In doing research for Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon, I learned a lot about the year 1954. For one thing, I was there as a 10-year-old. So was the narrator of this novel to be released June 2010, set in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I can’t tell you about television in 1954. We didn’t have one yet. Didn’t matter. Didn’t need one. When I came home from school, I did chores or played outside until dark and Mom made me come indoors. Now, that does sound like a century ago.
I listened to Sergeant Preston on the radio. What memories. How I wanted to be a mountie and own a dog like King.
And I went to the movies.
Here’s four western movies that might have been playing in downtown Albuquerque in 1954:
Broken Lance. . . cattle baron Matt Devereaux raids a copper smelter that is polluting his water, then divides his property among his sons. Stars Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner.
Apache. . . Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured. He escapes and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers have other plans. Stars Burt Lancaster and Jean Peters.
The Far Country. . .In 1896, Jeff Webster sees the start of the Klondike gold rush as a golden opportunity. Two cowboys in search of gold in Alaska help a wagon train along the way. Stars James Stewart and Ruth Roman.
The Cattle Queen of Montana. . .The Jones family, about to prove claim to prime Montana land, is raided by renegade Indians. Stars Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Reagan.
Like a good movie, a novel can so captivate you that you’ll forget time and place, take a break from anxiety and angst, at least for an afternoon. That’s one of the delights of the books like those featured on Tina Dee’s great Bustles And Spurs blog.
On the trail,
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