Sat, Oct. 31

VERDE HERITAGE 1966: SEDONA; "Death Valley Days" TV Series, July 21

"The first burro balked just like a mule, when they loaded it with pack sacks and tried to get it to perform the part of a prospector's darling. Used to a life of ease in the corral back of Harold Strohm's 'Museum Etcetera' on Brewer Road, Sedona, the little animal wanted nothing to do with a movie career."

"So Bob Bradshaw, local contact man and coordinator for motion picture and TV companies, had to find another burro in a hurry for Madison Productions, on hand to film 2 episodes for next season's 'Death Valley Days' TV series."

"He found a more amenable character at the home of Lanora Satran, a little girl who has a big way with animals. Lanora's burro performed in the first of the 2 episodes, 'Solid Gold Cavity,' in which Paul Brinegar (Wishbone in the 'Raw Hide' series) in the role of a prospector who needs to have his teeth 'fixed,' rescues an itinerant dentist who has been attacked and robbed by Mexican bandits."

"The second episode, 'The Lady and the Sourdough,' also required some local 'extras,' a cow, supplied by Carol Elmer; some horses, supplied by Bradshaw himself; and a flock of chickens."

"The first chickens came from George Keith on Red Rock Loop Road. They were taken to the location on Oak Creek and carefully coached in their role; but like the first burro, a full half of the flock were hoity-toity about TV. They ran away, and at press time were, for all anybody knew, still playing wild fowl somewhere in the creek bottom. Carol Elmer supplied the replacements."

"Bradshaw takes such trials and tribulations in stride. Since 1946 he has helped motion picture companies on location get oriented to the Oak Creek Canyon-Sedona-Verde Valley area in his role as contact man and local coordinator for such famous productions as 'Johnny Guitar,' 'The Eagle and the Hawk,' 'Ann Fury,' 'Half Breed,' 'The Rounders,' and many others."

"Asked what this job entails, Bradshaw, who, as a prolific color photographer, horseman, and rancher, is familiar with every scenic spot in the area, explained, 'The companies get in touch with you when they are considering your particular area as a possible location for filming. They tell you what they need, and you show them around and help them find proper places, if you can. If they decide to come, you work at least a month in advance lining up extras, stock, and as much equipment as possible so they won't have to bring along such bulky props as buggies and wagons. When they get here, you stick around to take care of last minute emergencies, like the balky burro and the flighty chickens.'"

"During his 20-year service in this capacity, Bradshaw has also worked as a double and an extra in many of the productions, but never as a stand-in. He furnished all the wagons and horses for the recently filmed 'Death Valley Days' episodes. Walter Nelson, Sr., catered the lunches for the company on location."

"'Even the weather cooperated,' says Bradshaw. 'They had 5 perfect days in which to do the job. The light and the sky backgrounds were wonderful. There were several log shots, in which this is particularly important, so it should come out real great.'"

"'Death Valley Days' is filmed in full color. In next season's series which begins in the fall, Robert Taylor will replace Ronald Reagan, now Republican candidate for the California governorship, as host of the program. Other episodes in the forthcoming series are being filmed in southern Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico."

Madison Productions, Hollywood, included a company of 42 people with Jack Shea, director; Robert Stabler, producer; George Fenaga, 1st assistant producer; and Glenn Cook, production manager.


"Producer Robert Stabler, in Sedona recently to film 2 episodes for the TV series, 'Death Valley Days,' liked the area so much he may return in the fall to do a motion picture feature, reports Bob Bradshaw, local contact man."

"'While it's not entirely certain, I think he really plans to do it.' says Bradshaw. 'He told me he was going to have the story partially rewritten, so it would be suitable. When he was here last week, we staked out the locations to be used. These include some in the neighborhood of Clarkdale and Cottonwood as well as Sedona-Oak Creek.'"

(The Verde Independent; Thursday, July 21, 1966; page 1.)

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