Wednesday, August 1, 2012


"Frank Petry....
The one in the middle that did all the talking....
No alias - I guess he's proud of his name."
Zack Wells
"Shootout In A One Dog Town"

Throughout this year, Inner Toob has been running a post once a month about 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. Back in October of last year, the show celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and Inner Toob did a full day of posts celebrating many Toobworldly aspects of the classic sitcom.

In the months since, several of the DVD Show posts have been linked to Rob Petrie's Great-Uncle Hezekiah. In February, Hezekiah's black descendants were showcased, and theer was a look at his half-brother Alfred Rhinebeck.

August is the month which Inner Toob devotes to TV Westerns, and it shouldn't be any different for "The DVD Show @ 50".......

I could have done something about "The Gunslinger", that dream Western which was the penultimate episode. But that would have been too easy. Instead, I found another relative for Hezekiah Petrie while I was on vacation. And... he was a gunslinger as well in a TV Western!

Frank Petry was an outlaw who met his end in Opportunity, Arizona, while trying to steal $200,00.00. It will be the contention of Toobworld Central that he was the younger brother of Hezekiah Petrie's father.

In this picture taken on November 19, 1863, when Hezekiah was just a baby, the senior Petrie looks to be at least fifty years of age. When Frank Petry made his play for that strongbox full of cash, the Sheriff of Opportunity talked about the Battle of Little Big Horn as though it had been some time in the past. Since that happened in 1876, we should place the attack on the bank in Opportunity about a decade later, in 1885. Thus, Frank Petry would be the younger brother as he was 44 at the time.

(It could also be that he was Petrie Senior's first-born, bad to the bone.)

Richard Egan, who played Frank Petry, was actually nine years older at the time. But for the character, a hard fifteen years in a Montana prison for his first murder (when he was twelve!) probably aged him.......

Looking at what I've already written, a big Zonk presents itself - the discrepancy between the spelling of the last names - "Petrie" and "Petry". Also in the pronunciation: "Peh-trie" vs. "Pee-try".

The spelling Zonk is easy to splain away. Frank Petry killed his first man when he was only 12 years old. It's likely he didn't continue with his schooling after that, and he probably didn't pay much attention before that... if he went to school at all. Spelling his last name as "Petry" was probably better than could have been expected from him.

Also, we never got that good a look at Frank's wanted poster, but it does seem like it was spelled "Petry". That just means there were others in the wild, wild West who couldn't spell properly.

And as often stated in the past here at the blog, end credits have no bearing on what happens within the reality of the programming. So even though his name is spelled "Petry" in the credits, that doesn't necessarily mean that's how it was spelled within the realm of Toobworld.

But if it was, at least we've provided a splainin......

Frank Petry appeared in a 1974 TV Movie Of The Week called "Shootout In A One-Dog Town" which was directed by Burt Kennedy. Along with Egan, the cast included Richard Crenna, Stephanie Powers, Jack Elam, Gene Nelson, Michael Ansara, Arthur O'Connell, Dub Taylor, and Michael Anderson, Jr.


No comments: