He Died With His Boots On
acrylic on shaped panel
40 x 28 inches
Jim Sweazy, 2013
Tom Mix, the King Of The Cowboys, died as
he crashed his speeding Cord phaeton into a washout along Highway 79,
east of Florence. This was in 1940; no Interstates yet. He had been in
Tucson, and called his agent in Los Angeles from a casino in Oracle.
I'm betting he had looked over the movie studios which later became
known as Old Tucson. The sets there had been built in 1938, for the
1939 filming of Arizona,
starring William Holden.
If Mix had made it safely back to Los Angeles, would Old Tucson had
lain empty and unused though out the war years? Considering his
influence on movie westerns (nearly 300 films, got John Wayne his first
job while Wayne was still enrolled at USC), I think Old Tucson would
have been very busy!