LOS ANGELES — The West isn't very wild anymore. Yet in many people's minds, it always will be where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play.
With the opening of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum this week, that history lives in more than people's minds. The three-story, 139,000-square- foot museum in Griffith Park preserves both the West of the history books and the West of movies and television.
The institution has been the longtime dream of Gene Autry, himself a sort of Western artifact as the famous singing cowboy who now owns radio stations, music-publishing companies, real estate and baseball's California Angels.