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John Wayne became a partner with his close friend, Charles “Chuck” Kenworthy in an attempt to locate the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine treasure in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona

The little known story of John Wayne and his real life Red River Ranch in Arizona.The famous Hollywood movie actor John Wayne had a long history with Arizona that stretches back to the late ’50s when the Hollywood cowboy legend purchased 4,000 acres of farmland between Maricopa and Stanfield just southwest of Phoenix. He borrowed and paid $4 million dollars for the acreage because his tax attorney thought it would be a good investment.John Wayne financed a cotton crop through the Anderson Clayton Company of Phoenix, one of the largest cotton brokers in the world. Then, due to a lack of time and farming experience, Wayne paid the AC Cotton company to farm the land for him. It soon became clear to Wayne that the Anderson Clayton Company didn’t know how to farm cotton either.

During Wayne’s many visits to his cotton farm he noticed the farm of his neighbor, Louis Johnson, was doing considerably better than his own. The Duke’s farm was struggling, so he called his brokerage people and asked who the best cotton farmer in the area was. They told him it was Louis Johnson. When everyone else was getting two and a half bales to the acre, Louis was getting four.Convinced that Johnson was the farmer Wayne needed to make his floundering property a success, he called him. Explaining he couldn’t come to Arizona because he was in the middle of making a film, he offered to cover all expenses if Johnson would fly to Hollywood to talk with him.Johnson agreed to meet Wayne, and the outcome of their discussion was that Johnson would manage Wayne’s cotton crop for one year for $14,000. If the farm produced three bales per acre, he would receive an additional $50,000, and, if he produced four bales per acre, he would get an additional $100,000. Johnson produced 4.22 bales to the acre that year, earning Wayne in excess of $1 million dollars!But the success was not obstacle free. During the cotton harvest, agents from the bank showed up in the field to repossess 10 mechanical cotton harvesters. Louis marched over to the bank and signed a nearly $800,000 note so that they wouldn’t take the equipment.John Wayne was so impressed by the success of his newfound manager, the two decided to merge Wayne’s 4,000-acre farm with Johnson’s 6,000-acre farm and become partners. The 10,000 acre-farm became one of the largest in Arizona.
The two partners had a running bet that if Louis was able to produce more than four bales per acre a year, the Duke would buy him a Cadillac. Every year but one Wayne bought Louie a new Cadillac car.Johnson renovated a bedroom for Wayne to stay in Maricopa when he and his family made trips to the Johnson residence. Often Wayne would come to the house to have Louis wife Alice help him shave off some weight for an upcoming movie role.Alice said, “I would follow a diet plan from a book called the Diet Watchers Guide,” “It was a sort of an old-time Weight Watchers program.” According to Alice, the real key to his weight loss was a specially designed bathroom in which every surface was mirrored except the ceilings and floors. “Wayne always said being able to see his body from every angle helped him to drop the weight.”While the cotton business treated the two men well, federal government cutbacks on water allocations in Arizona in the 1960s, aimed at preventing Southwestern cotton farmers from putting others in the nation out of business, pushed Wayne and Johnson toward cattle ranching.Johnson and Wayne built an 18,000-head feedlot at Stanfield, Arizona just a few miles from Maricopa and soon expanded into cattle breeding with an operation in Springerville, Arizona that covered more than 50,000 acres. Wayne named the Arlington cattle operation the “Red River Ranch Land Co.” after his favorite movie role as an actor.
At the Springerville location, known as the “26-Bar Ranch” just outside Eagar, Arizona in the White Mountains, Wayne and Johnson focused on raising the highest quality Herford bulls and then auctioning them off back at the ranch near Maricopa. These annual auctions attracted hundreds of potential buyers to the area from across the nation. Those auctions were a big event back in the day.In addition to the Springerville ranch, the feedlot near Maricopa expanded to 85,000 head, becoming the largest privately owned feedlot in the United States.However, in 1974 housewives across the nation, enraged by skyrocketing beef prices, staged a brief but powerful boycott, sending the Wayne-Johnson cattle operation into the red. We lost millions, Alice Johnson lamented. “It was amazing that Louis could just come to bed every night, close the door and not worry about a thing.”

To counteract the failing cattle prices, John Wayne and Louis Johnson reduced the number of cattle on their feedlot to 8,500, but the bankers were not going to let Wayne give up on the business. The bankers insisted he begin buying cattle despite being low on credit. They told Wayne to keep buying cattle until they told him to stop. Wayne and Johnson began buying in January 1975 and by June had expanded the operation tenfold from 8,500 to almost 85,000 head of cattle.The partnership between the two men ended in 1979 when John Wayne finally passed away of cancer, but many residents of Maricopa and Springerville still have fond memories of him.During his many trips to the Red River Ranch at the tiny community of Maricopa Wayne would often drive through the downtown, stopping at local businesses. No one rushed him for autographs when he stopped. He was one of the townspeople. He loved the kids and would stand for hours signing things for them.Wayne would also often head out to his favorite drinking location, the Table Top Tavern in nearby Stanfield, Arizona and spend time with local farmers.
When Wayne died in 1979, Louis Johnson decided it would be best for him to exit the cattle business also. The Wayne children were going to sell Duke’s portion, so he decided it would be a good time to get out of the business rather than getting stuck with a partner we didn’t know.When the Wayne children were auctioning off items from the Dukes estate, they surprised Louis and Alice Johnson by calling them out to their father’s California residence. Alice had first visited there many years before, falling in love with an extravagant chandelier Wayne had purchased in Europe. “It was so weird seeing such a beautiful chandelier in his home, it just didn’t fit his personality,” Alice said.When they arrived for the estate sale, the children said they were going to vote on gifting the imported chandelier to Alice, and all seven voted in favor. “I was so happy I did a dance on the kitchen floor,” Alice said.
Louis Johnson, Wayne’s cotton and cattle partner, died of cancer in 2001, and Alice, in her 80s, remarried a few years later.Between the years 1976 to his death in 1979 John Wayne became a partner with his close ftiend, Charles “Chuck” Kenworthy in an attempt to locate the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine treasure in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. Kenworthy believed the mine and treasure were buried underground on a mesa top just north of Charleboise (Charley-Boy) spring at the top of Charleboise Canyon.Wayne became an investor in Kenworthy’s Heart Quest expedition and he deeply wanted to accompany Kenworthy into the Superstition Mountain’s to help with the work. But Wayne was at the time under doctor’s care and he was forced to get updates and progress reports from Kenworthy while the Duke rested and oversaw operations at his Maricopa ranch. John Wayne was still keenly interested in the Superstition Mountains quest at the time of his death on June 11,1979.John Wayne once said, for all his acting and movie rolls, some of his fondest memories were the years he spent farming and ranching in Arizona. Red River was the Duke’s personal favorite film and his cattle ranch in Arizona allowed him to become in real life the cattleman he portrayed on the silver screen.

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How did Paul Koslo ever have a tense encounter with star John Wayne ? – My Blog

In 1975, the Canadian actor starring The Duke in Rooster Cogburn. At the time, Koslo was only 19 and still relatively green in the industry. So working with the Hollywood legend was a bit stressful.

During an installment of World on Westerns, Paul Koslo shared his experiences with John Wayne, including a time where he nearly stepped on Wayne’s lines.As the story goes, Wayne had a short 15 line monologue. And once he was finished, Koslo was supposed to respond. And as they were filming, Wayne said his part. But when it was Koslo’s turn, he froze.“The director said ‘Paul, why didn’t you say your lines?’” the actor remembered.

“And I said, ‘well, because I didn’t wanna cut him off because he hadn’t said all of his lines yet.’” Hearing the conversation, John Wayne jumped in saying, “who’s gonna? Nobody’s gonna cut me off. I can say whatever I want, you got it, kid?”Of course, the interaction made Koslo nervous, and the only response he could muster was, “okay, sir.”However, the actor admitted that the Western icon wasn’t as intimidating as the story made him sound.

Koslo shared that as long as his co-stars worked hard, Wayne was always their biggest supporter.“My impression of him was that if you did your stuff, and you were right on top of it, he was your best buddy. But if you were like a slacker, or you weren’t prepared, he could get on your case.”During the AWOW interview, Paul Koslo also shared some details behind the age-old feud between John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn.

“I mean, Kate and him, they were always like this,” said Koslo, while punching his fists together.According to Koslo, politics were behind the fight. Hepburn was a democrat and Wayne was a republican.“It seemed like… in a fun way. I don’t know if it was for real,” he admitted. “You know, she would be sitting on the hood of a truck going like a hundred feet down to the set where they were shooting, and how Wallis was having heart attacks. She was really a daredevil, and she was full of piss and vinegar.”

The actor also noted that he didn’t get to spend much time with the actress, so he couldn’t get a proper gauge on the so-called feud. Almost all his time was spent with The Duke.The only interaction Koslo had with Hepburn was while shooting an intense scene where they were “moving this nitroglycerin to another location because we were going to rob the U.S. Treasury with it, and [John Wayne’s] about to ambush us.”And that happened right before Paul Koslo nearly stepped on John Wayne’s lines.

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What John Wayne said in his angry letter to Clint Eastwood and how Eastwood responded. – My Blog

John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are the two biggest icons of the Western movies, however, Wayne wasn’t always a fan of Eastwood’s work. In fact, Wayne hated one of Eastwood’s Westerns so much he sent him a letter decrying the film. Here’s how Eastwood reacted to the letter — and how the public reacted to this movie.

This Clint Eastwood movie was a lot darker than John Wayne’s films : First, a little background. The Western was a staple of American cinema from its early days. It often presented a glorified view of American expansionism. During and after the civil rights movement, Westerns began to evolve, often presenting a critical or at least cynical view of the Old West. Movies like that became especially popular during the 1970s, but by the 1980s the genre was no longer an American staple.

One of the more famous dark Westerns from the 1970s was High Plains Drifter. The film is about a mysterious criminal who comes into town, to get revenge for his brother who was murdered as many of the townsfolk watched by idly. No one in the film is very sympathetic — they’re all either evil or passive in the face of evil. It’s a far cry from the more uplifting films which made Wayne famous.

What John Wayne said in his letter to Clint Eastwood — and how Eastwood responded : It’s very easy to see High Plains Drifter as a critique of the American West. According to the book Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western, that’s how Wayne saw the film. In addition, he saw it as incorrect.Eastwood told Kenneth Turan “John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter. He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the West.

I realized that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing. High Plains Drifter was meant to be a fable: it wasn’t meant to show the hours of pioneering drudgery. It wasn’t supposed to be anything about settling the West.” According to the book John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Eastwood did not write back. How the public reacted to ‘High Plains Drifter’ : Clearly, Wayne was upset by the film. This raises an interesting question: Did High Plains Drifter resonate with the public?

According to Box Office Mojo, High Plains Drifter earned over $15 million. Even by the standards of the 1970s, High Plains Drifter was not a tremendous hit. For comparison, Box Office Mojo reports a less dark 1970s Western starring Eastwood called The Outlaw Josey Wales earned over $31 million.Regardless, High Plains Drifter has a bit of a legacy. It was the first Western that Eastwood directed himself. Eastwood would go on to direct several other Westerns including the Oscar-winning Unforgiven. Wayne wasn’t much of a fan of High Plains Drifter — and neither was the public.

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John Wayne spent a lot of time in Mexico doing charity work at orphanages . – My Blog

Easily overlooked amid the prolific acting career and larger-than-life persona was John Wayne’s generosity. He was generous with his family, whom he welcomed into his own career with open arms. And in the years since his ԁеаtһ, the philanthropy carried out by his estate has been dedicated to cancer research.Recently, the official John Wayne Instagram account posted a throwback photo from 1970.

It shows Duke visiting a Mexican orphanage with actress Raquel Welch.“Giving back to the community was important to Duke, he’s pictured here with Raquel Welch visiting an orphanage in Mexico in 1970,” the caption of the post reads.The heartwarming photo shows John Wayne giving a smile to a child outside the orphanage. Raquel Welch can be seen behind him to the right, doing the same thing.

John Wayne Had an Affinity for Mexico : John Wayne spent a lot of time in Mexico. For one, the iconic Western actor filmed no less than six movies in the country throughout his career. Beyond his acting career, however, Duke just loved spending time there.Granted, most of that time wasn’t spent at orphanages. But John Wayne did his small part in other ways too.

The town of Chupaderos in Northwestern Mexico was effectively built by Wayne and the movies he filmed there. Although, it did fall on hard times after he stopped making movies there.Nonetheless, Mexico was one of Wayne’s favorite destinations. His estate posted another photo back in April of the Western icon taking in the sights of Acapulco.“Duke loved to travel all over the world and one of his favorite places to visit was Mexico.

He’s pictured here in Acapulco in the late 1940’s, where he owned a hotel called Hotel Los Flamingos with his friend Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan,” part of the caption reads.One of the things that brought Wayne to Mexico was his yacht, the Wild Goose. One of his favorite activities was sailing it down the coast of Mexico with his family.“For a long time, whenever I dreamed about him, we were on the boat,” John Wayne’s daughter Marisa said.Duke Owned a Hotel in Acapulco, Mexico : As the caption from the Instagram posts mentions, John Wayne owned a hotel in Mexico.

Along with a group of celebrities, John Wayne bought Hotel Los Flamingos in 1954 to use as a private getaway.After using it for vacations and private events for a few years, the group decided to sell the hotel. Today, Hotel Los Flamingos is still in operation. And fortunately for travel-inclined fans of the Duke, getting a room there is actually pretty affordable.

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