Good morning. A family tradition we had was on your first Christmas you got a red Radio Flyer wagon. If you were a boy, on your first birthday, you got toy six-shooter and holster.
Don’t remember the wagon much, but I think if I looked hard enough at my mom’s house, I could find the gun and holster. There is a 45 -year-old orange Nerf ball that my great nieces and nephews still play with, so why not the 58-year-old cowboy rig?
It was a leather holster and a sturdy metal pistol. Not the cheap kind you see in Walmart these days.
Needless to say, I played a lot of cowboy. It was harmless. It was usually just me and my imagination.
I would go to the theater to see John Wayne movies and got to stay up late if an Audie Murphy western was the late movie on television on the weekend.
I always admired Murphy for what he did in World War II. He is most likely this country’s most decorated hero. I remember the day he died in a plane crash.
Wayne was and still is my favorite movie star. He wasn’t the best actor, but he did always seem to come across as a man of character, who knew right from wrong and tried to do the right thing. I know it was just Hollywood, but as a kid and a maturing man, I took a lot of it to heart.
Outside of the movies, Wayne was a symbol of America — a true patriot. He had no problem speaking his heart about issues. And just like me in my column sometimes, he may have said something that just doesn’t come out as clear and understandable as he had hoped.
John Wayne is as American as Uncle Sam, and two paragraphs said in an interview that is almost 50 years old doesn’t change that. Especially if you read it without your “race card” glasses on.
But then any group that would think Abraham Lincoln is a racist would certainly put John Wayne in their sights