My turn: Tucumcari has its claim to fame

Cowboy shows have long been filmed in New Mexico.

A remake of John Wayne’s “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, is filming this month near Santa Fe. Jimmy Stewart starred in the state’s first major production, “The Man From Laramie,” shot in 1955 around Santa Fe.

Eastern New Mexico has also been the site for Western entertainment, most notably five episodes of TV’s “Rawhide.”

Actors and technicians arrived in Tucumcari on Aug. 10, 1959, for six weeks of work, the Tucumcari Daily News reported.

The TV show’s stars included Clint Eastwood, Eric Fleming and Sheb Wooley.

The paper reported scenes were filmed at three Quay County ranches. The cast and crew, about 65 in all, became regular patrons at Del’s Restaurant.

Joe Thomas, Clovis’ city manager who grew up in Tucumcari, said he remembers an autographed photo of Eastwood hanging for years in the eatery that remains popular today.

The action scenes filmed near Tucumcari proved dangerous at times.

Actress Kipp Hamilton was hospitalized for two days after accidentally stabbing herself in the foot with a knife she was supposed to stick in the floor.

Actor Stewart Randall was also hospitalized after breaking his ankle during a fight scene.

The series first appeared on CBS TV on Jan. 9, 1959, and continued until Jan. 4, 1966.