Past Appearances - Scottsdale 2004
|Scottsdale 2004 was again
packed with people and panel discussions. Since many of our 'group'
(whoever watches this website and attends an event) couldn't make it
this year, there was no big 'dinner, though I did get to have
cocktails with Robert and Marilynn one evening, along with another
fan, Virginia, and I was graciously invited to dinner with them the
following evening. But the highlights of these events are the panel
discussions. For the sake of those of you who can't attend one of
these festivals, I wish all these panels were taped, as they had been
in Tombstone. Robert and Bob Fuller got into an interesting discussion
on some of the best "kissers" among their leading ladies,
which would have made a great tape! No, I won't tell you who Robert
nominated, you'll just have to come to a festival and ask him
Past Appearances - Scottsdale 2003
|The "Festival of the
West" is an enormous event with something for everyone! I
generally helped setup Bob's table each day and helped to 'man' it
when Robert and Marilynn were off eating or shopping, and believe me,
the shopping was great! Robert did have his CD's available at the
table, as well as photos, and they all sold quite well. While I was
there, I finalized the details for selling autographed photos and the
CD's through the website with Robert, so look for those pages soon. On
Friday, Robert was running low on several of his most popular
pictures, so with the help of Alinda and Glenn we were finally able to
locate a place that could make good copies at reasonable costs. Since I was having photos made, I talked Robert into letting me make
copies of the 'beefcake' photo of him from "Picnic" (see the
"Theater Page"). Robert didn't think it would sell to anyone
outside the 'group,' but was he wrong! I will have that photo
available on the website, too.
|One of the highlights of the whole
festival was the many panel discussions with the stars. Robert was on
five panels, but I'm sorry to say they didn't appear to be taping
them. One of the best panel discussions involved only Robert Horton
and Robert Fuller on the "Making of Wagon Train." They were
both very supportive of one another and told some funny stories.
First, as we fans all know, they made it very clear that Fuller did
NOT replace Horton when he left Wagon Train. Denny Miller had been
brought in during Robert's final year as the 'replacement,' and
sometime during the following season, Robert Fuller joined the cast as
the new scout. Both Roberts had a story to tell about filming an
episode with Rhonda Fleming. Robert Fuller told of the episode he did
with her, where she was a 'dance hall girl,' and obviously dressed for
the part in a rather low cut gown. When the directors saw the day's
film, they called him in and told him they would have to re-shoot one
long scene. When Fuller saw the film, the reason was obvious. His eyes
never left Rhonda's chest! Robert Horton said that when he married
Marilynn and she called her parents to tell them, her father, who was
quite taken with Miss Fleming, exclaimed, "But I just saw him
kissing Rhonda Fleming!"
|Fans traveled from all over the country
to attend this event, but the undisputed winner of our "distance
award" has to go to Toni and Elizabeth, who traveled all the way
from England to meet Robert. I had originally arranged, with the kind
help of Joyce, who lives in Arizona, to have all of us 'diehard' fans
take Bob and Marilynn to dinner. It turned out that they took us all
to dinner, and a more wonderful time I can't imagine! Our gang
consisted of: Alinda and her husband, Glenn, Fran and her hubby, Mel,
Elizabeth and Toni from England, Joyce, Randy, Virginia, Wanda, and
myself; "Horton's Harem" has grown. Marilynn had
'western style' key chains for us all as 'party favors,' and I brought
small bottles of real Vermont Maple Syrup for everyone, as well as
t-shirts with Robert's picture on them. The dinner, held at a lovely
Mexican restaurant recommended by Joyce, was the highlight of the
entire four days. Of course Joyce and Bob had to explain to all us
non-southwesterners what half the food on the menu even was, but it
was all great! The evening ended with many hugs and kisses all
Sunday, the last day of the festival was rainy and cool. At times
the torrential rains actually had small rivers flowing under the tents
and we found ourselves walking through a half-inch of water. But it
was hard to complain when they need the rain so badly in that part of
the country. We all managed to have a good time anyway, and Randy even
got Robert to sign the t-shirt I gave her WHILE SHE WAS WEARING
All good things must end, and so too the Festival of the West
finally came to an end on Sunday afternoon. More hugs and kisses and
thanks to all who attended for a wonderful time.
Virginia's Scottsdale Comments
The Scottsdale festival was a great holiday, an extended fun-filled
- The first key ingredient of this fun is that Robert and Marilynn
were extremely gracious to the fans throughout the festival. One
small example is that Robert was very quick to greet me, calling
me by my name, the first morning of the festival, even though the
only time we had ever met before was in Tombstone last year.
- Saturday's dinner was the special big event. Robert and Marilynn
intentionally changed seats a couple of times to give everyone an
opportunity to talk with both of them. As a memento of the dinner,
Marilynn gave everyone a cowboy boot key chain. Alicia
brought Vermont maple syrup for everyone and decorated T-shirts.
(Anyone who has seen me at one of these festivals knows that I
like T-shirts.) The evening ended with much happy hugging.
- Another joyful aspect is how much the fans treated each other
like long-lost friends, even if they had never met before. There
was much eating breakfast together, sharing rides, eating supper
together, and just hanging around together chatting. I
especially enjoyed being able to visit with Alicia and with new
friends Fran and Mel. The whole gang was as friendly and
helpful a group as anyone could ever hope to meet. More
good-bye hugs Sunday and Monday. (Does this mean that
high-quality entertainers attract high-quality fans?)
- Even the weather was memorable and closely followed the forecast
reported by Joyce, our Phoenix area contact. Thursday was
sunny; part of the time I was a little warm wearing a T-shirt and
slacks. Friday and Saturday felt cooler; the sky got cloudier and
cloudier. Sunday was colder and rainy, starting with
drizzle, but with several episodes of heavy driving rain in the
late morning and afternoon. Several parts of the floor of
the big tents became small creeks, with water flowing through
them. According to some sources, Phoenix had more rain
Sunday than all of last year.
|Fran's Comments on the
"Festival of the West"
The Festival of the West was very interesting with
many singing groups and soloists, many vendors selling fascinating
western items, many riding and shooting events, and even staged
gunfights, but the very best part was meeting some of the stars of
yesteryear in the celebrity corner and hearing them talk in the panel
discussions. Robert Horton was asked questions in several of them and
had interesting memories and incidents to share. I was particularly
pleased to see the panel discussion about how Wagon Train was made
with both Robert Horton and Robert Fuller answering questions. They
are both great guys and very cordial with each other.
Here are some things I learned from these
1) John Ford's "The Wagon
Master" was the concept on which "Wagon Train" was
2) Robert Horton was an extra in a 1951
film called "The Tanks are Coming."
3) Frank McGrath, who played Charlie
Wooster, the cook, was also a stuntman. He did some of the stunt
work for Robert Horton in the films The Pony Soldier and Apache War
Smoke, long before Wagon Train.
4) Terry Wilson (Bill Hawks) was also
a stuntman, and both he and Frank were the only two characters who
were in the series for the entire eight-year run.
5) Denny Miller was a former
6) At the height of the TV Westerns in
the early 1960's, there were 32 westerns in "Prime Time!"
7) Both Robert Horton and Robert Fuller
only received residuals for the first 5 reruns of the show, and
nothing after that.
SCOTTSDALE REPORT FROM TONI|
It was great to see you all in person at the Festival of the West,
Elizabeth and I started out from Birmingham Airport in England on
Thursday, the 13th of March at 10.45 AM and after a 6 hour delay at New
Airport finally arrived in Phoenix about 1.30 A.M. What a long day!
Now to the festival, it was absolutely fantastic! We were
and suddenly spotted Robert on his own. We went up to him, and he could
have greeted us better, gave us a hug and was really friendly to us.
next three days just seem to go so quickly (too quick!) The meal with
all was perfect; we really enjoyed it very much, even if I found the
a bit hot. My tongue is still burning!
Both Elizabeth and I took loads of photos, and every time we look
them will remember you all and your kindness to the two ladies from
It has been our dream for over 40 years to meet Robert in
special thanks to The Robert Horton Website and Alicia who must spend
on the computer. Our dream has come true.
The weather was very good apart from torrential rain on Sunday (it
down even by English standards).
Once again many thanks to all of "Horton's Harem" who made
us so welcome and
looked after us for the three days we were in Scottsdale. We will
forget you all.
Loads of hugs,
Report From Elizabeth
Our flight from England was oh, so worth the long distance. At
my arrival at the western festival there Robert stood - just the
same as he was 40 years ago when I last met him - except his
beautiful auburn hair was grey (as we all are). That special
smile and voice, and sense of humor was just the same. It was
wonderful to see Robert and Marilynn once again after so long. They
made Toni and me so very welcome. The evening meal we had
was very, very special - sitting next to Robert for a meal was beyond
my wildest dreams. I shall always remember that special
evening for as long as I live. It was fantastic.
My grateful thanks to everyone who helped us to get to the festival
and back to the hotel and for making us so very welcome. I
have never been to a Western Festival before - I found it very
fascinating and quite an experience. I enjoyed every
minute and, of course, came home with many "goodies" to keep
My thanks go to Alicia for all her very hard work in all her
organization of this event. I hope to keep in contact with all
the friends we made. Perhaps the next time I see Robert and
Marilynn will not be another "40" years.
Grateful thanks to all and my love
Elizabeth Holmes, Preston, England
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