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Posts tagged “John Wayne

Brush off the Dust

Cropped screenshot of Gary Cooper from the tra...

Image via Wikipedia

The huge misunderstanding about cowboys is mostly Hollywood’s fault and it all stems from fashion.  When they tried to make people like Sylvester Stallone play a cowboy, you know they were reaching and they missed the mark completely.  Real “cowboyism” has to go back to Gary Cooper and John Wayne who walked as though they were born astride a saddle, and talked as though they considered communication a courtesy, but not anything to get too excited about.  The key was, they always wore the same clothes.  Jeans and vests and shirts that buttoned, and no matter how long they had been on a cattle drive, or how many gunslingers they had faced, they never saw a need to change their clothes.  They seemed to need the dirt and the frayed edges to keep their gun belts in place.  Unless they were going to meetin’ (church) they pretty much kept to their boots and hats and their belts and the jeans that were broken in to the point of actually having a distinctive shape, like other people’s shoes, you couldn’t loan them to anyone else because your imprint had taken over.  Awards were never given by the Academy for the costuming in a real western, but that was the whole point.  When you walked out of the theatre you couldn’t remember what the stars were wearing, but you never forgot their hard lined, squint into the sun faces.  They were cowboys, and they were the real thing.


Duke

Take a guy who had an odd way of talking and an even odder way of walking, who couldn’t finish college because a body surfing injury made him lose his athletic scholarship, whose application to the Naval Academy was rejected, whose first real job paid him $105 per week, and whose given name at birth was Marion, and what do you get?  You get one of the top three most popular film stars of all time, and the only one to make the list every year since the poll started.  John Wayne, who was too tall and broad to really fit into the Hollywood scene, but ended up with lead roles in 142 films, and is now thought of as a legend for his work on the screen, didn’t start out with aspirations of stardom.  The celebrity came to him after nine years of bit parts, one in which he played a corpse, and hours mentoring with stunt men about riding horses and straddling fences and taking a fall in a gunfight, and his “don’t mess with me” attitude when he refused to work with a major film maker because he didn’t like the way “the guy had treated him when he was nobody”.   His stardom came from the way he owned the screen, the fact that he looked like he was born on a horse, the distinctive intonation in his voice that he didn’t even try to change, and the fact that in all but one of his roles he played a rough talking, heavy drinking, fight at the drop of a hat, good guy.  He brought us bigger than life characters and better than life stories and he did it without being “discovered”.  He just stayed with it until the screen was ready for John Wayne, and that took a few years.


Duke

Take a guy who had an odd way of talking and an even odder way of walking, who couldn’t finish college because a body surfing injury made him lose his athletic scholarship, whose application to the Naval Academy was rejected, whose first real job paid him $105 per week, and whose given name at birth was Marion, and what do you get?  You get one of the top three most popular film stars of all time, and the only one to make the list every year since the poll started.  John Wayne, who was too tall and broad to really fit into the Hollywood scene, but ended up with lead roles in 142 films, and is now thought of as a legend for his work on the screen, didn’t start out with aspirations of stardom.  The celebrity came to him after nine years of bit parts, one in which he played a corpse, and hours mentoring with stunt men about riding horses and straddling fences and taking a fall in a gunfight, and his “don’t mess with me” attitude when he refused to work with a major film maker because he didn’t like the way “the guy had treated him when he was nobody”.   His stardom came from the way he owned the screen, the fact that he looked like he was born on a horse, the distinctive intonation in his voice that he didn’t even try to change, and the fact that in all but one of his roles he played a rough talking, heavy drinking, fight at the drop of a hat, good guy.  He brought us bigger than life characters and better than life stories and he did it without being “discovered”.  He just stayed with it until the screen was ready for John Wayne, and that took a few years.


Shall I Pour?

You have to wonder if the Wild West might have been different if there had been access to better coffee.    When you started and ended your day with a coffee made from grounds, boiled over a fire, in a sock and a tin pot of water until just the smell could cause an ulcer, you figure it had to affect your sunny disposition.  Imagine if they’d had a nice French pressed cup of only the best Allegro blend, strong but not bitter, and never inky, Billy the Kid might have thought twice about shooting the barber who gave him a bad haircut.  A good cup of coffee can make the difference in public reactions on many levels.  Throwing someone through the picture window of the local pub doesn’t seem quite as necessary when one has been properly caffeinated and thoroughly prepared for the worst, by the ingestion of a powerful dark roast with just a hint of the outdoors.  In a recent viewing of the movie True Grit, I found myself wondering what a thorough cleansing and a mug of Sumatra might have done for Jeff Bridges.  Matt Damon needed some sort of assistance, but I am afraid even a well-brewed espresso wouldn’t have been enough.


Night Glow

Have you seen the moon?  It is there, reflecting the days glow, hovering over the nighttime earth as a watcher of worlds and keeper of secrets.  It is a must on a summer’s night, out on the porch swing, and a standard on a winter’s midnight, cloudless with cold, the moon lights the path home.  Go to the moon in your dreams, or follow its river of light to the edge of the world.  We can’t escape the moon, its beauty is our lamplight, its face a constant in our unbalanced lives.  There is an assurance in knowing that no amount of conflagration can change the moon’s presence in our lives, because it is attached to us by a thread, a physical phenomenon that holds it to us and us to it.  The earth and moon are coupled by gravity in the ever spinning universe, so that even when the world seems to spin out of control, the moon comes with us, ever watching, guarding the night with its perfect simplicity.  Wave at the moon, give it a wink or an all out howl, but find it in the sky and be at peace.


Just Brush off the Dust

The huge misunderstanding about cowboys is mostly Hollywood’s fault and it all stems from fashion.  When they tried to make people like Sylvester Stallone play a cowboy, you know they were reaching and they missed the mark completely.  Real “cowboyism” has to go back to Gary Cooper and John Wayne who walked as though they were born astride a saddle, and talked as though they considered communication a courtesy, but not anything to get too excited about.  The key was, they always wore the same clothes.  Jeans and vests and shirts that buttoned, and no matter how long they had been on a cattle drive, or how many gunslingers they had faced, they never saw a need to change their clothes.  They seemed to need the dirt and the frayed edges to keep their gun belts in place.  Unless they were going to meetin’ (church) they pretty much kept to their boots and their belts and the jeans that were broken in to the point of actually having a distinctive shape, like other people’s shoes, you couldn’t loan them to anyone else because your imprint had taken over.  Awards were never given by the Academy for the costuming in a real western, but that was the whole point.  When you walked out of the theatre you couldn’t remember what the stars were wearing, but you never forgot their hard lined, squint into the sun faces.  They were cowboys, and they were the real thing.


Blissful Basic- Get Excited!

Screenshot of John Wayne from the trailer for ...

Image via Wikipedia

As the New Year kicks off, many of us have set New Year’s Resolutions.  I am all for goal setting but only if I actually have a real shot at reaching my goal.  So many people want to lose weight, make more money, spend time with family, all fine goals but chances are good that they will be making those same resolutions next year.  I don’t want a re-do in 2012 so I have decided to do things a little differently this year.  I am going back to basics.  My first blissful basic for 2011 is…

GET EXCITED!

Happiness for me is excitement.  I am most happy when I am looking forward to something or really motivated to get something done.  Excitement about what the day holds whether it be, getting out some great new things in the gift shop, wearing an awesome pair of new jeans, a afternoon horseback ride, or a night out with the ladies, gets me jumping out of bed in the morning. 

Getting up with a smile on my face and rushing around to get ready because I am so excited to get the day started, is how things should be.  That’s how life should be. 

So today, my blissful basic is this.  Find something every day you can be excited about.  Find something that puts a smile on your face and gets you jumping out of bed in the morning.  It may be a cup of coffee with a friend, a beer with the guys, a lunch date with your husband, or a timeless John Wayne movie.  Whatever it is for you…

GET EXCITED!!