The "Festival of the West 2005" was at a new venue this year, a
western town in Scottsdale known as Rawhide. This is a fun town with much
more to see and of course, buy, then the previous venue of Westworld. It was
also much better for the guest stars and vendors, since the area where they
were set-up was air-conditioned (not that it was really needed this year).
But though the accommodations were better, the event itself was more
disorganized. There were no signs directing people to the various areas, and
worse, there were no schedules either posted or in the programs (for which
you paid $3.00) telling you when which celebrities would be appearing when
on panel discussions or when or where the showing of their various TV shows
would be. It took the organizers two days to get even minimal information
out to the guests.
BUT, that said, the event itself was WONDERFUL! We had fans from all over
the world, as well as the USA attending just to see Robert. The British
contingent included Elizabeth, Diana, Jacky and Toni and her husband,
Richard. From Australia was Graeme and his lovely wife Bec, and from the USA
was Patty (Pennsylvania), Betty (Colorado), Virginia and Jacque (both
from Texas), Laura (California), and of course, myself, now from New
We all arrived at Rawhide bright and early on Thursday morning and
anxiously awaited the arrival of Robert and Marilynn. They barely had time
to meet everyone, when Robert was whisked away for the first of many panel
discussions in which he participated during this event. After the panel
discussion, there was more time for proper introductions and a bit of
conversation, but there is much to see (and buy) at this event, so we soon
left Robert to signing autographs and went off exploring. I must add, that
Virginia brought "Wagon Train" buttons for us all, and Diana, all
the way from England, brought "Horton's Harem" buttons (see the
"Tombstone" write-up for the origin of that) for everyone;
needless to say, this made us rather conspicuous throughout the event and we
were mentioned several times by the moderator of the panel discussions.
Later that evening everyone met in my room to watch some Wagon Train tapes
and other tapes of Robert. Since I now live within driving distance of
Scottsdale, I was able to pack (and I mean PACK) my car with all sorts of
extras, including a portable TV/VCR and a dozen or so tapes of Wagon Train,
Shenandoah, and Robert's guest appearances on various shows. I brought
snacks and some wine and we had our very own "Flint Fest"
Friday brought more of the same, with panel discussions and shopping and
watching all the events. If you have never seen a SASS (Single Action
Shooting Society) event, you don't know what you're missing! The
horsemanship and the shooting ability of the participants is really awesome
to watch. The object is to ride your horse, as fast as you can around a
course with balloons tethered to posts and shoot all the balloons in the
least amount of time. With your horse running full out, this is really quite
a feat and thrilling to watch. If anyone in our group, or reading this, got
a photo of these events, I will add it to this page.
Saturday, I did not go to Rawhide, since I wasn't feeling well (an
understatement if ever there was one), and I had some last minute details to
put together and arrange for the dinner that evening. We all met at the
restaurant, Carlos O'Briens, a wonderful Mexican restaurant that had a
private room to accommodate us all and great food at a reasonable cost. I
placed name cards and little gifts to everyone at each setting. Robert and
Marilynn each sat at one table and halfway through the meal they changed
seats, so everyone got to talk to everyone all evening and at the end of the
evening they presented each of us with a Native American Dream Catcher as a souvenir
of the event. The stories, the camaraderie, and the fun of the evening
cannot be put into words. The highlight might have been, and I expect it is
different for each of us, the presentation to Robert of a signature frame, a
photo where all of us signed messages to him on the specially designed mat.
He was truly moved by the many messages and we all hope that it is something
he will always look at and remember us and the wonderful evening.
Sunday brought its own special memories. There was another panel
discussion, this time with both Denny Miller and Stella Stevens. Denny was
truly a funny and humble man and never failed to thank Robert for all his
help on Wagon Train. The highlight of the day came when the schedule called
for a showing of a "Wagon Train" episode in the old time
schoolhouse that had been set-up for this purpose. These showings were not
well advertised, but the star of each particular show was to watch it with
the fans and then make some comments afterward. I think Robert was the only
one who did, and he most certainly had the largest group of fans present.
The episode he chose was "The Don Alvarado Story," and it was a
lot of fun to watch it with him! There were times when he simply put his
head down and shook with laughter and there were other parts that he enjoyed
re-watching, such as the sword fight and one of the longest kisses on
record! There wasn't much time left at the Festival when the episode was
finished and all our questions asked and answered, so we all said
"Good-Bye," amidst some tears and some laughter and hope that we
can do it all again sometime in the not to distant future!
I want to add a very special "thank you" to Bec, from
Australia, who was such a good sport (her husband, Graeme, is the western
fan) and who took such wonderful photos for me on Saturday evening! She was
our official website photographer and without her there would be very few
photos to share with you all! So THANK YOU Bec!
thing I will say is my first visit to Scottsdale was worth all the
worry—stress—fear and anxiety, which I felt on the run up to the
event. The fear and dread of traveling 20 hours from leaving home to
arriving at the hotel was worth every minute. But to my amazement I
managed to get through the whole week with out a problem what so
and I have been friends for a while now and last year I reluctantly
backed out of coming over to the USA as I worried about traveling,
but this time I said to Elizabeth just go ahead and book it, and we
met up at Manchester and then we met Jacky at Heathrow, by then I
was an absolute wreck not knowing what to expect, but I was looking
forward to meeting the rest of Horton’s Harem.
and Richard were there waiting patiently to pick us up at Phoenix
airport to take us to the hotel.
Hotel was very pleasant, and I went for a early morning walk by
myself round about, I was in deep thought and could not believe I
was walking about Arizona alone enjoying the wonderful scenery,
truly a great time.
and Richard were wonderful, they took us from place to place and
never complained, we met all the gang from Horton’s Harem and we
saw some stunning sights and made great friends, and without them we
would have been lost.
build up to Thursday morning was incredible –feelings of
excitement and wild emotions, which never left me. I was so thrilled
to meet all the gang, Hi Patty, Virginia, Betty, Graeme, Becky,
Jacque, Laura and Alicia, great to meet you all.
the first sight of Robert was a feeling I cannot describe, 45 years
of adoration in a few minutes was simply so fulfilling, I was just
smile was exactly the same as I had always known and still excites
me as it did way back. When he took my hand he took away my fears
and anxieties and made
me feel calm and tranquil. When he spoke to me
“Diana from the Lake County” I just melted
into a fuzzy daze, but soon came back to life when he embraced me,
WOW cannot put it into words. He is adorable.
stayed a while to watch Robert signing autographs and mainly to
catch every glimpse we could, as I had never met him before I kept
my eyes on him afraid to look away in case he wasn't there when I
looked again, I'm just a crazy women where the Hot Man is concerned.
I adore him and like you all want to be close by as long as
had a wonderful time at Alicia’s hotel room, she made us so
welcome and all new friends together watching Robert singing some of
his great songs was very special, these songs I have not heard
before, a wonderful night which was a great addition to the holiday.
If I may also add Alicia's hard work with the web site is
amazing, she has given Robert another chance to find new fan's and
friends from all over the world. Thanks Alicia.
restaurant on Saturday was wonderful, Robert and Marilynn made us
feel very welcome and relaxed, and I did manage to ask Robert a few
questions. Marilynn was very nice and made me laugh. They would
not believe me at home I was sitting beside Robert having a meal and
chatting about his life and Wagon Train. I did not need to worry at
all, at the end of the night it was a very emotional time and there
were many tears, (How are you Patty?), when he was
presented with his photo from all of us he was overwhelmed, it was
wonderful to see, an experience I will never forget.
we went to the schoolhouse at Rawhide to watch Wagon Train. The
experience was terrific. If my dear Dad was still alive he would
have wanted to be there, he was also a great Flint fan.
one was on tender hooks waiting for Robert to arrive. I could not
imagine being in the same room with Robert never mind watching Wagon
Train with him. I sat right behind him throughout the episode just
in case he needed any help at all; LOL and he sure did as I helped
him up from the chair. But it didn't stop there; when we finished
taking photos outside, he was off back to his table at the festival.
I then asked him if he needed an escort, as I was worried about the
uneven road down the hill. He
answered, “sure if you like,” so Elizabeth and I escorted him
down to the entrance. I could not believe we did that, another
memory I will never forget, it just gets better and better.
45-year ambition and dream of Flint has now been completed, my
meeting with my one and only cowboy was an amazing feeling of
overwhelming emotion, which I have never felt before.
the big man himself is a lifetime experience and was a very
emotional event, and will stay with me for the rest of my life. The
whole event was a successful and enjoyable occasion. Thanks for the
Lake District, England
After traveling to California in August to attend the Golden Boot
Awards and especially to meet Robert, I had hoped after
that wonderful experience that I would someday again get to be in his
company. When I learned that there would indeed be a gathering of
adoring fans planning a trip to Scottsdale, I convinced my husband
that I really wanted to join the group. Besides, it was a dream of
mine to see the southwestern part of our country. I had arranged
with Alicia to fly to Albuquerque and drive with her to Scottsdale.
Alicia kindly picked me up at the airport on Tuesday and I spent a
wonderful time as a guest in her lovely home and in the process made
friends with Winston (a Maltese puppy) who really is the King of the
On Wednesday morning we packed up the red, Hot
Man Express Stagecoach with Alicia at the reins and I riding shotgun.
Needless to say, the ride was absolutely beautiful as I viewed the New
Mexico scenery. As we entered Arizona territory, the landscape
became even more spectacular. I was like a kid in the candy shop
peering out at mountain and desert views and I had a terrific time
with my girlfriend as we listened to Robert's CDs along the way.
I must say that Alicia is a great driver as she navigated around some
harrowing bends on Interstate 17. I, on the other hand, failed
miserably on the way home when I mistakenly gave Alicia the
wrong road to turn into.........okay...okay...I admit I could not pass
INDIAN SCOUT CLASS 101. (So just shoot me, Alicia!!!!!!)
After getting settled into our hotel, we made
arrangements to have a lovely dinner with Virginia, Jacque and Betty.
Later, I met Laura from California who was to be my roommate.
On Thursday morning we met Graeme and Bec from Australia and we went to
Rawhide where the festival was to be held. Somehow, we managed to
find the huge pavilion which held all of the vendors, main stage
and of course, the celebrities. As we gathered around waiting for
Robert, we met the British folks with many hugs. The morning ticked
by and Robert had yet to arrive. About 11:15 I saw him
arrive and be ushered to a panel discussion that was already taking place. The moderator
of the discussion asked Robert about his Harem and he graciously said
that he was looking forward to meeting everyone and to the Saturday
evening dinner. When the discussion was over Robert greeted the
British folks and it was exciting to see Diana and Jackie meet Robert for
the first time. I was again nervous to see him and I shyly
hung back behind a big fellow and as the man moved aside, Robert saw me
and I could not even have imagined the wonderful greeting that he bestowed
upon me. I will never forget it!!!
Jackie and I had made arrangements to horseback
ride with a private outfitter in the Tonto National Forest and it was
tough to leave Robert and the festival but it was a dream of mine to see
the beauty of this land from the back of a horse. I think only a
horse person would appreciate this statement. This trip proved to be
the MOST incredible ride I had ever experienced. We had Joe as our
guide and I can honestly say that he was unbelievably kind to us.
Besides his knowledge of the area and his wonderful horsemanship, he saw
to it that we would experience the ride just as he does when he competes
at Endurance Riding Competitions. I have never experienced galloping
almost two miles nonstop around cacti with sharp turns and at what seemed
like breakneck speed. The horses were wonderful and the scenery
with the desert in bloom was again spectacular. I know Jacky shares
my view on this wonderful experience and it was worth every cent.
I am so happy that we had this great time together as we had only met that
Friday and Saturday were again spent at the
festival as we took in the riding and shooting events in the arena and
shopped among the western crafters in the re-enactors village. Of course
we checked out Robert and Marilynn at the autograph table and
his panel discussions.
Saturday evening was the highlight of the
festival as we had dinner with Robert and Marilynn. They both seemed
to enjoy themselves and it was truly a great evening with everyone getting
to socialize with them. I especially enjoyed chatting with Marilynn
as we kibitzed about our husbands.
As Robert did not receive the Cowboy Spirit Award, I had suggested
to Alicia that I thought we should honor Robert ourselves. We all
signed a Signature frame in which Alicia had inserted a picture of Robert
as Flint and she transposed a special message to him.. When Alicia
presented it to Robert, he truly was touched and it seemed that he was at
a loss for words. He did not want to be undone by us, so he gave a
little speech about the Native Americans and their custom of making
dreamcatchers. He then worked his way around the room and passed out
individual dreamcatchers to everyone. When he approached me I
totally became unhinged and the tears started to flow. I totally
lost it with him as it was such a tender moment. Another event
forever imprinted in my memory.
We all met again on Sunday and were able to meet
Robert in the one room Schoolhouse where we had a special viewing of Wagon
Train with Robert giving us quite a bit of background information on Wagon
Train. It was fun to see his reactions to some of the scenes.
At 4:00 we sadly said our farewells to Robert and he hugged and kissed
everyone. Alicia and I had dinner later with the Brits which was
It was truly another incredible experience for me and I
again thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to see Robert and
Marilynn again and to meeting my old friends from the Golden
Boot and the new ones from Britain and Australia and Laura from
California. I am truly grateful to Robert and Marilynn for sharing
themselves with us and most especially to my favorite girlfriend Alicia,
for her hard work, organizational skills and worrying endlessly that we
would all have a good time. You did a great job girlfriend, and I
want to thank you for your undying love of Robert which enabled all of us
to share our lives with him.
BETTY'S Report: FUN AT THE '05 FESTIVAL|
When I first heard about the festival with
the opportunity of seeing the Hortons again, as well as the good
friends I made during the Golden Boot
Weekend in California, I wanted to attend, but since my daughter,
Laura, was teaching school and couldn't come with me this time, I was
In January, as we had planned, Jacque
(a wonderful friend I had met at the Golden Boot weekend) came to
visit me, and while she was here she asked if I would be going to the
festival. I told her that I really didn't feel I could handle the
airport hassle by myself, and before I could say anything else, Jacque
said, "Oh, don't let that stop you from going. I'll route
my trip from Houston through Denver, spend the night, and the two of
us can take the shuttle to the airport the next morning."
Then is when I began to make my plans and began getting excited.
Jacque arrived on the 15th and we
had such a happy reunion, and as planned, boarded the plane for
Arizona the next day. Knowing that it would
be very difficult for me, with my arthritis in the knees, to walk to
our gate, she arranged for a wheelchair, and it was a Godsend.
We had no wait
at the security gate and breezed on through right to our boarding
area. Jacque was with me all the way because we were traveling
When we arrived at the
Phoenix airport, as planned, our friend and roommate, Virginia,
met us in the baggage claim area. Unfortunately we were delayed
by the fact that a small piece of my luggage didn't arrive with the
other one. Once
again, dear Jacque went to the office to fill out a claim form for me.
Then the three of us took a shuttle and away we went to the hotel in
Our room was very nice - a living room/dining room area with a pullout
sofa and a bedroom with two large beds. Incidentally, bless her
took the sofa bed, while Virginia and I had the beds. There was
plenty of room for the three of us and we
even worked out time schedules for use of the bathroom with no problem
We got in touch with the people
in our group that had already arrived and during dinner time, we got
together to make our plans for the next day,
which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. We all met in the hotel
lobby and took the complementary van from the hotel
to the festival area. Foolishly, not realizing there would be sand to
walk on, I chose to wear toeless shoes, and couldn't take two steps
without sand getting into my shoes. Jacque and Virginia
convinced me that in order for me to get anywhere, I needed a
wheelchair. Jacque pushed me to the Pavilion, where the
celebrities had set up certain areas where they were selling photos
and CDs. When we got to Bob and Marilynn's area, Bob asked if I
had fallen. I quickly told him and Marilynn about the toeless
shoes, and she kindly
advised me to wear sensible shoes the next day
It was so good to see the Hortons,
and we all chose photos and CDs that we didn't have. Then we
visited the other celebrity areas and even
though I could have walked around in the Pavilion, Jacque said that if
we were to leave the wheelchair outside to use later, it might not be
then, so rather than pushing the empty chair, I continued to stay in
it, but urged Jacque to leave me at the main stage, where enjoyable
performances were constantly going on. I told her to go off on
her own and enjoy herself. She did, but she never left me very
long, and she brought me
cold drinks and snacks. Then the next day, I did
wear the only sensible shoes I brought - a pair of tennies, and I was
determined that Jacque
would't need to push me in the chair that day. However, the
distance from the entrance to the Pavilion was quite long and halfway
there, I felt pain,
and my knees went out on me completely, making it a necessity now for
sure that the wheelchair was needed. I worried that doing this
was too heavy foracque, but she assured me it wasn't. Enough of
this subject, but I knew others wondered why I could walk sometimes
and not others. It was the
distance walking that got to me.
Every morning we all went to have
a few words with Bob and Marilynn, but during the day they were quite
busy with other people talking to them,
but in the afternoons there were panel discussions between the
celebrities, and we enjoyed listening to what Bob had to say in
response to questions
people asked him.
We were all looking forward to Saturday
evening (including long-time fans from England and Australia) because
we would have Bob and Marilynn all to ourselves. That night
finally came and, just like at the Golden Boot brunch, there were two
tables, and the Hortons exchanged places through the
meal. Alicia had the great idea to prepare a plaque for Bob with
a picture of him as "Flint" in the center, and had all of us
write something around
the border. When she presented it to Bob that night, it was very
apparent how it affected him. He sat for a long time reading what
written and his thanks was in his smile for us. We ended the
night close to midnight, having had picture taking and conversations.
It never ceases to
amaze me how tolerant, patient, and gracious Bob and Marilynn are to
their fans, letting them take as many pictures as they want and giving
During the evening, they gave each of us a lovely gift - an Indian
"Dream Catcher", and Bob told us the story of how and why it
got its name. What a
very thoughtful thing for them to do.
The following day, some of us went over
to the school house, where there was a TV/DVD available.
Virginia brought some of her "Wagon Train" episodes,
and we were engrossed in watching one, when the door opened, and in
walked Bob. He watched the episode with us and shared
experiences he has had in filming them. I thought it was so
great of him to seek us out and join us for awhile.
Afterward, we all went
outside for more pictures, and that was the last time Jacque and I saw
Bob and Marilynn. We all parted the next day to
return to our homes, and Jacque flew with me to Denver, where she
caught her plane to Houston, and I returned to mine in a shuttle.
I have to say that I've never known a kinder, more thoughtful, and
selfless person in my life, and I feel richly blessed with her
When I attended the Golden Boot
Awards, I thought nothing could duplicate that weekend, but after
attending the Western Festival, it was
every bit as enjoyable. I was so glad to see Alicia,
:Jacque, Virginia, and Patty again as well as the Hortons
It was also a great pleasure to
meet Bob's long-time fans from England and Australia, as well as
others who were there and had not attended these functions before.
I found Laura to be an especially lovely person who was there for the
first time and has been a devoted fan of Bob's since she was
Now, as I look back on it, I know
I have another wonderful get-together to remember and always cherish,
thanks to Alicia bringing us
all together via the web site and the wonderful plans she made so that
all of us would have the enjoyable time that we did.
Virginia's Scottsdale Comments
Scottsdale 2005 was a fun-filled event. This is my fifth trip to
see Robert Horton at a festival or other event; all the trips have
been fun. Trying to organize my thoughts I see four aspects
of this event: life at the motel, panel discussions, Saturday
dinner at Carlos O’Briens, and watching Don Alvarado with
Life at the Motel I shared a room (two double
beds and a sofa-bed, one bathroom) with Jacque and Betty.
The room sharing went remarkably smoothly. Each roommate
selected a corner to store her stuff and we soon developed a
general schedule for bathing and teeth-brushing that worked for
our group. (Kudos to Betty and Jacque for making
room-sharing a success.) I particularly enjoyed the
large gathering in Alicia’s room one evening watching Robert
Horton videos, both Wagon Train and music. In our room, we watched
several WT’s including Millie Davis, a light episode Betty did
Panel Discussions In one panel discussion,
Robert talked about the evolution of the wardrobe he wore as
Flint. Initially, his clothing included beads on his hat, beads on
his belt, and beads on his boots. He thought this was too
much beads and particularly disliked the beads on the boots.
Over time, Robert’s portrayal of Flint was very successful, and
he was able to adjust Flint’s costuming to be more to his
liking, keeping the beaded belt, but getting rid of the beads on
his boots and hat. Another panel question was about
Robert’s way to tell guests it is time to leave -- his method is
to start vacuuming around the long-staying guests. In Sunday’s
panel discussion, Robert made a very nice comment about enjoying
Saturday night dinner with the fans.
Saturday Dinner at Carlos O’Briens
Great companionship and excellent food. We sat at two round
tables in the party room of this Mexican restaurant. Robert
and Marilynn sat at different tables and switched places midway
through the meal so every guest could spend time with each of
them. The fans gave Robert a picture with a hand-written comment
from each of us. Marilynn and Robert gave each fan a
dream-catcher as a souvenir gift. Alicia gave everyone a
small kachina as a souvenir gift. There was much
picture-taking and lots of laughter. We partied so long that the
restaurant was empty, except for the bar area, long before we
(We stayed so late, I expected someone to come in and start
vacuuming in our party room.)
Watching Don Alvarado with Robert
Showings at the “Old Schoolhouse” were very poorly publicized
(practically hidden,) but our group and a few others gathered
Sunday afternoon to watch a Wagon Train episode with Robert.
Robert selected “Don Alvarado” from several available
episodes. In this episode Flint impersonates a Spanish
gentleman in order to claim an inheritance. Robert shook his head
at some of the more improbable parts of this story, seemed to
enjoy the sword fight, and commented on the long kissing sequence
which is interrupted by a comic interlude.
Summary Much fun with good companions. I am looking
forward to another gathering, somewhere, sometime.
|JACKY's Comments on the
"Festival of the West 2005"
This was my very first trip to America and the first, and last, holiday
without my husband. Being a 'first timer' I had not met anyone
from Horton's Harem so I felt rather apprehensive when I met
Elizabeth and Diana at Heathrow Airport. They both very
quickly put me at my ease and I felt very comfortable and relaxed in
their company. The flight over was very good and we were met
at Phoenix Airport by Toni and her husband, Richard. Richard
had hired a peoples carrier (an SUV for the Americans reading this) to take us all around and to the
Festival. We owe so much to Richard as without him we would
not have been able to go anywhere, and both he and Toni were such
The first day of the Festival I nervously met Robert for the first
time. Because I was standing back, not daring to approach
him, Toni took hold of my arm and introduced me to him. He said
'hello' and shook my hand. I was in such a state of shock I
was unable to speak, and I could not let go of his hand.
He more or less had to peel my hand from his. Afterwards Toni
asked me if I was O.K. now. I told her I was still
shaking and my stomach still had butterflies. I could not
believe that I had actually touched the man I had always wanted to
I did not stay long the first day as Patty and I had booked to go on
a horse ride. This was absolutely amazing. Our guide, Joseph, was a very knowledgeable guy who seemed to know
everything about the Arizona Desert and the habitat. The horses
were very sure-footed which they had to be, because we were
cantering and galloping a lot. One minute we were up on
the top of the mountain where it was quite cold, the next we were
down in the canyon away from the chill of the wind. The ride
was very fast and at times I did wonder how I managed to stay on,
but it was the best ride I had ever been on in my life. I came
away from there with a lot more knowledge than I went with,
thanks to Joseph. If it had not been for Patty going with
me I would not have done this. Patty is a very good rider and
I really enjoyed her company. If I am lucky enough to get to
the Festival next year I hope we can both do this ride again.
I met Robert again, nervously, the next day to pick up some
photographs and his autograph. Saturday evening was my
best time ever and the company of Robert's Harem was most relaxing
and enjoyable. After a couple of glasses of wine I started to
feel myself relax even more, to the extent that I was actually
'talking' to Robert, and later to Marilynn, as though I had known
them for years. I had waited 47 years to meet him and now
my life has been fulfilled. Robert was given a photograph of
himself which was signed by us all which he seemed to be
overwhelmed by and I am sure he had a tear in his eye.
I know I did when he commented on my message.
I was only able to stay for one week and the time went too quickly.
Before we knew it Elizabeth, Diana and myself were at the airport
waiting to go home. The three of us plus Toni and Richard all
got on very well and we all had a lot of fun. I would like to
take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Toni and
Richard for going out of their way to look after us and take us
everywhere. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in America
and the company of all the girls ( plus the two guys) from
Robert's Harem I was glad to get home to my husband as I missed
him every day whilst I was away. If I am able to get to the
Festival next year I shall have to bring my husband and I hope it is
next year that Robert will receive The Spirit of the West Award.
Perhaps if we all write to Mary Brown she will nominate Robert for
Hope to see you all next year. Thank you all for a wonderful
time. My very best to you all.
SCOTTSDALE REPORT FROM TONI
husband Richard, who had never been to America before, and I arrived
in Scottsdale on the 12th of March after an 11 hour flight
from London, it was worth the long flight.
arrived at the Festival of the West with our friends, Elizabeth, Diana
and Jacky. When I saw Robert for the first time in two years he
recognized me straightway and gave me a warm welcome, we chatted for a
while, then he had to go to a panel meeting along with Denny Miller,
and others. Richard said
he thought the Festival of the West was so fantastic; he thoroughly
enjoyed it very much. The
weather was very good, hot and sunny; compared to our English weather,
which is still dull, cold, and very damp.
The fans made us so welcome, we hugged one another and I
introduced Richard to Robert, and all the rest of the fans. We took
lots of photos all around the Festival of the West, and of course
loads of Robert.
Thursday evening we, the fans, went to Alicia’s hotel room to watch
Robert’s videos tapes on the portable television she brought with
her, it was so wonderful, we all had snacks and cokes, chatting to
other fans, mainly talking about Robert all night!
While watching Robert on her T.V., it brought me so many
marvellous memories of him, sort of nostalgia.
It was a really lovely fan gathering.
We all got to know each other very well.
the Saturday evening we had a wonderful time with Robert, Marilynn and
the rest of the fans at the Mexican restaurant, I was so pleased I was
there when Robert received the large photograph of himself with all
the fans’ signatures, I could tell that he was really impressed with
it. I think he was a bit
emotional when he saw the photograph, we took a lot of photos, and we
were enjoying ourselves with plenty of good laughs. I had the best seat sitting opposite Robert; I loved watching
his handsome face all night!!! Richard
said he had a jolly good time chatting to Robert and Marilynn.
our last day at the Festival of the West we said our goodbyes to
Robert & Company, it was a bit sad for all of us.
Robert looked so well and of course very handsome for his age,
and as always has a lovely, famous smile!!
have to take our hats off to Alicia who gave each fan a wonderful gift
containing Indian ornaments, they are really lovely and we will
treasure them and of course to Patty and her friend gave me a
beautiful box full of Robert Horton’s photos and a lovely poem
inside the box. Thank you
very much Alicia and Patty for their kind thoughts.
big grateful thanks to Alicia who had worked so hard to make the
seating arrangements for us; it was a lovely atmosphere.
And also I hope she will continue to do her superb website I
love to see it every day to see if there is any more news of Robert.
had a wonderful holiday and brilliant time.
We hope to see Robert & Company next year, you never know!
you all once again for making us so welcome, especially Alicia.
RICHARD AND TONI PARTRIDGE
SCOTTSDALE REPORT FROM ELIZABETH
Our trip this year was absolutely wonderful. If was so nice seeing
everyone again and pleased to say our "English group" all got
on so very well together.
I found the western festival much better than two years ago.
Traveling was so much easier having a car to hand and a very special
thank you to Richard for his superb driving.
We enjoyed the evening with Alicia and friends watching the video's , a
good time was had by all. The "magic" evening on
Saturday was wonderful - spending time with Robert and Marilyn and the Mexican
meal was just really beyond words, it is so very very special.
Thanks you Robert and Marilyn for taking time to spend with us, it is
very much appreciated.
Scottsdale is a lovely place I bought lots of goodies and pleased today
all have been given out and everyone liked their presents.
The flight home was delayed by an hour, so we missed our connection at
Manchester but 2 hours later we were home so not delayed too much.
To my surprise we came home to lovely weather - sunshine and quite warm.
Has not lasted though! Once again it was great seeing you all again and
to meet the new fans we had not met before, it was lovely.
Everyone is talking about returning next year if Robert is going - I
hope he does and I really hope he is awarded the Spirit of Life award.
I had a marvelous holiday, wonderful memories.
Thanks you to you all.
A big thank you goes to Alicia for all your hard work.
The Aussies meet The Horton's
After months of anticipation and planning, Bec and I
finally left our hometown of Melbourne, Australia on our way to the USA
and the Festival of the West. Neither
the fog that delayed our flights, nor the 36 hour trip, could dampen our
enthusiasm – much of which had been built up over the preceding months
of e-mails sent back and forth across the world as many of Robert
Horton’s fans prepared for their own “big trip”.
We arrived in Scottsdale on the first day of the
Festival, and met up with Alicia Williams and her friends Patty and Laura
who drove us to the Festival. Alicia
was the one who persuaded us to change our holiday plans to attend the
Festival – we owe you one, Alicia!
Everyone was VERY focused on meeting the great man,
Robert Horton, so it was a quick walk through the Rawhide town and all the
exhibitors to where the celebrities were seated.
I have waited all my life to attend something like
the Festival – and so you can imagine how excited I was to see Peter
Brown (Lawman) and next to him, Ty Hardin (Bronco Layne) right there in
front of my eyes – and Robert was still to appear!
I had a quick chat to Ty, but then it was time to meet the rest of
“Horton’s Harem” (and of course, Richard!). While we were talking,
Robert arrived. In awe, I
took a backward step while Robert greeted all the ladies, and then, yep,
it was time for this little Aussie to be introduced and I got to shake his
hand. What an honor!!! Robert
As Robert took his position with the other
celebrities, I said to Bec, “It can’t get any better than this”, but
as time went on, it did.
We attended the Festival on Thursday and Friday - two
fantastic days doing cowboy things, talking and listening to the
When I thought that things could not get any better,
roll on Saturday night where I had the privilege of have dinner with the
Horton’s (Robert and Marilynn) and Horton’s Harem.
The night started with a couple of cold beers (I
think, to try to calm down my excitement). Two tables had been set up with
Robert on one and Marilynn on the other.
I had the absolute pleasure of having Marilynn sitting next to me,
Yee Har!! What a lovely person Marilynn is, and she entertained the whole
table with great conversation.
When the umpire blew his whistle for half time, it
was time for Marilynn and Robert to swap seats and yep, this Aussie had
the BEST seat in the house, right next to Mr. Robert Horton. I have to be
honest; I could not get the smile off my face. Over the next couple of
hours the conversation was sensational, reliving a lot of Robert’s past.
And just when I thought it could not get any better,
The paparazzi started and I had my photo taken with
Robert (arm in arm) and with the beautiful Marilynn planting a kiss on my
cheek. Wooo. I also got photos with Horton’s Harem, to add to a great
Now, as if that wasn’t enough, Robert presented all
of us with an Indian Dream Catcher, and told us a story behind them. My
dream catcher went straight to my Cowboy Room with all my other cowboy
memorabilia. What a memory - every time I look at my dream catcher it’s
not too hard to daydream back to Scottsdale.
Unfortunately the night had to end, but it was one of
the best nights I have ever spent in my life.
On the Sunday morning, Bec and I headed off for the
rest of our USA holiday which took another four and half weeks and covered
highlights such as, Tombstone (The town too tough too die), Tucson,
Sedona, Flagstaff, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (and no, I did not win),
Miami and a Caribbean Cruise. A top holiday in total.
Flying back to Australia from The USA, Bec asked me
what I though was my number one highlight of the previous five weeks. As I
stated to grin she answered it for me and said, “It was the “Festival
of the West” with Saturday night with the Horton’s as the main
highlight, wasn’t it?” Yes, she knows me well and she was 101 percent
I would like to thank the Horton's for making it so
special for Bec and me. Also,
special thanks to Alicia for all her organization, as without her, none of
this would have happened.
Long live Flint
From Aussies Down Under
Graeme and Bec Hudson
of all, I would like to thank you, Alicia, for this beautiful experience,
and for all your hard work putting everything together, and on a personal
note, thank you for making me feel so welcome. I loved meeting EVERYONE,
sharing a room with Patty, getting to know Graeme and Bec (you HAVEN'T
been to Ayres Rock?), Betty, Toni, and Richard. I'm SO glad I've
met you and we're keeping in touch!
do I even begin to find words for an experience that is so beautiful? It
started with a 12-hour bus trip, but I listened to my Shenandoah CD the
entire time, just thinking about Robert Horton the whole way, so amazed
that I was actually going to get to meet him. I can STILL hardly
believe that I got to meet Robert Horton! When I was 9 years old and
first fell in love with Flint, I never could have imagined, in my most
special dreams, that I would ever be blessed that way. For me, the way
this all happened was very spiritual. Starting last summer, when I was so
lost after being laid off from the job I love (Counselor) due to county
budget cuts, I really saw no light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
One day I just thought about Robert, out of nowhere, and looked up his
name, and found Alicia's website. You were a lifesaver, Alicia, so kind to
email me back, and in talking about Robert, I found that after all these
years, I still felt the same about him. I always wondered what
happened to him, did not know anything about what he had done after
Shenandoah. Robert and Alicia helped me through the summer (I finally got
my job back in Oct.); I got the Shenandoah CD, and some episodes of Wagon
Train. And Alicia kept in touch by email. She told me about the Golden
Boot Awards, but I couldn't go. But she encouraged me to go to
Scottsdale, and was so kind to include me in the group. I am so grateful,
a kindness I wish I could repay. I told Marilynn about what happened,
how I ended up at the Festival, because I wanted her to know and
to tell Robert how much he helped me. Thank you, Marilynn for telling him
touched me so deeply; I have never experienced anything like that. No
person I have ever met has affected me so much. His kindness (and of
course, how incredibly handsome he is) just about did me in. I got a
lot of his pictures (Flint), I wanted every one, but no matter how many
times I went back to his table, he was always so nice. It got to be pretty
funny, probably. He would smile, and kind of shake his head. I
couldn't help it. I love all the pictures I got. It's no secret; I'm sure,
how I feel about him. I can't help it. I went back one time and told
him I "needed Stormy" a gorgeous picture of him and Stormy
from Kiowa Jones. He signed Stormy's name on it too, and said he'd never
done that before.
the dinner, Robert and Marilynn giving us those Dream Catchers, and the
beautiful story he told about them, was SO touching. How thoughtful
of them. I can't imagine a more wonderful present. I still
can't believe that Robert Horton gave ME a Dream Catcher, my greatest
treasure. Some of you know this, but after he gave it to me, he asked
me which one I got. He said "Oh, the Indian", which has
always been my favorite word Flint said, the WAY he always said it.
And Robert said it just that way. I LOVED that. That's no coincidence, I don't
was incredible having him there and watching Wagon Train in the
schoolhouse. It was hard just being casual, like that was an everyday
occurrence or something. I couldn't get over that.
love that we gave Robert that picture. I'm so glad he knows how much
he is appreciated and loved.
had so much fun with everyone I got to spend time with. I can't wait to
see everybody again next year, when Robert BETTER gets the Cowboy Spirit
Award! Thank you everyone, for your kindness, and making it a
wonderful experience I'll treasure forever.
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