The Crossbell Incident Part 2 & The International Finals Rodeo

If you missed Part 1 you can find it on this website…

Welcome back. This week I’m bringing you Part 2 of the “Crossbell Incident”.

It was December 8, 1981when Dale Kurtz received his contract and the project synopsis from Filmworks. The script was included in his packet along with a list of the actors under consideration for each of the major roles.

In addition to Rory Calhoun who was to play patriarch Gene Mullendore, there were several actresses in the running to play E.C.’s wife Linda. According to a handwritten note in Dale’s file Anne Archer was considered to be perfect for the part but she was already starring in “Waltz Across Texas”.  Barbara Horan was also mentioned but the biggest name was Lynda Day George. The5’8” beauty had been in the hit TV series “Mission Impossible” and also appeared on “Love Boat” and “Charlie’s Angels”. She had starred opposite John Wayne in “Chisolm” and had met her actor husband Christopher George on the set of “The Gentle Rain”. At the time he was starring in the hugely popular World War II based series “Rat Patrol”.

For the role of Gene’s wife Kathleen Filmworks had focused on veteran film actress Lois Hall. Hall was part of director John Ford’s legendary “Western Stock Company”, a group who appeared repeatedly in his films.  According to Wikipedia, over time this group included Will Rogers, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, James Stewart, Ben Johnson and John Carradine. Quite a group

At this juncture I need space to bring you the report on this week’s adventures during my most visit to Oklahoma City. Next week in Part 3, producer Don Hawk’s pick to play E.C. will be coming up and his choice for Chub Anderson will surprise you.

With that said, I’ve spent a lot of time in Oklahoma City this past week and I had the opportunity to attend several interesting events so here’s a brief rundown:

A big boat and travel show was going on at the Cox Convention Center in the heart of downtown. Even with 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, I don’t know how they fit the hundreds of boats and travel trailers into the building not to mention the thousands of visitors. It is always a treat to look at all the new recreational toys that come on the market every year and dream….

After touring this show, it was on to the State Fair Arena and the 46th annual International Finals Rodeo where the top rodeo contestants in this association would be selected as this year’s champions

The Rodeo is put on by the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) which was founded in 1957 with headquarters in Paul’s Valley, OK. In 1993 the association moved its headquarters to Oklahoma City where each year the association recognizes champions in 9 categories: all around, bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, bull riding and cowgirls’ barrel racing along with calf roping. The IPRA is now the sport’s second largest association with over 2,400 members and 300 sanctioned events including 15 in Oklahoma.

The four performances on Saturday and Sunday each drew a big crowd. One of the highlights of the rodeo for me was watching barrel racer Tracey Nowlin who’s from Nowata. Tracy has been barrel racing for 14 years and she usually finishes in the money as she did at the Finals this year. Her story and that of her horse deserve more space than I have now but trust me, she’ll be back next year for sure. Of course the whole rodeo was extremely exciting and my scoop of the week is: if you’ve never been to a rodeo check out the next one in your area, it doesn’t get any more American than that.

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road……………….