"The Lad and the Legendary Land"
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey
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"Hey Roy, the sun's settin'. Let's get back to Abilene.
Gotta head the outlaws off at the pass and keep the wild west clean."
Can you imagine growin' up and hearin' that every day,
Where the original "B"s were bein' made right there where you play?
Well let me tell you about this guy who was the luckiest kid in the world.
He saw many a cowboy kiss his horse and shake hands with the girl.
Edwin Iverson is his name, but we all call him "Chatsworth."
Now he's ridin' for the Trail Rider brand, and we all know what that's worth!
His grandfather got it all started when movies were just beginnin'.
He rented out his beautiful rustic ranch to the Hollywood men and women.
All the rocks and hills and peaks fit the cowboy films just right,
And for the better part of half a century, it was a big Western movie site.
It was really nothin' for Chatsworth to come home after school
And have game of tag with Little Beaver or to swim in Tarzan's pool.
He's sat on Trigger and fed Champion carrots and laughed at Smiley Burnette.
And if they were crankin' out those wonders still, he'd be there watchin' 'em yet.
Here recently we followed him up to where all the action took place.
He knew every rock and tree by name and how the sets were spaced.
We enjoyed ourselves for two or three hours in Silver Screen paradise
Cameras clicked and jaws dropped and I nearly fainted once or twice.
My imagination couldn't hardly cope with all that hallowed air;
Just think, John Wayne, the king of 'em all, made movin' pictures there.
Well, after catchin' my breath and drinkin' a soda I came back to my senses,
And watched some more of "Look at That Land" where rustlers rode them fences.
And I want to tell Chatsworth while I'm scribblin', "Thanks a lot, my friend!
I really had fun at your outing that day, enjoyed it from start to end.
Kinda wish I'd grown up with you Pal, and watched the Lone Ranger ride.
There's somethin' about those old "B" gems that keeps you glad inside."
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey October 25, 1994
Edwin grew up on the famous Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California which was homesteaded by Ed's grandmother, Augusta Wogman, in 1881. It was first a Spanish land grant. It began as a movie location in 1913 with such films as Along Came Jones, Ben hur, Wee Will Winkie, The Fighting Seabees, The Ghost of Buxley Hall, and others. The ranch was used also for television series Bonanza, Cade's County, Dusty's Trail, Hop Along Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, and Wyatt Earp,.
Notable actors that appeared on the ranch were Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, Fred Astaire, Gene Autry, Shirley Temple Black, Bill Boyd, Smiley Burnette, Yakima Canutt, Andy Devine, Gary Cooper, Glenn Ford, Horace Irwin, Buck Jones, Buster Keaton, Nelson Leigh, Evans Lloyd, Tim McCoy, Ramon Navarro, Hugh O'Brien, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Forest Tucker, and John Wayne.
Edwin married Carla Wittel Iverson in June of 1961. Edwin passed away peacefully in Simi Valley, California on May 9, 2013.