Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Howdy Pilgrim

I'm just an ordinary goddamn American and I talk for all the ordinary goddamn Americans, the butchers and bakers and plumbers. I know these people; I know what they think.
John Wayne (1907-1979), actor

I still don’t feel much like writing lately, a combination of too busy and too tired, but this occasion should not pass without comment.

It’s the 100th anniversary of John Wayne would have been 100 today, if he had not died at 72 of stomach cancer in June 1979. The sad thing is that Wayne was just an actor who played heroic roles and people view him as a historic figure. Ask about a real historical figure and most young people would have no idea.

I made a reference to General Sherman riding through Atlanta and someone close to 30 years of age had no idea who I was talking about, and this person had a college education.

Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison, had a career that spanned more than 170 films. He didn't win an Academy Award until 1970 for his performance in "True Grit." He was nominated twice earlier — for best actor in 1949's "Sands of Iwo Jima" and best picture for 1960's "The Alamo," which he directed and produced, according to an Associated Press story.


Jane said...

Don't feel bad about people not getting your General Sherman reference. Yesterday I was in a meeting with four other people and I mentioned the incident where Jimmy Carter was in a small boat and fended off a rabbit that tried to swim up and get on board. Everyone looked at me as though I'd gone mad. Sometimes it sucks being the oldest person on a work team.

B2 said...

Also 100 (and dead) this year: Sir Laurence Olivier and Gene Autry.

Chandira said...

I visited John Wayne's cabin in Monument Valley last summer, where he stayed whilst filming there. Totally loved that place..

I know what you mean about people not getting things, and I'm 35, I still suffer from that. My 14 year old cousiins know so little about the world, it's scary. I'm sure I knew a lot more when I was their age. I doubt they could name the longest river, or have a clue who Louis Pasteur was, or name a single bird in their garden...

When I was 13 I was a mine of useless information already.. ;-)

Jack's Shack said...

I grew up watching John Wayne movies. They have a special place in my heart, especially Rooster Cogburn and True Grit.

alice, uptown said...

Don't they say that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it?

What a scary thought that is, in our short-attention-span, multi-tasking lives.