The High Chaparral

Played by Ted Markland

Among the first of the bunkhouse crew to hire on at The High Chaparral is Reno. He arrives in the wagon with Sam and Pedro in the very first episode---Joe and Ira coming in on horseback---and he hangs around for two years before pushing on to different pastures. Unlike the others, we never learn if 'Reno' is a first or last name, although it can be inferred that it is a first name, since everyone on the ranch uses first names when dealing with each other.

Reno is a young man with a sound mind and a strong body. He is tall and lanky with light brown hair and blue eyes, and it is apparent from his dress that he is desert smart. We never see him in anything other than western wear of fringed shirt and tan pants. His boots are brown and round cut at the top, the kind favored by most cowpokes in rough country, and his hat is light-colored to ward off the heat. When he first appears, he is so youthful-looking that it is hard to guess his age, but innuendoes imply that he might be a year or so older than Ira and a couple of years younger than Pedro. In Season Two, he adds a moustache, which helps to make him look older.

Reno gets along with everyone. He playfully taunts Big John when he is on guard duty, loves a poker game anywhere, drinks with his pals, sings to anyone who will listen, and is willing to lay down his life for a friend. There is not one bit of the ranch that he does not know and not one member living on it that he does not like. He is not afraid to exert his opinion when he feels injustice on the wind. For instance, when Buck says he is going to ride on the Apaches in retaliation for Blue in "Feather of an Eagle," it is Reno who tells Sam, "You can call me out if you want to, Sam, but when Buck goes, I'm going with him." This is after Sam cautions everyone that war on the Apaches could bust the country wide open.

We do not get to see a great deal of Reno, but his closest pal appears to be Pedro.  This could be because they are very close in height and rode in on the same wagon together, neither one having his own horse. He is known to be a good friend to Blue, and he is shaken to learn of Jake's death in "Mark of the Turtle".  He is also a good tracker in that episode and an expert shot, standing shoulder to shoulder with Sam in the clinch.  In "Bad Day for a Thirst", he is the first to want to rush out to help the wounded Buck, and in "The Firing Wall", he is all for busting Mano from the Nogales jail. He bids on and against his pals down at the corral in "A Fella Named Kilroy", but he stands firm behind Blue in "Champion of the Western World".  Reno's softer side is evident in "Ten Little Indians" when he sings the orphaned children to sleep to quiet their fears. He seems to know instinctively what is right and needed as the situation occurs, but he's never afraid to have fun in the process.

Reno is a typical cowboy. He lives hard and plays hard, but his demeanor carries with it a hint of softness and gentleness which smoothes any rough edges. It is evident that he is as much at home in the desert with the cows as he is in town with the ladies. His favorite tune is the romantic ballad, "Along the Colorado Trail," but he has been known to strum up a mean Spanish number if he's feeling exceptionally frisky.    (By Sandy Sturdivant)

From "Follow Your Heart"

See the Guide to Character Weight to determine in which episodes Reno had major or minor roles.

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