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(From Old Corral image collection)
Buffalo Bill, Jr.

Real name:
Wilbert Jay Wilsey

Sometimes reported as:
Albert Jay Wilsey
or
Jay C. Wilsey

1896 - 1961


Tamera Mankini remembers her grandfather Jay Wilsey and step grandmother Genée "Jean" Boutell:

One of the joys of doing the Old Corral website is connecting with family members of these ol' B-western performers. Tamera Mankini and ye Old Corral webmaster had a lot of fun going through family history and a variety of photos from her "Wilsey Family Archives". I (we) thank Tamera for sharing these images and memories.

Tamera is the grand daughter of Jay Wilsey and his first wife, Frances Marie Conlee. From that marriage, there was a daughter named Frances Eldene Wilsey (Tamera's mother). After the divorce from Wilsey, Frances Marie married Howard McAllister and they resided in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She passed away from rheumatic fever at age 37. In 1934, Jay made a trip to Ft. Collins and brought daughter Eldene back to California to live with he and his actress/wife Genée Boutell. In the 1940s, Eldene married Raymond Wolski, and daughter Tamera arrived in 1944. When Wolski went into the Army in 1944, Eldene and Tamera spent a great deal of time with Jay and Genée. And late 1945 - early 1946, the foursome of Jay, Genée, Eldene and Tamera embarked on the four month sailing adventure to Magdalena Bay, Baja, California on the 42 foot schooner "Ruana" which Jay had built.

Tamera adds some additional remembrances:

"Jean was just a few years older than my mother and they were totally inseparable for years. More like sisters. I looked more like her than my own mother and everyone thought I was Jean's daughter."

"Jean and Jay traveled all over in their boat. To Tahiti and such. I believe the trip to Tahiti was their longest sailing trip. They lived on the boat for years down in Long Beach. I can remember going down there all the time. They did sail to Hawaii to do the BIG JIM McLAIN movie (which starred John Wayne)."

"He was a pretty big guy ... I always remember him as being kind of a 'matter of fact' and no nonsense kind of person."

"Jean and Jay bought a little trailer park in Boron, California, which is north of Los Angeles. I went there several times with my parents to visit in the 1950s. At that time, Jay was going down for (cancer) treatment in Mexico. Each time he would come back, he would be in great shape for several months ... then need to return. Just a side note - the trailer park is still there. An old faded sign that said "J's" was still there each time I drove by up until I passed there on a trip this year (2010) and the old sign was gone."

"I don't know why he exited the films. I suppose part of it was was because he and Jean spent so much time on the boat sailing here and there. They had friends that also had a boat and I know they made a couple of trips to Hawaii and then over to Tahiti. My mother told me that Jay had gotten cut on his leg either on coral or a tropical plant (?) and it was something that really plagued him for years after. I do remember seeing the wound. I believe he was being treated in Mexico for that also."

Tamera Mankini
March, 2010


(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)

Above - Jay Wilsey and wife Genée Boutell circa 1944.

At the time of this photo, Wilsey would have been about 48 years of age and Boutell would have been about 31 years old.

Genée's first name was pronounced "Jay-nay" but everyone called her "Jean/Jeanne".



(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)

Above left is Jay Wilsey's first wife, Frances Marie Conlee (or Conley; born October 29, 1896 in Kahoka, Missouri). After the divorce from Jay Wilsey, she married Howard McAllister, a ticket agent for the Colorado and Southern Railroad, and they were living in Fort Collins, Colorado when she passed away from rheumatic fever at age 37 in December, 1933.

Above right is Tamera Mankini's mother, Frances Eldene Wilsey (February 24, 1918 - December 17, 1996). Eldene was the only child of Frances and Jay. This photo is from Eldene's school days at Hollywood High School after she had moved to California circa 1934 to live with Jay and Jean.




(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)

Above is the 42 foot long, two-masted schooner named "Ruana" which had four bunks and an engine for maneuvering. Boat measurements listed on the back of this photo are: length = 42 feet; bow = 11 feet, 11 1/2 inches; depth = 6 feet, 3 inches.

Newspaper articles mention that it took Wilsey about three years to build this boat which was completed in 1939 or 1940.

One of their longest sailing adventures - which included Tamera and Eldene as shipmates - was a four month voyage in late 1945 through April, 1946 to Magdalena Bay, Baja, California and other locales. There were heavy seas and storms on their return trip to San Diego which took eighteen days (see April 25, 1946 newspaper article below).






(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)


Above are Wilsey and his daughter Eldene on his boat circa 1940.




(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)

Above from left to right are Jay's wife Genée Boutell, youngster Tamera, Wilsey and his daughter Eldene in San Diego, circa mid 1940s.



(Image courtesy of Jay Wilsey's granddaughter and
daughter, Tamera Mankini and Frances Eldene Wolski)


Above is the "Ruana" moored at the San Diego Yacht Club, April, 1946.



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