Phillip I. Earl Collection

Phillip I. Earl Collection, 1948
Location: 0143
Accession #: 1989.037


The Philip I. Earl Collection consists of one photographic postcard by DeVere Helfrich of Slim Pickens as a rodeo clown and Zeke Bowery at Red Blutt, 1948.


No biographical information about Philip I. Earl accompanied the gift of this collection.

Slim Pickens
Louis Bert Lindley, Jr., better known by his stage name Slim Pickens, was an American rodeo performer and film and television actor who epitomized the profane, tough, sardonic cowboy, but who is best remembered for his comic roles, notably in Dr. Strangelove, 1941, and Blazing Saddles. He was born on June 29, 1919, in Kingsburg, California, the son of Sally Mosher and Louis Bert Lindley, Sr. He was an excellent rider from age 4 and quit school to join the rodeo at 12. He was told that working in the rodeo would be “slim pickings” (very little money), giving him his name, but he did well and eventually became a well-known rodeo clown — one of the most dangerous jobs in live entertainment. After 20 years on the rodeo circuit, his distinctive Oklahoma-Texas drawl (even though he was a lifelong Californian), his wide eyes and moon face and strong physical presence gained him a role in the 1950 western Rocky Mountain. He appeared in many more westerns, playing both villains and comic sidekicks.

In his last years Pickens lived with his wife in Columbia, Tuolumne County, California. Slim was a civilian pilot with a multi-engine rating and enjoyed flying in a green U.S. Air Force flight suit while wearing a cowboy hat, similar to the wardrobe worn in Dr. Strangelove. He died on December 8, 1983 aged 64, after surgery for a brain tumor.

In 1982 Pickens was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Slim Pickens. Wikipedia.Org article.

This collection contains one photographic postcard of Slim Pickens as a rodeo clown and Zeke Bowery at Red Blutt, 1948. The image is signed by DeVere Helfrich.

Personal Names:
Bowery, Zeke
Pickens, Slim

Subject Headings:

This collection was accessioned on September 22, 1989. Librarian Karen Spilman wrote the scope and content note in March 2003. The current finding aid was written and updated online by archivist/librarian Laura Anne Heller in December 2009.

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Phillip I. Earl Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Series 1: Phillip I. Earl Collection
Photographs have been cataloged in the Image Archive Database, but none have been scanned yet.
Box/Folder # Accession # Folder Title/Description
1/15 1989.037 .1 Slim Pickens & Zeke Bowery, Red Bluff, 1948. DeVere Helfrich, photographer. Photographic postcard, b&w, 3.5×5.5 in.