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.