A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 07, 2007
“It’s been one hell of a party” (Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove")

"It’s been one hell of a party” is a memorable quotation from the television miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), based on Larry McMurtry’s award-winning novel (1985).


Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
“Lonesome Dove” (1989) (mini)
Woodrow Call: [Call thinks Gus has died] Augustus.
Gus McCrae: [opens his eyes] By God, Woodrow; it’s been one hell of a party.
[dies]

Internet Movie Database
Plot summary for
“Lonesome Dove” (1989) (mini)
Epic story about two former Texas rangers who decide to move cattle from the south to Montana. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call run into many problems on the way, and the journey doesn’t end without numerous casualties. (6 hrs approx) Written by Rob Hartill

Retired Texas Rangers Gus McRae and Woodrow Call are content to live out their remaining years in the tiny Texas town of Lonesome Dove. Then their old friend Jake comes to town, and tells them about the incredible oppurtunities for cattle ranching in Montana. Encouraged by this, Call convinces Gus and many other townspeople to go on a perilous cattle drive to Montana. Gus has another agenda though: his former sweetheart now lives in Nebraska, and he hopes for a second chance with her. As the drive goes on it takes on an epic scale, ultimately becoming what could well be called the central event in the lives of all involved. Written by rmlohner

Wikipedia: Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. The story focuses on the relationship of several retired Texas Rangers and their adventures driving a cattle herd from Texas to Montana.

McMurtry originally developed the tale in 1972 for a feature film entitled The Streets of Laredo (a title later used for the sequel), which was to have starred John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and James Stewart, and be directed by Peter Bogdanovich, but plans fell through. McMurtry later resurrected the screenplay as a full-length novel, which became a bestseller and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

It was then made into a four-part TV miniseries, which won six Emmy Awards and was nominated for 13 others. It spawned a follow-up miniseries, Return to Lonesome Dove.
(...)
Allusions/references to actual history and current science
According to McMurtry, Gus and Call were not modeled after historical characters, but there are similarities with real-life cattle drivers Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. When Goodnight and Loving’s guide Bose Ikard died, Goodnight carved a wooden tombstone for him, just as Call does for Deets. Upon Loving’s death, Goodnight brought him home to be buried in Texas, just as Call does for Augustus. (Goodnight himself appears as a minor but sympathetic character in this novel, and more so in the sequel, Streets of Laredo, and the prequels Dead Man’s Walk and Comanche Moon.)

Other books of the Lonesome Dove series feature more prominent historical events (the Santa Fe Expedition, Comanche raid) and characters (Buffalo Hump, King Ranch, John Wesley Hardin, Judge Roy Bean).

Several years ago, McMurtry mentioned in a newspaper interview that he first thought of the name for his epic while at a restaurant in Oklahoma. On that day, he noticed a unique name on the side of a church passenger van that was in the restaurant parking lot. That name, which left an impression on him, came from a van which was owned by Lonesome Dove Baptist Church in Southlake, Texas. Lonesome Dove has existed as a Baptist church and cemetery in Southlake since 1846.
(...)
References
McMurtry, Larry (1985). Lonesome Dove: a novel. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-50420-7. 

Wikipedia: Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry (born June 3, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas) is a novelist, screenwriter, and essayist.

McMurtry is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 novel Lonesome Dove, a sweeping historical epic that follows ex-Texas Rangers as they drive their cattle from the Rio Grande to a new home in the frontier of Montana. It was adapted into a hit television miniseries. Much of his other fiction is also set in the “old west” or contemporary Texas.

He grew up on a ranch outside of Archer City, Texas, which is the model for his fictional town of Thalia (which is near Archer City). He earned degrees from North Texas State University (B.A. 1958) and Rice University (M.A. 1960). He published his first novels while an English instructor, and he won the 1962 Texas Institute of Letters Jesse M. Jones award. In 1964 he was awarded a Guggenheim grant. 

Google Books
Death and Justice:
An Expose of Oklahoma’s Death Row Machine
by Mark Fuhrman
New York, NY: HarperCollins
2003
Pg. 237:
I asked him what was his favorite movie.
Pg. 238:
Lonesome Dove,” Macy replied. He went on to describe his favorite scene, when Gus was dying and said to his friend Woodrow, “It’s been one hell of a party.” When Macy said this, his eyes filled with tears. 

Google Groups: rec.music.artists.springsteen
Newsgroups: rec.music.artists.springsteen
From: “Denise”
Date: 1 Dec 2006 19:14:21 -0800
Local: Fri, Dec 1 2006 11:14 pm
Subject: Re: Favorite movie lines

>From Lonesome Dove:
Woodrow Call: I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.
and
Gus McCrae: By God, Woodrow; it’s been one hell of a party.

HornFans.com
Bytor
09/19/07 12:16 AM
Re: favorite movie quote/line [re: smwhorn]

A man who wouldn’t cheat for a poke don’t want one bad enough.
and
Money well spent. Both times.
and
By God, Woodrow, it’s been one hell of a party.

Austin American-Statesman
TALES OF THE CITY: DON CADDEN
Couple follows ‘local character’ out of town
Sunday, October 07, 2007
(...)
Our old neighborhood between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs is experiencing what happened in Leander and Cedar Park, and the local character is disappearing.

We miss our friends, but frankly we don’t miss Austin as it is now.

So, I got to live the good life in our town. As Gus said to Call on his death bed in “Lonesome Dove,” “It’s been one hell of a party.” Austin is still better than Dallas or Houston, as long as you don’t have to drive and have a trust fund to pay the property taxes.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, October 07, 2007 • Permalink