Friday, August 19, 2016

SALOON GIRL SHOWCASE - FROM "MAVERICK" TO "DOWNTON ABBEY"


'MAVERICK'
"THE GOOSE-DROWNDER"



"In Toledo I got a job in a dry goods store selling notions...
Until the owner decided to try to sell me some of his notions
."

Stella Legendre

'Maverick'

Stella Legendre was born in 1848, the daughter of a "hellfire and brimstone shouter" who believed that being born was the greatest sin of all, brought upon Mankind by women.  She bore the brunt of his maniacal fervor for as long as she could, but she finally ran away from home when she turned 18.

Stella Legrandre wasn't her real name.  That was the "stage name" she took when she started a new life later as a saloon girl.  I'm going to claim that her name was Cora.  The reason will soon become apparent.....

The Civil War was just beginning and she headed to Ohio, with the intent of going to Canada to elude her father.  But she got only as far as Toledo before her money ran out and so she took that job with the dry goods store.


Although he was not mentioned by name, the owner of that dry goods store was Isidore Levinson.  It was the second of the two stores he owned which would become the hub of his growing franchise.  (The flagship of the line was the store in Cincinnati.)  

Isidore Levinson was married to Martha and for several years they had been struggling to have a child.  It was putting a strain on their relationship and Martha was beginning to distance herself from her husband.  Isidore probably fled to the store in Toledo in order escape the disharmony at home.  While overseeing his fledgling empire, Stella caught his eye as she worked as the counter girl.  One might think from her statement above that she rebuffed his advances, but I think she gave herself to him.  She was young and probably under the delusion that he would leave his wife for her.  

It was never going to happen though.  Unfortunately Cora didn't realize it until she was pregnant with his child.

Martha Levinson wasn't a stupid woman.  She was aware that her husband was having an affair, but was hoping that he would come to his senses.  But she knew she had to take control of the situation once he confessed not only to the affair, but also about Cora's condition.  Martha knew that it would cause a scandal and damage their already precarious standing in society (what with him being Jewish.)  

She confronted both her husband and his mistress and laid down the conditions on how they would proceed.  Martha would travel to Saratoga Springs, NY, with Cora posing as her maid.  Although they were registered at an isolated spa resort, they actually stayed hidden away at the home of Martha's friends, the Douglas family.  There Cora gave birth to a baby girl on July 18, 1868.  The Levinsons would claim the baby as their own and Cora would be paid off with the stipulation that she leave Ohio behind forever and never contact them again.


Cora was not the sweet innocent corrupted by a man; she held no interest in raising the baby as her own.  So she took the stipend given her by the Levinsons and headed to St. Louis where she was swindled out of that money by a man who claimed he could make her the next Jenny Lind.  The only thing he probably left her was the new name of "Stella Legrandre".  So she took the job as a saloon girl where she met Rance, known as The Arapaho Kid.  And that led to her reunion with Bart Maverick whom she met once at the saloon where she worked and he was playing poker.

Stella:  
"How'd we meet?"
Bart Maverick: 
"The way anybody meets a dance hall girl.  
I said hello to you and you said hello to me."
'Maverick'

But before she left Ohio and the baby she bore, Cora made only one demand of the Levinsons: she demanded that the baby girl be given her name.  Realizing that she could still make their life difficult, Isidore and Martha agreed to her terms.  Cora left Toledo only after the little girl was officially certified as Cora Levinson.


Cora Levinson became a "Dollar Princess", marrying into the Crawley family who held the Grantham title and the Downton Abbey estate in Yorkshire.  So this theory of relateeveety would connect 'Maverick' to 'Downton Abbey'.  

I can't prove it of course, but then again....  Can you disprove it?

As for Stella, she learned her lesson after being with The Arapaho Kid.  Once she had given her testimony to the government agents, she planned to move to the Dakota territory where her cousin was rasiing a passel of kids.  

It might be fun to theorize who that cousin might have been or who her children's children turned out to be.....

So what do you think of this pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, theory of relateeveety connecting 'Maverick' and 'Downton Abbey'?


I wasn't asking you, Stella.....

Happy trails to you!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

THE SUPER SIX LIST: TOOB LIT


Several of the great classics of literature have been adapted into TV Westerns, with 'Maverick' leading the pack.  My favorite Western had four episodes that were inspired by the works of Shakespeare, Stevenson, and Sheridan.....


'MAVERICK' - "THE WRECKER"
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
Bret Maverick wins the right to join a ring of shipwreck salvagers, but he is soon in debt up to his neck when he engages in a spirited bidding contest, spending $21,000 for a ship whose cargo is apparently only worth half that. Brother Bart soon finds out why their unknown rival was willing to bid so high - in addition to bales of silk and rice, the wreck's hold is full of illegal opium.


'MAVERICK' - "STATE OF SIEGE"
Based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson
Finding himself delayed in New Mexico, Bart decides to visit a recent acquaintance at a nearby hacienda. However, the hospitality he expected quickly turns dangerous when the hacienda is placed under siege by a group of other landowners who claim they have been double-crossed in a treasonous plot.


'MAVERICK' - "THE RIVALS"

Based on the play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
A rich playboy pays Bret Maverick to switch identities with him, so the playboy can court a wealthy young woman, who'd otherwise reject him.

Based on "Romeo And Juliet" by Williams Shakespeare
Bret and Bart are hired by the feuding Carteret and Montgomery families to settle a longtime dispute by a poker competition. The families are unaware of Bret and Bart's relationship, but when they become suspicious the stakes are considerably raised for the brothers.

'THE ADVENTURES OF JIM BOWIE' - "THE BRIDEGROOM"
Based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson
To try to escape from a pursuing gang of waterfront toughs, Bowie pretends to be a prospective bridegroom for a wealthy French family's daughter.


'WAGON TRAIN' - "THE TOM TUCKETT STORY"
Based on "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens
Ever since he was young, Tom Tuckett has been sent to good schools and looked after by an unknown benefactor. When he joins the wagon train he feels he's about to find out who that is but it isn't who he imagined.

TV MOVIE BONUS:

"EBENEZER"
Based on the novel "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens


{All descriptions from the IMDb.....}

Happy trails to you!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

GAME OF THE NAME - CHIEF CHARLES RED CLOUD?


While doing research on the actor John Hart, I stumbled on this from the IMDb:

'Wanted: Dead or Alive' 
Charley Red Cloud

- "Man on Horseback" (1959) 
A man shoots his brother over ownership of their property and blames it on an Indian who reclaimed his horse the man found and stole. He then ups the bounty on the Indian to push Josh to find the Indian to "hide" the evidence.

'Frontier Circus' 
Chief Red Cloud

- "Dr. Sam" (1961) 
The circus troupe turns on Casey Thompson when he dismisses the physician he has just hired, a Dr. Sam Applewhite, immediately after learning that "he" was actually a woman doctor. When one of his performers cracks her skull, Dr. Sam proves her worth by performing an emergency operation to save the young woman's life.


I have not seen these episodes, but I think I could make it work that Jay Silverheels was playing the same character in both episodes.


Happy trails to you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TWO FOR TUESDAY: CHARLES COOPER IN THE OLD WEST AND THE FINAL FRONTIER


Here's a "Two For Tuesday" follow-up to the showcase on Lucy Collins.....


Charles Cooper played Boyd Lively, the miner who loved Lucy but lost her to the artist Stewart Woolsey.  In fandom, Cooper is probably best known for playing two Klingons - Commander Korrd in the movie "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" and in two episdes of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' as K'mpec, Lord High Chancellor of the Klingon High Command.  ("Sins Of The Father" & "Reunion")


The Minbari believed that human souls were reincarnated Minbari, based on a mistake caused by; errant time travel.  However, it helped bring about a cessation of the war between the humans and the Minbari.  Reincarnation does exist in Toobworld, but for the most part humans are born to rerun as new humans, sometimes even as dogs.  And once upon a time, as a car.

So I'm not going to put it out there that the soul of Boyd Lively came back in the Future as Commander Korrd or as Chancellor K'mpec.  I will put this question of relateeveety forward, however: Could Korrd have been K'mpec's father?

I just wanted to show that the actor Cooper was still going strong into the 1990s....

Happy trails to you as you live long and prosper!

SALOON GAL SHOWCASE - HERE'S LUCY



Vint Bonner:

"Boyd, you know she didn't like working here."
Boyd Lively:
"She's a saloon girl; that's all she is!"
'The Restless Gun'

'THE RESTLESS GUN'
"THE PAINTED BEAUTY"

Vint Bonner was visiting Copperhead Wells, hoping for a rest.  But instead he got pulled into a quarrel over a saloon girl which led to perhaps one of the most unique ways to link plenty of TV Westerns together.....

Two businessmen in Copperhead Wells, Misters Hopper & Watkins, had been visiting San Francisco where they noticed a strikingly beautiful painting hanging behind the Paradise Casino bar.  It portrayed a naked woman whose body was tastefully draped with her long blonde curls.  (At least Hopper thought she was a blonde.  Watkins thought she had black hair.  Vint Bonner was familiar with the painting and even he couldn't remember the color of her hair.....)

"A saloon ain't a saloon without it's got
a good-looking woman over the bar
."
Hopper

JUNIPER DUNLAP, PROPRIETOR
SUDDEN DOLLAR SALOON
Hopper and Watkins got the idea that what the Sudden Dollar saloon in Copperhead Wells needed was a painting like that.  So with the reluctant agreement of the Sudden Dollar's owner, Juniper Dunlap, they commissioned the services of the artist who had painted that zoftig beauty for the Paradise Casino.


Stewart Woolsey was a celebrated artist from St. Louis, Mo., and he was willing to take on the assignment... especially after he met the former saloon girl Lucy Collins who nursed him back to health after a night of celebration with the men of Copperhead Wells.  Lucy was a strong-willed woman who was determined to maintain her independence.  She agreed to pose for the portrait even if it might bother the man she was supposedly stepping out with: miner Boyd Lively.




However, during the course of their sessions together, Lucy and Woolsey fell in love.  When Boyd Lively heard about this upon his return to Copperhead Wells, he tried to intervene by beating the artist to a pulp.  Unfortunately for the miner, Stewart Woolsey was skilled in the gentlemanly science of boxing according to the Marquess of Queensberry rules.  After taking a beating from Woolsey and a tongue-lashing from Lucy (who suffered a fist to the face from her former lover), a broken-hearted Lively begrudgingly stepped aside.


After the unveiling of the portrait, which was far more tasteful than anyone could have imagined (Juniper Dunlap proclaimed it acceptable enough to be seen by his own mother... and she was over 90 years of age!), Stewart Woolsey and his future bride Lucy Collins traveled back to St. Louis to live.  There Lucy held down two jobs - that of Stewart's wife, and as his model for all future portraits.  


"And of course you see pictures of her everywhere.
Look for them if you're in the right saloons.
You might enjoy them."
Vint Bonner

So there's the reason why I think Stewart and Lucy Woolsey will one day be in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Unless otherwise stated within the dictates of the script, I'm going to claim that every painting we see hanging behind the bars of all those TV Western saloons was painted by Stewart Woolsey.  And if the woman depicted in such a painting is a blonde?  Then the model was none other than Lucy Woolsey.


Even if the model is seen as a brunette or a redhead, it could still be Lucy as the original inspiration.  Even if her facial appearance and even her body shape doesn't actually match, it could still have been Lucy who posed for it.  It kind of makes sense - Stewart might have been worried about some obsessive cowpoke trying to track down the woman in the pictures.  By altering her appearance, they could avoid such a dilemma.

O'BSERVATION:
Here's a theory of "relateeveety": Lucy Collins may have been the twin sister of a saloon owner named Fan.  We showcased her last week.......

Happy trails to you!


Monday, August 15, 2016

THEORY OF "RELATEEVEETY" - HERE COME DE JUDGES!



Twenty-three times (a number in the Valenzetti Equation from 'Lost' which is appropriate since we're posting this on 8/15/16!) Perry Mason argued murder cases before the judge played by Willis Bouchey.  And in all that time, we never learned his name.  (I think of all the regular justices in the series, and there were about six of them, only S. John Launer had a judge with a surname.)

But being Judge Nameless is a good thing for my theories of "relateeveety", as Bouchey played Judges in several other TV shows in the greater Los Angeles area.  And I'm ready to defend my opinion that they were all the same man.

Besides those 23 'Perry Mason' episodes, we also have:

'Ironside'
- "The Machismo Bag" (1969) 


'Gomer Pyle: USMC'
- "Gomer, the Star Witness" (1965)

There were two other judges he played back in the 1960s, both in 1962, in fact.  But the difference there is that they both have last names.  That wouldn't have been insurmountable for including one of them at least, but I have no clue where they took place.....

'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour'
- "I Saw the Whole Thing" (1962) ... Judge Neilson

'Wide Country'
- "Our Ernie Kills People" (1962) ... Judge Spencer

The 'Wide Country' episode could have been anywhere on the rodeo circuit but unlikely to have been taking place in Los Angeles.  But with that episode, there is an interesting theory of "relateeveety" that could still be made.....
'87th Precinct'
- Ramon (1962) ... Harry Spencer

I put it to you, Ladies and Gentlemen of Team Toobworld, that Willis Bouchey was playing twin brothers in those two episodes.  The error in the credits do not play into the reckoning, but perhaps the Powers That Be confused Harry with his brother, Judge Jim......

As some of you may have noticed by now, we're in August and I'm yammering on about a judge from 'Perry Mason' when I should be writing about the wild, wild West as part of our month-long TV Western showcase.

Well, as Andy Griffith might have said, I told you about that because I wanted to tell you about this....


Willis Bouchey played three circuit court judges in the Old West

1840s
'Riverboat'
- "The Quick Noose" (1960) ... Judge Wingate
1870s
'Bronco'
- "Ride the Whirlwind" (1962) ... Judge Fowler

1870s
'Laramie'
- "The Lawless Seven" (1961) ... Judge Petrie

I think Judge Wingate was perhaps the father to both of the other two men, but as is so often the case in Toobworld, "Old Nobby" Wingate (no relation to Nobby Ned Wingate) just couldn't keep it in his holster.  During the summer of 1816, Judge Wingate was involved in the adjudication of the so-called "Treaty Of St. Louis" (although it was signed farther north along the Missouri River) between the United States and the Indian tribes known collectively as the Council of Three Fires.  But even though he was married with a son of his own, Wingate still found the time to dabble in affairs with two local women.

One of those women was married and already had a son named Hezekiah Petrie.  His family tree is constantly growing and links together disparate TV shows as 'Cagney & Lacey', 'The Listener', the TV movie "Shootout In A One-Dog Town" and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.  She would give birth to fraternal twins, one of whom would take after his father by blood and became a judge in Wyoming.  Meanwhile, the other one, Frank, became an outlaw who changed the spelling of his last name to "Petry" and ended up dying in the "one-dog town" of Opportunity, Arizona.

As for the other illegitimate son who followed in his birth father's career path of the Law, it is unknown if his family line continued down the Toobworld timeline.  There are plenty of Fowlers to be found across "Telemerica", but as Judge Fowler had a daughter named Mary, any children she had would more than likely have carried the name of their father.

(O'Bservation: I have not seen this particular 'Bronco' episode, but I have a feeling Judge Fowler met an untimely end during it....)

So there's my latest theory of "relateeveety", Old West style.

Happy trails to you!

That picture of Bouchey from the Old West is courtesy of my bloggin' buddy Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.  It's actually from a episode of 'Broken Arrow', but I'm fairly certain that it serves as a generic version of Western Willis.....





Sunday, August 14, 2016