The Rojo Family Trip
to the Gene Autry Friends Fan Club Convention
in Los Angeles, August 2007

Aug 4th, 2007
Opening Dinner
Aug 5th, 2007
Melody Ranch
Aug 5th, 2007
Pool Party
Aug 6th, 2007
Aug 7th, 2007
Open Day
Aug 8th, 2007
Autry's House
Aug 8th, 2007
Gene's Office

Aug 4-Check-in Day and Dinner:

Battery dead in Van swap with Wagon leave house at 8am stop for lunch 11:45 back on road at 1:30 pm take the wrong off-ramp in Studio City and arrive at Days-Inn around 2:30 to check-in and unload.

Walk to Sportsman for check-in with lobby gal sending us to a wrong location. Find the right lobby location and see Kevin Kaminski, Doug Altizer, Holly Warren, Jimmy Glover and others in the lobby and chat for a bit with this being the first time seeing and meeting all these fans. Locate room for sign-in with Maxine there and check-off events and make out check to Autry Trust for $275 learned later I over paid not remembering the $25 deposit I sent in weeks before but no big deal since we got the bus ride to Gene's house and office. Maxine wouldn't give me the address since she didn't want extra cars on Jackie's street for the house day. Jerry paid for Susan's share. Return to lobby for a bit more chatting with the gang and Billy Holcomb joined us for a beer at the pool side lounge. Billy doesn't drink and had a coke. Billy has been a long time friend for many years but this is the first time we had actually met so had lots to talk about.

Return to motel for clothes change. Wore my 1960 Autry suit and hat. Walk back to Sportsman for dinner, show and briefing on events. Found a table for our gang with Billy and his Canada room-mate joining us. Maxine trying to get people seated but had to bring in extra tables to get them all seated. Now I saw Ray Addison walking and taking deep breaths with each step and we had him sit for a spell. God only knows how he made it there. Later we saw him being pushed around in a wheel chair. Maxine and Karla introduced John Buttram as being the MC with the Texas Trail-hands, Stan Corliss, Les Gillian and Johnny Western doing the music during a dinner of Salmon Fillet or Medallions of Chicken and wine. Maxine and Karla introduce the special guests then table hop. They got a kick out of my suit when I showed them the Autry label in the jacket. I did some hopping myself and stopped at Holly, Elvin-Flo Sweeten and Peggy Stewart's table and getting Peggy to sign a menu list for me. Each table had a flower center piece with the name of a movie star and pictures of the star with our table being Smiley's with Neila getting a couple of the pictures when we left. They spelt Smiley's name wrong as Barnett. The room started leaving and I spotted Dick Jones on the way out and stopped introducing myself shaking hands stating we had a good chat at Gene's memorial. I knew he didn't remember me and then introduced him to each of my gang. The walk back to the room had us all walking on a opening day cloud.

Just arrived at the sportsman Jerry and Billy

Doug and me having a chat

Kevin stopped by for a chat

Sportsman dinner having a beer with Billy

Sportsman Day 1 dinner Neila

The gang checking in for dinner

Our dinner table

Maxine and Karla opening the event

MC John Buttram

Johnny Western picking and singing

The Texas Trailhands

Jerry and Susan putting it down

Maxine and Karla checking us all out

Peggy Stewart the next table over

Billy and Boyd visiting Peggy

Maxine with Billy goofing off

Maxine's great smile with us

Maxine checking out Gene's signed hat

I'm telling her the how I got it story

Karla stopping by for a chat

Karla giving out a smile

Note the spelling on Smiley's name

Ray Addison stops by for a rest

Kevin chatting with Elvin & Flo Sweeten

Talking with Peggy and get her to sign the menu

Signed menu

The one and only Dick Jones as we were leaving