Tuesday, February 15, 2011

John Wayne Car Bubble

February 15, 2011

Just had lunch with Joe Freedman, Al Huffman and Brian Downes the executive director at the Birthplace of John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa. Walked next door to Jena's Cafe and had the homemade soup and sando. Great talking to them about all things John Wayne. Brian informs me they have acquired the famous customized automobile with the bubble roof so John Wayne could get his 6'4" frame into the car and still wear his cowboy hat. I challenged Brian to get me a photo of John Wayne in that car and I will put it on the cover. Brian says they have a photo of John Ford sitting in the car and I said, nope, gotta be the Duke. Can you imagine driving on the Five in 1966 and the guy in the next car, is the Duke, with his head poking up into cyberspace like the Jetsons. Talk about a doubletake! May have to do a painting of this. Just too rich.

Meanwhile, here is the latest on the Hippies being responsible for the term Buffalo Soldiers debate. This is part of John Langellier's private email to Frank Schubert:

I spoke to Bob Boze Bell yesterday and he told me during a conversation with him in his office when I was pitching the article I stated that hippies started to use the term. Regrettably I did not make myself clear.

Here’s how I recall the gist of the conversation. I suggested the piece would be titled something like “There Were No Buffalo Soldiers” to make the point that the black soldiers in the West may never have heard the term or if they did may not have used it among themselves. Bob thought the approach was negative so I tried to explain that the term was something that really caught hold during the era of hippies, civil rights, and the like and very possibly was an outgrowth of both the Sammy Davis and Woody Strode TV and movie productions and of course Leckie’s book. So I should have kept my mouth shut rather than provide a rationale for why I wanted to use the title and take this approach to the article.

Indeed, that thesis was dropped in lieu of a pictorial story of depicting some of the routines of the black soldier in the West. Where I really erred however was in my review of the article I wrote and the timeline which I didn’t write. I missed my chance to change the statement so take full responsibility.

—John Langellier

Now that is a classy guy.

Another classy guy is Rock Holliday:

Gene "Rock" Kurz is a tireless promoter of the Old West and a dead ringer for Luke Short. Gene, and his 21-year-old son, Travis joined us last Saturday in Wickenburg for the Gold Rush Days Parade. While dad performed along the street, his son drove the float that carried us to glory. Hats off to Rock Holliday (his performance nickname) who is a true, True West Ambassador.

"There are three things which the public will always clamor for, sooner or later: namely, novelty, novelty, novelty."

—Thomas Hood

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