Locals recall the filming of John Wayne and Perry Como’s colonial-themed Christmas special

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  • When John Wayne and Perry Como rolled into Colonial Williamsburg to film a Christmas special in 1978, one local boy tried hard to meet them and would hold on to the memory for decades.

    Blake Patterson was about six years old in the fall of 1978, when Como and Wayne came to Williamsburg with a crew to shoot “Perry Como’s Early American Christmas,” a colonial-themed television program.
    Patterson, a web developer who lives in Alexandria, didn’t know who Como was. But his father was a fan of crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Como, whose signature look was a cardigan sweater.

    One day in the fall of 1978, Patterson and his parents came to Colonial Williamsburg from York County and stood along Duke of Gloucester Street, a few blocks from the Capitol. A crowd of about 80 to 100 people waited with them.

    Patterson said he knew Wayne was a movie star and thought it would be “cool” to see him. But, as Patterson wrote in a blog post Wednesday, only Como arrived to greet fans. Patterson could not conceal his disappointment. In a loud voice, he said: “Wait a minute! Where’s John Wayne?”

    The crowd laughed, and Como came over and patted Patterson on the head.

    Wayne did make his presence felt at the silversmith’s shop, where some of the filming took place. At one point, Wayne tossed around a six-inch silver tray, Master Silversmith George Cloyed said in a phone interview. When the staff realized Wayne’s fingerprints were visible, they didn’t polish the tray, keeping the prints as a souvenir of the star’s visit.

    Read the complete article at: wydaily.com/2016/12/25/locals-…themed-christmas-special/
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