Prosser Martin

Photo from http://tcondry.blogspot.com/
I used to love walking into Prosser Martin's shop in downtown Del Rio. Upon entering the store my hair would always be blown back from the powerful vent’s cool air. Coming in from a hot and sweaty car ride or walk, this gust of ice cold air made an impression that I will never forget. I always wanted to visit the shop and my Grandfather was the only one who would take me there anytime I wanted. He would usually run into someone and talk while I roamed the store looking at the same things I had looked at a hundred times before.

What got me so excited about this western wear store were the autographed photos of movie stars hanging on their wood-paneled walls; Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Dean Martin, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Gene Autry and Charlton Heston were the few I remember. Prosser Martin had outfitted all these actors when they were in town for movies at Alamo Village. Everyone there looked like Bic Benedict, tall, imposing ranchers (a la Giant), that would come in just to hang around and talk. Once at the store I remember hearing a call for extras for Centennial that was scheduled to film at Alamo Village. At seven years old I used to think that Prosser Martin's was the most glamorous place to be and probably something like Hollywood.

The place smelled of leather and everywhere there were cowboy hats in those big cardboard boxes, as well as some cowboy shirts and pants, but mostly lots of belts, spurs, boots, chaps and saddles. I can't recall when they closed but it was before I hit the double digits. Prosser Martin passed away in 1970 at the age of 73 so the store was probably just lingering to liquidate when I was visiting those few years. It turned into a dressmaker's shop and I remember feeling so sad and angry when the stylistic Prosser Martin mural that was painted on the side of the store was painted over with the dressmaker's logo.

It has only been recently that I have discovered all that Prosser Martin was, mainly through descriptions on Ebay, otherwise, there isn't much out there: Prosser Martin was an important Western-wear and saddle maker in Del Rio, Texas through the mid-20th century; they were the official outfitter of the Madison Square Garden rodeo, America's foremost western outfitter. Their catalogs are collectible cowboy ephemera. There was nothing like being in the actual place, because the mythical, Texas cowboy, in all his glamour, was alive at Prosser Martin.

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575 hours of footage

I finally watched The Up Series. I had wanted to see this documentary ever since I caught a trailer for 35 Up. The DVD set did not include the recent 49 Up. If you haven't watched these, I highly recommend them, just not all at one time. All the children at age seven were cute and entertaining but I was most interested in following Neil and Symon. I watched 575 hours in two days because they are on loan on a friend's library card and have a short checkout time. At the moment I am still dizzy from the whole thing and have the World In Action theme song echoing feverishly in my head. I'm putting off 49 for another time. I would own this DVD set just to loan out since I feel I know the series so well now. I don't think I'll ever forget the faces or the stories of these 14 individuals for a very long time.