Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Dad and Fess Reynolds

I’m finally home and able to join in "Tuesdays' Show & Tail" hosted by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures again! It is a meme to share about past or present pets or furry friends we’ve known. If you’d like to join, here is the link to the Guidelines.

My Dad was very good friends with a man named Fess Reynolds from the time I was a young kid until he passed away. Mr. Reynolds was an animal trainer for the circus and later for the Movies. They were very good friends, and we used to visit them all the time up the mountain above Lake of the Woods. We lived in Frazier Park until I was 7 years old, and we spent a lot of time at his Ranch and Daddy used to get to play with lots of different animals.

At the time, he was living in the place that they used later, for shooting the Walton’s TV Show. I saw a horse, the other day on an old “Mr. Ed” show that was from his “special” horses. It was white and had a MAJORLY swayed back. We have a lot of 8MM film from our visits there, and I thought I’d share some of the pics I took off of the film with you. Here is a picture of Fess with some of his trained goats.

He had all kinds of animals at his place, and I loved going up there to see them. Here is a white deer that he had there.

He had a herd of bison…

and several exotic animals like this monkey…

One of our favorite films is of my Dad playing with a wolf and a young African lion.

They remained friends until my father passed away… in fact, when we had to move out of the mountains, we gave our peacocks to Fess. Unfortunately, our favorite one was shot by a hunter later on. I will have to find some of the pics of “Pretty Boy” to share sometime. I really count it a blessing to have had this opportunity to be friends with this man and get the chance to see him and watch him training his animals.

There is a lot about him on the web, and from what I read, the last film that he worked on that is mentioned was the Gladiator with Russel Crowe, but I’m not sure if that was the company “Gentle Jungle,” which is run by his son. I gather they still have a place in Lebec, CA which is a few miles from Frazier Park on the pass going from the San Joaquin Valley to Los Angeles. You can see a few more pics of him in the header of the above link. He is riding a giraffe and has some of his trained bulls bowing in a row.


Chatty Crone said...

I didn't know your dad did that. No wonder you you love animals - it comes to you naturally! sandie

PS Welcome.

Angela said...

Hey Linda!

How exciting! I love it! I've never seen goats perform before. That is really neat to see. I'm so glad that you have all of these videos of your dad. I'm sure that you Treasure them. I loved the Waltons. Now I can say that I know someone who actually walked on the ground that the Waltons was filmed! hehehe We did go to California 14 years ago and came upon the Ponderosa Ranch and went in to see it. It really was neat to be walking where they actually filed that show!

It's also neat how you got to spend time with a man that trains all kinds of animals like that! Wow!

Thanks for sharing some of these amazing pictures and stories with us today! They certainly are incredible!

Tuesdays' Show & Tail!

ClassyChassy said...

What a unique life you have led! And great fun to have all of that on movies!!! Thanks for sharing that story and the pictures - I'm sure it took a lot of time to do this post!

That corgi :) said...

never heard of Fess Reynolds, but I always admire those people who work with animals and train them; glad he was part of your life for a bit and you got to spend time at his ranch and that he was a good friend of your dad's. I don't think I ever knew anyone that had a peacock as a pet, they are beautiful, aren't they?


^..^Corgidogmama said...

YOu've experienced such extraordinary things Linda!
What a neat story, thanks for sharing it with us today.
Get well soon!

Bob West said...

God has greatly gifted you
I enjoyed visiting your blog
God Bless;


Chatty Crone said...

Happy Valentine's Day ♥ Sandie