May 1998 Newsletter
then came BRONSON
First of all, I thought I would try Kodak's "Pictures On The Internet" option (instead of floppy disk), so that you folks could download the full- size photos directly. But the last word is that they have no record of receiving my film. So the photos for the album covers and the ones for the "Then Came Bronson" movie lobby cards won't make it into this update. (Next time, I'm going with Konica!)
But if I do get them back somehow, in the next week or so, I'll put a notice on the preliminary page to let you know they are posted, and where to look.
And I thought I'd just put everything into this newsletter, rather than bits-and-pieces updates to the various web pages. However, there are some items added to the "cycles" page, so you may want to check that out before or after you're done here.
Well, I found something resembling the poem in the TCB episode, The Forest Primeval. Here is the web site address:
(Click here for just the poem.)
It is the poem, Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
However, only the first part of it is close to the one recited by Michael Parks, during the episode. The rest of it sounds a bit like Jack London (author of White Fang, Call of the Wild, etc.) - but that' just a guess.
I've added a "filmography" of Michael Parks work (movies and tv)
(click here), and an alphabetized cast list for the TCB movie and episodes (click here).
I've added words to some of the songs that Michael Parks sang:
Long Lonesome Highway
At some point, I will put them as hyperlinks on the "albums" page, so you can click on the song title and bring up the words. I hope to add the complete lyrics to all songs over time.
For those of you interested in the "Bronson Motorcycle" plastic model, I have found out that AMT, which owned MPC, was bought by ERTL. I sent them an email about the model - maybe they could reissue it in preparation for the 30-year anniversary of Then Came Bronson (1999). Here are their web address and their email/feedback page address:
(Write to them and tell them you would by at least one if they released it, and you would tell your Then Came Bronson fan friends about it.)
Speaking of the 30-year anniversary of TCB (1969-1999), how about some sort of gathering or convention to honor the show, to inspire MGM and TNT to release the show on tv and video, and to meet your fellow TCB fans? One site fan suggested meeting at one of the locations where the show was filmed. We've got a year to make it happen, if you want, so let me know what you think (send me an email). We might even get some of the people from the show to attend!
Another way to "celebrate" the 30th Anniversary would be to get a publisher to issue a photo-intensive book on TCB. Scenes from the shows, scenes from behind-the-scenes, history, etc.
"An outfit in California has trademarked the name "Bronson" and has come out with a product they call the, "Bronson Bag". It's a bag that fastens above the headlight on a motorcycle in much the same way the Jim Bronson character carried gear on his bike in the TV series. For more information, you might call Rifle at 1-800-262-1237." [from an email from John Frank, a TCB/MP fan]
Here's the beginnings of a TCB Memorabilia page:
If you can think of more to add, or corrections to what's here, send me an email!
Here's a small image of a poster for the Michael Parks' movie, Bus Riley's Back In Town, co-starring Ann-Margret: (click here)
[Recently, I got an email from a fan of TCB, an in the course of replying back and forth, we discovered that he lived near many of the scene locations in the pilot movie! He has provided me with some info, and will send more, as well as some photos/scans of the places now. I have put in his email messages as I received them...]
I just saw your page and wanted to tell you what a good job you did in research and material. Excellent!!!!!! I too was (am) a Bronson fan. Witness the 1971 XLCH Sportster I bought in 1971 (attached), which was the year I graduated high school. I still have a Harley in my garage to this day (the Sportster is long gone.........big mistake). I have two of the Michael Parks albums in good condition as well. So, "Hang in there" Bob Wright
You have my permission to add my picture name and e-mail address to your page if you wish. That sounds like fun. If I look real hard, I will find and send you a picture of the Sportster after I added the traditional "Cobra seat" and staggered pipes and sissy bar. You may modify the picture too if you like. Ironically, a neighbor of mine has a restored, stock 1969 Sportster that is quite similar to Bronsons except he painted it pearl white. Still a beautifil bike though. He won't sell it to me no matter how much I beg. ... Keep up the good work. Bob
[from me: "By the way, is the Cobra seat still available? I have several fans looking to make their own Bronson cycles. They are interested in other modifications too, so if you can add anything, they'd be grateful." His reply:]
Jon, Cobra seats are still available for stock and custom bikes. Easy to find at almost any reputable dealer. I can't really think of anything else that is not already mentioned on your page. Great detail. Where do you find all that info? By the way, any idea where Michael Parks is today? I had heard he was living on a boat in Monterey Bay, which is very close to me. I am in Stockton, California, by the way. Bob
Yes, I can check it out. My sister lives in Half Moon Bay, just a few miles north of Monterey. Her son (my nephew) lives in Santa Cruz and goes to college there. A friend of hers is in the real estate business and knows "who's whom" all over that area. Perhaps I can follow up for you. Re: the bridge just north of Monterey, the one in the beginning of the show, I have ridden over that many times. It is indeed a beautiful area. I forgot to tell you that I have 2 of the albums he made. They are in good shape. There were some good musicians in those recordings as well (I play the guitar in a band for fun). Bob
[from me: "One place I want to locate is the Phillips 66 gas station in the pilot movie, where Parks and Bedelia first meet." His reply:]
If I am not mistaken, that spot is just north or right in Big Sur park. I remember that area well. I think there was a restaurant there too that used to have a sign that said "No Hippies Allowed". Of course, that was 1968 and would not be legal today. But, I remember it. I can get the name for you although I suspect it may have changed owners and names several times by now. I doubt strongly it is Phillips 66 anymore as well as they are no longer in California. At least northern California.... More later......Bob
Jon- Here are a few pictures for you to look at. On the "Bobhd" file, that is my 1979 FLH, which I still have today and I bought it new. I rebuilt it in 1986 and painted it. The color I was going after was really the "Bronson Red" but I never got it mixed quite right. It used to be stock black. I painted and rebuilt it myself. The other picture is my family (with the older folks being my parents). Bob
[from me: "I've attached a jpeg of a place I think is up in Sacramento.
It is called King Island Resort, and there are lots of so-called "islands" around Sacramento." His reply:]
Jon, Since we have been talking about this movie/TV series so much, I decided to pull the video out of my dusty cabinet and watch it. I taped it in 1985 from TV. I must have just got my VCR around that time (which I paid $1000.00!!!!!!!!! Today it would cost about $120.00). And, much to my surprise, I did in fact see alot of familiar places. I would almost bet $$$$$ that the brickyard scene was in Stockton. The town of Holt (named after Ben Holt, same as one of our major streets) is only a few miles from here. Funny you should mention the King Island Resort because I caught that for the 1st time when I watched the movie the other day. King Island is literally a few miles from my house. The delta waterways (1000 miles of them) snake all through here and go as far north as Sacramento and all the way to the San Francisco bay. We take our patients on an excursion every October to King Island. They let us use their yacht dock and a little private island for a picnic. In fact, we are going out on our boat today, so if we get near King Island, I will stop there and get a picture for you. Also, towards the end of the movie, just before the wreck scene, they are riding over the Rio Vista draw bridge (Rio Vista in the background) heading east on Hiway 12. Not too far from King Island and close to Lodi, Ca. About 20 miles from here (my house). They make a left on what is called "River Road" as it parallels the delta and turns north. That is also where the very last scene is shot where he is by himself and the credits are playing. I have been up and down that road 100 times, I'll bet.
Anyway, funny after all these years, I find out "Bronson" was primarily filmed in my own backyard. You can send maps anyway you like if you want me to trace routes. No problem either way.
Jon... I will be happy to do whatever you would like to help you including highlighting some of the routes I am sure they took. We did go out to King Island Resort today with our boat. My wife took some pictures. They have built onto it but the bar is still there with the ramp intact that I am sure they drove the Sportster off of for the water stunt. As a matter of fact, we walked up the ramp to go into the general store there. I will scan the pics and send them by the middle of next week. There was indeed an old pickup sitting there and I jokingly said to my wife Jeannette, "Look honey! The pickup truck with the chickens is still there!" So, it was a fun day......but no Sportsters to be found at the bottom of the delta. More later......Bob
[Thanks, Bob, for your emails, info and photos! You have breathed more life into this web site (and site creator) than I could have dreamed!]
On thing that happens over time is that people change their email addresses. There are several fans who I haven't been able to contact recently. If you see your email address below, send me your new address and I'll fix the list (and resend to you the emails that got returned).
I'm going to add a page for fan stories of their Bronson days and experiences (and other tales or feedback!), so send in your stories to me. You can have it attributed in whatever way you want (name - first and/or last, or anonymous; email address or not, homepage web address, etc. - you choose). And include photos/scans, etc., especially of your cycles, if you want.
[Maybe you can help out a fan and identify the following scene from a TCB episode:]
>I thought of a scene from one of the episodes but I don't know which
one it is from.
>I'll describe it as best I can, see if it rings a bell with you.
>It's toward the end of the show and Bronson is getting ready to
>leave (as usual). As I recall, it takes place in a country setting, anyway,
>Bronson tells this cute girl goodbye and she turns and starts walking away.
> She only gets about a dozen paces away, when, overcome with emotion, she
>turns around and runs back to Bronson and leaps into his arms while saying
>"Jimmy," or maybe it was "Oh, Jimmy." I believe she was crying and, as I
>recall, when she ran back to him she ran over a little bridge like over a
>small creek .
>That's all I remember, I can't tell you any other details. Does it sound familiar?
[Send me an email if you can identify the episode and I'll send it along to the fan.]
Here is a bit of updated stuff on Wild Seed. More to come, so stay tuned.
This page created May 25, 1998 . . . . . . . . . this web page copyright 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org