Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Duke

Of course, it's a little bit late to be ordering the tschotkes and memorabilia for your John Wayne's 100th birthday party, because he was born Marion Robert Morrison 100 years ago today in a small Iowa town. However, there's plenty of the stuff out there in the great cybermall.

For something a little more special, you go to someone like my buddy Jim, who makes custom gun rigs based upon old Hollywood A & B westerns. Here he is holding one of three John Wayne gun belt replicas made for one customer. This particular outfit was worn in The Shootist, which was a class act and fitting finale to The Duke's long career.

Prescott has been a western town far longer than its new role as a boutique town serving the Left Coast; thus you still find John Wayne symbolism here and there, such as at the front of the Grove Street gun shop. Just incidentally, when I consulted The Google concerning the western star, it referred me to the exact same cutout at a London party shop.

Here is my most favorite John Wayne appearance in town this past year -- he stands guard at the western-themed tree at Watters' annual Christmas tree extravaganza.

A small note about Prescott and western stars: our real locally connected Hollywood cowboy was Tom Mix, who shot films here and owned a ranch hereabouts. Wayne ranched up on the Rim, near Eager, a fact I learned from NPR, believe it or not. That small town is one of several celebrating his birthday this weekend.

9 comments:

Steve G said...

Good post to a versitle actor. I see his son is back in the ring. Apparently the AIDs he was supposed to have, was a false reading.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Nice GJ. Whatta guy......

Granny J said...

Steve -- I knew absolutely nothing about his son. In fact, my PQ (pop quotient) is pretty low these days & has been for several decades -- a definite minus when it comes to crossword puzzles!

Welcome, Brain! Wasn't he.

catalyst said...

GJ - He also had a ranch down near Stanton, south of South Mountain in the Valley.

I had the great pleasure to interview him at his home in Newport Beach somewhere back in the 70's during my television news career. A very nice guy.

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- Is that another Stanton? The Stanton I know is in Yavapai county just below Rich Hill.

And I am spooked!I just got this missive from Amazon.com:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

As someone who has purchased a John Wayne movie or a Western from
Amazon.com, you might be interested in our new John Wayne Store,
commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth on May 26, 1907. Don't miss it, pardner.


Visit the John Wayne Store
http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=pe_5764200_txt_2/?node=451830

I have this problem with Amazon: I can't remember ever having bought a western flick or novel from them. Maybe they're sending to all customers who have addresses in the west. Or some such. I'd hate to think that The Google had sold my address to them!

catalyst said...

Oops, I just looked on the map and it's Stanfield.

Granny J said...

Thank you, Mr. Cat-A -- I'm glad that Stanton isn't wandering around lost down in the Valley somewhere!

Avus said...

Tom Mix? God that took me back to Saturday morning picture shows as a kid!
As to John Wayne - my favourite movie is "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". Great action and some very moving moments.

Granny J said...

Welcome home, Mr. Avus -- hope you had a good holiday! As for Saturday A.M. specials for the kids -- I didn't realize that piece of American pop culture had been exported, too!

 
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