Saturday, April 24, 2010
Granger, TX, gets its dirty close-up in True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen's version of True Grit is days away from filming, and it's the second biggest news in Granger, Texas. First is the kolache sale at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, where the ladies of the church cooked up about 5,000 of the delicious Czech pastries--in traditional flavors like poppy seed, prune and apricot--in the church's recreation center Saturday. Down the road tourists were crawling around the downtown strip where Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon will encamp starting Monday.
The wide, red-brick stretch of downtown--all of a block or two--is now covered in a layer of dirt to simulate Fort Smith, Arkansas. Workers bustled about Saturday putting on the finishing touches. Wagons, barrels, period signs dotted the storefronts that have been retrofitted Old West-style.
Granger is an old-school Czech community where the last U.S. Czech language newspaper is apparently still printed and many residents, even if they don't speak the language, retain a hint of a Czech accent. I asked and was told the editor does it with a computer now and the editions seem to be few and far between. The church's community center was bustling with people leaving with pizza boxes filled to the brim with kolaches. During filming, the center will serve up food for the cast and crew (they should probably ask the church ladies to teach them kolache making). Outside a tent is already up nearby for the movie's wardrobe department.
One woman wondered what they'd do with all the dirt that was toted in. "I just hope they can get it off of there," she said.
Click on the photos to see larger versions of them. You might want to compare with these photos I took a couple of weeks ago. You might also note what appears to be a gallows in one of the last photos!