A visit to Southfork Ranch

I’ve been visiting a lot of fictional places lately.

Last week, I was in Cleveland, where I visited Ralphie’s house from A Christmas Story. This week, I was in Dallas… and my destination was one I always wanted to visit.

Southfork Ranch.

Yes, the home of the Ewings, the oil-barons of the TV show Dallas. I had watched the show when I was younger, rewatched it with my wife… and I was a fan. Not as big a fan as Twin Peaks or Star Trek, mind you… but I was a fan nonetheless.

I even had the opportunity to meet Larry Hagman, JR himself,  a few years ago. His autographed photo hangs proudly in my man cave along with an autograph of Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie).

Well, the visit to Southfork was a must-do, when I realized I had some extra time to kill this week (I’m in Dallas on business). I spent a couple of hours exploring the Dallas museum, the gift shops, the grounds, and (of course) the house. I was amused by the “delta” between the real world and the show (the producers built sets that don’t really “fit” into the floor plan of the actual Southfork home) and I was impressed by the owner’s attempt to make the house as “authentic” as possible.

The old (and new) show shots exteriors at Southfork, and the new show has taken advantage of the grounds a lot more than the original (they even shot the Mexican hotel room that JR dies in IN Southfork, so JR technically ‘died at home’).

Here’s copious amounts of photos taken as I was geeking out over the whole thing. With all these visits to fake/real locations recently, my perspective on things are getting a little blurred…

 

Photos: 2014 Joelanta Action Figure and Toy Show

I just came back from the Joelanta action figure and toy show, which took place this weekend in Atlanta. As I had just returned from a long business trip early that morning, I didn’t have a lot of excess energy to spend so I was only there a couple of hours. It was just enough time to check out the sales floor, marvel at the custom-built action figures, and be amazed at the huge 16th scale dioramas that had been set up – My favorite as the one based on The Walking Dead.

If you are a toy collector in the Southeast, Joelanta has always been and continues to be a must-attend (now two-day) show. Here’s some pics:

 

Photos of A Christmas Story House: The nicest fictional place I’ve every been

I love A Christmas Story. Who doesn’t?

Hard to believe the movie bombed when it came out 30 years ago… but it did. Making it was a lifelong goal Bob Clark had, and it was only because he had made a monster hit in Porkys did he have the (temporary) clout to get the film green-lit in the first place.

While it tanked in theatres, repeated reruns (especially the Christmas marathons from cable channel TBS) has made it a huge success and a cultural phenomenon. When I learned last week that my work schedule would bring me to Cleveland, Ohio I quickly realized that it would give me the chance to visit… the house.

Yes, THE house where they shoot both interior and exterior scenes for A Christmas Story. And the amazing part about this real-life Chistmas story is what happened to the location.

Purchased years ago by an obsessive fan (and owner of a company that makes replica Leg Lamps), the house was almost a complete write-off when he bought it. So, he did what anyone do under the circumstances… he spent a quarter of a million dollars restoring it, and added a museum and gift shop to boot.

To say that stepping into the Old Man and Ralphie’s house is surreal is an understatement. It literally IS the room they shot the film in, and is filled with furniture that replicates the original to exacting detail. They even have the original shed in the back that Black Bart used as his fort to save the family… AND the museum has the original costumes from every cast member, including the costumes from the cut Flash Gordon dream sequence. Plus, the museum features making-of photos, props, script pages…

And after reading this you aren’t ready to hop in a plane/car/bus to go visit by now, then maybe this post isn’t for you. But if it is, and getting to Cleveland is not a simple task for you, here’s some photos that will make you happy. LOTS of photos. Enjoy.

Thanks again for the owners of the Christmas Story House for letting me take these pics!! And buy a Leg Lamp from them!