Western Song

A Bull-riding rancher and his deceased best buddy’s Thai immigrant mail order bride. As she discovers the power of freedom, he discovers he’s lost his heart.

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About the Author

Leigh Podgorski, founder Under the Hill Productions

Leigh Podgorski
Full Bio Here
Founder of Violet Hills Productions (formerly UTHP); Writer, Director, Producer We Are Still Here

When Weston Beaudurant’s buddy, rodeo clown Cody Goode is killed in a rodeo accident — gored by the maniacal bull Baby Face that Weston is riding, Weston is consumed with guilt. The day after the accident, while going through Cod’s papers, lawyer Wynona Vasquez discovers that he had been secretly engaged to a Thai immigrant who is arriving by train that evening.
Elected by unanimous decision to be the welcoming committee, Weston arrives at the train station prepared for anything but the lovely forlorn creature he finds waiting in the rain. Though appearing waif-like, Song Phan-Rang is anything but fragile. Her mettle quickly rises to the surface in her determination to remain in Y-oh-ming.
Forced together by their circumstances, Weston and Song are explosive. Used to solitude, Weston is driven crazy by the obliging Song. But as Song shows her prowess not only as a housekeeper and cook, but as a rider and rancher as well, Weston discovers that against his best efforts (and damned if he’ll ever admit it) — he’s falling in love.
The morning after the Christmas Cotillion, where cowboys by the dozen lined up for a dance with the exotic Song, and Weston wrangled the last one, she discovers her visa has expired. Pledging her Uncle Thieu’s farm in Thailand as a dowry, Song asks Weston to marry her. Swearing that this is not a good idea at all — he does.
Song blossoms in America. Weston’s sister Olive, a schoolteacher, helps Song with her English, and introduces her to the ideas of the Founding Fathers, most notably Tom Paine. Firebrand and activist Wynona employs Song in her office. Her first assignment is working with Shoshone shaman MAD BULL and Bull’s young assistant, Jack Deerstalker as they fight a referendum that would allow gambling on their reservation.
As winter melts into spring, Song and Weston continue to profess their marriage is simply one of convenience, though it is obvious to everybody that the two are in love. Obvious to everyone that is, but Jack Deerstalker who has fallen for her himself.
One night as Weston returns earlier than expected from a rodeo, he finds Jack in his living room, alone with Song. Enraged, Weston explodes, throwing Jack out of the house.
That night a fierce winter storm blows. The creek rises and floods, endangering thirty head of cattle caught on the other side. Song springs into action, riding side by side with Weston. When a baby calf slips into the icy creek, Song plunges in after it. Together, Weston and Song pull the animal free. Weston is knocked speechless by her bravery. Later, as he warms her by a roaring fire, Song and Weston make love for the first time.
A few days later, Wynona and Song are introduced to the case of illegal immigrant Thai workers, forced to toil as slaves in the garment industry in El Segundo, California. Song becomes deeply involved with the workers and their plight – the search for a desperate promise of freedom. With her work, she discovers the power true freedom holds.
But her work and growing sense of the true power of freedom begins to tear at the budding love between Weston and Song.
Meanwhile, the referendum Jack, Wynona, and Song fought so hard against has been defeated. There will be no gambling on the reservation. Jack organizes a rodeo to raise money for an investment deal for the reservation. Weston agrees to ride – on one condition. Jack gets the bull, Baby Face that killed Cody.
The night before the rodeo, Weston finds a letter Song has written to the garment workers she is helping. “We are, every one of us, entitled to a life with dignity. To life with honor. There are those who would attempt to steal our dignity, to seize our honor. But it is only when we allow this deepest core of our being to be ripped from us that we become enslaved. Remember, you, too, have been touched by God.”
The next morning, Weston leaves for the rodeo without her.
At the rodeo, in an eerie replay of Cody’s accident, the bull throws Weston. Song nurses Weston back to health, but still torn between freedom’s power and her growing love, Song knows she must ultimately choose.
Several weeks later, with Weston well on his way to mending, Song and Olive host a dinner party at Snowy Moon to celebrate Weston’s recovery. Along with Zeb, Jack Deerstalker and Mad Bull are there to join in the festivities. But in the middle of the revelry, the phone rings: it’s Jenny Chang and it’s about the case of the immigrant workers.
Catching Song’s eye on her return to the table, Weston asks her to step outside. There, with a breaking heart, underneath the star-studded canopy of their beloved Wyoming sky, Song tells Weston she has to go.
Softly he tells he knows. But he asks if he can borrow her for one more day.
The next day Weston takes Song across the state to a tiny Wyoming town, a town she knows well-Iron Mountain Springs—the town of her Wyoming ancestors.
At first angry and frightened, angered by his deceit of keeping this secret from her, Song demands Weston turn around and take her back to Wild River. But Weston convinces her to stay, and Song meets the family she has only dreamed about, the family created when an American G.I. fell hopelessly in love with a young Vietnamese girl, her grandmother.
That night, though sure of Weston’s love, Song tells Weston the story of the nightingale in the gilded cage. “There are all kinds of cages, Weston. …Some even most luxurious and desirable. But still, cages all the same.”
The next day, after an excruciating ride home from Iron Mountain springs the day before, Weston drives Song to the train station.
Returning to the ranch, Weston, still suffering from his injuries, limps painfully to the corral, and saddles up his horse. He rides across the rolling plains to the waterfall where he and Song had spent so much time in happier times now long gone by. Watching the water tumble by like his lost hope, suddenly, Weston picks up a stone, and fires it into the tumultuous fall. He whistles for his horse, and throws himself into the saddle.
Across the plains, the train continues to roll. Inside, an uproar arises among the passengers. Song forces her way to the window.
Outside, riding like hell, is Weston.
Song’s heart begins to pound.
And suddenly, she knows….Finally, she knows.
Song grabs her suitcase, and elbows her way through the crowd.
Before the train fully stops, she is bounding from the platform…and rushing into Weston’s arms.

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