Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Here's a good photo of the brief snowstorm we had last weekend. Kathy is pulling into the Spanish Driveway as Deena, Peaches and I run around with our tongues out:

Capturing The Next Generation of Western Lovers:

Got this Westerns report from our roving reporter in Henderson, Nevada:

"I am not quite sure if the following has any value to you, but I thought of you and True West as I watched it unfold as there may be a message or possible silver lining in it for you.

"Early Friday evening, Ellie and Cayden, Jen's two kids, were at our house. (Their parents had left for a getaway date---dinner and a show). Cayden, 8, is nuts over video games of all kinds; Ellie, 6, is not so much. So when she tires of playing with dolls and toys, she watches DVDs and age-appropriate kids TV. Mostly it is cartoons or Hannah Montana-like stuff, and she is nuts over Tinker Bell movies. (The new one is great, by the way.) Anyway, that is the background.

"While Ellie was busy elsewhere, someone had been surfing the channels and had left it on AMC, which was running a John Wayne series of movies. She sat down right after the beginning of True Grit---not one of my favorites, but a classic, nonetheless, at least among we non-western history folks. No one paid much attention for a half-hour or so, figuring that she would tire of it or change the channel. Instead, she was completely captivated with the first western she had ever seen. At first, I thought she liked it just because of the little girl in it, but it was much more than that. She loved the sweeping story and the scenery and all of it. I thought the gun-play and the snake in the mine shaft might scare her but she never flinched. And when it was over, and The Shootist came on, she wanted to watch that one, too, probably because Wayne was in it as well. (We didn't let her as it is too violent.)

"I guess that I took three things from it: Even in the video/computer age, some of these kids still are captivated by good story-telling.

"The sweeping western doesn't have to be dead because there is a whole audience out there that has never seen that genre. Not Unforgiven or some of the darker ones, but just stories about good guys and bad guys and cowboys and Indians with great scenery and such.

"And finally, if she really was more captivated by True Grit because of the little girl, why is there so little out there that has the children of the west in it to attract a new audience---in print and on film? Are producers and writers missing an audience---the grandchildren of those folks who flocked to theaters every Saturday afternoon? If I close my eyes and remember, I can still remember the words and the final scene from one classic: 'Shane. Shane. Come back Shane.'"
—Charlie Waters

"If you want to know how to do a thing you must first have a complete desire to do that thing."
—Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

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