Saturday, December 12, 2009

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!


My top 7 favorite Christmas movies and T.V. show episodes, in no particulate order!


The Lone Ranger: "Christmas Story" December 20, 1956 Episode # 197 The Lone Ranger & Tonto help Robby Talbot (James Baird) cut down a Christmas tree and then begin a search for Robby's gold hunting father, Ben Talbot (Bill Henry), capture a gang of bank robbers and then convince Ben to return to his wife, Mary (Aline Towne), and Robby in time for Christmas. A great Christmas episode which also stars Robert Burton as Josh Hannah and Mary Newton as Martha Hannah. (Hi-Yo Santa! Supporting acting is so bad it's good! It's just a fun watch)


The New Gidget: "A Christmas Curl" December 17, 1987 The Kahuna (Don Stroud) comes to visit and provide his acting skills for Gidget’s Classic Christmas Carol performance. Well, Gidget, who's the director, gets everyone stressed out and experiences her own ‘classic’ Christmas Carol with all 3 Christmas spirits to set her right. (I always felt this was a great series with some fun stories. I soooo miss the 80's! COWABUNGA dude!)


A Charlie Brown Christmas: December 9, 1965 "MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!" (who can resist a round headed kid!)


A Very Brady Christmas: December 18, 1988 Almost 20 years after the start of the original "Brady Bunch", the kids are grown up and have kids of their own. Everyone is having a wonderful time back at the family house for Christmas, until Mike learns of a structural problem in one of the buildings he designed. As he is inspecting the problem, the building collapses, trapping him inside. As the whole family waits by the pile of rubble, they fear the worst. Will Dad be all right? (stupid movie, I still cry at the end!)


Ebenezer: November 25, 1998 A Wild West retelling of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol," with Scrooge (Jack Palance) as a land baron, gunfighter, and card cheat who is visited by three spirits who attempt to teach him the true meaning of Christmas (cool, with Jack Palance? Believe it or not!)


A Christmas Story: November 18, 1983 It's Christmas time and there's only one thing on Ralphie Parker's Christmas list this year: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot, Range Model Air Rifle, but many obstacles stand in the way of his dream because every adult that he confronts keeps telling him he'll shoot his eye out. Meanwhile The Old Man just got a major award and Mom is making sure The Old Man doesn't come near her turkey, Ralphie's friend gets his tongue stuck to a flag pole, and Ralphie utters a four letter word in front of his father. Christmas is drawing nearer and Ralphie visits Santa at the department store in hopes of asking him for his dream gift. Will he receive it? Let's hope so. (You'll shoot your eye out, kid!)


It's a Wonderful Life: January 7, 1947 On the Christmas Eve of Bedford Falls, the guardian angel Clarence is assigned to convince the desperate George Bailey to not commit suicide. George is a good man, that sacrificed his dreams and his youth on behalf of the citizens of his small town. He inherited the loan business of his father and he gave up traveling the world and joining University as scheduled. Later he resisted the proposals of the evil banker Mr. Potter, and never sold his business to protect the poor community of Bedford Falls and offer a means to afford to buy their own house. He married his beloved Mary Hatch Bailey and had four children with her and a tough life with his family. When his uncle Billy loses US$ 8,000.00, found and stolen by Mr. Potter, George decides to commit suicide, since he believes he worth more dead than alive. When Clarence sees that he is not able to persuade George to give up his intention, he decides to show the life in town if George had never existed. George concludes that life is wonderful. (fun note, watch for Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer as Freddy. Such a sad life)



And there are more! Of course I love to watch just about all the "Christmas Carol" movies and all the "Santa Clause" movies altho I think they get worse as they go.


So, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back On

Things have been strange for me this past month. I Haven't had much desire to post but maybe it's time to update this thing.

Our music video is out and on youtube! My son Tyler and me play ...father and son!
Here's the link http://lnk.ms/4gK1MMood:
The song is Obfuscation by Between the Buried and Me.
Kinda hoping my bestest pal Mike will do a review on the song.....cuz this old dude don't understand any of it!!!LOL!

Took my pal Dusty for a audition for a Sprint commercial a couple of weeks ago and had an interesting day.
High light...I met his agent, and after talking with her a bit she asked to represent me! Cool! Now I have a real Hollywood agent!
Low light...on the way home we hit the 5 O'clock traffic and we were going no where when Dusty said "Don't we qualify for the car pool lane?" "Yes we do" was my answer and at first opening I shot right over......crossing a double yellow line.......with a CHP six cars in front of me......who just happened to be looking in his rear view mirror. $350.00 fine for that! So if your interested in contributing to the "Keep Slone Outta Jail" fund, I accept paypal! (Only half kidding on that!!)

Anyway, I'll have a few more videos this month to post. Another with Tyler that we shot in the Bay Area in Oct. and the Zombie one should be here any day and keep checking back for the Slone Players annual Christmas extravaganza exclusively on this blog!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obfuscation

Obfuscation is the concealment of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, intentionally ambiguous, and more difficult to interpret.


My son Tyler and I returned home late Sunday (ok it was like 2:30am Monday morning) from L.A. where we were filming a music video. The song is called "Obfuscation" by a band called "Between the Buried and Me" It's a acid-metal-band and being an old guy, I can't understand any of the words.

Tyler and I play father and son in a 1950's sci-fi short movie thing that goes with the song. Kinda like "Thriller" was for some guy whose name escapes me at the moment. We had a blast and worked between 10 and 14 hour days shooting this thing but Tyler was great! (OK I thought I was good too but nobody notices the dad in these things!)

So here are some pics along with a couple from "Karmic Currency" the short movie we did in the Bay Area the week before.

Tyler and a Alien



So that's how he moved so smooth! about 12' tall!


The evil magician


Dad with his 55 Bel Aire! Awesome ride! Got to drive it for about an hour! Notice the slick hair and lack for hair under my lip???


My son, the star!!


Dad almost showing off his goodies!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arts Council of Kern presents: Zombie High



October 22, 2009
7:00 PM
Think “Thriller” meets “Breakfast Club.” This new short feature film from participants of the Kern Film Workshop is filled with great camp moments, lots of laughs and LOTS of zombies! Filmed around Bakersfield, you’ll recognize many local landmarks and local actors. The Kern Film Workshop is a collaborative effort between the Arts Council of Kern, the Kern Regional Center, and Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films. The workshop provides vocational training and enterprise development to film makers with developmental disabilities. The world premiere of Zombie High promises to be an entertaining evening. Support a great community effort and independent movie making at its best! Come meet the team who made it all happen: the filmmakers, the workshop leaders, and the actors (see if you can recognize them non-zombied). Doors open at 6:00PM.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Seven Year Plan



In the Spring of 1981, I got a call from my pal Yez. It was a warm afternoon when he told me I needed to come over and check out this cute girl that was there. I asked who she was and he told me she was a friend of his sister. I said "your sister is only 13 years old!" He told me just come over and check her out! So I did. I remember the first time I saw her. I couldn't take my eyes off her! She was beautiful! I remember talking to her trying to act cool. That first encounter lasted only about an hour, but it was a day that changed my life.

Over the next 28 years, we had a boat load of ups and downs. We spent most of the first 20 years playing games with each other, neither of us knowing how the other "really" felt. Over those years she married another, as did I. Over those years she had children, I had children. She was never far from my thoughts, this girl with the beautiful smile. I had never felt with anyone one else, what I had felt with her from the first time I saw her. She was special. We connected, this 19 year old guy and this fresh faced 13 year old girl. I remember our first kiss. I cupped her face, looked into her eyes, and felt her lips against mine.

I remember not looking at her, scared she would make me cry. Wondering if she would even be there, or would she hurt me like I had been hurt so many times before. I remember taking her hand, telling her how I felt. I remember gazing into the eyes of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I cupped her face, looked deep into her eyes, and felt her lips against mine. I felt such relief as I heard "I now pronounce you, husband and wife"

Seven years ago, my life took it's best turn when Yvette Dawn Cessna became my wife. Our life has not been smooth, but with her I can get past anything.

Happy anniversary Yvette, thank you for making my life such a great adventure!

I LOVE YOU!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

VICTORY


Saturday, our group the Goldrush Gunslingers, entered our first parade. We walked away winning both our division and the best of parade, the sweepstakes trophy! Not bad for our first attempt!
We had everyone there except Shane and Dusty, who unfortunately had to work. That's ok tho, they can enjoy the next parade in a few weeks and hopefully enjoy another victory!

Friday, September 4, 2009

RETURN OF THE HORSE NAMED SUZIE

I'd like to start this post by saying thank you for the support my son, wife and I have received from many of you during a very difficult time. I thought of posting about it and maybe someday I will, but for now it's a subject I'd like to put behind us. Just a big thank you and on with life.


Tomorrow, I will be reunited with the equine love of my life, Suzie-Slow-Poke! It was a year ago that I donated her to Wonder Valley so she could be used for kids with special needs, girl scouts, etc. She has done very well giving out her special love to so many people, but now we get to be together if only for 5 days.


In July, I auditioned for a western movie being shot in Gold Country. I landed a part and my character, Bert Wheeler, has a scene where he leaps on a trusty steed and bolts off to fetch the doc. When I read that I thought, "I so wish I could use Suzie for this". So I thought whats the worst they could say? After all I was told I could come ride her if I wanted! So I called, and after two weeks I got a call back. It was Sat. afternoon when Cheyanne brought me the phone. It was Taffy at Wonder Valley. I asked, she said it wouldn't be a problem! WHOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!! I cleared it with the director, who thought it would be good because Suzie and I are familiar with each other, and tomorrow I pick up Suzie! It's gonna be so great! We'll be camping and I should have a couple of days where her and I get to just ride around and explore the area because 1/2 of my stuff is a night shot.


I really think it will also work as a closure for me with her. When I donated her last year, it seemed to happen so fast. Made a call, seems like the next day Taffy was there and Suzie and Dolly were gone. I had a rough time watching her leave, but now I feel I'll be able to let her go when I take her back on Thurs.






But until then...it'll be...A fiery horse with the speed of sound, a cloud of dirt, and a hearty

HI-YO STEARLING... OUTA HERE!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A few months back, the Gunslingers were asked if we would appear at a birthday party for a little boy. I thought "sure" and checked with other members of our group. Nobody had any objections so off we went.We did receive some razing from other people..."doing birthday party's for kids??" but we had a good time and besides there was FREE CAKE!! Can't pass up that! Last week I received this message on my blog.



"I'm the mom of that young birthday boy! We loved you guys, and so did everyone else. Months later people are still talking about it. It was actually Brent's 4th birthday and all he can talk about is "inviting the Gunslingers to his 5th birthday party!" You made quite positive impression on a whole lot of little ones. Thanks again!"


That party was six months ago and we seemed to have made a lasting impression. I remember the look in Brent's eyes when we arrived, the smiles and laughs on the faces of his friends and family.

That's why the Goldrush Gunslingers do what we do.

We do it so that boy or girl or man or woman, will have a memory that will last years.

We do it to see the joy in the face of that "tough" kid in the baggy pants and the baseball cap on sideways as he lets his guard down for that split second and smiles as the cowboy trades hats with him, or the floozy flirts with him just a little.

We do it for that elderly person who remembers the names Roy, Gene, and Hoppy and knows who they were and what they stood for.

We do it for that person, young or old, who goes away from one of our shows and wants to know more about what they saw and heard regarding the Mussel Slough Tragedy or The Black Kid Hold-Up and decides to research it.








And we do it for kids like Brent, who just plain love cowboys. Cuz ya know what Brent? So do we!

Monday, July 20, 2009

FLASH-Zombie Update!

Received an e-mail, Zombie High will be having it's premier around Halloween. Mike, I'll be burning you a copy and sending it as soon as I get mine! Consider it a late birthday/early Christmas present! Or if my acting sucks, consider it a early April Fools gift!
In other acting news, I received an invitation to audition for a full-length western to be filmed just above my beloved Columbia Ca. Audition is this Saturday.
Wish me luck!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting up on a soapbox

This post is a far cry from my usual type of posts, so if it offends you..... I dunno.

While watching the Oakland A's game tonight (BTW they won for a change!) a commercial came on between innings. Nothing unusual about that, but this commercial made me think. Here is the commercial from youtube. I think you may need to copy and past.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWS0GVOQPs0

Now I have many problems with this ad. I understand "gay" means a homosexual person in today's "slang", but Websters dictionary defines "gay" as:
"1 a: happily excited : merry b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits
2 a: bright, lively b: brilliant in color
3: given to social pleasures ; also : licentious
4 a: homosexual b: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals
"

By no means do I approve of bashing someone because of their beliefs or preferences and I defend your right to your opinion...but I am allowed mine too!
In this ad, and others by the same group producing them, the person "scolding" the kids saying "gay" is butting into a conversation that had nothing to do with them. How does that person know just what text the word "gay" is being used? Is it any of their business to start with? And why is it that they can't say "it's gay" but it's ok for the outside person to insult the ones who said gay? Isn't that the same thing that the outside person is trying to stop in the first place, offending someone? I know, their using it as an example but that makes it right?

I have a son that says "Oh Snap!" a lot! I do not hear any complaints from the buttons of the world! In the 80's, Michael Jackson had a huge hit called "Bad". If your "bad" your cool, awesome, good, not naughty! When Jeff Foxworthy makes fun of "rednecks" the world laughs! You may say he's a comedian or it's just jokes or teasing. It's still singling out a group of people and ridiculing them. And what about the Flintstones? They never complained about having "a gay ol time" in Bedrock...because of the way they use the word gay! See my point???

The biggest problem I have with this commercial is at the end when, in a very stern voice on the verge of yelling, I'm told to "Knock It Off!" Well excuse me, but WTF!!! Just where do these people get off telling me what I can and can not say in a private conversation? In this particular ad, the "celeb" is Wanda Sykes who I think is pretty funny in her stand up routines, but has been know...to bash a certain color of skin people. Maybe she should take her own advise?

I know this is not the kind of post I ever make, and I'm not sure I did a very go job expressing my opinions on it but I guess it all comes down to this.
I DO NOT care if you like men, women, or both! I DO NOT care if your skin is considered white, black, brown, yellow, red or any other colour I forgot. I DO NOT care what you say in your own private conversations because you are ENTITLED to your opinion. I DO care if you decide to express that opinion in a threatening verbal or physical way against an innocent person and I WILL, and HAVE stepped in to to defend that person. I DO NOT believe that saying an inanimate object, which what is being done in these ads, is "gay" should be insulting to a group of people. As stated, gay has many different meanings.

PLEASE, feel free to leave your comment about this post and I'll step down from my soapbox and close with a quote from Sir Elton John.

"I think people should be free to engage in any sexual practices they choose; they should draw the line at goats though."

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Pal Has a Birthday!

My bestest life-long buddy has a birthday this month! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my pal Mike!!
When we were kids, we had wagon races. We all had the little red wagons (the ones that NO kids have now!), not the ones with the wood sides or the big wheels!

Ours were all metal! We...at least I was...into the races at Clovis Speedway because a guy by the name of Bob Cetti lived behind me and had a race car. So the gang in the neighborhood all became racers too. We had drivers and pushers (the unlucky kids that got to push the wagons with the drivers in them) and one kid who rode a scooter. It all progressed into converting big wheels into race vehicles, then bikes, then eventually into real cars...but this story is about the wagons and a hot July day.


(Mike, if I forget or leave out something PLEASE feel free to add it! Ye Ol Gopper's memory aint what it used to be!)


It was the early 70's, a time of endless hot summer days for the gang in our hood! We lived on plumbs from the tree in my backyard, bing cherries from the tree next door, and kool-aid from everybodys house! The world revolved around us as we would wake up in the morning and not return home until it was dark, unless we got hungry. Our mothers didn't worry because we lived in a safe world back then. If a parent wanted their kid, all they had to do was go outside and yell his name. It would start a chain reaction of someone else yelling that name until that kid was told by another kid (because the first kid never heard his own parent calling) that mom or dad was calling. We would swim in our pool, play frisbee, or "the game your dad taught you". But for a few early summers, we would race. Race our wagons. We had all painted our wagons with our favorite drivers numbers on them. Mine was 74, Mikes was 37, I don't remember what Yez had but I do remember the fun we had.


So this summer day, Yez, John Webber and his sister Lisa, Randy Hanna and a couple of other kids decided we would give Mike a surprise birthday. Lisa made a cake and we set up for the great race celebrating Mikes birthday, on Yez's driveway. Now Yez had a bigger than average driveway because of the garage being converted into a bed room. Where the garage door should have been was a brick wall about three feet high then a window. So his driveway/race track was more like a road course instead of the round track. So as time came to start the race, Mike had no clue that it was "fixed". Up to this point, he had never won a race I believe. Lisa was the flag girl (multi-talented! I wonder what ever happened to her?) and she dropped the checker flag(because that was the only flag we had, it served as the start flag, caution flag, red flag, white flag...you get the idea!) and the great race was on!


I lead the race for a while, driving my usual safe way while cutting off Mike every chance I got! When we got to the point of the "fix" Mike zoomed past me into the lead! Now it was a battle for 2nd between Yez and I. Well...remember that brick wall? Yez got to know it reeeeeeeeaaaaaaal good!! And more than once! (Amazing he and I are STILL friends, after all the crappy things I did to him growing up!) Mike stretched his lead and as he came around turn four(ish), Lisa dropped the white flag! I could see the beads of sweat on his forehead! I floored it (which is very hard to do with no gas peddle!)! Mike entered turn one with Ol Gop-Man closing in! DOWN the back straight we came! Closer...CLOSER!! Mike could hear my engine straining...squeezing out every ounce of horse power it had! (ok, Randy was pushing me and he was pooping out) We entered the last turn, Mike tried to block, but I countered and shot to the outside, we were neck and neck heading to the finish! Mike could see Lisa, poised with the finish flag in the air, sunlight framing it like golden statue! His wagon bumped and rubbed mine as we shot towards the finish of this historic race! Wheels turning faster than they had ever turned before as the wind whipped thru our closely cropped hair (our dad's told us it us cooler this way), eyes wider than they had ever been, knuckles were white from gripping the steering so very tight! The flag dropped as we passed the finish line and as we stopped Mike quickly turned to look back at Lisa and heard the immortal and historic words from her virgin lips........"MIKE IS THE WINNER!!"

It all went into slow motion and Mike leaped into the air with joy! He had won! He had fought long and hard and come away with a victory! Nothing else mattered at this moment, for him or for us. For this second in time, the world was a perfect place.


Now, being as good as we were, we were worried that Mike, in all his joy, would suffer some sort of heat stroke or heart attack, so we told him he needed to cool down. The best way WE knew to do that wasn't pouring water on him, or taking him inside to the nice air-conditioned house! No Sir! He needed to put on a blindfold, to cool his eyes then the rest of him would be just fine! 10 year olds logic! He believed it! So the blindfold went on, and Lisa ran home to get the cake and candles and matches! Now we had a new problem! NONE of us were allowed to play with matches so NONE of us knew how to light one! We figured it out and burned a few fingers along the way. When Mike asked why we were saying "ow!" we told him we were burning our feet or something. At last the candles were lit, and we told Mike he had cooled down enough to remove the blindfold. It probable looked like a scene from a Charlie Brown show, with a lopsided cake made by a 10 year old in her EZ bake oven and a bunch of kids yelling "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" then singing, but for us, at least me, it will go down as one of the best memories I have.


So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to mister Mike Young! My childhood friend, my adult friend, my blood brother, my pal! I am so happy we have been and will always be, best friends!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA


"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


I often wonder if the people now running the country ever really read these words? Could it be, these words have different meaning to different people?

Never the less, with all it's faults, I live in the greatest country the world has ever known and I thank God for that!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Friday, July 3, 2009

June was a bad month if your a CELEBRITY!

WOW! Did anyone else notice how many celebs died in June 2009?

Of course we lost Farrah, Michael, and Ed, and remember David Carradine (that seems like months ago) started it all on June 3rd.
Here is a list of ones I know about, some you'll know the names others the face and if you don't know either...well I can't work miracles ya know!


Gale Storm: 04/05/1922 -06/27/2009

I remember her because I enjoy old time radio

on XM. She was on My Little Margie on both

TV and radio and later the Gale Storm Show


on TV. She was 87






Fred Travalena: 10/06/1942 - 6/28/2009

I remember seeing Fred on the Donny and Marie

Show in the mid 70"s (yes I was in love with

Marie, I admit it!) Fred was an impressionist

and comedian, and VERY funny!

Known as the "Man of a Thousand Faces" He was 66.



Billy Mays: 07/20/1958 - 06/28/2009
Billy sold TONS of stuff from OxiClean to

Mighty Putty! (yes I bought the mighty putty)

He had a way of doing it that if you were channel

surfing and came across him, you would stick

(no pun intended) with him at least half of the

infomercial! BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL!


He was only 50.




Harve Presnell: 09/14/1933 - 06/30/2009

Ol Harve and I shared the same birthday
(as did we with Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger)
altho 28 years apart. Harve had a long career but I
remember him from his role in "Paint Your Wagon" and later
appeared in the movie "Fargo" and the series "Dawson's Creek" He was 75



And although he made it through the "Celebrity Death Month" by one day, who could forget the wonderful, Karl Malden?
Karl had a spectacular career and won many Hollywood Awards. Some of his films included "On the Waterfront", "A Streetcar Named Desire" and one of my favorites "Fear Strikes Out". He also starred in the 70's on TV in "The Streets of San Francisco". And everybody knows, he NEVER left home without his American Express Travelers Cheques! A classic phrase still heard today!
Karl was born March 22 1912 and died peacefully on July 1st 2009. Mr Malden was 97 years old.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Slingers

In April, my family and the Proberts attended a civil war re-enactment. Both families had other plans for the first day of the event, and both families had those plans change at the last moment. We attended and had a blast! Civil war events are fun to attend, but way more fun to participate in. Well, the San Joaquin Gunslingers had a parade scheduled for the first day of the civil war event and like I said, my family had plans with our girls softball so we told the group we would not be in the parade weeks before. Well, our softball game and picture day were rescheduled so off we went to the civil war event! The king of the gunslinger group didn't like that we went there instead of the parade and, after being charter members, told my family we were not welcome in the group anymore. What a guy! So I said "fine, maybe I'll just start my own group and give you a run for your money!" The response was "Bring it on.....best of luck to you" I think he figured we would only fail. To be honest, I really didn't have a big interest in continuing anyway. I was getting kind of tired of the lack of commitment from that group and was looking forward to having weekends off in December for the first time in like five years!



Well, I went ahead and made a website, http://goldrushgunslingers.com , and a myspace page http://www.myspace.com/goldrushgunslingers , with the new group consisting of my family, the Proberts (who got a pink slip too) and Wayne Brown. Sadly, the move depleted most of the old group as these people chose to go with my group. We named the group, the Goldrush Gunslingers.



None of us really gave much thought in what the slingers would do, if anything! We did do a birthday party for a 5 year old, and received a bit of teasing for it. But what the heck, we had fun, the people at the party had fun and the mom gave us a very large donation! Win-win-win situation!



Then one day, I received a e-mail on our web-site from the Fresno Philharmonic out of the blue! It said they were interested in talking to us about opening for them and the Sons of the San Joaquin in front of four thousand people! Ummm, sure! And we
were off to the races!



We did GREAT for the Fresno Phill, impressed the Sons and local radio man Ray Appleton and made connections! From that event has come more bookings, some I won't mention just yet until we cross all the "t's" and dot the "i's" but one is working with the Selma Pioneer Village and another is a large corporation asking us to preform for their event in September and soon you (if you live around here) may be seeing the Slingers on a T.V. near you!



I try not to think with the "how do you like this" attitude towards the old group, but he did issue the challenge by changing his group's name to "The One and Only...", posting what a great group he has now on his myspace page and lying about finishes in parades they entered. (Sorry, I have the proof.) As far as I'm concerned, he has his and we have ours and ours is getting more and more popular as a direct result of the hard work, and fun, we put into every show! It shows!



So here's to the Goldrush Gunslingers!



Miss Rose E. Beautoks



Miss Pepper Box



Miss Tess



Miss Izzy Single



Captian Call



Newt



Johny Reb



7XL kid



Blackjack Ried



J.C. Cuffnstuff



Dusty Stranger



and me,



Slone Stranger

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Please, do me a favor...

My mom is having surgery on her left carotid artery today. Altho I'm assured that she has the best doctor, and is going to have it done at the Fresno Heart Hospital, it's still surgery. So I'm asking all who read this to please take a moment and say a prayer for her. I love her so much.



Thanks, Jeff

************UPDATE********************UPDATE********************UPDATE***********

Mom is out of surgery and in her room. Doctor says she did fine and will get to go home tomorrow. THANK YOU to everyone who sent prayers our way!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Daddy Day


You may have thought I didn't see,
Or that I hadn't heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we'd grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It's written on my heart.

Without you, Dad, I wouldn't be
The man I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.

I've grown up with your values,
And I'm very glad I did;
So here's to you, dear daddy,
From your forever grateful kid.

By Joanna Fuchs
To all dads everywhere, Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 13, 2009

wow....just wow!




The Goldrush Gunslingers were the opening act for the Fresno Philharmonic and the Sons of the San Joaquin tonight...but just by the skin of our teeth! Activate the way back machine, and put it very slow mode!


Friday afternoon 5PM Fresno time. I arrive at home wondering where the Suburban was, we had to leave for the show! Archie had gone to pick up a friend, who was going to video the show for us. After waiting for a few , they showed up and we all headed for the car. Archie tells me that after picking up his friend, they got on the freeway and entered in front of a car that felt he was cut off! Well somehow Archie's friend had a airsoft gun and the other car saw it. yep.... you guested it. They called 911. Now, I'm not too happy now. As I said we all got in the car, Yvette, Archie, his friend, Josh, Cheyanne, and my nephew Wayne, and headed out. Guess who we ran into? Yeppers, Fresno Finest! The police car followed us, then there was another one. By the time we got on the freeway, there were three of them. By the time they pulled us over, there were eight of them AND big brother in the sky, the FPD helicopter!


Well, long story short(too late!!) We were all cuffed and Yvette, Josh and I were stuffed while the rest were made to sit on the sidewalk. Of course we are 1/2 mile from our destination so EVERYBODY going to the concert saw us! The po-po, picked up the people who called 911 and they identified Archie's friend as the bad guy and he was detained while we were finally released, but not before the local news showed up. Now you know ol Jeffy, always looking for the funny side. When asked if I wanted to give my side, I didn't hesitate! After finishing my interview we made it to the show in the nick of time! Thank Goodness the rest of the group had already got there and started without us.


All in all, it isn't something I would want to do again! Archie regrets that he didn't have his friend put the gun in the back like he was supposed to do. I'm not happy the coppers took all our guns we use in our shows, but at least they weren't real guns and we will get them back.


At least the Sons of the San Joaquin and the Fresno Phil really liked our show, but it sucked having sooooooooo many people whisper, "those were the ones the police had pulled over". But hey, it's been said. Any publicity is good publicity! I mean...look at Britney Spears!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

NO PRESSURE!

Been a really busy week. Received a e-mail from the Fresno Philharmonic on Monday, wanting to know if the Goldrush Gunslingers could step in and open their concert with the Sons of the San Joaquin tonight at the Rotary Amphitheatre at Woodward Park. It's the first in the "summer concerts in the park" series. There should be between 2 and 3 thousand (and maybe as much as four thousand) people there...no pressure! Our new group, the Goldrush Gunslingers, (http://www.goldrushgunslingers.com/)
is formed of key members (and all the talented members, IMHO! ) of the old group, the san joaquin gunslingers, that were fired by it's founder last month.
The Goldrush Gunslingers have been rehearsing all week and we're ready. At final rehearsal last night, we met the Sons. Very nice, down to earth guys!
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Day

I got into the truck and drove him to his friends house. He got out as I waited. A few minutes later, he returned to say Carl was still in the shower. He got back in the truck and we waited. We had small talk of nothing important. Then I told him I was proud of him. Carl came out and got in the car apologizing for running late and we were off to the stadium. I dropped them off, watched them walk into the school, and went home to get the rest of the family.


I stood as he walked by, in his red gown with the white 2009 sash. My eyes welled. This tall kid was the same kid that I used to pick up from head-start in the Med-Mart van. The same little blond kid that would run up to me and hug my legs when I would come in the door after work every day saying "Daddy's home!" I felt the limp as he turned and entered the row to find his seat. When I heard his name called I felt an amazing amount of pride, sadness, and time lost.


I found him in the sea of people, everyone of them smiling and laughing, congratulating each other on the end of this long journey. Our eyes met. My tears started to flow. He reached for me as I reached for him. We held each other for a brief moment. My mind raced back to my first memory of hearing his heart beat at the first ultra sound. The joy of seeing him born. All the games of catch we played. The time we played hooky to go to the beach and surf. I missed his mother in that moment and wondered if she could see him now. Then the embrace ended. There were more people to hug, and accept congratulations from. The rest of his family and friends deserved that time too. I stepped back and watched.


He greeted his friends as if they all had just won the Super Bowl. Many were ROTC members, both past and present. Some were joining the military in just a few short months and I couldn't help but wonder if they would ever all be together again. I watched as he enjoyed his brief fame. Then it hit me. This isn't the little boy anymore. As I watched him, I realized he will be able to handle anything that he comes up against. At that moment, I realized that Archie Glenn Smith...was a man!


I hear from many people that I did a great job of raising him. I did my best, but it wasn't all me. His mother, Debbie, was a very good mother to him. She was there taking him to head-start, staying for class to help out, taking him to church most Sundays. Then after she got sick, my mother stepped in. She was, and still is, always there for him. Attending cub scouts, school shows, never missing a Christmas morning and always having a soda or candy ready when he came over. Suzie and Jay were also wonderful support, babysitting, always there at birthday parties and filling in blanks that Debbie's illness may have left. And then there is Yvette. I truly believe that God sent her into my life to make sure my children have the best mother they could have had after Debbie's death. She does an awesome job walking the line of being "mom" while never making them feel as if Debbie never existed. She is the reason that my children are as they are. Without her, I would have imploded. She truly is their "mom".


Then there is Archie himself. Ultimately he is responsible for what he accomplished. He did a wonderful job at growing up. That may sound silly, but he stayed away from the distractions and put himself in the position he is in now. This summer he begins the next chapter in his life. He starts college then he plans to serve this country in the United States Army. Where ever he goes, what ever he does,he will always be my son. My first born, my oldest boy, and I will always love my son
.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

JROTC

My son, Archie has been in the JORTC since his first year in high school. Four years and I have never seen him do his drill. I have seen him practice with a small wood post, but not the real thing. Friday he had an award ceremony (where he won five awards by the way! NO! I'm not proud!!! not too much!) and they performed on stage. He is last one on your right.
video


Then Sat night, another son Tyler, went to a Fresno Coyotes arena football game. The Fresno quarterback over threw a receiver. The ball sailed into the stands. Tyler leaped into the air, tipped the ball up then made a finger tip catch!

In arena football you get to keep the ball!! So Tyler came home with a way kool, souuuuuuuvenir!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Wrap Party

Friday night. The start of a three day holiday weekend. The "official" start of summer. And my "first" some-what Hollywood party! Ok...maybe not the typical Hollywood wrap party, but you gotta ease into these things! I received a text telling me the cast and crew were invited to a "wrap" BBQ on Friday, so Yvette and I hit the freeway and headed to Bakersfield. We found the address, a hotel with pool and deck, where the BBQ was held. As we walked in I heard a voice shout "Hey Jeff!" It was Paul. Paul is an aspiring film maker whose job on this film was to do the behind the scenes stuff. He did interviews with all the actors in the film along with filming some of the cast and crew as we shot the movie. We then said hi to Spark, the main camera and lighting dude and Dale, the associate producer. Spark offered us drinks and Yvette had a Margarita and I had my "hard stuff" a can of Pepsi. Yvette was excited, altho she tried not to show it, about meeting Joey Travolta. Joey didn't disappoint as I said hello to him (got the hand shake hug thing Mike) and I said "this is my wife, Yvette" He said "It's nice to meet you, I'm Joey Travolta" He then said "salute" as he toasted with Yvette. Joey was the cook for the evening and we had burgers, hot dogs, and pasta. Like I said, I'm sure not the typical Hollywood party...unless maybe if Doris Day and Pat Boone gave one! But It was all good. Yvette couldn't get over how nice and "real" everyone was. We all talked and laughed. Grandma Ma Betty A.K.A. Julie Jordan Scott was there, but her and I were the only cast members to show. We took some pics and talked about how far along the film was. Julie and Katie (the only non-zombie in the photo in my last post) came back to film additional footage of the chase scene earlier in the week. Joey told us the trailer is almost done, altho I failed to ask where it could be seen when it is finished! We did find out that it should be done in three to six weeks and then will most likely have a premier at the Fox Theater (you can see the theater at this link http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fox+theater+bakersfield&s=int ) I will receive a copy of the DVD and was told that the behind the scenes stuff will probably be on it too...I'm hoping!



So after a fun dining experience with a Hollywood film crew, Yvette and I gave out our hugs and hand shakes and headed home, dreaming of the big premier and relishing our "brush with fame".

L to R: Spark, Me, Yvette, Joey, Dale

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Reason for the Season

He died, so I wouldn't have to.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Maybe...I Aint Got It So Bad After All!



While driving my ol Dodge truck yesterday, I watched my odometer roll past 176,000 miles. One hundred seventy-six thousand miles! I think that's like a trip to the moon or something! It got me thinking. I've had this truck for nine years last month. The gas gage doesn't work any more, have to set the trip meter so I know when to get gas. The paint is pealing. The cruise control doesn't work. Driver seat has a tear in it, and I'm lucky to get 12-13 mpg!!



Then I came across this:


STAGECOACH RULES

1. Abstinence from liquor is requested. If you must drink, share the bottle. To do otherwise makes you appear unneighborly and selfish.

2. If ladies are present gentlemen are urged to forego smoking cigars and pipes as the odor is repugnant to the Gentle Sex. Chewing tobacco is permitted, but spit with the wind, not against it.
3. Gentlemen must refrain from the use of rough language in the presence of Ladies and Children.

4. Buffalo robes are provided for your comfort during cold weather. Hogging robes will not be tolerated. The offender will be made to ride with the driver.

5. Don’t snore loudly while sleeping, or use your fellow passenger’s shoulder for a pillow. He, or she, may not understand.Friction may result.

6. Firearms may be kept on your person for use in emergencies. Do not shoot at wild animals as the sound riles the horses.

7. In the event of runaway horses, remain calm. Leaping from the coach in panic may leave you injured, at the mercy of the elements, or hostile Indians, or hungry coyotes.

8. Forbidden topics of discussion are stagecoach robberies and Indian uprisings.

9. Gents guilty of unchivalrous behavior toward Lady Passengers will be put off the stage. It’s a long walk back. A Word to the Wise is sufficient.


Traveling by stagecoach was not for wimps. Passengers were allowed 25 pounds of baggage and meals of boiled beans, biscuits and coffee, with luck every 8 hours on a trip. Demas Barnes described his 25 day 1866 journey from Missouri to California as “a ticket for 15 inches of seat with a fat man on one side and a poor widow on the other, a baby in your lap, a hat box hanging over your head and three or more persons across from you leaning on your knees.” Some free advice for travelers: When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do it without grumbling. He will not request it unless absolutely necessary. If a team goes on a runaway, sit still and take your chances. If you jump, nine times out of ten you will be hurt. In very cold weather, abstain entirely from liquor while on the road. A man will freeze twice as quick under its influence. Don’t growl at food stations, as they generally provide the best they can get. If you have anything to take in a bottle, pass it around. A man who drinks by himself in such a case is lost to all human feeling. Don’t linger too long at the pewter wash basin at the station. Don’t grease your hair before you start or dust will stick there in quantity to make a respectable potato patch. Tie a silk handkerchief around your neck to keep off dust and sunburn. And don’t imagine for a moment you are going on a pic-nic. Expect annoyance, discomfort and some hardship. If you are disappointed...thank heaven!

But, ya know...that ol Dodge has a smooooooooth ride! It's never stranded me on a lonely road! It's hauled everything from dogs to horses to trees and always come back for more And it makes a cool VAROOM sound when I start her up. Guess I ain't got it too bad! Think I'll keep her for at least another nine years...then...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Fast They Grow


It seems like yesterday that he was so small. He would cuddle in his mother's arms while falling asleep. She would hold him, gently kissing his head as he drifted off. No greater bond than that of mother and child.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost in Fresno

It's just after midnight on Sunday morning. My pal from the "old days" Mike should be in town visiting his father, as his dad has some serious health problems. Sleep is playing hard to get with me tonight and thinking about Mike started my mind on a trip back to my lost Fresno.

So many things in this town have changed in the 40 years I've lived here, so many things from the good ol days now exist only in my memories. For those of you who have never visited the raisin capital of the world (yes Fresno) these places won't mean anything to you, but for some of you I hope these places bring a smile to your face and a happy memory too.

My "lost" Fresno List.

10) Al Radka Commercials. Al was know as Mr. Fresno, he was on local TV from the time there was local TV in Fresno! He did a commercial for Oberti Olives
(O-nly B-etter E-aters R-eally T-ast I-t!) Mr. Radka aslo did a commercial for Kiddie Kinema (see #9) Old Al passed a few years back and now has a park named after him here.

9) Kiddie Kinema. My parents bought a movie house in the late 60's early 70's catering to kids under 12 years old. It did well until the larger movie houses noticed it was taking business away and set their sights on it.

8) The Giant Slide. On Blackstone ave just north of Shaw ave was a giant slide like you may see at a fair now. My parents took me there once. It was way cool! Have never forgot going.

7) Carrosel Skating Rink. Not the only skating rink in town, but I thought it was the best! When my sister Suzie would take me, I was on top of the world, altho I'm sure she felt different having to baby sit me there. The BEST red lickerish!

6) Starlight Drive-in. My dad was the manager of the drive-in for years! As family members, we had free passes so you Can imagine where all my dates were! Can it get any better than that???

5) Ferrells Ice Cream Parlor. Old fashion ice cream with old fashion flavor! I took only my "best" girls there and it always made from special memories! Actually had a girl order "The Pig Trough" and FINISH the whole thing! Yes, she did get sick but hey, it was worth it...for me anyway!

4) Harpain's Dairy Farm. The worlds best chocolate milk ever, hands down! AND a petting farm AND monkeys in a cage AND a spitting Lama AND the worlds biggest manure hill that my sister Jay told me "lets play king of the hill!" I had manure in my hair, pants, under my nails as I rolled down that hill. At least I won the game! Wait a minute, nobody else played!?!

3) Big Tree. Across the "Major" street (a 2 lane road) and in the middle of leaky acres was a canal but not the kind made of concrete, just dirt like a creek. There was a big ol tree there with a rope and tire. It was where the "cool" kids went to hang out. The coolest kid I knew back then was my sis Suzie. She took me there on day with her friends and that day I was in Heaven! I WAS IT!! There was only a little water flowing and I have no idea what she was doing, as I played in the water and swung on the tire like a 7 year old would do. It was one of the best days of my life and one of the best memories of Suzie I have. Crazy huh?

2) Pantry Market. The local 7-11 type store that was close enough to walk to. Bought many a Archie taffy and baseball card there! Had my first "date" there when I walked there with my 3rd grade girlfriend after school one day. Stayed too long and when we came out, both were met by scared parents who thought the worst! When when your in 3rd grade, there is nothing worse than your mom interrupting your date!

Before we get to number one, a few honorable mentions!

Payless Discount Store (my 1st grade date with my mom), Happy Steak(my dad loved it), Sierra Jr High (mud football), Loves Restaurant, Cedar Lanes, Colonial Miniature Golf, Perry's Smorgasboard, Penny Candy, Fresno Guide Newspaper, Pizza and Pipes, Gemco(altho Yvette doesn't like me bringing that up), Winchell's Donuts, Bobby Unser Mini Motor Speedway, Triple J's, Country Boy Market, Cruising Belmont in my 67 Camero, The POP Shoppe, my green Schwinn stingray bike(stolen! broke my heart!!) and of course, Lisa, John, Mike, Dave, Kristen, Robbert, Greg, Terri, and my all time love...pre Yvette of course...Darla. All people or places or things I cherish from my childhood and would love to visit again.

And my number one.

1) The Batting Range. This may seem strange as a #1 but I spent a lot of time there. It was the first one in town. I would go there when I felt down, or needed to think or had girl trouble or just wanted to hit some balls. I'd hit balls pretending I needed a sac fly to get a run in or practice going the other way to move a runner up or hit the 3 run homer! Went once with my dad just before it closed. He tried hitting in the fastest speed it had, 70 mph, and whiffed badly! I snickered and he decided to try it again. This time he missed the first ball then proceeded to rip the next 9...all batting lefty...and he was a righty. He was, and still is my hero!


Ahhh Fresno! How I love ya but for the life of me I don't know why I still do!!!