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PIONEERTOWN, Calif. - Greg "Digger" Herring, an actor with the Pioneertown Posse, draws his six-shooters during a single-action shoot-out April 10. In 1946, Pioneertown was built as a living movie set for Hollywood films and TV shows like "The Cisco Kid" and "The Gene Autry Show."

Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle

Pioneertown provides family fun

16 Apr 2010 | Cpl. R. Logan Kyle

The Pioneertown Posse Old West reenactment troupe is looking for volunteers aboard the Combat Center to participate in skits at the Old Western town each Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m.

Each April through October, the Posse performs skits depicting what life could have been like in the lawless, violent areas of early America.

“We try to keep the Old West alive with our show,” said Dale Noel, a Roxboro, N.C., native, who has been with the Posse since it was formed. “Comedy and intrigue are the focus of the skits, but we also like to send a message portraying family values and patriotism.

“We’re always looking for volunteers to come out and be part of the skits,” she said.

In 1946, Pioneertown was built as a living movie set for Hollywood films and TV shows like “The Cisco Kid” and “The Gene Autry Show.”

Pioneertown was once home to some of the most famous Old Western actors to ever hit the big screen, said Ernie “Doc” Kester, one of the Posse’s founders and a native of Commerce, Okla. Westerns filmed out here featured actors like Bill Parsons, Roy Rogers, Bud Abbott and Dick Curtis to name a few.

The town was established by the actors and columnists of the movies which were later filmed at Pioneertown. They were aptly named the Sons of the Pioneers.

Since its glory days as a movie and television series set, Pioneertown has transformed into a tourist attraction for the high desert area, drawing nearly 150 audience members each Saturday.

Thanks to the Posse’s small group of actors and volunteers, the Old West’s spirit lives on. The show lasts nearly 45 minutes and is filled with several comical skits.

“I thought it was pretty fun,” said Cpl. Jacob Speed, a heavy equipment operator with Support Company, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, who attended the show with his family Saturday. “My mom and grandparents came down to see me off for the deployment, and they found out about this at the visitor’s center on base.”

Speed, a Snohomish, Wash., native, said he plans to let his friends know about the Posse, and even showed interest in being a part of the skits.

“If I weren’t deploying in two days I’d be down here participating,” Speed said.

To get to Pioneertown, take Highway 62 to Yucca Valley, Calif., and turn onto Pioneertown Road. Pioneertown is located approximately four miles down on the right. For more information or to become a member of the Posse, visit http://www.pioneertown-posse.org, or call Hawk at 364-3544.


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