Deuce of Clubs Book Club: Books of the Weak

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski

Guy Debord: Revolutionary

No Place to Hide

Command of Office

The Christ-Myth Theory And Its Problems

The Christian Delusion

Lincoln's Wrath

How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself

The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex

Bossypants

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

Catching the Big Fish

Dig Infinity

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones

Crazy for God

Basin and Range

Anarchy Evolution

The File

John Ringo

The Supremes

End the Fed

Burning Book

The Hohokam Millenium

God's Middle Finger

Narcocorrido

In Heaven Everything Is Fine

The Shunning

Wisdom Sits in Places

The Marvelous Country

Hamilton's Curse

The Secret Life of Houdini

The Trouble with Being Born

Schulz and Peanuts

First Into Nagasaki

Joe Miller's Jests

Human Smoke

Dirty Tricks Cops Use

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

All For A Few Perfect Waves

Systemantics

Death in the Desert

American Signs

Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention

Secrets Of A Stingy Scoundrel

The Self-Made Tapestry

A Constitutional History of Secession

The Neurotic's Notebook

Interrogation Machine

Monster Midway

The Harlot by the Side of the Road

Forced Into Glory

Imperial Life in the Emerald City

J. G. Ballard: Quotes

The Compleat Practical Joker

Laugh with Hugh Troy

Pranks!

A Liar's Autobiography

Cobb

Chasing Rainbows

Letters from Tucson, 1925-1927

The Five Fosters

The Giant Cactus Forest and Its World

How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker

World Famous Cults & Fanatics

That's Not All, Folks!

God's Problem

Will Christ Return By 1988?

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

The Whiskey Rebellion

FDR's Folly

Wilson's War

Bully Boy

[If] I Did It

The Dark Side

Secret Origins of the Bible

Godless

The End of Faith

Why I Became An Atheist

"Life's Calendar for 1922"

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War

The Negro Cowboys

EXPECT RESISTANCE

Monty Python Speaks

Baseball Between the Numbers

The Psychopath's Bible

Satisfaction

J. G. Ballard: Conversations

Days of War, Nights of Love

Gospel Fictions and Who Wrote the Gospels?

The Real Deadwood

Deadwood

The Revolution: A Manifesto

45

The Secret Man

Stormin' Mormon

From Psyche to Soma

I'll Gather My Geese

The Osama bin Laden I Know

Alias "Paine"

A Man Without Words

The Wild Trees

The World Without Us

Arizona's Changing Rivers

The Phoenix Indian School

Realm of the Long Eyes

John Dillinger: The Life and Death of America's First Celebrity Criminal

Buckey O'Neill: The Story of a Rough Rider

Thanks For Tuning In

Adventures in the Apache Country

Waylon: An Autobiography

My Life: Sunrise to Sunset

Mimes and Miners: A Historical Study of the Theater in Tombstone

The First 100 Years: A History of Arizona Blacks

Enter Without Knocking

City in the Sun: The Japanese Concentration Camp at Poston, Arizona

House by the Buckeye Road

Vanished Arizona

The Big Con

The Astronomy Cafe and Back to the Astronomy Cafe

A Handbook on Hanging

The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right

A Mind Restored

Mr. Show: What Happened?!

Reclaiming the American Revolution

Stumbling On Happiness

Treasure Maps of the Superstitions

Sunny Slope

Did Genesis Man Conquer Space?

Look Homeward, America

Radicals for Capitalism

Kayaker's Little Book of Wisdom

God Is Not Great

The Echoing Green

The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid

The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes and The Tao of Willie

Just Six Numbers and Our Cosmic Habitat

Wild Goose Chronicles

Behind Bars: Surviving Prison

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce

The Gang They Couldn't Catch

Manhunt

A History of the End of the World

Al Sieber: Chief of Scouts

Apaches & Longhorns

Deep Survival

Captured

DINO

Sock

Bo: Pitching & Wooing

You Are Worthless

You And Your Hand

Access All Areas

Field Guide to the Apocalypse

The War on Terrorism

Those Idiots From Earth

September 11: An Oral History

Mortal Questions

The Heresy of Self-Love

The White Flag Principle

Medieval Panorama

An Honest President

Those Words

À rebours

Peterson's Incident Report Book

Boo! Culture, Experience, and the Startle Reflex

Victory Denied

Nothing, Arizona

A Porcine History of Philosophy and Religion

O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto

DOME COMPENDIUM OF TOPICAL TREATMENT IN PROCTOLOGY

¿Hablas conmigo

Thirty-three Candles

Black Monk Time

Men of Distinction

Alexander the Corrector

Space Viking

Mark These Men

Hallucinogenic Plants

Prohibition: An Adventure in Freedom

JESUS! He's Our President

LOVE

How to Watch Football on Television

Merrill Markoe's Guide to Love

Lincoln: The Man and The Car

Whatever Men Know About Women

Biographies of Italian War Heroes

ABC of Espionage

Art Colony Perverts

Devil-ution

Starting Right with Bees

Planet Earth is a Cult

Baseball Letters

Fetish

Dopey Doings

Democracy: The God That Failed

Handgrenade Talk

Hi, How Are You?

het zingen van het ijs

The Museum of Jurassic Technology Jubilee Catalogue

The Rector and the Rogue

Colorful Cacti of the American Deserts

Odd Jobs: The World of Deviant Work

The Hungry Man's Outdoor Grill Cookbook

How to Get Invited to the White House

How to Work for a Jerk

Never Work for a Jerk!

The Mentality of Apes

Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me

Dr. Strange: Sorceror Supreme

Nautical Notions for Nibbling

A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity

The Fake Revolt

Coup D'Etat

History of the Town of Felicity

Hood of Death

Dolls' House Bathrooms: Lots of Little Loos

Border Security / Anti-Infiltration Operations

Living on Light

God is for Real, Man

Did the Apostle Paul Visit Britain?

Twin Peaks

2001

Power Phrases

The Truth About Wagner

The Life of the Bee

Tombstone

Science Looks at Smoking

The Chiricahuas

The New Dark Ages Conspiracy

The Big Question

Everybody's Book of Epitaphs

The Death of the Fuhrer

Mindfuckers

Gorbachev! Has the Real Antichrist Come?

The World's Worst Poet

Alyssa Milano: She's the Boss

Home is the Desert

Nine Lives: From Stripper to Schoolteacher

How to Start Your Own Country

How to Found Your Own Religion

Sex Objects in the Sky

Indian Oratory

Bastard Without Portfolio

The Bedside Book of Bastards

Hopeless -- Yet There Is Hope

Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand

Margie Asks WHY

Death of a Hippie

Wake Up or Blow Up

Feeling and Form

Guilt

A Mile in His Moccasins

Mojave Desert Ramblings

Passing of the Outhouse

This Way to Happiness

The Happy Life

Young Only Once

The Monkey Gland Affair

Bert Bacharach's Book for Men

The Two Babylons

For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes...

Why Christians Crack Up!

Why Do Christians Break Down?

Hava Nagila!

Beethoven or Bust

How to Abandon Ship

Livin' in Joe's World

The Last Democrat

Salvation Mountain

The Varmint and Crow Hunter's Bible

Love in the Western World

Jack the Ripper: Light-Hearted Friend

Little Men of the NFL

No One May Ever Have The Same Knowledge Again

The Secret Museum of Mankind

James Bond's World of Values

We Did Not Plummet Into Space

The Boy Who Didn't Believe IN CHRISTMAS

The Great Escape From Your Dead-End Job

All About Tipping

My Loser Godfrey

A Haircut in Horse Town

Mucusless Diet Healing System

Jefferson Returns

Lincoln Returns

Churchill Returns

Corporation Freak

Null Bock auf DDR

So You're Going on a Mission?

Nudes in My Camera

Why I Hate the Nazis

Flesh, Metal & Glass

The James Beard Cookbook

Mortal Refrains

Deadbolt

Amy Grant: A Biography

The X Cars

We Were Five

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder

Hello ... Wrong Number

I'll Kill You Next!

Murder in Vegas

Did MAN Just Happen?

Terror at the Atlanta Olympics

Criswell Predicts

Your Next Ten Years

They Pay Me to Catch Footballs

The Phantom Menace

Just For Fellows

The Lopsided Gal

Astrology and Horse Racing

The Cokesbury Stunt Book

The Origin of Things

Remarks on the History of Things

U.S. Government Sewing Book

Funeral Tributes II

Blinky, the Friendly Hen

The Serbs Choose War

My Mystery Castle

Iggy

Funeral Customs the World Over

The Right to be Let Alone

Mormonism and the Negro

The Church and the Negro

Preacher with a Billy Club

Fighting Parson of the Old West

Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing

How to Disappear Completely

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man

Langenscheidts Konversationsbuch

Marlene Dietrich's ABC

The Bible in the Hands of Its Creators


My Life: Sunrise to Sunset

Rex Allen with Paula Simpson Witt and Snuff Garrett (1989)

 

My mother had seen a movie with cowboy star Rex Bell, who was married to Clara Bow, the silent screen star. Mom just fell in love with him, and so she wanted to name me Rex. That's how I became Rex Elvie Allen. My dad called me Elvie growing up. So, I was Elvie in Willcox, and most of the people in Willcox didn't know my first name was Rex. A lot of them thought I had changed it after I left town. But I just decided I wanted to use my first name. Elvie is a lousy name for show business. Later along comes a kid with a worse name—"Elvis." Maybe I should have kept mine. (2)

I lost one of my little sisters when we lived up there. Her name was Mildred. She was just a few months old when she died of what they called summer complaint. I guess just stomach trouble. Milk didn't agree with her or something. I remember the funeral to this day.
We also lost my brother Wayne out there when I was about five. He was two years older than me. Wayne and I were out in the field helping my mom hoe weeds out of the beans. We had a canteen out there, and my dad was working in the next field with a team of mules, cultivating some corn. We ran out of water, and she told us to go to the house and fill the canteen. I suppose we were about 100 yards from the well. Wayne was in front of me, and we were barefoot. About halfway there Wayne screamed. Well, a rattlesnake had bit him on the ankle. My mom came running and screamed at my dad, and he just I left that team of mules right in the field. Even jumped about a four-strand barbed wire fence to get to us. They took Wayne to the house and did all the home remedies that they knew about in those days for rattlesnake bite. But it didn't do any good.
My dad had a little Model T Ford then. They bundled Wayne up, and we headed for town, about a two and a half-hour drive to get to a doctor. That was the first time I had ever gone to town. In those days they didn't have the anti-toxin, anti-venom for rattlesnake bites. They had several doctors with my brother, but he lived three days and then died. (2-3)

I truthfully didn't have any ambitions about show business at that time, mainly because of my eyes. The only cross-eyed guy I ever knew that made any money was Ben Turpin, a movie actor who played a cross-eyed comedian. I thought, "Well, maybe that's what I'll do. I'll just be a Ben Turpin." I clowned around a lot as a kid. (8)

I worked one summer in Phoenix mixing mud for two plasterers. One of them was my dad, and the other was a man named Del Webb. We all knew Del. He did pretty well after he quit plastering. (10)

Then I got a job with a group out of Philadelphia called the Sleepy Hollow Gang. They were on a big 50,000-watt radio station, WCAU, and had a morning show. . . .
Anyway, I think I realized I could make it at Sleepy Hollow Ranch at those Sunday things in the summertime. I used to put a sack over my shoulders and sell candy during intermissions. You did everything. Greased the ferris wheel and put it up, whatever needed to be done. You were singing for the ranch, but you had to do all the other jobs to boot. When it came time to entertain, you'd wash your hands, go on the stage, and sing and pick with the group during the show. (11)

I went in on a Monday morning to the Credit Union at the radio station and borrowed $75 to pay for it. I had to borrow it, because I really didn't have $75.
They just gave me a local anesthetic, popped my eye out of my head and worked on the thing and put an adjustable stitch it, which they pasted up to my forehead. I put on some dark glasses, and didn't even miss a radio show or a Barn Dance. I'd go back into that clinic every day after my morning show, and he would put a bracket on my head and readjust those stitches. If it was a little off, he'd move it and tie it. I think that thing was on for about two weeks.
And then a whole new world opened up. Just a whole new world. My eyes were straight.
All of a sudden my whole life changed. I started dating a beautiful girl; Foley went on to Nashville; Curt Massey went to Hollywood; and this whole town was wide open. I fell into it like a pillow in the ocean. It was 1946, my weekly income I lent from about $50 to $1,500 a week overnight, and to make it complete, Bonnie and I got married. (16)

The first television show I did was in Chicago. Down in the State Lake Building, across from the Chicago Theater. At that time it was a closed circuit thing. There were only 80 TV sets in the whole city of Chicago. And the musician's union had not yet made a deal with television. I had to have a non-union guitar player stand in the wings and play for me. I couldn't even let him be seen. (22)

The first time I met Roy Rogers, I didn't even know I was meeting Roy Rogers, because his name then was Leonard Slye. It was at the Mystic Theater in Willcox back in the early thirties, 1933 to be exact. He was in there working for my cousin Curtis McPeters, "Cactus Mack," and they were the "O-Bar-O Cowboys." There was Len, Tim, Slumber and Cyclone, just singing those great cowboy songs right there on Railroad Avenue. Little did I know then, I was seeing two fellers who would later be a driving force in bringing western music to its peak: Tim Spencer and Roy Rogers, who created "The Sons of the Pioneers." (23)

But in that era there were several of us, like Elton Britt, Eddy Arnold, even Red Foley. Everybody yodeled. We'd sing a little song and we'd put a little yodel in the middle of it or on the end of it, like whistling. But it died out when the record business got big. You would get a standing ovation at a show or a county fair yodeling, but you cut a record of it and you couldn't give it away. It was funny. Real funny. (25)

I had very serious doubts as to whether I could make it as an actor. But I got there and found out I didn't have to be an actor anyway. Anybody could have done it.
So, they flew me out and gave me the limousine treatment, and the big suite at the Roosevelt Hotel, and drivers, and you know the bit. They picked me up at the hotel, took me out and put me in makeup. And I'd just never been around anything like that.
I felt in awe of the whole world there. Just the whole world. Right off the bat, I saw John Wayne. He was under contract at Republic, and I saw him my very first day. He knew what I was out there for. He just slapped me on the back and damn near knocked me down, and said, "Good luck, Kid. Welcome aboard." I'm damn near crying right now thinking about it. I felt just like a little kid in a dream. You know, I couldn't believe it was happening to me. (26)

When I arrived, the studio wouldn't let me do a thing. Not even a television guest shot. The studio people had promised the theater owners that I would not ever be seen on television, that I belonged to them. Mr. Yates thought television was just a passing fancy and would soon fade away. And if Gene and Roy wanted to do TV, let 'em do it. But Rex Allen would never be seen on the box. "Thanks a lot, Mr. Yates." (27)

I started with KoKo in my second picture, and had him for about nineteen years.
I traveled a million miles with him all over the country. It got to where neither one of us wanted to go very bad, but we did. We went to Canada, Mexico, New York, and everywhere.
And I swear, one time I was loading him up at the barn on the ranch at Malibu and, as I loaded him in the trailer, he turned his head around and looked me right in the eye as if to say, "Where in the hell are you taking me now?"
But you know he never made a mistake. Any mistake that was made was my fault. He was a good horse, and I was proud of him, and I still think he's the prettiest horse I ever saw.
Kids would come up and say, "Hi, Rex. Where's KoKo?"
I'd even get mail at the studio that said, "Sure like your movies, and you're a good singer. Please send me a picture of KoKo." (33-4)

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer was my third sidekick. A little freckle-faced guy out of Our Gang comedies. Shortly after our one film together, a guy shot and killed Alfie over a $65 debt. (34)

They always hired a different leading lady for each of my pictures. There were a couple of girls, like Mary Ellen Kay, who made three or four, but they didn't want to establish a team anymore, like a Roy and Dale. Consequently, the girls were hired for one picture only. For one of the pictures, they hired a gal named Jeff Donnell. She was a damn fine actress and here I am a green country boy starting my third film, "Redwood Forest Trail."
Anyway, it's the first day on the film, and we had a shot standing somewhere together. The shot was in the middle of the script. You know, you don't start a film at the front and go; you start anywhere they want you to. We started shooting this thing up at Big Bear Lake. I didn't even know the girl, just met her.
"This is Miss Donnell," they said. "She's your leading lady in this movie." And I'm trying to remember lines and all this stuff. I don't know the girl, really, other than to say "Hi, Jeff, nice to see you, and I'm glad to have you on the picture, and I hear you're great. It'll be fun working with you."
So we're standing there for the first shot, the camera is right head on to us, and I'm trying to think my lines so I don't mess up.
The director said, "Let's rehearse it. Alright. ACTION." I forget what the line was, but I said something to her and she said something to me. And while she's talking, she reached over and pinched me on the butt. Out of camera. Couldn't see it or nothing. Just pinched me on the butt, She said, ''I'll bet you cheat on your wife, don't you?"
Whooooooo—I thought, now I know I'm in Hollywood. Well, she didn't mean a damn thing by that. She just wanted to see if she could embarrass me, and she sure did. I was just shocked.
Jeff Donnell was the kind of gal with a sense of humor that made a long work day seem short. (35-6)

Let's say we were on location. You'd have a makeup call about 5:30 a,m. at the studio. You go into makeup, then put on your wardrobe, and a car would drive you out to location. They wouldn't let us drive because a union man had to do it. You dealt with 32 unions before you could roll a foot of film. (37)

I was talking a while ago about sanitary engineers. They were the guys that raked up the horse manure on the street and put it in barrels. You never saw any in our westerns. It was immoral to show a thing like that. I always wanted to make a western that had some "road apples" on the street like it really was.
Speaking of those guys, there is a story they tell: They struck once, wanting more money. Somebody in the industry came up with the idea. "They really don't get much recognition. Why don't we call them 'Sanitary Engineers' and not give 'em a raise." That's what they did. Just gave 'em a title. (47, 50)

Walt was a fine man. Nobody called him Mr. Disney. He was Walt to everybody at the studio.
I did a thing for him for the World's Fair in New York called "The Carousel of Progress" for General Electric. I don't know why he chose me to narrate that; it was not a nature show; it was a modern-type thing. I did the music on it, the songs to open it. They had a figure built out of a plastic material full of electronics. And this figure was capable of gestures, cross his legs, move his arms, take a newspaper and move it, and talk to the dog.
Well, it played at the World's Fair for a year in New York, and when it finished, he moved it back to Disneyland and it ran 12 years there, eight times a day. I pity the poor people who worked in that theater, they had to listen to me eight times a day for twelve years. I'm sure the ones that quit, quit for that reason. They had to listen to this old cowboy again and again. Then it was moved to Disney World in Florida. (57)

About the second or third Rex Allen Days celebration in Willcox, the big parade was going on, and the marching bands, and all that stuff—and here I came around the corner. I was dressed in this wild rhinestone outfit, and the guns, and KoKo with his silver saddle, and he's prancing down the street. I'm waving my hat, and my Dad's standing over on the corner with three old widow gals. Big old tall, six foot four, handsome guy, and he's just standing there with them watching. One of them said to him, "Horace, you must be awful proud of that boy."
And he said, "Well, I guess I am,"
She said, "I sure wish I had a boy like that."
My Dad said, "Well, if you old girls hadn't a been so damn particular a few years ago, everyone of you coulda' had one." (92-4)

Bonnie and I really loved the ranch. It was just a perfect place to raise children, and they learned a lot. They all became good horsemen. All my sons can do a little welding, a little carpenter work. They can fix a car. And thank God, none of them ever got into alcohol and dope. I think you just kind of luck out today on that. (100)

Yakima Canutt never did work on any of my films. He used to come around and visit the set once in awhile because all the stunt men admired him so much. Joe Yrigoyen did most of the doubling for me; same guy that doubled for Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. The whole Yrigoyen family, his brother Bill and allI of them, were stuntmen. But Yakima Canutt taught 'em all and could tell them how the cow eat the cabbage. (107)

Tex Ritter: A sweetheart. A lot of people don't know it, but Tex had a law degree. He lived about two blocks from me when I first moved out there. We had boys about the same age. They grew up in the neighborhood and ran around together. Ritter never had an enemy in his life. When I first went out there, I was told, "You're going to meet a lot of people out here that are not truthful, and you're going to meet some that are kind of phony, and you're going to meet some great guys, but if anybody ever says anything bad about Tex Williams or Tex Ritter, look out for that guy, because there's something wrong with him." (113)


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