Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dean and The Duke

Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of Marion Michael Morrison, better known as John Wayne. For younger readers, he often played a heroic soldier or cowboy who would try to bring justice to the frontier. He also could laugh at himself.

Click here to see a tape of The Duke's appearance on the Dean Martin Show. My kids never seemed to "get" my John Wayne impressions ("how ya doin', pilgrims") but after watching this tape, I think they weren't so bad.

The first time the family ever landed at the John Wayne Airport in California, I dragged the kids over to see the statue of The Duke ("we want to get to Disneyland!, why do we have to see this statue?").
Photo by USA Today.
"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." At first those words seem trite, but they are profound.  Think about the men who rushed into the Twin Towers on September 11. In contemporary American culture, the role of men is too often denigrated. That's why I wanted my children to see the statue and know the values John Wayne embodied.

Although it is a day late, happy birthday Duke!

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