Chapter 9 - Tough Times - 00 52 29

00 52 29
DVD capture
Contributed photo
DVD Time Code = 00 52 29
Location: Fort Macleod, AB, Westwinds Baseball Area
GPS:   49d 42m 35.46s    -113d 25m 0.66s
Map / Satellite Image: Google Link
Site Name: Fireworks Area

Travel Directions:
Traveling east on Chief Red Crow Blvd., turn right (south) on Archie Maclean (3rd) Avenue. Go 0.9 km on 3rd Avenue, crossing the rail tracks. Take the second right turn (west) at Alberta Hardware. Go 0.3 km and turn left (south) at Collar Tire. Go 0.8 km and turn right onto gravel driveway. See map of Fort Macleod.

Some 200 citizens of Fort Macleod were invited to watch the shooting of the fireworks scene. Caroline Boschman, a reporter for The Lethbridge [AB] Herald, wrote an interesting first person account of this long night; it can be read here. Another interesting first person account, written by fireworks scene extra Tom Caldwell, can be found in Interviews. Later, a local minister learned the nature of the film and wrote an op-ed piece in the Fort Macleod newspaper, claiming that the town’s citizens had been deceived; it can be read here.

Early plans called for this scene to follow a shot of a Fourth of July parade down Fort Macleod’s Main Street, but it was not to be. We are informed that some of the town’s merchants were unwilling to cooperate with the filmmakers. This is moviespeak for “they wanted big money.”

Late summer visitors to this area will note a profusion of tumbleweeds (also known as Russian thistle and wind witch), some the size of a soccer ball, others much larger. Wheat farmers from the Ukraine and the Volga River Valley immigrated to western Canada during the early part of the 20th century, bringing along their prime wheat seeds which were often sewn inside the hems of clothing for protection. A few Russian thistle seeds got mixed in with the good stuff and, despite intensive efforts to eradicate the invasive plant, it is now very much at home throughout southern Alberta.

Even if you have never seen a tumbleweed, you probably recognize the song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” a staple of cowboy music since the 1930s.

“Shouldn’t we move a little closer?”

Pictures of surrounding area:












  Revised 23 March 2021