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Date Posted: 22:01:09 03/24/16 Thu
Author: SWC
Subject: Fast draw artists

I've been viewing some of the old TV quiz shows from the 50's and 60's on You-Tube: What's MY Line, I've Got a Secret, To Tell the Truth. A couple of them are about famous fast draw artists Rodd Redwing and Arvo Ojala. I've compiled some links to those appearances and some other material on them:

2/2/58 Rodd Redwing, fast draw champion and trainer of the stars, appears on WML He comes on at the 8:40 mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NVWw5_FILQ

He was also on IGAS eight months later, (10/1/58), in a fascinating episode called “I’ve Got and Adult Western Secret”, (“Adult Western” in those days meant westerns for an adult audience, like Gunsmoke or Bonanza, as opposed to kiddie shows like Hopalong Cassidy or The Cisco Kid), Among the contestants are the granddaughter of Sitting Bull and the grandson of General Custer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B_C3oLo8-E

Here is Rodd teaching the Maverick brothers and Gail Davis as Annie Oakley:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzU4MSBaAFg

On 11/7/60 Rodd’s rival Quick-draw artist Arvo Ojallah was on TTT.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8JydYkkSwg
He was the “man in black” James Arness faced off against at the famous opening shot of Gunsmoke each week:

Here’s an interview with Arvo that opens with that Gunsmoke sequence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVZ4IbSjHAQ
As best I can find out, “On the Go” was a daytime show broadcast in 1958-59. That’s Art Linklater’s son Jack doing the interview.

Wikipedia says Rod could withdraw his gun and fire it in 2/10 of a second, (which is pretty close to 1/5), and Arvo could do it in 1/6 of a second, so I guess Arvo was slightly faster.

Another fast draw artist, Bob Graham, was on IGAS 6/13/66:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIGwg2uo4hU
Notice how he crouches and doesn’t thrust his gun forward. He just pulls it back and fires. Most quick draws in the old west would be around gaming tables and that’s probably closer to how they would do it. Confrontations in the street would be more likely to be “walk-downs” where the combatants would already have their guns out and be walking forward, aiming at each other. The traditional “quick draw” where opponents stand erect, pull their guns put and thrust them forward to shoot them at hip level, is a Hollywood invention.

Bob shoots and hits the target in 31/100s of a second, which is 1/3 of a second. Rodd’s 1/5 of a second would be 20 1000’s and Arvo’s 1/6 of a second would be 17/100’s. Yet Bob Graham’s name appears on this list of competitive champions and Rodd’s and Arvo’s do not:
http://www.fastdraw.org/wfda/wfd_champions.html

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Replies:

[> Re: Fast draw artists -- Trish, 02:01:54 03/25/16 Fri [1]

Thanks... Great stuff. I visited Mr. Ojala's shop, must be over 20 years ago now and there was some beautiful leather in there to be certain.

Thanks again....

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