Saturday, January 27, 2007

The 3:10 to Yuma

Apparently a lot of movies are filmed in Santa Fe. I have had limited contact with this reality--in fact, my only personal stories are somewhat removed. My son was dining out when he was here in July (before I moved in) and saw William H. Macy and Ray Liotta at the restaurant. (They were here filming Wild Hogs with John Travolta.) And one of my students found Val Kilmer's Visa card on the Plaza. Sigh!!!!!

But in yesterday's paper there was a story about a sale of props from 3:10 to Yuma, a Russell Crowe remake of a 1950s Glenn Ford movie from a story by Elmore Leonard. The movie recently wrapped up filming in Santa Fe.

So I decided to take a long lunch hour and pop down to the "Old Penitentiary" to see what was available. This was an adventure in itself--it's actually on the grounds of the state prison, and I was greeted at the gate by a guard who asked me if I had any knives or guns in the car. Like I would really answer this question positively. "Why yes, officer, I have a small arsenal in the trunk."

The State Penitentiary in Santa Fe was the site of a huge and deadly prison riot in February, 1980. Thirty-three inmates were killed--most by other inmates--and one of the results was that this part of the prison was closed. In recent years, the site has been involved in the movie business. The Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard was filmed here, and I understand there's a huge costume warehouse in the same location.

Then I had to drive down a wet and muddy road (we get so little rain here that dirt roads are typically hard packed, but four feet of melting snow have created a lot of mud!) By the time I got into the sale my boots and jeans were muddy and I felt like a true 19th century Westerner!

Photo courtesy of The Santa Fe New Mexican

Some interesting items--a great armoire, bolts of canvas and dimity and calico, tons of lanterns and oil lamps, six train station benches, a lightning rod, three mustache cups, a whole shelf of preserved items in glass jars, parlor furniture, four saddles, etc. Very little in the way of Victorian glass and china, which is what I was looking for--but certainly a worthy adventure, and it will be fun to watch the movie when it comes out and look for familiar pieces!

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