When taking our bus tour around Paso Robles, visiting the sites where Drury Woodson James lived and worked, we made a special trip to San Luis Obispo. The old Franciscan mission there was where Drury Woodson James and his business partner Daniel Drew “D.D.” Blackburn married the Dunn sisters from Australia, the young ladies being twenty years their junior.
A lot could be read into these two 40 years old geezers marrying women half their age, while living on a frontier that still was lawless. For Drury, the likelihood was he wanted a wife capable of giving him a large family like the one he grew up among, his 8 James brothers and sisters and his 12 step brothers and step sisters, who included Jesse’s wife Zee Mimms-James.
Our videographer for the reunion, Tommy Barrios, was not present when we went to the mission. This video was shot instead by my niece, Kathryn Craft, which explains its “home video” quality. Was it not for Kathryn, though, we wouldn’t have any record of this funny little event.
That was not the only unexpected development at the mission, Little did we all know how seriously Jesse’s great-grandson, Judge James R. Ross, would take his acting role, portraying Patrick Dunn, Drury’s alcoholic father-in-law. Talk about “stealing the show.”