Friday, April 1, 2011

DALLAS

Sorry I've been MIA but my hubby and I've been in Dallas. We just returned late last night. I always love visiting the Big D. We had a fantastic time and stayed at a really great historic hotel in the Uptown district. We finally drove out to the Southfork Ranch after all these years living in Texas. A lot of you might not know this but I'm a HUGE Dallas fan. I like anything from the 70's and 80's television shows. However, Dallas is one of my favorites because it was such a huge part of the culture when growing up. I remember all the mom's gathering around the kitchen tables discussing what had happened on that week's episode. It was very scandalous back then and children were not suppose to watch it. However, a few us would sneak into the hallway and peek around the corner to get a glimpse of what JR Ewing would do next. It wasn't until years later I was able to buy the Dallas seasons on dvd and actually put the entire story together, HA! Could you imagine if we had those same censorships and parents policed what kids watch today? I think it would change our society greatly. For those who weren't raised around the popular television show, Dallas was about a wealthy oil and cattle ranching family named the Ewing's. They lived on a large ranch called, Southfork, located just on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas. Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) and Jock (Jim Davis) played the monarchs of the family. They had four sons, JR Ewing (Larry Hagman) who was evil, Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) was good and the heart throb, Gary Ewing (Ted Shackleford) he lived in California (considered the black sheep) and was Lucy's Ewing's father, and then there was Ray Krebbs (Steven Kanaly) who was thought to be the loyal ranch hand but turned out to be Jock's son (previous affair during the war). With a family tree like this you can see it's perfection for some type of drama. Then there are the Ewing ladies. I believe everyone remembers Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) JR's suffering wife. She and JR had an up and down relationship. Their marriage was about as dysfunctional as it gets. Then there was Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal) who was married to the Dallas hunk Bobby. They were soul mates but seemed to never have peace with JR trying to meddle into their marriage. And finally, Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton). Sweet but mischievous she always yearned for a father figure in her life and blamed JR for running her mama and daddy off the ranch. Southfork Ranch is the world's most famous ranch. It's located just outside of Plano, Texas. It was the home of the fictional Ewing family. However, it was actually owned by the Duncan family. Joe Duncan built the house in 1970 for his wife and his two children. Mr. Duncan was a wealthy business entrepreneur and always wanted to live on a ranch. He actually began selling horses to Hollywood's greatest actors such as John Wayne. During production of the pilot of the first five episodes you'll notice the house is very different from what you see later in the season. That's because Dallas was originally filmed on a ranch not far from Southfork. The owners told the production company they could no longer use their ranch and so Lorimar began seeking for the "perfect" site for the Ewing family. While flying over the area they spotted the Duncan's home. At first, the Duncan's were not game to a Hollywood film crew on their property. However, Lorimar executives came back with a blank check. Nobody knows how much Mr. Duncan agreed to but in the summer of 1978 they began filming the second season. There were conditions, the film crew could never enter the house unless invited inside and they could only film during the summer when the Duncan kids were out of school. Being from California I know exactly how excited they must have been. However, now living in Texas I realize how hot and miserable that had to be. The famous long drive that you saw them racing their luxury vehicles down to the main house.
Front of the house and also the spot of many Ewing family BBQ's.
Inside the house
Chandelier in the foyer
Living room with the popular painting of Jock Ewing. This was the same painting that not only hung in the living room the first few episodes after Jock died in South America but also at Ewing Oil. This is not the original painting. The original is now owned by Larry Hagman (JR Ewing) however, he allowed his original to be used to paint a replica for the ranch.



Lucy's Room



Bobby and Pam. I couldn't believe that the entire season 8 was a dream. Are you kidding me?!!! I thought it was just starting to get good and to find out that a lot of the characters didn't even exist was a real let down. I could see why so many followers were upset and stopped watching.




Bobby Ewing's Room


JR and Sue Ellen's Bedroom
Poor Sue Ellen. We all know how she started off as just a naive beauty queen. She desperately wanted her husband to love her and tried everything to be the perfect wife for JR. However, it was never enough.
JR not only had his wife committed to a nut house but drove her to drinking. Some of my favorite scenes were of Sue Ellen fighting with JR all while not trying to spill her cocktail. Thankfully she was sober by the end and no longer allowed him to use her as a mat to wipe his feet on. I think by the time she began to show her strength JR started respecting her but it was too late for the marriage. The Ewing dining room. Of course I had to ask about the pattern. It's by Wedgewood. I think I'm the only tourist who's ever asked that question. However, you know how much I love tablescapes.




Many of the scenes were filmed right here on the patio. You'd see the entire family arguing about oil stocks, marriages, family issues, etc. Poor Miss Ellie was usually the last to leave the table as she sat looking into the distance wondering how she was going to fix her family's problems. This is the actual patio set used on the series.


How can I have a post about Dallas and not mention Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) and his lovely girlfriend Afton Cooper (Audrey Landers). Cliff Barnes was JR's nemesis who believed that the Ewing's stole his daddy's, Digger Barnes, fortune. That Jock Ewing took the rights of the oil wells from Digger and that they should have been wealthy but instead poor. Cliff is also the brother of Pamela Barnes Ewing (Bobby's wife).

Afton Cooper was the sister of Lucy's husband, Mitch Cooper. She use to sing at night clubs around Dallas. What made me giggle is that her character is from Biloxi, Mississippi.



The Ewing's had many vehicles on the show. Bobby use to drive that red convertible Mercedes, JR had a green Mercedes sedan, Pam drove a black Corvette, but one of the most famous of them all is Jock Ewing's Lincoln Town Car. It's parked in the middle of the gift shop.




Who could ever forget "Who Shot JR?" during the hype of 1980. This was the most popular scenes out of the entire history of Dallas when J.R. Ewing gets shot in his office late at night. It aired on March 21, 1980 and EVERYONE was watching. Even the Queen of England tried to use her position to find out who shot J.R.. They sold thousands of "Who Shot JR" T-shirts, mugs, etc. J.R. Ewing was hated by almost everyone on the show so it was a true cliff hanger at the end of the season.
On the tour the guide asked if anyone remembered who shot J.R. and I quickly raised my hand. She called on me and I said, "Kristen Shephard." She then asked if anyone knew who she was and I raised my hand again, "She was Sue Ellen's sister." She nodded and I continued, "She also had an affair with J.R. and told him she was pregnant with his baby. But it wasn't really his baby but Sue Ellen was mad. However, Kristin gave birth to Christopher who was adopted by Bobby and Pam because Pam couldn't have children. This was after she came back to blackmail J.R. but he pushed her off the balcony into the pool. She drowned and he said it was an accident but everyone knows J.R. did it." The guide looked at me like I was one of those insane fans. My husband was like, "Ok, somebody knows their Dallas." I should have just kept my mouth closed.


Kristen Shepard (Colleen Camp) shot J.R. Ewing. This was the infamous balcany where she fell to her death into the pool.

I believe people still can't think of Dallas without recalling J.R. Ewing. He is a part of Texas as the Alamo.

3 comments:

Zondra Art said...

I loved this series!
Great pictures!
Happy new week:)

GamecockQueen said...

I've been to TX many times and had no idea you could actually go here! It's so on my bucket list now! The Dallas house/farm has always reminded me of my old boyfriends parent's house and farm. Although he brought more than his share of drama and tears over the years, I have the best memories of being a teenager and fishing, laying by the pool, and and riding horses at their house. :-)

Sandy McInnes said...

Great site, but it was Mary Crosby - Bing's daughter who portrayed Kristin Shepard.