Bodie State Historic Parc, north of Mono Lake in California, is the sprawling ghost town Wayne used in the only outdoor sequence of his TV special, Swing out Sweet Land. On November 29, 1970, roughly 77,000,000 people saw it, a 58 percent share (later retitled John Wayne's Tribute to America). The whole show was pre-recorded on the stages of Universal. All except for the sequence that shows Wayne riding into Bodie on ole Dollor.
Swing out Sweet Land was by then the most expansive single show produced for television; sponsor Budweiser put roughly $2,000,000 in it. However, no outdoor sets had to be built for the "western" sequence. The buildings used in this segment are still standing. The stone plate shown at the bottom of this picture - Wayne steps on it as he gets up to the saloon - is still there.
In this sequence, Wayne discovers some ghost, still locked up in jail...
...and the jail is still there, waiting for new customers.
The same goes for the church of Bodie State Historic Parc. In the sequence, Wayne hears singing from inside...
...and takes his hat off, looking at the bell tower. It looks unchanged.
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All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted