Friday, July 2, 2010

Jack Kelly - Have a GREYt Fourth of July! :)

Hi Everyone!

We usually associate the Fourth of July with the colors red, white and blue. However, I noticed that someone on the JK Facebook page said they wanted to see more photos of Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick wearing the grey coat he sometimes donned instead of his customary black jacket. Well, it just so happens that some pictures of a grey-coated Bart have recently joined the Kellection. I hope these "suit" you. ;->

Have a GREYt and safe 4th! :)

JK, ready to start the day! :)

Hey, big spender! ;->

"What happened to my money?"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jack Kelly - Road Trip! :)

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday, I made like Willie Nelson and went on the road again. This time, the Bartistamobile breezed down rustic two-lane roads flanked by cornfields to reach historic Hardin County, OH.

My destination? The 17th annual Gene Autry Days festival, which took place at the Hardin County Fairgrounds. It honors the legendary singing cowboy who was namesake to cast iron cap guns which helped Kenton, OH, survive the tough economic times of the Depression.

This good-natured gathering seemed slightly more "homey" and intimate than the Hopalong Cassidy Festival I recently attended. Housed in the Community Building, Gene Autry Days featured dozens of tables spread with vintage western collectibles and festival souvenirs. I bought a commemorative mug and another Maverick jigsaw puzzle.

I also chatted with some of the very nice memorabilia vendors. I was wearing a t-shirt with the Maverick logo and the man from whom I bought the puzzle asked me if I collected only Maverick memorabilia or James Garner items in general.

"Actually, I collect Jack Kelly."

"Jack Kelly? Hmm...I don't think I have much with him. He's not worth as much as Garner." [!]

I answered gently, "To some people Jack Kelly is worth quite a lot." (And I didn't mean in just the monetary sense.)

I explained that I maintained a blog about JK. The seller seemed genuinely interested and said he would look it up. So, if he sees this: Howdy! :)

I spoke with another vendor who had attended a western film festival in Memphis, TN, earlier this month which included a panel discussion with Clint "Cheyenne" Walker, Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins, and Ty "Bronco" Hardin. (Wow, wish I could have gone to that festival, too!) He said Clint Walker was very nice and Will Hutchins was hilarious. He also showed me a leather Maverick toy holster he'd just bought. It was etched with a portrait of Bret Maverick. I wondered if it had Bart's likeness, too. Nope. But, the vendor did say he appreciated JK and had just seen him in a "space movie" (Forbidden Planet).

Another vendor saw me strolling by and said he liked my shirt. :)

At one end of the building was a makeshift stage. Entertainers performed as visitors milled about the tables. I was privileged to arrive at the festival just in time to hear Johnny Western sing. He was in Gene Autry's band for a while. And, if you don't recognize Johnny Western's name, I guarantee you recognize his signature song--The Ballad Of Paladin from the immortal TV western Have Gun--Will Travel.

Mr. Western, resplendent in his silver-spangled black cowboy clothes, finished his set with The Ballad of Paladin in a voice that was as full and firm as ever.

A cowboy look-a-like contest then took over the stage, emceed by an affable "Gabby Hayes" who I thought looked a bit more like Arthur Hunicutt (another grizzled actor). There was also a Roy Rogers, an Annie Oakley, a Cat Ballou, a Lash LaRue, a James Arness/Marshal Dillon, a John Wayne (plus "a John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn"), and, of course, a Gene Autry. The plain John Wayne looked eerily like the real deal and won hands down.

After enjoying a home-cooked chicken sandwich and a piece of the best pecan pie I've ever tasted, I bid this fun festival "Adios" and visited more sights in Kenton, including the Hardin County Historical Museum and the striking Gene Autry mural and monument: Then, I moseyed over to nearby Mt. Victory and visited a few antiques stores. Before leaving Mt. Victory and heading home, I ate supper at the famous and friendly Plaza Inn. In addition to a scrumptious buffet, they also have an airstrip out back in case you drive a Cessna instead of a Chevy! :)

Jack Kelly - Bart Maverick's Greatest Hits! :)

Wow! Look what I just found on YouTube--an original Maverick commercial starring "that rambling gambling man BART MAVERICK"!!! :->