I can’t help it. And I won’t apologize for it. I LOVE the Fourth of July.
It’s like Christmas, New Year’s, the first day of summer and one humungous, ginormous birthday party all rolled into one. That’s why I’m re-publishing this Fourth of July-themed post from last year. Just seems to fit. Enjoy!
I long maintained that the guy born “Marion Morrison” wasn’t an actor because he simply played himself on-screen. Playing yourself isn’t “acting.” It’s playing yourself.
John Wayne’s film career spanned 50 years and almost 200 films in which he became “the greatest icon in the all-American movie genre.” He played everything from sailor to marine to football coach to private detective, but it was his work in Westerns and war movies that defined him as “an American folk hero.” Chisum. Big Jake. The Cowboys. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Red River. Flying Leathernecks. In Harm’s Way. Green Berets. Many more.
He kinda grew on me.
Why? Because after watching The Quiet Man for the zillionth time, I had an epiphany: “Acting” or playing himself, it doesn’t matter. The Duke was the Duke, both on-screen and off. And he was one stand-up guy either place. (Anyone who’d tangle with Victor McLaglen in order to get Maureen O’Hara is a force to be reckoned with.)
Remember what an “American folk hero” was? Folks who stood for all that was great and good in America. Self-sacrifice. Honor. Integrity. Gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Strkyer. Loyalty. Resilience. True Grit. (Sorry, Beau, but no one does Rooster Cogburn like the Duke.)
John Wayne was a patriot before “patriot” was a dirty word. And if anyone could clean up that word, he could – and would. Can you imagine what the Duke would say to little Elijah Cummings and John Koskinincompoop over IRS harassment of conservatives?
One of the Finest
Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA and Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever are standard fare for the 4th, and rightly so. But John Wayne’s Why I Love Her may be one of his finest roles. Hokey? Maybe. And probably too “sappy” for most of today’s oh-so-cool political syncophants, policy wonks, and talking head pundits.
Know what? I. Don’t. Care.
While America is neck-deep in Obamarama, scandalabra, IRS pinheads, borders that leak like a sieve, Benghazi, and the like, how ’bout taking three minutes to remember what she was in the Duke’s day – and what she can be again?
So, just in time for the 4th of July, grab the nearest Stetson, pull on your boots and saddle up for some good ‘ole fashioned flag-waving and patriotic pride with one of the Duke’s Best. Rides. Ever.
Happy Birthday America!
Greatest country on God’s green earth!
Up Next Week: