Trick roper, movie star, National Cowboy Hall of Famer, Wonder Bread spokesman and eventual Agua Dulce resident Montie Montana jumps through a rope, circa late 1950s.
About Montie Montana
Biography by Marliee Montana in Butterfields 2000:
Born Owen H. Mickel, Montie (June 10, 1910 - May 20, 1998) traveled with his dad, E.O. [Edgar Owen] Mickel, and mother [Mary Edna Harlan Mickel]. Billed as the Montana Cowboys, they did whip and rope acts and put on a slide show about the American West.
In 1929 while working the Buck Jones Wild West Show, the announcer could not remember his name, so he announced him as Montie from Montana, and as Montie tells us in his autobiography, "the crowd loved it and so did I." From then on he became known as Montie Montana.
As a star of silver screen, stage and rodeo arena, Montie entertained audiences around the world for more than 70 years. He rode in 60 consecutive Rose Parades and is famous for roping President Eisenhower in the 1953 Inaugural Parade. From 1945 to 1965 Montie thrilled over 8 million school children with his stagecoach and horse, Rex.
Montie was famous for riding his horses into equally famous places such as the top of the Empire State Building, the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, the Brown Palace in Denver, the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and top-level government offices across the country.
Though he received hundreds of awards and honors during his extraordinary lifetime, he remained a cowboy at heart. Montie was deeply grateful that he could make a living doing what he loved best — and it showed. He had the most wonderful laugh and was always smiling.
An avid collector of Western artifacts, he kept treasures from early on in his career and enjoyed them throughout his life. His legacy will live on with the stories captured in this autobiography where he tells us that he lived in a great era, from the horse and buggy to the space age.
Although he has ridden on ahead, I know that he's in tall cotton with other great Western heroes up there and that his horses are knee deep in green pastures and that he's still a cowboy, because he always said, "I must have been born a cowboy because I've never thought of being anything else."
Further reading: Read more about Montie Montana here.
About the photographer:
HAROLD G. DEINES (1922-1970) brought his family to the Santa Clarita 1954 and taught photography and drivers' education at Hart High School.
He also was the proprietor of Pin N' Pen Photo Stationers in Newhall.
Harold and wife
Esther were married in 1944 in Kansas,
where Harold was the sports and society photographer for the Wichita Eagle newspaper. They lived briefly in Tucson, Ariz., prior to their arrival in Newhall (Chestnut Street), where they
raised four children — Glenn, Anita (Barnes), Sylvia (Wortman) and Myrna (Litt). Not yet 50, Harold succumbed to a long illness; Esther (1921-2009) continued her teaching and adminstrative career with the Newhall School District,
sang in the church choir (Santa Clarita United Methodist) and was active in the SCV Senior Center and Friends of the Library.
HG5802: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph by Harold G. Deines.