by Paul Marks

Some time during the late 1970s or early eighties, I saw a newspaper announcement saying there was to be a chili cookoff at Corriganville, the old movie ranch. I was more than a little excited as I had very good memories of the ranch as a child. I thought it would be nice to relive those days of yesteryear. So my cousin and I took our nephew and headed to the land of Crash Corrigan. But like the smell of a Madeleine pastry in Proust's novel "Remembrances of Things of Past," which brings on a lifetime of memories for the protagonist, just being at what used to be Corriganville, called Hopetown at the time of the cookoff, brought on a flood of memories.

As a native of Los Angeles, Corriganville wasn't all that far to go, so I visited it several times, all with my grandparents. For some reason my parents were the people who took me to Disneyland, my grandparents to Corriganville.

And what a thrill it was to go there. As one knows, one should always dress for the occasion and Corriganville was no exception. I would don my cowboy hat and bright red cowboy boots, my Mattel Fanner 50 six shooter, maybe a vest or even chaps. And off we'd go.

I remember the excitement of being on a "real" western street with real cowboys and Indians and shootouts. But one of my strongest memories (so I hope it's real) is of going into the saloon and finding instead of a false front an actual restaurant or café behind the swinging doors. It was more of the modern variety but still fun. And in my mind I was a real cowboy in a real cowboy saloon and pity the poor fool who drew against me.

Being a fan of Rinty, Rusty and Lt. Rip Masters my favorite site on the ranch was Fort Apache. It was like being there in the old west. And it was a kick to see it in person to go along with my Marx Toys Rin Tin Tin Fort Apache playset and autographed photo of Jim Brown (Lt. Rip Masters) in cavalry uniform, posing with Rin Tin Tin himself.

And, corny as it may sound, although Corriganville is gone it will always be there in my mind, a place of fun, great grandparents, and good memories. Seeing it on this website brings it all back as it was, almost as if it was still here. Who could ask for more?