( *** The Story So Far - I've traveled from 2015 to 1972 in order to view the filming of the historic episode, "Forever", only to wind up in an "alternate" time stream in which Michael Landon, not Dan Blocker, has died unexpectedly - and Pernell Roberts has just been arrested for Michael's murder!***)
Having found some available time to update this story, which I started wayyy back in the last decade (see previous chapter), I turned my full attention back to the story ... and was intrigued to note that after poor Lorne Greene had received the shocking news about Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker had quietly sidled out through an unmarked door, stage left - and Mitch "Jamie" Vogel had just snuck out via the same exit!
Hmm, I thought, what's that ugly redhead up to NOW? Since nobody had paid any attention to me during my entire visit, I had no trouble at all sneaking out the same door. The first thing I noticed was that there was a long, dark corridor on the other side.
And yes, it was a little spooky. But I consoled myself with the thought that if "Jamie" could do it, anyone could.
(By the way, in case I haven't made it clear, I'm not a big Mitch Vogel fan. Nothing personal. Just wanted to get that right out in the open!)
Anyway, the corridor wasn't really too long, and at the other end was another door, which led outside. And outside - was Virginia City! Yes, Bonanza fans, there it was in all its dusty glory - the dirty unpaved streets; the sidewalks made of creaky, dusty old boards; the false fronts, making all the buildings look like two-story skyscrapers.
And a saloon.
But not just ANY saloon, my friends! No, this was the Holy Grail for all true Bonanza fans - the (in)famous BUCKET O' BLOOD SALOON!!!
And I noticed the door of that saloon was swinging just a little bit - as though someone had recently gone inside.
Well, it was too late to chicken out now - I had to find out!
Before I pushed the door open, I stood for a moment to let my eyes adjust to the change in light, so I wouldn't be overwhelmed if it was dark inside.
And while I was waiting there, I heard a low murmur of voices.
I recognized two of them - the ugly redhead, and the adorable big guy.
But wait a minute - there was a third voice. With a high-pitched giggle which I'd heard at least a million times. Throughout three different TV series, and several "Tonight Show" appearances.
Could I be mistaken? Or was it really -
Michael Landon himself????
And if it was - then why was everyone convinced that he was dead?
And if he wasn't dead, why had Pernell Roberts been accused of his murder?
And - most importantly - would I EVER be able to find a cup of coffee in the year 1972 which even remotely compared with my regular daily dose of Starbucks Cafe Latte - Venti? 'Cause the Winchell's just AIN'T cuttin' it!!
(TO BE CONTINUED!!)