Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - January 2017
    - December 2016
    - October 2016
    - September 2016
    - August 2016
    - July 2016
    - May 2016
    - March 2016
    - February 2016
    - January 2016
    - December 2015
    - November 2015
    - September 2015
    - August 2015
    - July 2015
    - May 2015
    - April 2015
    - March 2015
    - February 2015
    - January 2015
    - December 2014
    - November 2014
    - October 2014
    - September 2014
    - August 2014
    - July 2014
    - May 2014
    - April 2014
    - March 2014
    - February 2014
    - January 2014
    - December 2013
    - November 2013
    - October 2013
    - September 2013
    - August 2013
    - July 2013
    - June 2013
    - May 2013
    - April 2013
    - March 2013
    - February 2013
    - January 2013
    - December 2012
    - November 2012
    - October 2012
    - September 2012
    - August 2012
    - July 2012
    - June 2012
    - May 2012
    - April 2012
    - March 2012
    - February 2012
    - January 2012
    - December 2011
    - November 2011
    - October 2011
    - August 2011
    - July 2011
    - June 2011
    - May 2011
    - April 2011
    - March 2011
    - February 2011
    - January 2011
    - December 2010
    - November 2010
    - October 2010
    - September 2010
    - August 2010
    - July 2010
    - June 2010
    - May 2010
    - April 2010
    - March 2010
    - February 2010
    - January 2010
    - December 2009
    - November 2009
    - October 2009
    - September 2009
    - August 2009
    - July 2009
    - June 2009
    - May 2009
    - April 2009
    - March 2009
    - February 2009
    - January 2009
    - December 2008
    - November 2008
    - September 2008
    - August 2008
    - June 2008
    - April 2008
    - March 2008
    - February 2008

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Archives

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
      - Archives

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Research & Consulting

Subscribe to Western Clippings

Other Western Links

COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE:

Western Clippings Back Issues

Serial Report Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips

Sunday Comic Strips

Books

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Lobby Cards

Laser Copies of Lobby Cards

Movie Posters

Home

DECEMBER 2013

Howdy! My granddad, Daddow, followed the horses, and the horses he followed followed the horses. One afternoon Daddow and cronies journeyed to Santa Anita racetrack to visit their money. “What nag do you like in the fifth?” asked the cronies. “Search me,” replied Daddow. “You think he has a chance?” Daddow harrumphed, “I meant I haven’t the foggiest.” “No, no,” they said. “Look at your scratch sheet—Search Me is a horse! He’s running in the fifth!” All was quiet. The grizzled gangsters were blessed to be in the mystic presence of the Mother of all hunch bets. They pooled their happy lettuce and sent Daddow off to lay it all on underdog Search Me to win. Daddow’s feet got colder as he approached the bettor’s window, and he bet the favorite across-the-board. Search Me won by a nostril, paying 50 to one. Point of this story is, when you get a hunch, bet it.

Trouble's brewin' between Alan Ladd and Ben Johnson in "Shane".Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends. In “Shane” they ain’t. Alan Ladd, newly hired farmhand, browses the local mercantile store to buy a sodbuster outfit—pants, belt, two shirts. “Young man, that comes to two dollars and two bits,” says the storekeeper. Shane moseys on through the swingin’ doors, bellies up to the bar and orders a sody pop, much to the amusement of the dusty cowmen. Sure as shootin’, trouble ahead. Cowman Ben Johnson tosses some jibes Shane’s way, claimin’ he smells like pigs. Shane looks at him. “You speakin’ to me?” Ben tosses some whiskey on Shane’s new store-bought shirt by way of fumigation. Shane absorbs the humiliation, and Ben puts the run on him. ‘Course, a leetle later, Shane comes back, punches out Ben, and punches out the other cowmen to boot with fists of fury. Shane turns the barroom into a BA-ROOOM!

Did you see “Taxi Driver” with Bob De Niro? He plays Travis Bickle, a crazy cabbie. How crazy? He’s itchin’ for a fight. He challenges his own likeness in a mirror. “You talkin’ to me?” he asks himself. Wheweee! What I’m wonderin’, do you reckon Travis Bickle saw “Shane”? I have a hunch he did—I’d bet on it.

Will Rogers once told Joel McCrea, “Buy land—God ain’t makin any more.” Joel took Will’s advice and made the San Fernando Valley his home. I love watching old movies to see L.A. the way it was when I was a kid. Plenty of vacant lots. Vacant lots are getting scarcer and scarcer out our way on Long Island’s North Shore. Our pal Rick Smith attends town meetings and writes blasting letters to newspapers bemoaning big builders’ encroachments: bulldozing waterfront property, buying out long-time shop owners, putting-up penitentiary-like condos that block out the sun ‘n’ sky, cramming tenants like sardines, driving us all nuts like rats in a maze, driving us to the abyss to jump in like lemmings. Smith owns a huge building in Glen Cove, the Piano Exchange, containing the world’s largest collection of classic pianos.

One player piano belonged to the world’s greatest player, Babe Ruth. Time out for a 7th inning stretch. Ah, Bambino! You sprouted during baseball’s dead ball, spitball, dirty, lumpy ball era. You were as much a Hall of Fame pitcher as slugger. In 1916 you faced the Big Train, Walter Johnson, who pitched 417 career wins, second only to Cy Young. Babe, you beat Johnson six out of seven. Look at you in your baggy, wool uniform. No batting helmet with earflap, no batting gloves nor outer protective equipment. No sunglasses. You are the Sultan of Swat. Todaze batsmen are Sultans of Shots. Your drugs were booze, broads, and Bull Durham. You didn’t break records, you set ‘em. You changed baseball into Babeball—Sheesh! Imagine what you could have done if you’d been in shape.

Rick Smith’s digs are piled high with cans containing 16mm classic flicks. I love sitting on his couch with his cat Tiger Baby, watching them. Babs came up with an idea. Why not rent a theatre for a night of westerns, including a “Sugarfoot”? “Aw, Babs! All I want do is jes’ sit on the front porch, whittlin’, whistlin’, spittin’, cussin’ speedsters. Rick surfed Babs’ brain wave, sending out flyers. More folks turned out for Rick’s Wednesday night screening than for all the other presentations combined in Glen Cove’s Cineplex. First, a ‘58 newsreel followed by a Porky Pig cowboy cartoon. Then, a short featuring Gus Van warbling “I’m an Old Cowhand” in various dialects and costumes. Dick Powell crooned “Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride” from “Cowboy From Brooklyn”. We all joined in for a rousing singalong of cowboy songs, following the bouncing sagebrush. We all duded-up cowperson style. My turn—thanks, Babs—Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into—yahoo! I play-acted mounting a fanciful horse and rode him down the aisle. “Whoa, I say! Aw, come on, hoss, Whoa!” Loud whinny—I dismounted, patted him, fed him a pocketful of oats. Next, a masterful display of rope and gun twirlin’ to heavy mitts. I would allow that my act woulda been better if I’d had a rope and gun! Babs joined me in a hearty rendition of “I Can See by Your Outfit That You Are a Cowboy”. I then intro’d the evening’s main attraction, “The Canary Kid”, an episode of “Sugarfoot”.

Who's who? Wayde Preston (Chris Colt) is confused...who's Sugarfoot (Will Hutchins) and who's the Canary Kid (?) on "Canary Kid Inc.".Back in my hayday, I told those gathered, Howard Hughes lived in Las Vegas where he owned a TV station. An insomniac, he’d often stay up all night to watch his station. If he was displeased with what he saw, he’d call up and tell ‘em to switch to his favorite flick, “Ice Station Zebra”. One of his girl friends had recently acted in “The Canary Kid”. Hughes wanted to see it. He called Warner Bros. to fly it to his station ASAP. Early that night, an airplane droned across a moonlit sky. A lonely pilot, his only companion, Sugarfoot in the can. Middle of that night, Hughes called his station and told ‘em to stop showing “Ice Station Zebra” and switch to “Sugarfoot”.

In the old daze I watched ol’ “Sweet Toes” at home on a small TV screen about the size of two postage stamps, a used Band-Aid, and Raoul Walsh’s eye patch. Whatta thrill for the first time to see my show bigger than life in vibrant sound with a large, appreciative audience. I was like a proud Daddow watching his grandson. The popcorn was good, too.

       Adios—