Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Remembering the TV Westerns

I met with a friend for coffee the other day and we got to talking about the old westerns. Neither one of us keep up with actors much but I was rather stunned when I did check on some of the names that came to mind.

One was Lee Van Cleef. He passed away in 1989. He came up because I occasionally take a break from writing and research and watch an old western on tv. He was in an early episode of "The Rifleman" playing a very young bad guy. I judged that it was early because of how young Johnny Crawford was.

That brought up Chuck Connors who I knew had passed because I had read how much Johnny Crawford had thought of him. Chuck Connors died in 1992.

My sister, Betty, loved anything to do with horses and the West. Being ten years older she kind of ruled the television so I grew up on westerns. I think my first big movie star crush was Johnny Crawford so it was a real treat when I finally got to meet him a few years ago. He's a very nice person.



When my husband and I were involved in a lot of events in Wilcox and Tombstone we met a lot of the western stars like Robert Fuller, Robert Horton, Hugh O'Brien, Bill Smith, Buck Taylor, Dirk London, Jan Shepherd, and Peter Brown. 

How many do you remember? 

I'm never sure if I should post photos I've had signed although I see others doing it. I have collected a lot of autographs in a book, "TV Western Round-Up."


It has publicity photos from all the westerns and I've been so lucky to have many of them signed. I've also been able to talk to some of the people at length. If I met someone who wasn't in the book I asked them sign the front pages.




 A lot of memories. One year my sister came down for the event in Tombstone. The joy on her face when she met the people she'd watched for so many years is unforgettable.


Peter Brown, Betty, Robert Horton

I was thinking I really got off the subject through this post, but maybe not. My sister is gone now too. She died a couple of years after this event. She never quit talking about it. 

An era ended when those old westerns were taken off the air. None of the new westerns have the honesty and integrity of those shows. Perhaps they weren't true to history or clothing or how things were really done, but they gave us a basis for being good people. I miss them. 











































































































































































































































Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's 94th birthday. It's hard to imagine what she would be like today because she passed away nearly 27 years ago. Really? How can that be?

That fact came home to me the other day while I was going through a couple of boxes of photos. Most of them were my daughter's childhood, but a few strays sneaked in over the years. I was looking for some particular photos and noticed there just weren't many of my mom and daughter together. Then I remembered. Jessica was only ten when Mom passed away.

No wonder she doesn't remember her voice or a lot of other things about her nana.


Mom as a baby. 


Mom, me and my sister when I was four. Betty was fifteen.



Mom holding my daughter. She was so proud of that baby. 

When I went to the hospital we decided not to call her until we had some news. Finally,
eighteen hours later, the little one arrived. By then mom had figured it out and came to the hospital. When they wheeled me out I could see her through the windows and she was bursting with pride. I think the baby was in a nursery in between at that point, but I'm not sure. 

I know she was at our house the first chance she got. 

The first time we went out without our daughter was to a movie and mom babysat. I swear she couldn't wait for us to get out the door so she could have her all to herself. 

Besides loving her grandkids to pieces, mom loved her garden (she could grow anything), her home, decorating, shopping, cooking and baking, and Jim Reeves and Nat King Cole. 

She didn't like antiques ("Who'd want somebody else's junk."), or dirt in any form (unless perhaps it was in her garden), or cold weather. 

So again I say, "Happy Birthday Mom."






Monday, March 6, 2017

Return to Tombstone


As I mentioned in the last post, our daughter and family are coming to visit next month. Our son-in-law is adamant that they go to Tombstone so we will be traveling south for a couple of days. 

The main thing I want him to see is the Gunfighter Hall of Fame. This is a relatively new attraction in the town and one I know he will find extremely interesting.

Owner, Richard Ignarski, has an amazing collection which he has arranged in wonderful display cases.



There are some great items from throughout the West including my home state of Kansas. Some of the displays include Bill Tilghman, Buckskin "Frank" Leslie, The Texas Rangers, and the Earps.


Hubby and I visited in October and Richard was wonderful at pointing out special items and telling us stories about some of them. We shared ideas on a few local history events and had fun reminiscing a bit about some people we know.



Richard is also an artist and actor. I'm sure he could add a lot more from those aspects of his life also.

See you soon, Richard.