Christmas in Branson Part I and Upcoming Travels


I will be making several trips related to the project in the upcoming weeks and will continue to post my weekly columns. Stay tuned.

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back   As you read this, Loretta and I have completed a quick trip three hours east to Branson, MO which will be the kick-off of several travel adventures during the upcoming holidays which I hope you will find interesting.

Today I’m at the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation family park or as we all know it, Silver Dollar City. I’m sure you have seen the TV ads showing the millions of Christmas lights decorating the park. You may also have seen excerpts from their Christmas shows and highlights from the numerous special events and giveaways they are featuring for the season. You may also be thinking that it might be too cold for a fall trip to the park so here’s a tip I learned on a trip there a few years back.

The Ozark Mountains trap heat in the valleys and Silver Dollar City also provides hundreds of outdoor heaters throughout the park so it is actually much warmer than you would expect, adding something even more magical to this place that has been making memories for families since the first show opened down in the holler.

Next week I’ll be bringing you the full story about sharing Thanksgiving in Branson with thousands of fellow Americans. Following that we will be returning to Austin and Dora Padilla’s place in San Luis, CO to do a follow-up on the story about mutilated cattle I wrote three years ago. While we’re in that area of Colorado and New Mexico along the Continental divide we’ll be stopping a night at the Hotel St. James in Cimmaron, New Mexico which paranormal experts all agree is haunted by ghosts from the past. We are also planning stays in Angel Fire, Eagle Nest and Red River, NM which is Prairie Song owner Marilyn Tate’s favorite place in the world.

If you missed the story I wrote awhile back about Angel Fire here are a few quick facts:

Ø      The base elevation of the slopes is 8600 ft. with a climb to 10,677 ft.

Ø      They can cover up to 52% of the mountain with manmade snow and have 5 high speed lifts and two sun kid wonder carpets

Ø      85% of the trails are groomed for beginner and what I call family skiing that everyone can handle

Ø      Angel Fire has the only nighttime skiing in New Mexico and has a shuttle service proving easy pick-up and drop off at different locations throughout the resort

Ø      The resort also features a ski in/ski-out lodge, top of the line food joints and short life lines, all within a short ten hour drive.

This New Year I am looking forward to bringing you more interesting and historical stories from places near and far. Till next week I’ll see ya down the road….















Roy Rogers 100th Birthday

This week I do not have any tangible news about the Australian film crew except that they did come to town and are still interested in the project. I will be giving you updates as soon as I learn more. In the meantime I will continue to post my weekly articles. I am getting ready to do some more traveling so I hope you’ll stay tuned.

   Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

Welcome back. Last week I mentioned the three day celebration held in Claremore to recognize what would have been Will Rogers’ 132nd birthday. Will was born on November 4, 1879 and on November 5th the birthday of another one of my idols rolled that I just couldn’t pass up writing about so this column is dedicated to him.

Leonard Franklin Slye was born on November 5, 1911 and would have turned 100 this year. Born and raised in Ohio, he worked alongside his dad as boy, doing farm work at first and then graduating to factory work and working as a shoemaker for the United States shoe factory in Cincinnati in 1920.

Looking for better work the family moved to California following the American dream but instead they ended up picking peaches for a nickel a load. The move did allow young Leonard to pursue his love of music and he joined his cousin Stanley Slye in his first musical group “The Slye Brothers.”  Leonard had learned to yodel in Ohio which was unusual in California and after The Slye Brothers band broke up in 1933; he brought that talent to several other western bands. The Rocky Mountaineers, International Cowboys, O-Bar-O Cowboys all led up to the formation of the Pioneer Trio in late 1933. When KFWB Radio host Harry Hall mistakenly called the group “The Sons of the Pioneers” history was made.

The group was instantly popular and in 1935 they records a song written by Bob Nolan entitled Tumbling Tumbleweeds for a Republic Pictures soundtrack. The film starred Gene Autry and before long the Sons of the Pioneers were on the fast track in Hollywood.  Leonard also began doing bit parts in Gene’s films and changed his name to Dick Weston. Then during production of Under Western Stars Autry suddenly dropped out and the directors were in a panic to find a new singing cowboy.

Leonard got the job and he gave himself a new stage name, taking the name of a man he admired who had just been killed in a plane crash in Alaska.  It would only be a few years until Republic Pictures and the rest of the world would know Leonard as the “King of the Cowboys.”

By now I think you all know I’m talking about Roy Rogers and yes he would have been 100 years old on November 5th. When he met Dale Evans, his third and last wife, he was already quite famous. They married at the Flying L Ranch in Oklahoma in 1947 after Roy’s second wife Arline died giving birth to their son.

The Roy Rogers show on NBC starred both Roy and Dale and ran from 1951 to 1957. This is where Trigger “the smartest horse in the movies”. Bullet, Roy’s German shepherd, Buttermilk Dale’s horse and all the other characters came to be famous.

I’ve interviewed Roy’s son Dusty several times in Branson and he told me his dad spent close to thirty years working with Trigger every day. He also told me his dad had two other Triggers, one for stunts and one for traveling as the original Trigger aged.

When the Old Man, as Roy called his horse, died in 1965 at the age of 33, Dusty said his dad just couldn’t part with his friend so he had Trigger mounted. When Bullet and Buttermilk died they were mounted as well.

You may have read that Trigger and Bullet the Wonder Dog were recently sold to RFD-TV to be the centerpieces of the Happy Trails tour crisscrossing the country. In celebration of Roy’s 100th birthday they will also appear on a float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses parade lead by 100 golden palominos and featuring Dusty and Dustin Rogers, singing Happy Trails. Roy was a parade rider for years and in 1977

He and Dale served as the Grand Marshals for the parade so this is a fitting honor for his birthday.

Roy made his last movie in 1976 but he continued to make guest appearances both in person and on the big screen until his death in 1998. Dale died three years later in 2001 and the pair are buried in Apple Valley side by side under a simple headstone.

Before closing this week I’d like to wish Will Roger’s grand niece Coke Myers who was born ninety- two years ago on November 12th a big happy birthday too! Till next week I’ll see ya down the road…




Chub Anderson and Gary Glanz

I think all of you who have been following this case will be interested in this article, particularly if you didn’t see the piece in Oklahoma Magazine. Things may finally about to break in the next few months. Stay tuned.

Welcome back.  The October issue of Oklahoma Magazine featured an article about unsolved murders in Oklahoma and in it private investigator Gary Glanz is quoted regarding the tragic beating and shooting death of E.C. Mullendore on September 26, 1970:

“We have got the answer. There was another man with Chub on the night of murder who helped cover it up. I am working with the D.A. in Osage County to resolve it.”

The article stated that an indictment could be pending.

Did Glanz get a death bed confession from Chub Anderson as he states in the article?

Did he and Anderson have the type of relationship that would lead Anderson to reveal his 40 year old secret to Glanz? And if he did, why didn’t the cops make an arrest if there was a co-conspirator in the murder as he stated. Well, this information and more may all come out in a new documentary that is scheduled to begin filming in the area next week. The film crew is from Australia and they produce a show with over 77 million viewers around the world which will be shining a light on this famous unsolved crime.

After I was subpoenaed by the Attorney General to appear before a multi county Grand Jury my own attorneys have recommended that I not comment on what I know or reveal my role in the story. What I can do is give you a little history on just who Gary Glanz is and how he came to be involved in this case.

Glanz started his career on the Tulsa Police force in the 1960s where he built a reputation for having a sixth sense about crime. Before long he decided that his true calling was in the P.I. business and with not much more than his instincts he went into business for himself in the late ‘60s. He received a call from E.C. Mullendore’s widow’s attorney just four hours after the murder and the three of them drove out to the ranch together early the following morning. This was the start of Glanz’s investigation of the murder, a crime he has said many times in print should have been solved within the first 72 hours.

“This was never a contract hit” he has stated, adding that he knew who killed E.C. and for $100,000 could prove that Mullendore had not committed suicide or arranged to have himself killed in order for his heirs to collect his life insurance. At the time his death benefit was thought to be the largest ever paid in the history of the insurance business. Although the murder investigation continued for the next three years, Glanz went on solving other cases and in 1973 the Wall Street Journal published a front page profile of him calling him a “Super Sleuth” and the best P.I. in the southwest.

As you might expect from a man who thrives on getting the job done no matter what the cost, Dirty Harry is his favorite movie and the weapon he carries is a Browning 9MM 15 shot  automatic customized with an inch and a half cut off the barrel and Smith& Wesson sights. He has said that he also packs a Walther 9MM 7 shot automatic and that neither gun has a safety. “If you’re going to pull a gun you have two choices, use it or eat it.” Now 72 years old, Glanz has traveled around the world working on everything from high profile cases to simple thefts and divorces usually solving his cases and solving the Mullendore murder would put the lid on his most famous case!

With all that said, I couldn’t leave you this week without mentioning the three day celebration in Claremore of the man who in my opinion was the greatest Oklahoman who ever lived. Will Roger’s birthday was this past weekend and the occasion was marked with parades, children’s theater, dinners with his relatives and much more. I think it would have made him happy to see how his memory and his influence have lived on. My friends Coke Meyers and Jennifer Rogers whom I met in August at the Rogers Ranch in Santa Monica were both there along with thousands of Will’s admirers of which I am one.

“They may call me a rube and a hick but I’d a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.” Will Rogers.

Me too Will. Till next week I’ll see ya down the road…..