‘Back Roads With Ms. Sue’ to feature Pioneer Days footage

Reporter: Ellie Mahan

October 19, 2022

Sue Land and her production company, Chalk Peak Productions, captured footage at the 47th annual Pioneer Days Festival for a program called “Back Roads With Ms. Sue” that is scheduled to air in January 2023 on a new TV station out of Houston called See-TV. The program is also set to stream on Roku after appearing on the TV station.

Land, who spent part of her childhood living on Steiner Valley Ranch in Whitney, now lives in Hico. Land’s father was a ranch hand at Steiner Valley Ranch when she was a child, and she has many fond memories from that time in her life. Land, producer and director of “Back Roads With Ms. Sue,” has an interest in shining light on how people celebrate their town’s beginnings. Her memories of Steiner Valley Ranch, along with her friendship with Pam Townley, Whitney resident, are what made her choose the Pioneer Days Festival and Whitney’s history to be the subject for her latest project.

Chalk Peak Productions interviewed Mayor Jerry Barker, Chamber of Commerce President Adam Bain and Director of The Whitney Area Museum Rhonda Bass. Producers gained footage of the mayor’s introduction to the event, the crowd of people, the street performances and the vendors at the festival. They also videoed Pam Townley sharing pieces of Whitney’s history with a tourist at the museum and an interview on the building that currently houses A Daughter’s Dream, which is the oldest existing building in Whitney, according to Townley.

The program is being edited and sent to the TV station this week. This installment of “Back Roads With Ms. Sue,” which will be about 30 minutes with commercials, will be a presentation of Pioneer Days with parts of Whitney’s history woven in.

The tentative long-term plan for Land’s production company is to shoot multiple programs under the title “Back Road With Ms. Sue,” and each program will highlight a different piece of Texas history that she believes is not well-known.

Land said, “Chalk Peak Productions is planning on doing documentaries on Texas, little-known parts of Texas. Everybody knows about the Alamo and what happened in the Civil War, but there is lots of history that is not well-known, such as some of the history that Whitney has.”

Land said that she is hoping to cover Whitney’s history more thoroughly in one of her programs in the future.

Land said, “When we do a history documentary on a town, we start with the first person to ever set foot there to start thinking about forming Whitney, Texas. We would start there and tell the story about how it grew, the hardships and all the thrills, and try to tell the entire history of the town and different events that took place during those years.”

Land, who has also published three mystery romance books, started her production company in the 1990’s after working on several movie productions, including a movie trailer for Paramount that was shot in Galveston. She said,“I was in the background a lot. It was fun, but I always wanted to make one of my own.”

She has had passions for photography and videoing the world around her for as long as she can remember. This project allows her to combine her love of recording and history.

She said, “If you look back on any event in history, you’ll find three or four different versions of the actual event and what happened. The only way you’re going to find out what really happened is to research and find out for yourself.”

“Back Roads With Ms. Sue,” presented by Chalk Peak Productions, will air on See-TV and then stream on Roku and YouTube. More information detailing the confirmed air date will be published in a later issue of The Lakelander Newspaper.

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