Thursday, July 09, 2009

Goodbye, Mrs. Shahan

Listening to the radio this morning, I was sorry to hear about the death of 93 year-old Virginia Shahan. Virginia and her late husband, Happy Shahan, were the pioneers of Texas film making. In 1960, Happy built the set for the filming of "The Alamo", starring John Wayne. Since that time, Brackettville has been host to a dozen or more famous movies and documentaries.

Kman and I visited Brackettville a few years ago. It truly was like stepping back in time. Even though I was aware it was a movie set, I could easily imagine life in Texas in the 1800's. Great fun.

In fact, the movie set is much more imaginative and evocative of the period than is the original Alamo - which is so out of place in busy downtown modern San Antonio.

The Shahan heirs are determining what to do with the make-believe town; I hope they decide to keep it open to the public. What a waste to destroy 50 years of history.

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joared said...

Sounds like an interesting site to preserve. I recall visiting the Alamo (the real one) in 1948 and was sorta disappointed. Don't know what I expected, but concluded a lot of historical sites seem grander in my imagination from reading words written about them than they are seeing the real site.

Pancho said...

When I lived in Dallas, a friend and I drove down in 1986 to take part in the reenactment honoring the 150th anniversary of the "real" battle. We got to know Happy fairly well and we had a great time listening to his stories of "The Duke" and the filming of the movie. He lived for that place....

Anonymous said...

Lived in various spots in Texas during 1945-1956, but never saw the Alamo. In general, I'm not "into" historic places; but, your photo of Alamo Village shows an intriguing facade.
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