Welcome to Colorado Springs Daily Photo!

Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

*ALL CONTENT ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT COLORADO SPRINGS DAILY PHOTO. This is not a stock photography site. Please do not copy, save, "screen grab" or otherwise appropriate or steal any images or text. Reproduction without my written permission is prohibited. Please contact me if you are interested in buying a print.*

16 May 2015

Road trip to Texas (part 3)

Part three of my series of road trip images... like yesterday's photos, these were taken in Marfa, and they reveal another reason why this little town was such an important destination for us: James Dean. We are huge fans of his, especially Pat. As you know, James Dean died in a car crash at the incredibly young age of 24. He only made three films in his truncated career, the last of which was "Giant", and it was filmed largely in Marfa. During filming Mr. Dean stayed at the Paisano Hotel. His suite was #223, and you guessed it, we chose that very suite for our stay. We were extremely thrilled about that! Above is a photo of the Paisano's beautiful courtyard. (For the record, the film's other big stars also stayed at the Paisano at least some of the time during filming: Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Dennis Hopper. Their suites are available as well.)

The morning we left, we decided to try and find the "Giant" film sets. The movie was made in 1955, sixty years ago. We didn't have high hopes of actually finding anything so we were extremely excited to come upon the site of the Little Reata! For those unfamiliar with the movie, the Little Reata was the ranch owned by Jett Rink, James Dean's character. There are three pivotal scenes in the film that showcase the landmarks we found: in one scene, Jett Rink surveys his newly acquired plot of land and climbs up the windmill to admire the view; in another scene he has a visit from Elizabeth Taylor's character, Leslie; the third scene is where he strikes oil. It's just unbelievable to me that we were able to find the famous windmill and the posts that held up the Little Reata sign, old but still recognizable from the movie. Surreal! Here are a few pictures of the hotel and the remains of the Little Reata set, plus a couple more pictures of what's great about Marfa.

The Paisano, in afternoon light. Beautiful, gracious old hotel. It was a pleasure staying there.
James Dean's room! We got to sleep here! Waaaaah!

They sell souvenir keychains with his room number. (Yes, we bought one. Of course!)

The set of the Little Reata. We were absolutely gobsmacked that it was still standing after 60 years and that we were able to find it. The posts on the left held the Little Reata sign. Here is a scene in the movie from this very spot -- dirt poor Jett Rink has just inherited a dusty parcel of land, and he paces off the boundaries and climbs up the windmill to survey it all:

Another view, showing a concrete bunker below the windmill. We're not certain, but we think the bunker was part of his "oil rig", enabling him to "strike oil" in a pivotal scene in the movie. It's in about the right position relative to the windmill. (You can watch that scene HERE.)

A little farther down the road you will find this, in the middle of nowhere. No, it's not a real store! It's an art piece, and one of the must-see things if you're ever in Marfa. You can read more about it HERE.

Our last goodbye to Marfa was a stop at the famous Food Shark, a food truck with the most delicious offerings! That's me sitting at the table, waiting for my falafel (photo by Pat). It was fantastic and totally worth the wait in the hot sun.


Lois said...

Wow! I'm jealous. Giant is one of my favorite movies. Thanks for including the video. It seems I will be visiting Texas a lot more in the future, as my nephew lives there now and my sister is moving there this summer. I might have to track this place down!

William Kendall said...

Remarkable that the location's still there after all these years. If they're selling keychains with the room number, a lot of people come to that hotel specifically because of the history.

Randy said...

Belive it or not but I have never seen Giant. I may have to rent it tomorrow not that I've seen your posts.

Tamera said...

It's such a GREAT film, Randy! One of the best. You'll enjoy it!