12/5/14

Mr. Majestyk Park

So, after all these years, and all those trips passing by, we finally did it.

We found ourselves standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

Winslow is cashing in on 'Take it Easy,' with their Standing on the Corner Park.

Here are a few shots:





It's the girl, my Lord, with her flatbed Ford!


From the website:

Now you can stand on the corner in historic downtown Winslow, like thousands of people do every year, and have your picture taken at the Standin' on the Corner Park. The park features the artwork of muralist John Pugh and sculptor Ron Adamson.

And thousands of people, who would otherwise get their gas, grits, and coffee at the Flying J at Exit 255 and hie on down the Interstate, are moved to stop in downtown Winslow to get a selfie. There are several businesses, including a couple of restaurants, right around the park; the smell of sausage and bacon and pancakes wafting down the street is a pretty big draw ...

So ... if Winslow Arizona can cash in on the Eagles - you really would not believe the steady flow of picture takers on that corner - why can't The Smile Hi do the same with its own moment of Filmdom Fame? Why not have a sculpture of Charles Bronson standing next to that pile of welded together farm scraps, and name the old Kit Carson site "Mr. Majestyk Park" and on Early Settlers' Day, have a shootout on Colorado in front of the post office? If Royal Gorge can have Old West gunfights, pulling in tourists by the hundreds, if not thousands, can't we have a bit of excitement, too?




Starting at 1:03, you will see some quick views of the famous shootout at 4th and Colorado, in front of the post office.

Who is Charles Bronson? Bronson was, at one time, the most famous American actor in the world. Not the US, but the rest of the world. Here is an excerpt from Roger Ebert's interview with Bronson, at the old Capri:

Charles Bronson is said to be the world's most popular movie star. Not America's. He will grant you Robert Redford in America. But in the world it is Charles Bronson. There is a sign in Japan, his publicist says, that displays Bronson's name a block long ...

and here is the entire interview:

"It's just that I don't like to talk very much"

But wait! There's more!

"[Bronson] knew that I was in La Junta to interview him. What other mission would have drawn me to the cantaloupe capital of Colorado, where Bronson was shooting "Mr. Majestyk," a movie about a melon farmer with union troubles?"

Indeed. And if that worked for Roger Ebert, then what about the multitudes who pass through and by what should be "Mr. Majestyk Park," who could be ... should be ... stopping off to snap selfies in front of the famous post office, and snuffle at the Copper Kitchen? And perhaps visit the re-born Capri?

The movie was pure '70's Bronson. The acting was not great, but it's better than you will find in "Criminal Minds" or "NCIS" or other such pap. I loved the shoot out scene in front of the post office. There are still people in town today who remember that scene being shot. Some of them didn't realize at first that it was part of a movie. And how about when Jim Brooks, who was an LJPD officer back in that time frame, escorted Bronson into the old PD entrance, back before the extension, when the antenna mast was still in the parking lot along with that red fire thingie from the old Hoser days. Brooksie was wearing an OCSO uniform, though, complete with an Eberly Cowboy Hat.

My favorite Bronson flicks include Breakheart Pass (based on the Alistair MacLean novel); The Magnificent Seven; The Great Escape; The Dirty Dozen; and Death Hunt. That last one is noteworthy for the display of so many of the world's finest rifles. From a review:

As in a Western, the characters are larger than life. But the setting is a more recent (and colder) frontier. Here you can see the full array of leverguns at their finest, from Winchesters long and short to the Savage 99 Bronson's sourdough makes sing. You can also see a mix of single and double barrel scatterguns, sporterized SMLE's and Marvin's sporterized Krag. All very realistic and in keeping with the arms of the interwar northern frontier. The scene where Bronson rises from the ashes of his cabin and fan fires a trench gun into the posse is on par with John Wayne in "True Grit"

But we wander afield. The point is that Charles Bronson was one of America's great actors, and he filmed one of his cultiest of cult flicks right here in the Smile Hi, right in the middle of downtown La Junta.

So why not, a "Mr. Majestyk" Park?

What the hey ... the arts and crafts crowd could even set up their tumbleweeds tree there.