2008 2008

Musician Doc Dennings' guitar donated to film museum

doc-denning.jpgMarch 15, 2008:

The Death Valley 49ers recently donated the guitar of musician Max H. “Doc” Dennings to the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. It is now on display at the entrance of the Museum next to the Gift Shop.

The guitar was donated to the 49ers by Steven and Cecilia Orcutt. Nan Gering formally donated it to Rob Barron, General Manager of the Museum, at the annual Installation dinner of the Lone Pine Chamber held at Boulder Creek RV Park in January.
The artwork on the guitar, nicknamed “Old Dinah” was painted by Artist William Rushing. The leather strap, also on display, was created by artist R.P. Kidd.

“Doc” began his music career after serving in WWII in 1946 when he was under contract with 4-Star records in Hollywood making about a dozen sides on 78 rpm records.
Doc met and played with “The Reinsmen” from 1977 to 1993, except for a few months in 1981 when he took a leave-of-absence from that group and toured with the “Sons of the Peioneers.” While a member of these musical groups, he performed and made friends with stars like Rex Allen, Sr., Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Eddie Dean, Tex Williams, Ken “Festus” Curtis, and other western movie and music stars, including songwriter Bob Nolan and fiddler Hugh Farr, originally with the “Sons of the Pioneers.”
His musical talents include vocalist, singing any part in trio or quartets, the guitar, fiddle and bass on 25 albums and numerous singles on various record labels. These include Sierra, Warner Bros., 4-Star, Superior, Comstock, and on a recent taper made in 2005.

As a “Reinsmen” and as a solo act, Doc Denning happily shared his talents for 28 years with the Death Valley 49ers. A representative commented, “We enjoyed his song writing, melodious voice, ‘Painted Lady’, poems and music.”
Doc retired in 2004. He recently wrote “It’s Been a GREAT LIFE.”


Alabama Hills stewardship group wins national regocnition


March 14, 2008:

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, which you have read about in this paper, was recently selected as a recipient of the Department of Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award. This prestigious national award was given to twenty similar partnerships across the country.

Bill Dunkelberger, of the Bishop BLM, announced the award to the group at their last meeting. Representatives from the group will fly to Washington to receive the award from secretary of the Interior Kempthorne the week of April 22 and then attend to a two-day workshop during which the group will give a half an hour presentation on the Alabama Hills work.”
Attending from the Owens Valley, besides Dunkelberger will be Chris Langley and Kathleen New representing the community, Alabama Hills Steward Dave Kirk and a representative from the BLM in the area.

The partnership was selected “because they demonstrate professionalism, dedication, and skills exemplifying the Department of Interior’s commitment of service to the public. In addition, they demonstrated how partnership efforts can achieve results that benefit local communities through the use, enhancement, and enjoyment of natural resources in a responsible manner that promotes a healthy and dynamic economy.”

The partnership consists of several community organizations working with the BLM to protect and preserve the Alabama Hills in their semi-primitive state while allowing access. The guiding vision is contained in the Vision Statement, written by the group, and read aloud each meeting. The partners are Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo County, Inyo County, Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History, Inyo County Film Commission, Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, McDonald’s of Lone Pine, Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, City of Los Angeles department of Water and Power, Central California resource Advisory Committee, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Bishop Field Office, U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

"Rumble in the Rocks” will b annual June museum fundraiser


Feburary 07, 2008:

There will be a "Rumble in the Rocks" June 7 the Lone Pine Film History Museum announced today as plans for the annual June dinner/concert fundraiser in the Alabama Hills were finalized.

The theme of this year's event is new and different. It will be 1950s in style and the organizers promise it "will be more fun than the Fifties ever were!"

The concert will be by Rumble King, a rock and roll, rhythm and blues band that has been playing regularly at Disneyland as well as other hot spots in L.A. It will be their first appearance locally in the county. The five member band has released three CDs, the most recent is called "When I Get There," and is getting a lot of notice. It will difficult not to get up and dance when they rev up their particular brand of music.

The evening will also feature a beautiful elegant dinner with the boulders of Lone Ranger Canyon illuminated as the sun sets over the Sierra Nevada. The annual fundraiser has proven a perennial favorite and will again sell-out as it has the last few years.
Earlier in the day there will be a 1950’s style movie musical screened to get everyone in the mood and special tours of the museum for those interested.

Tickets can be purchased at $80 a piece by going on line to the Museum Gift shop, or by calling 760-876-9103.

Alabama hills arch will be well known by end of the summer


Feburary 14, 2008:

The Alabama Hills arch will achieve national prominence thanks to a decision to use the image on a public lands pass.
The Lone Pine Chamber and Lone Pine Film History Museum have been notified by their Alabama Hills Stewardship partner, the Bishop Regional Office of the BLM, that the Alabama Hills arch will be a lot more familiar after this summer because it has been selected to be on the America the Beautiful Interagency Pass for 2008. It was selected through a competitive process and the photographer who took the picture was honored.

This pass is available to anyone. It is good for one year from date of purchase. It is good for access to any BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, United States Bureau of Reclamation and Forest Service sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.

The pass costs $80 and when you buy it at a local site, most of the money stays local. So buy you pass here at the Interagency Visitors Center, Manzanar, and Death Valley to keep the money local. The BLM does not have any fee lands in Inyo County.
The Stewardship Partnership to protect and preserve the Alabama Hills in a semi-primitive state while encouraging appropriate access has been active for over a year now with various projects. The partnership developed when representatives of the community of Lone Pine ask the BLM for assistance, appeared before the RAC Committee and began working with various employees and volunteers. First they wrote a Vision statement for the area, then prioritized various projects and have worked to accomplishment them.

The Partnership had a clean-up of designated areas of the Alabama Hills and then the Healthy Communities group worked on upgrading the path out to the Arch, trying to get visitors to all use the same path. While this project had nothing to do with the choice of the Arch for the pass, it is perfect timing as it is expected there will be more visitors.
“We are very proud that this unusual landmark has been chosen, and we think many visitors now will not pass it up in their visit to the many recreational opportunities of Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills area,” stated Kathleen New, Director of the Lone Pine Chamber.

“Thousands of citizens will have our arch in their wallet or pocket during the summer,” mused Film Museum Director Chris Langley, an active member of the partnership. “It is great when something local in our beautiful landscape can be shared nationally. I am glad we have begun preparing for increased visitation to the Alabama Hills as undoubtedly this will occur now.”
The Partnership has led to a Steward position, a person who will be out meeting and greeting visitors, reminding them to “Don’t Crush the Brush.” Dave Kirk has been selected for this position. A great lover of the landscape and outdoors and an artist of note, Kirk spends his days taking care of the area and shaking a lot of visitors’ hands.

Graffiti vandals desecrate Alabama Hills' beauty again


Janurary 5, 2008: Mothers used to teach their youngsters “Fools’ names and fools’ faces often appear in public places.” Perhaps the lesson has been lost because graffiti keeps appearing in the Alabama Hills. Rich Williams and Jim Jennings worked several hours a few months back, and the paint was very resistant to cleaning up. A location on Tuttle Creek and Ruiz Hill were both desecrated by multiple attacks. No one was ever apprehended for the vandalism.

Graffiti has happened again. This time the area just west of the Gunga Din Temple site has been hit, with some racist overtones. The Alabama Hills Stewardship Partnership, including the BLM Bishop Regional Office, community of Lone Pine, LP Chamber and the LP Film Museum and Film Commission, have been working on several maintenance challenges being faced by the area. Use has created litter so twenty-five local volunteers worked cleaning high use areas one Saturday in late September.

Now, Dave Kirk has been hired to act as the Steward of the area, greeting people, answering questions and general “pressing the flesh with handshakes.” He will be looking out for the welfare of everyone including the plants and animals of the Hills.
Dave is a great interpreter of the beautiful landscape through painting. His many watercolor and oil works, both realistic and abstract, can be seen about town: at the Espresso Parlor, Seasons restaurant and on the façade of the new Thompson Hostel on Main Street.

The Stewardship Committee hopes to enlist everyone’s care and vigilance in ending the graffiti. Should anyone see people committing vandalism in the area, they should contact the Sheriffs Department, BLM Office in Bishop at 873-2400 and ask for Jim Jennings or call Chris Langley at 937-1189 as soon as possible. The BLM has special cleaning machinery and chemicals to work to clear off the vandalism as soon as possible. The LADWP also supports this work on their lands that lie next to the BLM and Forest Service lands in and near the Alabama Hills.

If you see Dave Kirk up in the Alabamas, please stop and say hello and ask any questions you might have about the various stewardship projects.





Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545