By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey
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'Neath the sandstone laden peaks of the Santa Susana Pass,
Mostly overgrown for years now, with tall weeds and grass,
Lies the ghost of an era once riddled with fame.
It was magic by nature and Corriganville by name.
Where the who's who of Hollywood and the architects of dreams
Filmed celluloid treasures by its boulders and streams
And captured forever for all grandchildren to be
A glimpse of the heyday of the movie industry.
From the classic Fort Apache to the epic The Robe,
Thespians have flocked there from all ends of the globe.
The Lone Ranger called it home. So did Rin Tin Tin.
And there Autry, Wayne, and Rogers all played leading men.
It began as an idea, more likely than not,
That was laced with the trimmings of a "B" movie plot
Where an actor named Ray Corrigan, also known as "Crash,"
Found the dream of his life, but his problem was cash.
Fifteen grand was the mortgage with just three months to pay
When an old friend, Eddie Dean, upped and helped save the day.
They gave wild west exhibitions in cities everywhere
And raised the final payment with only hours to spare.
Like in the Perils of Pauline, a dynasty was saved.
But a good Packard motor was sent to the grave,
For they drove day and night and made it back just in time,
Where Crash's own legacy was laying it on the line.
Then for near thirty years at a fast moving pace
You'd hear "lights, camera, action" all over that place,
While on weekends and holidays the public would gather
And watch gunfights and stunts and horses work up a lather.
But through progress and happenstance, it met its demise
And left very little under those mystical skies
Where wagons would roll through a poineer town.
Then a wind-driven wildfire took the last of it down.
But there's a move presently on, through powers that be
To restore the whole place to its originality
And bring back a few memories of the old silver screen
When life was much simpler and the matinee was king.
I arrived here in the mid '60s near the end of its passion,
But caught a bit of its glory before it went out of fashion.
Now, in my fondest recollections there's a sign on the hill
That says "Welcome to Simi Valley, Home of Corriganville!"
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey - March 9, 1994