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Phillip I. Earl Collection

Identifier: 1989-037

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1948


Conditions Governing Access

The Phillip I. Earl Collection has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Phillip I. Earl Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

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.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



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.

Processing Information

The Phillip I. Earl Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1989 by Phillip I. Earl.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States