August, 2012 – I had been waiting months to return to Mescal AZ and photograph the old western movie set with dramatic monsoon clouds. I had photographed it in the spring, but the sky was clear then and not all that interesting. One late August afternoon around 6 PM, Neighbor Roy & I trekked out there to meet Frank Brown, the caretaker, and see if we could get off a couple of dramatic shots. All the past week the late afternoon sky had been dark & menacing … just what I was looking for. On this day … not so much. Nevertheless, here are a few shots to share.
Mescal is owned by Old Tucson Studios, but unlike its parent company, Mescal is not an Old West Theme Park. Mescal is seldom open to the public. Caretaker Frank occasionally gives tours, but best to call Old Tucson to find out when (520-883-0100). If you go out there uninvited, you will be turned away.
These walking tours are totally worthwhile, partly because Frank has lived a long and colorful life, and partly because of the stories Frank tells about the many Western stars, such as Clint Eastwood, who made movies here.
This last image was taken at the far west end of Mescal looking into the setting sun. When we were last there in the late summer of 2012, the buildings were deteriorating rapidly. UPDATE: Yet, in January 2013, we received word that a new western had begun principle filming here. The title of this film is “A Hot Bath & A Stiff Drink” starring no one I ever heard of. Doubt if it will be a blockbuster, but I might rent the video just to see how they portrayed our old friend Mescal.