Past Appearances - Tombstone

 The TOMBSTONE Festival in Tombstone, AZ on July 5-7, 2002 was great! There is simply no other word for it. Tombstone is a fun town, even without a festival, and this, the "Second Annual Tombstone Western Film Festival," was, in fact, even bigger and better than last year. Unfortunately, that did create a problem for many of the fans attending since they had to stay at hotels in other towns; Tombstone is simply not big enough to accommodate that many overnight visitors. The high school gym was used for most of the events and even that was bursting at the seams at times. 

I will preface my commentary by saying that since I run Robert's website and I provided both the Wagon Train and The Man Called Shenandoah episodes that were featured, I was lucky enough to be accommodated at the hotel where all the stars stayed (along with my roommate for the weekend, Becky). This put us in a rather unique position. After all, how many times can you find yourself sleeping next door to Bruce Boxleitner? Or to have the opportunity to act as Robert Horton's personal chauffeur?

Alicia, Becky, Robert, Alinda

Friday, July 5th: Becky and I drove Robert (someone pinch me, please, I'm still having trouble believing this has happened) downtown, where we met up with Alinda, another fan and friend, and the four of us proceeded to check out the stores. Becky was looking for a "tacky" souvenir for a friend of hers. Robert got into the spirit of the search and most definitely found the "tackiest" one of the day: a rubber steer's skull! In the early afternoon, we all went to Schieffelin Hall to watch the screening of the Wagon Train episode "The Dora Grey Story." It was really interesting to watch this from Robert's perspective and hear his comments on it. Of course, we all broke out laughing when he got shot in the shoulder and off came his shirt! My theory (which is known by many, including Robert) is that "Flint" got shot so often, just so they had an excuse to take off his shirt! But it was a good episode, and Wagon Train has held up well, making it just as enjoyable to watch today as when it first aired. We then all went back to our hotels to change for the night's events, which included a Celebrity Reception at the OK Corral and Dinner with the Stars (at the High School Gym). The reception was nice and they had free soda, beer and wine and naturally we got to talk to all the stars. As the reception was winding down Robert found us all and suggested that we all walk over to the gym together. He said that if he took the van (for the stars only) he'd be stuck at some "star" table and he'd rather sit with all of us (by this time Randy and Bev had joined Alinda, Becky and me). The dinner itself was TERRIBLE. The food was just about inedible. From what I understand, they ran out of food and some of the tables in the rear didn't even get served. Robert took it all philosophically, saying he wanted to lose some weight anyway. After dinner, the stars were presented with honorary Tombstone citizenship and made honorary Marshals of Tombstone (see the scans below)! The entertainment later by Johnny Western was very enjoyable.

Saturday, July 6: People will be talking about the panel discussion Robert was on for years! When the tapes are available I told the organizers I would put the order form up on this website; believe me you will all want a copy! Others on the panel included Bruce Boxleitner, Don Collier, Dale Robertson, Dirk London, and Jan Shepard. Though Jan and Dirk are husband and wife, they were sitting at opposite ends of the table, with Jan sitting next to Robert. At one point she was explaining a joke that the stuntmen on one movie had put her up to, and for the punch line she leaned over, grabbed Robert, bent over him, and planted a kiss on him (and I do mean "planted") that had him blushing from his collar to his hairline! And though he may now have a glorious head of silver hair, the fact that he has a redhead complexion was really obvious. The audience just cracked up. It was Robert's reaction that was so funny. From there Robert was scheduled to do an autograph session, but the heat had just gotten to him and he asked me to take him back to the hotel. Since he was having dinner with friends that night, a large group of us (fans) all went out to dinner in town after an afternoon of shopping. 

Sunday, July 7: Sunday started with a pancake breakfast by the Lions Club, which was very good (even without real Vermont Maple Syrup!). We then all walked back to the gym, where Robert did a double session at the autograph table. Since Marilynn was unable to accompany Robert on this trip, at his request I ended up sitting at the table handling the money for him, which considering my mathematical abilities was really funny. Later that afternoon there was a "Legacy Walkway Ceremony" where the guest stars all wrote their names and put their handprints in cement blocks. Tombstone will have its very own walk of fame!

Signing an autograph for Alinda Tombstone's Own Walk of Fame

Monday, July 8: Time to say "Goodbye," and it was sad! I did get to hug Robert goodbye and lucky Becky and Alinda got to drive him to Tucson airport! So we'll have to get a report from them on that trip! 

While in Tombstone, Robert was asked by the organizers of the Scottsdale (AZ) "Festival of the West" if he would be a guest there next year, and he said "Yes!" So mark your calendars folks: March 13-16, 2003! I will, of course, post additional information as I get it!

Here's Alinda's report on the drive back to Tucson:

Hi Everyone,
Tombstone was a lot of fun. If you like the western way of life, you have to see this town.  Of course having so many of the western stars, especially Robert made it really exciting.
About our ride to the airport -                                                                               
Robert seemed happy to accept our offer to ride back to the Tucson Airport with Becky and me.  I was a little nervous about driving because so many men I know are terrible back seat drivers and just don't think women can drive.  He wasn't that way at all!  We talked about all kinds of things.  He asked us questions and seemed interested in our lives!  I didn't spend as much time with him as Alicia and Becky, but I was surprised at how humble he can be and also at how honest is he about himself.  We were talking about riding horses, and he said that when he was on a horse you couldn't see any daylight between his butt and the saddle.  That was funny, but it sure was the truth!
He talked about traveling with Marilynn and the different places they had been and how hard it can be to find your destination in other countries.  I'm sure he was trying to make me feel better about my driving.  He asked me about my husband, my parents, and even my religion, if  I'd been raised Christian. 
We dropped him off at the terminal with all of our luggage.  Becky stayed with me to return the car.  When we met up with him again, he bought us all drinks while we waited.   I asked him about Glenn Ford, if he was still alive.  He said that Glenn is still with us, living in Beverly Hills somewhere.
He mentioned that I should get my boarding pass, so I walked up there, unknowingly leaving my luggage with him and Becky.  I turned around to see him dragging my huge, embarrassingly heavy suitcase and my other bag which was way over packed also.  I could have died!!  I'm laughing thinking about this; he must have thought I was crazy, taking all this stuff to Tombstone.  Some of it was gifts I purchased there, but I definitely did over-pack!  We dragged it up together and even the young, strong guy who worked for the airport had trouble getting it up and over to the other side of the counter.
We hugged Becky good-bye and headed off to board our plane.  As we got closer, I noticed they were searching people with a wand looking thing and I thought just great!  The airport people weren't real friendly and it just seemed kind of embarrassing, but they only picked out certain people at random and skipped over RH and me. I then noticed Peter Brown, William Smith, and some other western actors in line.  We had a lay over in Phoenix and I went on to Ontario International, and I guess they all went on to Burbank Airport.  As we boarded I hugged Robert and told him what a great time I had had; he said that we had an hour layover in Phoenix and he would see me there, but I never did see him after I got off the plane.  I was kind of a wreck when an airline employee had told me that my flight to Ontario had been cancelled; thank goodness they were mistaken.  I had hoped to thank Robert for being so gracious to us (for just putting up with us!), but I didn't get the chance.  If any of you guys get the chance to go to one of these things and meet him, do it.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how nice he is.
One other thing, we somehow became referred to as "His Harem," because we were with him quite a bit.  He would just look at us and smilingly shake is head and say, "Okay."  I'm sure he was flattered but thought it rather funny. He does appreciate his fans.  The one picture that was taken of him, me, Alicia and Becky, didn't come out of course.  I should of told the person taking it to just keep clicking away at the shutter button!
Hope everyone has a great summer,


Robert with fan, Virginia, the supplier of these pictures

Robert signing autographs in Tombstone

Most of the stars at the 2002 Tombstone Festival

Look who has his arm around a pretty lady?

With Bruce

Don't you wish you knew what the joke was?

Back to Top

Home  What's New? Past Appearances Past Appearances-Scottsdale Biography  Credits  Wagon Train  Flint McCullough  Shenandoah  The Theater Years  Marilynn  The Movies Kiowa Jones Green Slime  Apache War Smoke Nightclub  As The World Turns  Career Highlights  Collectibles Toby Jugs  Memorabilia  Send a Message Current Guest Book  Guest Book Archives  Columbia House  Links
Photo Albums: 1, 2, 3, 4  TV Guide  Picture of the Week  Past Pics of the Week-2001  Past Pics of the Week-2002  Past Pics of the Week 2003  Screen Savers

Copyright 2002, All Rights Reserved