Zane Grey Character Reborn

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Most Rim Country school children know him as Sven the Viking King, but local photographer and actor Parry Morton has created a new character based on a Zane Grey novel.

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Local artist Donn Morris painted this portrait of Parry Morton as Milt Dale, the main character in Zane Grey's "The Man of the Forest." Parry will appear as Dale at the Western Heritage Festival & Zane Grey Cabin Dedication Saturday at Green Valley Park.

"I went to the Western Heritage Festival last year as a mountain man," Morton said.

Without realizing it, Morton had created a character that reminded Dick Wolfe, president of the Zane Grey Cabin Foundation, of Milt Dale, the main character in Grey's novel, The Man of the Forest.

"Dick Wolfe said you'd be perfect as the man of the forest," Morton recalled. "It's just kind of grown from there."

Mountain man Milt Dale, Morton explained, is a good guy.

"What's really cool is that they had a code of the West, and Milt Dale is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet," he said. "He rescues Helen, whose rich father is dying, from the bad guys who are trying to kidnap her. He ends up taking Helen and and her sister off into the forest."

Morton, who carefully researches the costumes he creates and the characters he portrays for authenticity, will be at both the cabin groundbreaking and the Western Heritage Festival portraying Milt Dale, one of the true heroes of Zane Grey's West.

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