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 ASJ Fan Tribute by Grace R. Williams and Allegra

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royannahuggins
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20140315
PostASJ Fan Tribute by Grace R. Williams and Allegra





Alias Smith & Jones 40th Anniversary Fan Tribute
by Grace R. Williams

Setting - Town of Red Rock (State - Unspecified)

Location - Universal Studios

January 5, 2011


"Why?"

Two former outlaws relaxed, puffing cigars, hats pulled low, boots propped comfortably on a porch rail in front of The Swerling Hotel.

"Just... Because."

"You're tellin' me, a whole group'a writers, women and men, have been sittin' around all day every day for the past FORTY YEARS spinnin' tales, and they can't find nothin' better to write about than a couple'a washed up, has been outlaws who can't get their act together long 'nough to convince ONE," Kid Curry emphasized his long-winded question with a raised index finger, "measly little governor to give 'em amnesty?"

"What do you think they ought to do for creative release, clean their Colts?" Hannibal Heyes shook his head and gave a low chuckle that seemed to rumble from somewhere deep within. "This is the twenty-first century, Kid! 2011! Wake up and smell the coffee!"

Beneath a brown hat, a smug grin lurked. "I did, Heyes. 'Cept it was your coffee."

A silent threat was delivered, unseen by Curry but, nonetheless, perfectly conveyed.

"This tale-writin', the pay good?"

"These writers don't write for money."

"You mean they write for free?" Incredulous, Curry let the two front legs of his chair drop with a thud and his hat fell forward, landing in his lap. "Not much for brains, are they?"

Heyes pushed his hat back with one finger and laughed, revealing a set of dimples that could have melted the cold-blooded heart of Blanche Graham, back in San Juan, Mexico. "I wouldn't say that. On the whole, I'd say they're a pretty intelligent bunch."

"Don't they got jobs? Families? They got time to sit around, just writin' and not gettin' paid?"

"Sure they have jobs and families, but they make time. They write because they want to. And because they like us. Look, you know Glen Larson and Roy Huggins, the men who concocted us? Well, these writers hold them in pretty high regard. Some of them even think those two were a couple of geniuses."

"Thought YOU were the genius, Heyes."

"'Course I am, and thanks for noticing." He paused for a moment of self-adulation, then regarded his partner. "Ya know, you're no walk-off in the mental aptitude department, either."

Nods of mutual appreciation were exchanged.

"But see," Heyes continued, "these writers hold Larson and Huggins in even higher regard since the whole idea of Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two pretty good bad men... Well, it was theirs."

"Not Butch and Sundance?"

A roll of brown eyes.

"Redford/Newman?"

"The whole idea of Heyes and Curry, two former outlaws, working toward amnesty, was Larson's and Huggins'. You and me, we're just figments of THEIR imaginations."

"Now I know you're talkin' through that black hat'a yours. This is me you're talkin' to!" A trigger finger jabbed at his own chest. "Kid Curry! Fastest gun in the West an' all that."

A safe-cracking finger poked back. "And where would YOU have been, Mr. Fast Gun, if not for your friend, Monty?"

"Monty?" The Kid's gunfighter glare wavered.

"Monty Laird. Remember him? The man who showed you how to draw that thing," a slender digit pointed toward Curry's low-riding weapon, "and reminded you to quit going 'Pccchhhooo' every time you cleared leather?"

"I remember." Kid paid homage with only mild reluctance. "Good man, Monty."

"And a whole slew of other people. Writers, directors, extras, crew, guest stars..."

"Speakin' of guest stars, 'member how much fun we had both times Sally was guest-starrin'?"

"Sally guest-starred twice? Hmm. I can only remember once." Heyes returned to his previously interrupted thought, "...Not to mention the fans, Kid. Where would we be now, without those faithful fans?"

"Fans... Who could forget them? Hey, do you remember when..." A long sigh and an expletive accompanied Curry's recollection of some particularly memorable fan-encounter.

A quick shake of Heyes' head reminded his partner of the stringent television regulations of the early seventies.

Still, the Kid's devilish grin lingered. "So, anyway, you're sayin' people actually read the stuff these writers write?"

"If the hits counters on their websites are any indication, someone must be reading it."

"Think we ought'a take a look?"

A shrug. "I'd love to, but I'm pretty busy these days, with real estate deals and what-not. Don't find much time for reading fanfic or Virtual Season." There was an interruption, as Heyes' cell phone chirped.

The Kid sat, observing his partner. Heyes seemed, strangely, taller. The hair was lighter too. And the hat... Different. Definitely different.

The cell phone was flipped shut. "I hear you read lots these days, Kid."

"I do? I mean... I do!"

"Maybe you should take a look. See what kinds of adventures these new writers have written us into."

"Ya think?"

"Sure," Heyes shrugged. "You might even decide you'd like to get together with a handful of those writers. Readers too. Just for dinner."

"Maybe." Curry checked his pocket watch. "Well, it's been good re-hashin' old times with you, Heyes, but I gotta go."

"Let me guess. Gun fight at high noon?"

"No." There was a full smile and a shake of an attractively graying head. "Tennis!"



~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


CIRCLES OF LIFE
by Allegra

…So it’s been forty years since Alias Smith and Jones first aired. That’s a long time ago.

Too long ago for me to remember anything.

Almost…

You see, I’m only forty two.

‘Only’ – Goodness! How does that sound!?

Sorry. I meant that because I am forty two, remembering something from forty years ago isn’t easy.

In fact, virtually impossible.

…I have one memory though…

Just the one. I’ll share it with you if you like. I can even tell you the date. It was March 18, 1971 and I was two years old.

A lifetime away…

           …and yet…


…I can still picture it as if it were yesterday…sitting up in bed with my mother
…having a bundle put on my lap…and looking down…into the face of my brand new
baby brother…

…amazing!…

   …And then…


…twenty eight years later on that very same day, I also remember how I watched my mother scatter the ashes of that brother in one of the London parks…

…Happy Birthday.

There are no words.

…but it was surreal, too because, while I looked on, I felt the baby which was growing inside me kick.

Alive!!

   …my own son.

       Circles of life.

           …or so they say…


…only it didn’t feel like it then…

   …a lifetime ago.

       My son’s lifetime ago…

               …yesterday.


…Anyway! What I actually wanted to say is I don’t remember Alias Smith and Jones.

Not that first time around when it first aired. What I watched, when I did watch it, must have been repeats.

I wouldn’t have known what repeats were then, though and, even if I had, I wouldn’t have cared.

For me it was brand new,

…and I simply LOVED it…

   …especially the dark haired one…


Hannibal Heyes!

Yes, he was gorgeous, although surely I was far too little? – when I first watched it? – to be thinking like that?…

…wasn’t I?

No matter…

Then the show just disappeared.

I don’t remember it finishing, just that it wasn’t on anymore…

   …and it didn’t come back.

       My cowboy was gone.


I had no idea that Pete Duel was no longer with us. I didn’t find that out until a few years later when I stumbled upon a photo and a very short article entitled, ‘Gone but not forgotten’.

Not forgotten? I hadn’t known in the first place!

   So that’s what happened!

       NO!


I struggled to recall the show…

… and I kept the article.

In fact I still have it…

   …somewhere.


I could probably find it if I looked hard enough…

…if…

But I realised that was why I had never seen the series on television again…

Oh...

Through the years, every now and again I remembered…

…tantalizing snippets and bits of story.

I could have hummed the theme tune, too, if someone had asked me.

…No-one did, of course.

I don’t think I mentioned it to anyone, actually.

   It was my show…

       …my memory…


And Hannibal Heyes?

Well, I wasn’t about to talk about him to anyone, either.

       …not ever.


Like I said, he was my memory…

       …and he wasn’t dead there.


That way he belonged to me –my dark cowboy.

And, for some reason, it didn’t occur to me that anyone else would know,

   …or care.


…I would have liked to have seen him again – to refresh that memory.

At intervals during my childhood I wondered if ‘they’ would ever show the series again on the television.

If ‘they’ did, I never caught it.

Pity.

So it became more and more a distant memory – something I had loved as a child.

…a lifetime ago.

   …or so I thought.

       …I had a lot of living to do.

               Life!

           …Time passed…

               …and I lived – Oh, how I lived!

                   …and still do.

                       ‘Carpe diem’, and all that…



…but, all the same, I never really forgot…

   …or did I?!


Then one day…

I was in a store and found it!

   …and I found him. I hadn’t even been looking.


The ‘first season’ had been released on DVD!

What?

Wow!

I tried to think how many seasons there might have been…and realised I had no idea.

Such a long time ago…impossible to remember.

It didn’t matter. I could watch some of it again now…

I had always wanted to see it again.

   And I thought it had been forgotten…

       …that I’d never have the chance.


I had been wrong.

There it was in front of me…for the taking

I had to have it.

Now.

I needed to see it, you see. Check the memory.

   …and witness a slice of my childhood.

       …my past…

           …that lifetime ago.


There was my dark cowboy…

…looking out from the cover.

Hannibal Heyes.

A moment of sadness as I remembered that Pete Duel was long gone.

He had died young which was wrong!!

   …like my brother. That had been wrong too…

       …I remembered…

           …there are no words…

               …a lifetime ago…

                   …just yesterday.


No – let’s not think about that now.

Put that bit away. Where was I?…

Ah, yes. Standing there in that store holding a DVD.

A DVD which I had to have.

…I had loved the show as a kid.

       …I mean really loved it.


Now I wondered excitedly if it was as good as I recalled.

       …if he was as good…


Hey! What was I thinking? I was married.

…and a mother!

I had three little boys. The three most wonderful things ever to have happened to me. I was supposed to be grown up!

Shouldn’t I have been too old for this?

No.

This was different.

But don’t ask me why. I can’t explain…

The husband was very good humored, if a little teasing, about me insisting on buying that DVD then and there.

I don’t think he believed my argument that the boys (our boys) might enjoy it.

He knows me.

He knows me too well. He was quite justified in teasing me about it.

Watching it again was magic. The show was as wonderful as I remembered. I’d always thought the idea behind it was good.

It still was, I found.

I watched all the episodes.

And he was as good as I remembered too – my dark cowboy.

Hannibal Heyes.

I thought to myself; ‘Actually, I still like him. Yes. I like him a lot.’ I started to think…

…I wondered if there was more to be found on the internet these days. It had never occurred to me before.

…and I never looked back after.

   Forty years ago…

       …just yesterday.

           Circles of life…

               …and I thank you.






(Writers love feedback! You can let Grace R. Williams and Allegra know how you enjoyed their fan tributes with a quick comment. to the Comments for Fan Tributes - Grace and Allegra thread below the story. )

_________________
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, the two most successful outlaws in the history of the west. And in all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone.
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