How to Celebrate Tom Mix Day
image by Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
January 6 is Tom Mix Day. Movie star Tom Mix (1880-1940) made over 300 feature films. The cowboy star dominated the silent movie era. Tom Mix and his horse Tony performed their own daredevil stunts. He was a skilled rider and excellent marksman. Tom Mix was a real cowboy performer who set the standards others would follow. As years passed, his true achievements mingled with movie studio hype and rumors. He died in a freak auto accident in Arizona. Take a moment to rest your horse and tip a Stetson to Tom Mix. Here are ways to honor the top cowboy of American silent films.
Pay a visit to the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey, Oklahoma. Born in Pennsylvania, Mix moved to Oklahoma Territory before statehood. He worked at odd jobs including bartending, town marshalling in Dewey, and cowboying at the famous Zack Miller 101 Ranch.
Make a trip to Hollywood, California. Track down the Tom Mix star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Tom Mix's cowboy boot prints, handprints, and his famous horse Tony's hoofprints are set in cement near those of other famous cowboys and their horses.
Make a ghost ride to Mixville. The movie sets are now gone, but Tom Mix built a 12-acre frontier town shooting set in Edendale, California. Mixville had western props, hitching rails, saloon, bank and all the other trappings of a western town. Not much is left except the Mixville Bar, a cocktail lounge named after high-living and big-spending Tom Mix.
Buy a new Stetson. The Tom Mix Hat comes with a 5-inch rolled bound edge, a 5-inch crown in the front and 7-inches in the back with a Tom Mix crease. Or you might hanker for an old Tom Mix comic. Maybe a Tom Mix postcard would be nice on your desk. Tom Mix toys are popular years after his death. His fabulous performances in movies and later in traveling shows inspired toy guns, compasses, spurs, whistles and other western novelties.
Offer a moment of prayer at the Tom Mix memorial site along U.S. 89, 17 miles south of Florence, Arizona. In 1940, Tom Mix was driving his 1937 Cord through the desert. A bridge had washed out in a flash flood. He could not brake in time for the barriers and his car slid into a gully. An aluminum suitcase in the back seat flew forward and hit him in the back of the head, breaking his neck. A plaque at the site reads "Jan. 6 1880 - Oct 12. 1940 - In Memory of Tom Mix - Whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayal in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men."