TCB NEWSLETTER FOR NOVEMBER 1998



FROM MY DESK...
FROM THE FOLKS PUTTING OUT THE NEW MICHAEL PARKS CD...
OTHER NEWS ON THE MUSIC FRONT...
CYCLES...
BRONSON ITINERARY (SCENE LOCATIONS)...
FROM TCB FANS EVERYWHERE...
THEN CAME BRONSON NOVELS...
FILMOGRAPHY, ETC...
MISCELLANEOUS...

FROM MY DESK...


Sorry there isn't alot to this issue, but I haven't found much on the 'net, and not much has come in from other channels. Maybe it's just the holidays coming along, and people are busy. I've been, and am still going to be, busy for the next couple of months, with a family reunion (Oct. 3), high school reunion (Nov. 7), family member in the hospital, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, ...
The family reunion was fun - it was on the old homestead - and as I poked around inside the barn, I realized I hadn't sold all of my motorcycles! So in the tradition of the episode called The Old Motorcycle Fiasco, my brothers and I got it out for a photo session (see elsewhere in newsletter).
I've also been working on identifying episode locations, and have included some photos of places in the episodes that some of you out west might recognize.
I recently got an email from a fan who told me that 10 years ago, one of the Bronson Sportsters was in a museum in Hollywood, but he couldn't remember the name. (This confirmed what Bud Ekins had told me, that after the show was cancelled, one Sportster went to Movie World Cars of the Stars in California. This museum no longer exists, as far as I can tell.)



FROM THE FOLKS PUTTING OUT THE NEW MICHAEL PARKS CD...

The CD may be delayed a bit, but it's coming!
[Here's their site address:]

http://www.michaelparks.com

[Here is part of an email from them:]
One bit of interesting information that he requested that I pass along, his birthday is April 24, 1940, not 1938 as widely reported. Sometime, with his permission, I'll tell you the interesting story of how his birth date got moved back two years.

We have had several inquiries about the original Michael Parks albums and we are currently looking into the details of reissuing them on CD. I will keep you posted on any and all developments. Michael has several great stories about "Then Came Bronson." I will try to get some of them written up, and (with his permission) E-mail them to you.

OTHER NEWS ON THE MUSIC FRONT...

Web site of James Hendricks, who produced the first three Michael Parks albums and wrote some of the songs on the albums which were also used on Then Came Bronson:
http://www.the-coop.com/jimhendricks/

[I sent him an email, telling him about the site, but haven't heard back from him yet.]

CYCLES...

Here are two side views of the Bronson Sportster, one from the beginning of the series (left) and one from the end of the series (The 99-Mile Circle episode), showing how the seat got padded (it looks twice as thick, at least):
seat1.jpg seat2.jpg













Web site info on the Harley-Davidson museum in Pennsylvania:

http://www.fieldtrip.com/pa/78481177.htm
location:
1425 Eden Road
York, PA 17403
(717) 848 1177


Regarding the museum in Hollywood, California, that had one of the Bronson Sportsters, I found the following web site of a museum in Beverly Hills that has a whole floor primarily for Harley-Davidson items (it is probably not the same museum, but might have acquired some of the vehicles):
http://www.specialcar.com/newsreports/fox/petersen/index.html

"Nestled in Beverley Hills, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, within the shell of a defunct department store is a wonderful display of Automobiles and the culture that grew up around them.... The Third Floor contains a motorcycle gallery, largely displaying Harley Davidson products.... The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax Avenue), Los Angeles California, 90036. Phone (213) 930-CARS. The museum is open 10:00AM to 6:00PM Tuesday to Sunday."
[Note: the above phone number is a recording with no way to contact a human being. Call 323-964-6356 for administrative offices or 964-6342 for the department that handles the museum collection's contents. - jonpf]

Here is the URL for their own web page:
http://www.lam.mus.ca.us/petersen/index1.htm

Here's another URL for the Petersen Museum:
http://autospeak.com/museum10.htm
and
http://autospeak.com/museum11.htm



Here are some miscellaneous links to Harley sites:

URL for Sportster 1970-93 manual:
http://www1.viaweb.com/motobooks/harspor19.html

Ad page for Sportsters:
http://www.harleys4sale.com/5.htm

Try this:
http://www.ultramall.com/Autodig/automnl/mcycle/harleysprt.html

And this:
http://world-wide-glide.com/nomen1.html
"Sportsters: Models beginning with X are Sportsters. These descend from the K series, 1952-56. The XL series started in 1957. They are "unit construction" (engine & transmission share a common case). X was in the normal series, following the U and V used for flathead Big Twins. L stood for high compression (7.5:1 in 1957). In 1958 came the XLH with H meaning Higher-power or High-compression (9:1) or Hot. Also in 1958 was the XLCH: The C in XLCH was intended to mean "Competition", but the late Hal Robinson used to claim the CH on his bike stood for "Charley Horse" because it was highly modified and had enough initial ignition advance to kick back rather severely.
The Sportster engines were originally actually 53.9ci. (883cc) but were designated as 55ci. This was upgraded (in 1970?) to 61ci (1000cc), redesigned in '73 but still 61ci and stayed relatively unchanged untill the 74ci evo version. The 883 and 61ci were both produced the first year of the 883. Options for Sportsters abounded but these same letters have been used since 1958 in various combinations, plus the XLCR (a "cafe racer" style, with bikini fairing) and the XLT (Touring, with bigger tank, thicker seat, and hard bags straight off the FLHS), both produced 1977-1978 only."


Here is a scan of the left side of the Bronson Sportster engine from the 4th episode (probably the 5th one filmed). It shows that the Sportster was not the 1969 one used in the pilot movie. It was either a 1970 or it was customized with an earlier Sportster engine cover. Maybe someone can identify it from the photo. (Click on the thumbnail image):
Click here


Web site for Sheldon's H-D dealership in Auburn, Mass. (It came up when I was searching the web for the phrase "Then Came Bronson." I bought my H-D Sprint 350 here!). This link takes you to the Sportster page (with photos), and has a button to go to the main page for other links.
http://www.sheldons.com/sports.html
Sheldon's H-D is located at 914 Southbridge St. in Auburn, Mass. (Rtes. 12 & 20). The telephone number is (508) 721-9876, and toll free in the 508 area code at 1-888-721-9876. The fax number is (508)-721-0101. The store hours are Mon-Wed-Fri from 8am to 9pm and Tues-Thurs-Sat from 8am to 6pm for your shopping convenience.
"IF YOU Have Not yet... or not lately... done your own "Get Lost" ride, just do it ! Crack open your Yankee Run book, pick a destination and go. And do not go just to get there. Take some chances on the route. Look for some little pieces of America... and of your self... along the way. Or get even more adventurous and just pick a direction, pack a map, ditch your watch, and simply go. We can't all live like Rip from Easy Rider or like Jim Bronson (whatcha mean ya never watched "Then Came Bronson"?), but we can each satisfy some of the Urge for Going that is entwined in the DNA of the American Character itself. (an' ya never listened to the Tom Rush ballad, either?) The greatest tool available is the motorcycle, and you own the greatest motorcycle. They cannot understand, but you do."


MY OLD MOTORCYCLE FIASCO...


jonpf01.jpg

jonpf02.jpg

BRONSON ITINERARY (SCENE LOCATIONS)...


If anyone can help identify these locations, please send me an email!


(To email me, click here!)


Pilot movie locations:
I can't see the Seaside gas station that is supposedly on Bronson's left, so maybe this is a different intersection (even tho the station wagon and yellow camaro are in it), or they are using a different part of the intersection:
internov.jpg

Here are a couple of views of the hospital as Bronson rides away:
hosp01.jpg

hosp02.jpg

Jon - The hospital [location] still has me puzzled. It really looks like the old county hospital (San Joaquin General) which has since been remodeled. However, I saw at least two Nuns in the background of the movie set and that would mean it was most likely a Catholic Hospital (St. Joseph's). It really doesn't look like St. Joseph's now, but that was so long ago, and it too has been remodeled; it could have been. No other hospitals in the immediate area are that large. Funny, I am the hospital expert (supposedly) and I can't quite finger that one. So, let me look and research to see if I can nail it.
Bob


The 99-Mile Circle episode locations:
I first thought this took place around Big Sur, but more likely the gas station is north of Pacific Grove, probably up around Santa Cruz or Castroville, since they seem to travel south from the gas station (where Bronson leaves his broken-down Sportster) to get to Pacific Grove for a new drive chain. Whether it was 49.5 miles from Pacific Grove (as stated in the episode) or more or less, I don't yet know. I've included a couple photos of the station in hopes that someone can identify it:
gassta01.jpg

gassta02.jpg

On the way, they stop at a restaurant, where they meet with the pool player who thinks they are hustlers. Here are a couple scans of it in case someone can identify it:
rest01.jpg

rest02.jpg

After the meal, Katz develops stomach pain, and they stop at the Central Medical Clinic, which is next to the Pill Box Pharmacy. I recently spoke with both the previous and present owners of the pharmacy and got some location trivia. The pharmacy is at the corner of 15th and Central Av, Pacific Grove, although the name has been changed, and the mural that was visible on the Central Av side is still there (it depicts the history of California). The previous owner remembers being contacted by MGM about the show but says no scenes were filmed inside. The Central Medical Clinic building is still there, at 505 Central Av.
Later, Bronson and Katz go to a park that has a real locomotive in part of the play area. That park is actually in Monterey, not Pacific Grove.
Here is a scan of the pharmacy:
pillbox1.jpg


Forest Primeval locations:
Bronson stops at a gas station next to a fish store or restaurant. The location is probably Lucia, south of Big Sur. The gas pumps had what looks like an American Indian profile and/or a peace sign on each one. However, I don't think it had repair facilities, but may have had a small grocery store in it:
lucia01.jpg

Bronson and his pump jockey friend look at a map of the coast, pointing out their present location:
lucia02.jpg

In the Big Sur forest, Bronson passes by a tower on a hill (Bud Ekins said that much of the episode was filmed on the Oppenheimer Ranch in Big Sur):
tower.jpg


Lucky Day locations (Reno, Nevada)...

Wedding chapel exterior scenes (In the scene, there is a sign by the driveway for "Chapel Of The Bells" wedding chapel; the building has the number 700 over the door, no doubt the number of its street address):
10/24/98 - I found a phone number for a chapel by that name in Reno, and talked by phone with a woman, no doubt the owner, who remembered when Then Came Bronson was filmed there. She said that only the exterior was used (for the planned wedding of Bronson's cousin, Eve), and that the interior was filmed elsewhere, because there wasn't enough room for the camera equipment in the chapel. MGM sent her a check for $1, which she still has, framed and hanging on her wall at home. (She doesn't have any photos from the filming of the episode.)
She also said that the chapel has its own web site:
http://www.virtualnevada.com/chapel/

The chapel was and still is at 700 West Fourth St. (south side of street), at the intersection of Washington St., with the circular driveway opening onto West 4th. As Bronson leaves (at the end of the episode), he is heading east on West 4th; he rides past the Town Aire Motel (across the intersection of Washington), Coral Reef Inn & Motel, Jerry's Motel, a huge mug of root beer on a pole, advertising an A&W Root Beer stand, another wedding chapel, and a Gulf gasoline station (at the next traffic light). She remembered the Town Aire (she said it was now the Carriage Inn [690 West 4th Street], Jerry's Motel and the A&W Root Beer place (now gone).
The Gulf station may now be Northwest Tire, at 500 W 4th St., which is at the intersection of Ralston and West 4th.
The last scene is Bronson riding across a river/stream, and past the "Hotel Riverside/Riverside Casino, Reno's Smartest." The hotel may be gone (there is no Riverside Hotel and no hotel near where Riverside meets Keystone), but there is a Riverside Drive that runs off of Ralston St (where the Gulf station was), and back toward the southwest, intersecting Keystone Avenue at the river. The map indicates that the area is now the site of McKinley Park, so the hotel/casino was probably torn down. (Interestingly, if my hunch on the route is right, Bronson is actually driving back into Reno on Keystone, northward, where it crosses the river and Riverside Drive, and passes by the Hotel Riverside. Continuity be damned!)
If there are any fans in the Reno area, or anyone who remembers Reno or will be passing through it, send me an email! - jonpf


Here are some location shots from The Spitball Kid episode, which starred Kurt Russell, and was filmed in or near Tempe, AZ. This is the one where Bronson shows of his baseball skills for the Mickel Company.
Does anyone recognize this "SAR" gas pump brand and/or its location? It was next to a one-story building that housed a cafe and the Bee Line Bait Shop:
spitbl02.jpg

Sign for the Mickel Company:
spitbl04.jpg

Front of the Mickel Company building:
spitbl03.jpg

[If any fans of TCB live near Tempe or Mesa, Arizona, send me an email if you would like to help out with episode locations in that area. - jonpf]


Arizona locations for the episode titled Sibyl, which starred Renne Jarrett:
Here is a scan of the old house where the witches met:
sibyl01.jpg

For fans of Renne, here's a scan of her from that episode:
renne01.jpg


"the undiscovered country..." episode:
In Reno, the Amish boy stops for lunch at "The Squeeze Inn" luncheonette. There is no record of it presently. Are there any TCB fans in Reno who remember this place?


Recently, I got an email reply from a friend and TCB fan in Wyoming, regarding the episode called The Old Motorcycle Fiasco. Here is part of it:

Anyhow, in answer to a few of your questions, the house that Keenan Wynn lived in, in the episode, is the very house that I grew up in. In fact, if you have a copy of that episode, you can see the French farmer I drew in the background of the dining room scenes. The sheds where the bikes were repaired were sheds on the ranch, although Hollywood had doors built so that they could do some day-for-night shooting.

The Stage Coach Bar is the real McCoy, only they don't trade in weed killer, although it is hard to tell the difference on occasion. The service station next to the Jackson Hole Lodge was an Esso, then Teton Gas for Less, then an Exxon station, until its demise only a few short years ago. The Jackson Hole Lodge is where most of the shooting crew stayed, along with the stunt people and gaffers.

Handley's Hardware was really Lamb's Hardware, and it is not there any more either. It will be thirty years ago this coming spring that the [TCB] crew rolled into the valley to film the four episodes they did. I spoke with Bud Ekins about about two months ago, and he was headed to Ireland. He is a dandy.

If I can be of further help, Jon, don't hesitate in contacting me.

FROM TCB FANS EVERYWHERE...

(Anonymous, unless requested otherwise. I put these on because so many people asked me to make a fan web page so they could tell their "Bronson" stories.)

Hello,
After repeated attempts and no results for "Then Came Bronson," I finally stumbled onto your site. "Thrilled and Amazed" would be putting it lightly! I was 14 years old when TCB aired and can still remember watching the original movie and the thrill that it and the following episodes gave me. Like others, I also am guilty of wearing a watchcap while riding my first motorcycles and imagining far-away places and adventures. I have always blamed {thanked?} TCB for arousing my all-consuming LUST for bikes. Motorcycles are my passion in life and at this point in my life I own 20+, 6 of which are Harley-Davidsons. I can't look at an old Sportster without Bronson's bike coming to mind.

I looked thru your site and just enjoyed the hell out of it. I have a wife and 3 sons and have always wished that I could expose them to TCB. It is very hard to explain the show and what it meant to me as a kid. I have bookmarked the page and will drop in often to explore. Thank you for putting up your page!


Great webpage,
I've been looking for this kind of information for years.
I have a couple of the plastic model kits. I'll see if I can get you some pictures of the completed kit. Did you also know that the model came with a black and white postcard of Michael Parks?
Will keep on checking in. Thanks for all the great info.


Please add me to your TCB mailing list. Great page, and thanks.....


Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your great web page on "Then Came Bronson". I have been looking for this movie every place I could find to buy movies. I wasn't even aware that the original movie was a tv pilot. You really gave me alot of cool info and help me relive some great memories. I was 14 when the show aired. Thought they just made a series out of a theater release. I had a major crush (I am sure I wasn't alone on this one) on Michael Parks!!! I am e-mailing TNT as suggested for possible replay on this movie and series. Thanks again! I have really enjoyed your web page.


When I signed onto the 'net about two years ago, the first search I made was "Then Came Bronson." Needless to say, I was disappointed. I am no longer! Thanks for a great site. So I'm not the only one!

I was a very impressionable teenager when I accidentally caught the pilot. That Christmas I got my first bike (Honda CB 160) and dreamed of the day I could hit the road on my Harley Sportster. Well, almost thirty years and six bikes later (two Sportsters!), I am rattlin' but still rollin'. To say I was a fan would be a severe understatement. At one time in the early seventies I had the plots of every episode memorized and had all the TCB articles, MP interviews and records, a couple of the novels and the plastic Bronson Sportster model. My nickname during '69-'70 was "Bronson" - no doubt encouraged by my propensity to wear a black T-shirt, watch cap and mumble "Really" and "W,HIT." During a temporary bout of Insanity about twenty years ago, I gave all the stuff away. (AAAGGHH!)

THEN CAME BRONSON NOVELS...

PYRAMID-T-2106- Then Came Bronson-William Johnston(GVG) $6
http://www.netzone.com/~ldcomics/files/tvpbs.txt

FILMOGRAPHY, ETC...

From the web site URL:
http://www.film.queensu.ca/CBC/CBC.html
"Canadian Cinema
Sun 9:00-11:00 p.m., 21 JUl-25 Aug 1974
For the CBC, an all-too-rare series of recent Canadian feature films: ... Between Friends, directed by Don Shebib, with Michael Parks and Bonnie Bedelia."
[So it was a Canadian film company that gave MP his first work after almost 4 years! Kind of lends credence to the story that he was ostracized from Hollywood, after Then Came Bronson was cancelled. If anyone has a copy of this movie or even remembers it, send me an email. - jonpf]


The Gallant Men
A Place to Die, with Michael Parks
http://tvideo.com/g.htm
"Your favorite vintage movies and TV shows on video!"

MISCELLANEOUS...

Sites that mention TCB...

The Classic Harley (excerpts):
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/1049/history.html

Info on Sportsters:
http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/1049/883.html


Some Halloween fun...
Unfortunately, since there is incompatibility between browsers, even those by the same company (ie, Netscape 3 and 4), this probably will not look right to some of you. I know that the first image works for both Netscape 4 and MS Internet Explorer 3, but not Netscape 3; however, the second one works for all three:
Netscape 4 and MSIE 3

Netscape 3 & 4 and MSIE 3


Have you sent emails to TNT and Columbia House (from my site)? If we can get TNT to show it again, we can all see it again. And if we can get somebody like Columbia House to sell it on video, they might get better copies of it (from master tapes, and no commercials)! Anyway, if you haven't already sent emails to TNT and Columbia House, here are their addresses (for most browsers, just click on them):

tnt@turner.com

vl_customer_service@columbiahouse.com



To email me, click here!

To go to the beginning page of the site, click here!




If you get lost or your browser's "< BACK" button doesn't work, click here to go to the beginning page of the site: tcb.htm , or click on the following to go directly to these pages: main_page ; pilot_movie ; episodes ; records ; cycles ; plastic_model ; Bronson_paint ; TCB novels ; newsletter_start_page.
This page created October 31, 1998 . . . . . this web page copyright 1998 jonpf@thecia.net, except for certain photos and images