In this episode of Southwest Stories, we head up to Pioneertown, the Old West town that was never in the Old West. Instead, Pioneertown was built as a movie set in 1947 for westerns, but instead of being built as just facades and sets, real buildings were built. Roy Rogers threw out the first ball at the Pioneertown Bowling Alley, which I'm happy to say, appears to have a new owner restoring it. I miss not being able to drop in to bowl, have a drink, and shoot some pool!
I join they Gypsy Cowboy String Quartet to play a little music with Dawg and the boys at the Pioneertown Sound Stage, try my hand at pottery making at MazAmar Art Pottery on Mane Street, then head off to walk the dusty streets of the Old West at Gold Mountain Studios with an assortment of scoundrels, then helicopter in to Calmada Boutique Resort Hotel to uncover Pioneertown's French connection.
As with the other episodes, this episode has its historical elements all its own. David Mindancer Duran, the creator of Gold Mountain Studios, watched this episode on a DVD player from his hospital bed. He died before the show aired on KVCR PBS. There's nothing left of Gold Mountain Studios now, so this is your chance to see David and his creation.
Amara and Thomas of MazAmar Art Pottery have seen their marriage run its course, though they continue to work together at MazAmar. Benoit and Chris are considering moving on from being innkeepers at Calmada, and as this was our seventh and last episode of Southwest Stories for Season 2, this marked the end of our production teamwork with our great crew. With the ability to nationally distribute our third season to all 350 PBS stations across the country, and their 200+ million annual viewers, I still work on finding the sponsorships and underwriting necessary to continue production, but as of this writing, it hasn't come together. There remain an awful lot of interesting stories out there waiting to be told, so I'm going to keep trying.
Oh, and Steve Rushingwind, our three-time NAMMY winning theme song performer makes a cameo appearance in this episode. I'm pleased to still call Steve a friend, and we occasionally perform together. Look for us at the Amargosa Opera House in March, 2019.