A long, long time ago, I was a child actress. It was the late 1950s to the early 1960s. I actually worked on shows such as Bonanza, (with Chuck McCann), Rifleman (with Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors), Andy Griffith, Bozo the Clown, etc., along with commercials like "Chatty Cathy" (with Maureen McCormick), "Actionware" (with Dian Van Patten), etc. That was such a fun time for me.
My father and grand-father were the sole owners of a photography studio called Merriman Photo Arts, located at that time in Hollywood, Ca. One of their clients was Marilyn Monroe. My grandfather at the time was the photographer for Sears and Roebuck—he did the catalogs for quite a few years. This was my first print job that lasted about four years, from 1960 to 1964, if I remember correctly. I actually found the catalogs online once and downloaded my photos from there, so I could save them for my kids later. As I do not want to digress here, let me get back to the acting. I met a lot of people in the industry during my childhood, as my father and mother used to hobnob with them, because of my dad’s business. My aunt was my agent, and also my dad’s sister. This all stopped when my father died from a drunk driver incident in 1965.
Working on these shows in my early childhood would come to my aid later on in life, as I grew older. One day I ran into Chuck McCann at Craves restaurant, his favorite eating establishment. We reacquainted ourselves and he remembered our time on Bonanza even better than I did. It was a gift from God that I got to see him again after 50 years, as he passed away in his 80s, just a few years later. It was about this time my very best friend, and prior agent, introduced me to David Heavener, who was a major celebrity in the eighties, nineties, and so on. David is now working on an amazing project called Last Evangelist. David created a role for me in the series, and then he introduced me to the President of The Reel Cowboys, Mr. Robert Lanthier. It is to Robert Lanthier, and what he is doing with the Silver Spur Awards that I dedicate this vlog to. Let me tell you why.
What a heart this guy has. My husband and I went to our first Reel Cowboys breakfast and met Robert Lanthier. He is a very pleasant and robust man in his sixties, and I do believe that God has a serious need for this man to be here for quite a while, because of the things he continues to do. I put up this particular video that Robert had done that explains his current endeavor, which is the Silver Spur Awards. It’s about 10 minutes long and I hope you enjoy it. The thing I liked most about this is the way Robert finds a way to contribute all net proceeds to the Gary Sinise Foundation. God must want me there as well this year, because I am very blessed to be able to attend the awards with my husband. I am hoping to be able to see Johnny Crawford again. I saw him about a year ago at a Hollywood Improv event, but didn’t have a lot of time to speak with him. The coolest thing I saw that Johnny did was that same thing he did with his lasso all those years ago—he STILL does it!
Now if I had my druthers, I would personally award an award to Robert Lanthier for the things he has done, and continues to do. I believe he’s been the president of the Reel Cowboys for about 10 years now, and I am very blessed and honored to know him.