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140915 September 15, 2014

Chance Encounter of '66 Grads 
in the Ozarks 
by Kathy Harris Jones

        There was an accidental reunion in Branson, Missouri,  this week. Linda Collinsworth Provost, Darla Gentry Steinberg, Lynn Bozeman VanPelt, and Kathy Harris Jones traveled to Branson to meet up with Susie Wohlschlaeger Schlette who drove from her home at Lake of the Ozarks. While there, we were lucky enough to run across two other classmates, Gary Hatcher and wife Sharon Pickett Hatcher who were there for a NOMAD convention. And if you want to know what a NOMAD is, you need to ask them. It is quite an interesting and meaningful way to spend your retirement. 

        Memphis, TN -    I am going to donate a few books and a couple of prints for door prizes for the upcoming reunion and J.R. Brooks and others are also providing some items. If you have anything (think white elephant) like unwanted gift cards or Lee related craft items, books, CD's or pictures you would like to donate then please let me know and I will add them to the prize list. I know some of you have written books or drawn some pictures you might be willing to share.

        The time is running out for you to register for all the exciting events planned for the reunion so please give it some thought.  We should have the complete program finalized in the coming week and will pass it along when it becomes available.        

More Classmates Register
For Reunion

David ('64) and Patti Mullins

Carvel R.('64) and Mary Eberhart O'Bryant

Jerry ('64) and Connie Brewer

Gail Woodard ('65) Rogers and husband, Ronnie Rogers

Carolyn Steger ('66)

Katherine Brosemer ('64) Weathers and husband, Glenn Weathers

Niles ('65) and wife, Judy Prestage

Westerns of the 50's and 60's
by John Drummond
LHS '65

Andrew V McLaglen
Film director

Born: July 28, 1920; Died: August 30, 2014.

Andrew V McLaglen, who has died aged 94, was the last surviving director who worked regularly with the actor John Wayne, beginning their working relationship when he was a production assistant on Dakota almost 70 years ago and going on to direct several of his later films.

His father was the Oscar-winning actor Victor McLaglen and McLaglen Junior could remember him filming with Marlene Dietrich and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

He worked his way up through the ranks and was assistant director on the classic comedy-drama The Quiet Man (1952), directed by John Ford and starring Wayne, known within the business as Duke, Maureen O'Hara and McLaglen's father.

"One of the first scenes that we shot was the scene when Wayne pulls Maureen through the fields," McLaglen recalled in one interview.

"I went over to Ford and said, 'Do you think we ought to clean up that sheep dung before Duke pulls Maureen through it?' 'No,' he says, 'leave it!'."

Wayne helped McLaglen get going as a director a few years later and McLaglen directed Wayne in five films, including McLintock! (1963), Hellfighters (1968) and Chisum (1970).

McLaglen also directed almost 100 episodes of the classic western TV series Gunsmoke (1956-65) and four films with James Stewart, most notably the American Civil War epic Shenandoah (1965).

He worked with such legendary names as Roy Rogers, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, David Niven and Rock Hudson. And his death marks the breaking of a link with Old Hollywood, and a studio system that is now largely confined to history books.

Andrew Victor McLaglen was born in London in 1920, but within a few years the family had relocated to California. His father, whose career began in the silent era, tried to discourage him from following him into the movie business and the Second World War delayed his plans slightly.

At 6ft 7ins, McLaglen was considered too tall for military service and worked for the aircraft company Lockheed. He found time to appear in a couple of films as an actor and in 1945 he got a job as a production assistant with Republic Pictures.

John Wayne, whom he had known since childhood, took him under his wing and in 1953 gave him a job at his own film company. Wayne subsequently guaranteed the funding for McLaglen's directorial debut, a low-budget crime drama called Man In The Vault (1956).

McLaglen worked mainly in television in the late 1950s and early 1960s, directing such shows as Gunsmoke, Have Gun: Will Travel, and Rawhide. He said: "CBS put me under a 52-week contract. It was a great training ground."

Wayne played a significant role in his return to the big screen as a director with the comedy western McLintock! It was made by Wayne's company, starred Wayne and was a major hit, as was McLaglen's next film Shenandoah.

Whereas McLintock! was a comedy, Shenandoah was a deeply moving portrait of one family torn apart by the Civil War.

These early successes suggested McLaglen might have an outstanding cinema career ahead of him, but later work was solid rather than spectacular.

He repeatedly worked on westerns with Wayne and Stewart in the 1960s and 1970s, but he was never considered an auteur like John Ford, whose name was almost synonymous with the genre.

Asked by one interviewer how he chose projects, McLaglen said studios would send him a script and make him an offer. He maintained that he had no special liking for westerns and never intended to specialise in them, it just worked out that way.

He established a reputation for reliability, bringing films in on time and budget. Producer Darryl Zanuck put together the 1968 western Bandolero! on the strength of the headline cast of James Stewart, Dean Martin and Raquel Welch, a six-page story outline, and McLaglen as the man who could pull it all together.

He did have some success with war films too, including The Wild Geese (1978), with Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Roger Moore.

In the 1980s he directed sequels to The Dirty Dozen and Bridge on the River Kwai, before retiring to San Juan Island in Washington State, where he was active in community theatre.

Three marriages ended in divorce and his fourth wife predeceased him. His three children followed him into the film industry and his son Josh McLaglen was one of the producers of Avatar and recent X-Men movies.

Copied from the September 13th Herald Scotland.



From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    John Drummond's Contributions

Robert Anthony Patrick Pierce

LHS '64

        I have enjoyed John Drummond's westerns reminiscing's, and here I thought he was just some old trumpet player. I picked up a well worn paperback at the VA hospital waiting for my doc a few months ago. It was Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse (A Cole and Hitch Cowboy Novel) and I was hooked. Parker did the Jessie Stone TV series as well. To my surprise Susan my wife got hooked also on Parker's word candy. So for the last few months we have read and watched all his works. In true fashion in 2010 he died with his boots on or in his case pen in hand. Reading Tommy's work, seeing old classmates bite the dust, missing seeing them at earlier reunions, I will be at Lee's 50th. Perhaps we can sing a few farewell songs to our missing classmates. 

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