At the site of the new stage for the Texas Frontier Trails at TFT s Western Heritage Park, 3099 N. Oak Ave. in Mineral Wells, are, left to right, back row,
At the site of the new stage for the Texas Frontier Trails at TFT s Western Heritage Park, 3099 N. Oak Ave. in Mineral Wells, are, left to right, back row, Sam Hickey, Mike Ward, Dan Anderson, Allan Smith. Middle row, Sheila Ward, Joe Maddux, Brian Bennett and Mineral Wells City Manager Lance Howerton. Pat Bazell, TFT president, stands in front of the group. (Mary Richardson Sun staff)
Texas Frontier Trails has built a new 30-foot by 40-foot stage at TFT Western Heritage Park, 3099 N. Oak Ave. in Mineral Wells, and it is working to have the project finished by adding a rustic touch to the open-design I-beam construction by using old tin, cedar posts and scenery, once the roof has been attached.
“We plan on offering programs and activities of artistic expression and information about Palo Pinto County and the surrounding areas,” said Pat Bazzell, president of the TFT board. The first production is titled “Buffalo Altar” and will be held Sept. 20.”
The narrator will be veteran actor Barry Corbin who has starred, on and off screen, in more than 100 film, television movies and video games. His first starring role was Uncle Bob in Urban Cowboy. He may be best recognized as Maurice Minnifield in “Northern Exposure,” Roscoe Brown in “Lonesome Dove” or General Ben Carville in “WarGames.”“No Country for Old Men,” “In the Valley of Elah” and “That Evening Sun” have earned him continuing critical acclaim. He received two Emmy nominations for his role in “Northern Exposure.”
Corbin, a native Texan, has received numerous accolades throughout his career for his acting talent, and he has also been honored for his humanitarian deeds and efforts on behalf of the western lifestyle.

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Corbin was recently inducted into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Fame in Fort Worth with three others, including actress Anna Lockhart, rodeo cowboy Vincent Jacobs and Nathan Jean “Mama Sugar” Sanders, who has worked to connect African-Americans with their own Western culture.
In 1992, Corbin was honored with the Western Heritage Wrangler Award at the National Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Oklahoma City, for his role of Charlie McCloud in Louis L’Amour’s “Conagher.”
“When I was growing up and we’d go to John Ford westerns, everybody else would watch John Wayne,” Corbin stated on his website. “I’d watch Ben Johnson. He was the only one who could ride. And Gabby Hayes was always one of my most favorites.”
He said he originally became a cowboy and then became an actor because he wanted to play heroes. He has been a regular fixture in cattle round-ups and rodeos for charity and has also accumulated many trophies.
For many years, Corbin has portrayed trailblazer Charles Goodnight in a one-man show he co-wrote with cowboy/poet-singer Andy Wilkinson called “Charlie Goodnight’s Last Night.”
“All theater productions will be focused on the historical events that occurred in this part of North Texas,” Bazzell said. “Most people of this area don’t realize that the first cattle drives began right here in Palo Pinto County and were led by past local residents, Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, who are now-famous.
“The organization hopes to promote our western heritage and increase cultural tourism in North Texas through entertainment and educational events. In addition, we want to offer opportunities for members of the region to gain experience in the performing arts and the supporting elements of their production.”
Tickets will be available in a few weeks.
Texas Frontier Trails is dedicated to producing plays, concerts, exhibitions, and other programs and activities that are designed to involve and benefit the citizens of Palo Pinto, Parker, Jack, Young, Stephens, Erath, Tarrant, Hood and the surrounding areas.
Membership in TFT is open to anyone interested in the organization and its efforts to help the citizens of North Texas learn more about the history of the early Palo Pinto County area.
For more information, call 940 327-8386, or visit www.texasfrontiertrails.org.