Trail Tales Cast Chat with Lee McKechnie

Lee McKechnie  * Raye *  Eddie McKechnie
How lucky can a girl get? hmmm?

Now here's a fun story.. and you know..
looking back on it, it was probably the reason I started this site. Thanks, Lee!

When I attended my first reunion... oh, in 1999, I arrived on Friday and Wendy graciously picked me up and drove me to Tombstone.  We got there just in time for lunch and eventually we went to see the Tombstone Cowboys show.

It ended up being a very 'intimate' affair because of the rain. It forced the audience to sit IN the set.. and the players to do everything facing the wrong direction.

The Cowboys were fantastic... even though one of the new players learned
the hard way 'why you shouldn't SQUAT with your SPURS on'.  
*hee hee *

After the show we stayed around to take pictures with the Cowboys and chit chat a bit. Lee, who had been the spokesman for the show went around the room and asked us where we all came from. He seemed quite surprised at the varied answers and asked how we all knew each other.  Quite against the grain I popped out the answer, "We're 'Young Riders' fans..." afterall.. I would never see him again!

I think it was quite a shock to the ladies when he said. "Really? I was on that show!"    

Well, now, those who wanted to skin me for blurting out the 'delightful' truth, now hung on his EVERY word!

It turns out that  Lee had been a stunt man and actor on the show for a number of episodes! What luck.. my first day in Arizona and we meet someone connected to the show!

After a few phone calls we met up in Tucson a few months later and Lee invited us over to his house. I had made a trip of it and brought my family down. While my son had a ball playing with a 'Barrel of Monkeys,' Lee
brought out some pictures of his many stunt assingments as well as his brother's work. (If you can't tell, they're twins...)

 Quite a skillful stuntman, Lee showed us his skill with
gunplay and just about amazed my son into a stupor...
now he wants to be a REAL cowboy!

He also had a few photos from the set that were at
his brother's house... so, we put away the 'Monkeys'
and jumped into the cars and headed over to Eddie's house.

If there was any doubt how indentical they are...
I had no doubts after meeting Eddie. WOW!

Truly, WOW!    Anywho...  Eddie reminded Lee of a story about the filming... two really.  *Thanks, Eddie!*

Both were from the same episode.  "Initiations"   Jimmy arrives in a town and steps right into the center
of a robbery and a shootout.
Such is the luck for our intrepid young Express rider that he sees the young Deputy under fire.  

If you watch VERY closely to the episode, you'll see that our Deputy (Lee), pushes his young female companion out of harm's way. Well, according to our 'insider stuntmen' during the blocking of the scene, the young woman obligingly fell to the ground each time, but perhaps owing to the nerves of the moment or the rolling of the cameras, the young actress turned at the wrong moment and our Deputy's hands happened to.. well, collide with a part of her anatomy that they hadn't planned on. Needless to say, she wasn't too thrilled when they decided to use that take for the print.

Later in the filming day/ the firefight, the Deputy is gunned down in the street! As a concerned Hickok rushes over, the Deputy is dying from his wounds. Hickok bends over the body and... well, during the rehearsals and filming of the scene, even the most serious actors can find time to have fun.  

Waiting between takes, as Lee remained still and quiet, Josh Brolin (Jimmy Hickok) played a little 'game' with Lee.  Extending a finger, Josh pressed into Lee's chest slightly compressing his ribs, all the while imitating the sound that air makes as it escapes a balloon... (goodness, Raye.. how DRY..)  *I know.. I know.. it loses EVERYTHING in the telling if you can't hear the sound... anyone want to make a wav for me?*

Lurking behind that hat brim is a man with a seriously dark sense of humor!

The McKechnie men have quite a number of stunt (or) 'fall' horses that they use in their line of work and so they were used in a number of scenes as horseman. The shots below are from the episode "A House Divided." Lee played one of the pony express riders at the Rock Creek Station, BEFORE it was burned down.

Below, you'll see some of Lee's personal photos from the set.

These... well, of course, are of Anthony Zerbe and Lee. If you could see a bit closer, the director's chair on the left side of the wider picture is embroidered with 'Brett Cullen.'

During the time when they weren't filming, the cast and crew would get together. This picture was taken at one of the parks where they played baseball.  You'll see Lee, Daniel Baldwin and Stephen Baldwin.

Lee seems to remember this photo being taken during the filming for an episode named "Talisman" from the second season.  Looks about right to me!

Phew... well, a big HEY HOWDY to the both of the McKechnie men,
but a special thanks to Lee for always making the Young Riders Fans feel welcome in Tombstone,
and for sharing such wonderful stories and pictures with the fans! Thanks! - Raye