ARVO OJALA
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ARVO OJALA

During the last half of the 1950’s, you couldn't’t turn on your Television without being aware of the popularity of what was called
“Adult Westerns”.  Every channel filled their prime time schedule with Western shows, and you could not flip your dial without
being overwhelmed with the number and variety of these shows.  Some people called this a “Fad” that would soon pass, but we
were all to learn that this surge lasted more than a decade, and some of the more popular shows lasted twenty years, this was
longer than any shows to that date. Some of these shows are still shown in re-runs today.
In the Early part of the 1950’s, a young man moved to Hollywood, and became a major force in this new wave of Western TV
shows and movies.  His name was Arvo Ojala.  Arvo was born of Finnish parents and raised in Washington State.  Growing up
in Washington State, Arvo learned to shoot at an early age, and during this time he studied and perfected the shills of spinning,
twirling, and tossing the pistols with the dexterity of a professional juggler.  When he moved to Hollywood, he worked as a gun
coach in Western movies.  One of these early jobs was working with Robert Michum and Marilyn Monroe in the Movie “River
of No Return”.  Arvo’s skill with a Colt Single Action Revolver was nothing short of incredible, and this led to more and more
work for him.  As it turned out, Arvo arrived on the scene at just the right time to take advantage of the incredible interest in
Western shows on TV as well as in the Movies.
The Man in Black
    Arvo also created, patented and sold a beautiful buscadero style belt and holster that helped even an average person
    draw his six-shooter faster than he thought possible.  Not as fast as Arvo, of course, but faster than anything he had
    done before.  This holster was used by almost every TV show for the next 30 years.   Gunsmoke, Bonanza,
    Maverick, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Wyatt Earp, The Lawman, Colt .45, and Have Gun Will Travel, are just a few of the
    TV shows that used Arvo’s holster.  These shows and more also hired Arvo to be their Gun Coach and technical
    advisor.  Movies from the 1950’s “River of No Return’, the “Big Country”, and “Rio Bravo”, all the way through
    more recent movies like “Rustler’s Rhapsody”, “Silverado”, “Back to the Future III”, and even “The Three Amigo’s”,
    all relied on coaching from Arvo, and used his holsters.  If you saw in a movie a fast draw or twirling, you may not
    have realized it was not the star you were watching.  They would zoom in for a close-up, and it was actually Arvo’s
    hands doing their thing with the six-gun.
    It would be hard to name a movie or TV or Movie Star that had not had some coaching from Arvo.  Some of these
    stars loved the training so much, they continued to practice what Arvo taught them until they became quite good.  
    Two somewhat unlikely Stars that come to mind are Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis.  Each of them demonstrated
    their gun handling skills on shows like Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.  Another Star that practiced diligently was Kirk
    Douglass.  If you saw the movie “Draw”, you saw Kirk demonstrate some of these skills he leaned from Arvo, and of
    course he was wearing an Arvo Ojala Holster.