles Le Maire and P.R. people Charles Cullen and Bill Prevetti. It was now Nervous City, California.
The night-before dinner went well because we had friends there, like actors Chill Wills and Robert Montgomery and the singer from Santa Fe, Kelly Garrett. Morning came early to th
ose who mus
s oblivious to th
e pink hotel's famous breakfast. It could have been prepared from sawdust and termites for all I knew.
At ten till ten, our breakfast room was loaded with 35 major producers
- and the heads of two studios. Als
- o present were another 35 or so ass
- orted directo
- rs, production managers and screenwriters--all accomplished people who were
interested in getting things done. A perfect crowd for our purpose.