|Skip Boucher, Boomtown's Production Coordinator in the early
1960's, starts us off with a great story from behind the scenes
of the show: "I remember one time Dallas Trailer was taking
Goldrush out of the trailer behind the WBZ studios. Somehow,
Goldrush got away from him and took off down Soldiers Field
Road, then he crossed over into the parkland by the Charles
River, with Dallas in hot pursuit! Goldrush was galloping off,
enjoying his newfound freedom and we all had visions of him
being hit by a car in the heavy traffic. Fortunatly, Dallas was
able to capture him and get him back to the station in time for
the opening of the show!"
|John 'Pudge' Flynn, Boomtown's assitant Production
Coordinator during the same time period, send us the
following memory: I remember the time Rex crashed his
trailer! I wasn't there for THIS, but we had done a road
show down around Cohasset,MA and were invited back to
someone's house afterwards. Well, Rex went around this
rotary and the trailer hit the curb. The trailer flipped and
Goldrush was o.k. and everything, but the local paper the
next day ran the headline: "Rex Trailer Wrecks Trailer"!
|Skip says: "I never heard the story John told you, but, I have one involving
the trailer that I was there for. Rex's brother, Dallas, was driving the Mercury
station wagon, pulling the horse trailer. We were coming down Rt3 from a
personal appearance in N.H. I think Rex had flown to it in his helicopter, so
he wasn't with us. It was the end ov a very long Saturday. We had been up
since 3A.M. and it was now after dark and we were drowsy. Dallas was
moving along at a good clip. In those days there was a rotary on Rt3 and
somehow, none of us saw it coming! Either we dozed off at the same time or
we were distracted, but there it was, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US and there
was no room to stop, or turn, without causing an accident. Dallas held a
steady course as the car and the trailer rocketed straight up and over the
middle of the rotary and then out the other side. The trailer shook mightily
and I'm sure Goldrush had a wild ride in back, but the trailer hitch held
together and we safely came to a stop back on Rt3 . We checked
everything and all was well.
I stumbled across your website and enjoyed the memories. As a teenager circa 1965-70, i worked for
Rex on the Saturday morning show and at personal appearances. It had to be one of the most rewarding jobs
a teenager could ask for, and I thought you might enjoy some of my memories of that time.
My main job at the studio was to care for Goldrush. At personal appearances, my duties also included
being a stagehand, running the PA system and occasional filling in as Homer Corntassle. The Homer character
was a buffoon hick farmer usually played by Rex's brother, Dallas. Homer was used at PA's, (personal
appearances) to pick kids from the audience and assist them on and off stage. He also played Rex's 6-string
banjo and added color and comic relief to the show.
On a typical Saturday morning, we would meet at Rex's house around 5:00 to hook up the trailer and
head to the stable in Framingham. We'd pick up Goldrush and one of his traveling companions: either PowWow
the pony or Chiquita the donkey. At the studio, I would groom and saddle Goldrush, as well as tend to him during
the show. After the show, we would head out and do one or two PA's, which made for a long day. It was common
to get home around 10P.M.
During the 5 years I worked for "Goldrush Productions" there was a dozen or so young people that
worked in some capacity. Rex was a great guy to work for, as well as a good role model. He was patient and
even tempered,even if we messed-up. Like the time I forgot to clean Goldrush's hooves. Goldrush was shod
with rubber shoes for grip on slippery surfaces. Even with rubber shoes, manure could build up and negate this
grip. Cleaning his hooves with a hoof pick wasn't top on the list of desirable duties, and one day "I forgot" to do
it. As you probably remember, the ride from the bunkhouse to Boomtown ended with Rex and Goldrush around
the corner of the set and onto Main Street where he would greet the kids and sing the theme song. Well, on this
particular day, Goldrush lost his footing as they rode around the corner. My recollection is of Goldrush's legs
spread in four directions, his belly on the floor. Remember this was live TV, no second takes! Rex calmly stood
up and after making sure Goldrush was okay, and turned the mishap into an educational talk with the kids. I'm
sure he gave me an educational talk afterward, but he never lost his cool.
Most of all, I remember that working with the Boomtown crew was fun. There was much camaraderie behind the
set as there was on the stage. Knowing that Rex had to remain composed on stage, we would pull pranks to try
to slip him up. There were practical jokes like the time Dallas loaded Rex's gun with blanks before he did some
trick shooting. On the show there was a game where kids would throw darts at a board full of balloons. Each
balloon had a slip of paper listing a prize which Rex would read aloud. Sometimes, we would substitute a slip for
one with a funny saying like: "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose!". Rex was unflappable. He gave us a
wink, and then would go on like nothing had happened.
I'm attaching two photos I have from the Boomtown years. One is of me holding Goldrush outside the trailer at a
PA. The other is of another worker, Billy Robinson,(left), and myself. After the show, we had gotten into the
costume locker and were goofing around. Rex saw us and snapped this picture with the same Polaroid Camera
we used for the "WANTED MAN" posters. Both photos are circa 1969. In the 5 years I worked for Rex, I'll bet I
inadvertently ended up in hundreds of snapshots of Goldrush or the show. Sadly, these are the only ones that I
have copies of.
I have many more fond memories of my Boomtown years, I hope you enjoyed these.
| July 4th 2009 'Pudge' Flynn Rex Skip Boucher