Monday, March 31, 2008

The Rawhide Stagecoach at the Lone Pine Film Museum

I wanted to follow up the last entry with a picture of the stagecoach that was allegedly used in the movie Rawhide.

Rawhide will be coming out on dvd in May. It is worth a purchase. If you want a sneak preview regarding what the movie is about then refer back to my last entry where I talk about one of the locations in the movie.

The stagecoach is currently at the Lone Pine Film Museum in Lone Pine, CA. Jim Rogers, whose name along with his wife’s is part of the museum name placed it there. Some of Mr. Rogers’s collection is held in the museum. There are other items loaned there as well as permanent items.

One thing to note is that the museum is no longer free. Please note that the current website, as of this writing, and the recent True West (April 2008, page 51) are outdated. There is a $5 admission unless you are a member ($35 a year).

During the last film festival the only paid administrator was let go and the museum is now run completely by volunteers. Keep in mind that the town of Lone Pine is mostly a tourist town. It is a town that is somewhere in between where you start your trip and where it ends. For many it is a town you stop off at to eat and gas on your way to Mammoth, CA. For others it is where you prepare to climb Mt. Whitney or go camping at higher elevations. As a side note, there used to be a major chess tournament held there in the 1970’s that many from the former U.S.S.R. would come to with bodyguards. In any case, the town and the museum have had to find ways to bring in money in order to survive.

I remember traveling HWY 395 through the town in the early 1990’s seeing a sign that said it was the future place for the museum. I really thought that was cool. Then I remember seeing that sign each summer as I drove through for over a decade. Then the museum was recently opened for the public in the past few years.

I have been in the museum a bunch of times. It is a fun to go to at least once if you are in the area. I would encourage this. They have a short film they show you too if you would like.

When I went in recently to look at the merchandise the man behind the counter asked if this was my first time there. I told him I go to the festivals and come to the museum a bunch of times during the year. When I was about to head in to the museum he told me of the $5 fee, said he felt bad for regulars that come by regarding this, and then told me that I should become a member. I gladly paid, but realized that I probably won’t be coming in anymore unless I come to the film festival where I would get in free anyways. I did not have the heart to tell the guy that I was going to buy one of the books they had there, and the museum would have made much more money off me had I had the money I had just given him. As much as I love the museum, I don’t really need to constantly go in to see if there is something new, nor was I really going in this time to view the whole exhibit. In fact, the picture above of the stagecoach is what I really came for and you don’t really need to enter the museum to see that. I have taken enough pictures of the place in the past anyways.

As I was quickly walking through the some of the exhibits I had seen lots of times before I was thinking about how much time and money I have put into this town over the years since I was a kid that some of these people that live there will never know. On this blog alone I have freely plugged the Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, and the museum more than anything. I have non-internet things I do that these locations come up a lot too. I will continue to show locations in this area because I truly love doing this as a fun hobby.

If it sounds like I am discontented here then I want to say nothing is further from the truth. Part of the reason I have not spent more time talking about samurai movies on this blog is because of some of the nonsense and dishonesty that I had to deal with in the past in that area with people just trying to make a quick buck; eventually in another entry I’ll explain some of my martial arts background and why I got into those movies. This isn’t the case here with Lone Pine, and in my experiences, not in the area of American western movies either. I just wanted to mention, in regards to the above paragraphs, that it takes a lot of money exchanging hands to enjoy some of these things that I have written about on this blog. There are lots of places I wish I could drop everything and go to right now. I wish I could explore other parts of the whole planet, but that is not realistic. It is up to others to show some of their local location treasures. Someday I will visit them.

Enough of this. I have another Alabama Hills location that I think is rather unique for next time. Until then...