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Date News Posted: October 30, 1999

Historic Route "66" next right >(said the sign) Although not a lot of the bright lights and glitter remains from those 50's years in the little towns along old 66 and the old Whiting Brothers gas stations painted yellow and placed in locations that one would be there when you were about ready to run out of gas are now termite food and the winds on the plains have shattered the old boards and scattered the remains out there some place in the hot desert sands, the memories are still there and will be until another generation or two comes along to take our place.

It's strange that even though most of the business along 66 folded up long ago and grass is a foot high in the old asphalt parking lots surrounding a sign that reads "Burgers and Fries $1.00", a lot of the reptile farms still dot that old highway now and then, and why ?, God only knows but my Brother and I pulled into one of them, it was closed but the care taker had just stepped out side to have a smoke and seeing us in the parking lot, said, "aw hell, come on in, I'll show you around for nothin'" he was in hog heaven telling us about alligators and snakes, the whole building was only about seven foot high and no vents that I could see, I don't know if you know this or not but alligators living in close un-ventilated quarters have B.O. big time, from time to time it would help if they were run through a car wash and one of the sweet smellin' strawberries hung around their neck.

Actually we were on our way back up to meet highway 40 just being down to take a look at one of the cave sights history tells us was one of the hide outs for Jesse James and his gang there in Stanton, Missouri, Now that was a pretty place, a slow moving river, quite, and great places for look outs to spot the law, we should have left it at that and passed right on by them alligators.

The Jesse James story in it's self is a good one, they say that Bob Ford didn't kill Jesse and that he (Jesse) lived to a ripe old age  and died at almost a hundred and four years old in Grandbury, Texas. August the 16th. 1951, well, which ever the case, the song "The Ballad of Jesse James" will still be sung the same old way for the next hundred years, it just makes a better story that way I reckon.

From 1925 through 1963 one of the most (if not the most) famous advertising campaigns of all times was used along the highways and especially "Route 66" east and west between California and Chicago. "BURMA SHAVE"  here's one for ye' from 1936. "His Tenor Voice-She Thought Divine-Till Whiskers-Scratched-Sweet Adeline- "Burma Shave"

McLean, Texas, just down the road apiece from Amarillo has a couple nice places to visit there on old "66" one being the "Devil's Rope Museum" in it the history of "Barbed Wire" which will probably tell you more about barbed wire than you ever wanted to know but also in this neat little museum is much history on and about old "Route 66" a little cafe sit up just about the way it was back then complete with a lot of old signs, menus and other good stuff.

The best part though of the route 66 trip was being able to spend a couple of hours with my old friend Terry Stafford's Mother and Dad in Amarillo, only a couple of Terry's album covers and awards are hung on their wall because that's all they have along with millions of great memories of their son, the hurt and pain is still in their voice and eyes over the loss of Terry back a few years ago.

Terry and I became friend back when Steve Stebbins was booking him at various clubs around California, and else where, then later became good enough friends to call each other just to shoot the bull and the second show we did at the old "Corriganville" movie ranch, Terry was an invited guest that just tore up the crowd with some of his great hits like "Hey' Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" "Suspicion" "Big In Vegas" and of course one that Terry Wrote called "Amarillo By Morning".

Terry, not much of a talker and hardly anything to say when he was behind the mike other than just sing his great songs was shy and couldn't wait to get off that stage when his part was finished, he had some problems deep in side that only he knew about but maybe like Hank Williams that's what made him such a great writer, all I know is I sure miss talking to him and our friendship that we knew will be with me when it's my time to cash in.

If anyone has any of Terry's old records or news paper clippings and would like to give them to Terry's parents, we would love to frame them and send them to Mr. and Mrs. Stafford for you, we are sure they would send you a nice thank you note, they loved their son very, very much.

"Amarillo by Morning, Up From SanAntone, The Only Thing That I Got, Is Just What I Have On"

Off Highway "66" on Hwy 60-84 straight up towards Clovis is Ft. Sumner, New Mexico and the home of the "Billy The Kid" Museum it to has many great memories of the old west. Billy The Kid was with out a doubt the most wanted juvenile of the times at 18 his wanted poster read....

REWARD $5,000  reward for the capture, dead or alive of one Wm.Bonney, better known as "BILLY THE KID" age 18, height 5 feet 3 inches, weight 125 lbs. Light hair, blue eyes and even features. He is the leader of the worst band of desperadoes the Territory has ever had to deal with. The above reward will be paid for his capture or positive proof of his death. (and it was signed) Pat Garrett, Sheriff

Of course Pat Garrett finally got him and like the Wanted posters put out before they shot him, after his death they put out another poster telling people of the funeral services for Billy, that one went like this

"NOTICE" of extreme and urgent importance FUNERAL OF BILLY THE KID Scourge of Lincoln County New Mexico otherwise know as William Bonney >> Tomorrow, July fifteen, eighteen hundred eighty-one.

  Thinking about how hard the wind blows through Texas and New Mexico out there on them flat lands and Billy The Kid being only a hundred twenty five pounds and five foot three, makes one wonder if Billy had a seat belt on that saddle to keep him from blowing away.

I never had the urge to kill anyone but I have had the urge to be Jesse James and rob trains, 'course I mean them old trains, I got no "hankerin'" to rob the Amtrak

THANKS to the "STAR-TELEGRAM"  out of Gene Autry, Oklahoma for re-printing our story on Eddie Dean, September the 29th. 1999, also for the nice articles they had on all three of our great Western Cowboys that passed away this year Roy, Gene and Eddie.

We didn't make it to Elvin Sweeten's party this year in Gene Autry, but friends that were there said it was the best ever. IF you plan a trip this next year and would like to know all about a great place to visit when passing through Oklahoma, you can write Elvin Sweeten at box 67, Gene Autry, Oklahoma 73436. He will send you information on museum hours, days it's open, when the big festival is happening, who special guest artist will be and just about anything else you would like to know about Gene Autry, Oklahoma. Rex Allen Jr. has been the special guest a time or two and he is a fine young man and a super singer.  and...if you send him a buck for postage, he might have some of this years programs left that he would send you one so you can see just who was there and what goes on, it is a color program and that alone is worth a little postage.

We are going to take a break and go check the post office to see if the brand new Charlie Louvin album is here yet.

No CD yet from Charlie Louvin but we did get the chart page from "The Country Gospel Music Guild" which puts out the top and best of the best Gospel, some weeks ago we told you about what we thought was a great cut from Joe Paul Nichols album, a young man out of Jacksboro, Texas, we played it a lot of times and still are and we still think it is a great song and well done, the title ?  "Jesus Is The Same In California" this week it went to number one.

Claude Gray's new CD's are running behind on the pressings but we did get the advance copies of the album on cassette, so we are going to wait on that also to do a little story but we will say this about it, One of the songs that really was instrumental in the early days of establishing Claude's career was one called "The Family Bible" which is included on this new album by Claude, so just as soon as they arrive we will give you the complete list of songs, it is a really good album, so hang on.

Remember we mentioned several times in the past that many time song writer award winning Cindy Walker has said she never got married because she didn't want to cook and the only thing as far as food went that she was real good at fixin' was an ice cream sundae, I guess that would scare you if you were her husband, when the boys you worked with said hey buddy, what are you havin' for dinner tonight?  "oh, I don't know, raspberry or chocolate I suppose".

So back in North Carolina since we are always spoofin' about road kill this or that, we found a company that cans road kill possum, here is the promotion write up on the side of the can: "NORTH CAROLINA GOURMET POSSUM"    Fat free, New and Improved, Better Taste-Less Grit****Contents-Pure Possum, Flattened by a log truck on Highway 24 just east of Fayetteville, North Carolina*****GUARANTEED SUN- CURED FOR ONE DAY.  serving tips Serve on saltine crackers. Goes best with sweet potatoes, R.C. Cola and a Moon Pie.

Cindy Walker's mouth is gonna water when she reads this, she won't have to do no-fixin' with this new can possum. Going back to N.C we came across at least five road kill deer, we didn't have time to get them all but what we did get are still out there in the trunk and they should cure real quick in this California weather, it's 91 today, they are starting to smell like they are about ready for cannin.

A little city called Camarillo up the California coast a little ways this side of Santa Barbara, and a little ways north of Los Angeles decided they wanted to re-do their little town, new streets, new store fronts and well, you know, just make it a place a little nicer for the residents and maybe to attract a few more tourist that might stop by to visit one of the antique shops or little cafe's along the one and only main street. And in so doing, they wanted to honor a couple of America's most beloved actors in that of Walter Brennan and Joel McCrea by erecting a statue of both of them in the center of that little town, one on either side of main street, which to me I thought was really great, who don't remember all the great shows and music that Walter Brennan gave us and thirty years later, still is, The "Real McCoys" run twice every day on TNN. And Joel McCrea who was loved by every one that ever met him not only for his work on the screen but for the many hours he gave of himself to help others.

But wouldn't you just know it, a reporter for a Valley paper thinks the idea is a sham and since Walter Brennan never lived in Camarillo his statue should not grace the streets of that fair city. Well put this in your pipe and smoke it, Martin Luther King Jr. never lived in any of the towns across America that chose to name a street or boulevard after him except one or maybe two, and some of those towns after talking with some of the people there said they could do with out it being there at all. Ronald Reagan never lived in Simi Valley, California either and yet one of the largest museums for any President is located there visited by hundreds every day from all over the world and is always open for little children to visit to learn more about America's history.

When Walter Brennan or Joel McCrea or John Wayne or Clark Gable and all the rest decided many years ago that they would become actors, they gave up the right to belong to just one town, one family or one country, their pictures at that point were not just in the wife's purse or on the night stand beside the bed, they were on walls, places of business, museums, bars honky tonks and who knows, maybe even a few churches. When they appeared in the public they were mobbed, they were kissed they were cheered because they belong and were loved by the people, the people who put the beans on the table for Walter Brennan, Joel, the Duke and all the other great actors that America has grown to love over the years.     

  I know some really mild mannered people (for the most part) who would knock your block off if you said John Wayne's statue didn't belong somewhere, anywhere. I would like to have a quarter for every house and or business where a John Wayne picture hangs and even though it may be true that not as many people on the street today know Walter Brennan's name as readily as the Dukes, the fact remains that out of all of the actors anywhere Walter Brennan is the only three time academy award winner for best supporting actor in the world.

And as far as the little town of Camarillo goes honoring Walter Brennan by placing a statue there of him, he goes there alright because he does belong to that town and their people just as much as he does his own family and it would also be an honor to hear from Japan or Korea or Sweden or you name it saying they were going to erect a monument of Walter Brennan, because you know what ? he belongs there to, who cares where he was born, he was an American, born and died but he belonged to the world as one of the greatest actors that ever lived.

   ANYWAY, just as soon as we have more information on when all the above is taking place we will let you know, because no matter where you are, you are invited and the little town of Camarillo will treat you like "Welcome Home"

In case you still remember Corky Mayberry and or Bob Jackson that for many years were with KLAC and KBBQ here in Southern California, they are now in Ft Worth Texas at a radio station there, Bob is program director according to Corky and Cork is on the air playing classic country music, we'll get you some call letters and an address by the next time.

KLAC's number one show "Down Home With Don Hinson" as the name might imply, hosted by Don Hinson who took over Stewart Hamblin's Cowboy Church Of The Air when Stewart passed away will soon be relocating in Branson, Mo. where we hope he will soon be on stage with one of the many great shows there.

If you have wondered what ever happened to Don Bowman, he is there (Branson) he does a radio show, I think on the week ends, maybe more in that fair city.

Well for Jesse James, Billy The Kid and Burma Shave, that's going to do it for tonight so take care of yourself and >

We'll see you next time, but just in case we don't, walk slow

 

Don Bradley

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