Tag Archives: Tombstone

Movie Wisdom – Charlton Heston Edition

5 Oct

In the last post, I mentioned a character played by, among others, Charlton Heston. Then, I flipped through the channels and caught a few minutes of Will Penny, which stars Charlton Heston. If that is not a sign, then I do not know what a sign looks like. Obviously, it is time to check out words of wisdom from the movies of Charlton Heston.Charlton Heston

From The Greatest Show on Earth

When things go up, they must come down.

From The Ten Commandments

Ambition knows no father.

Nothing from some is more than gold from others.

A charging chariot knows no rank!

From The Big Country

Take a bath sometime.

You don’t shoot an unarmed man.

From Ben-Hur

Live your own life.

The world is more than we know.

A grown man knows the world he lives in.

From Will Penny

We don’t all have the same choices.

No self-respectin’ cowhand’d be caught dead milkin’ a cow!

From Planet of the Apes

Some apes, it seems, are more equal than others.

You can’t trust the older generation.

From The Omega Man

There’s never a cop around when you need one.

From Soylent Green

People were always rotten.

You’re bought as soon as they pay you a salary.

From Tombstone

Wearing that badge don’t make you right.

From True Lies

Seconds count.

 

Movie Wisdom – Kurt Russell Edition

24 Mar

I was just flipping through the channels and came upon Escape From New York, one of the all time great dystopian movies. New York is a maximum security prison. The president is being held hostage within it. Lee Van Cleef sends Kurt Russell in to get the president. On top of that, this dystopian world is set in 1997. By now, Snake Plissken is getting on up there.Snake

I have seen Escape From New York a ton of times, which means I am not going to watch it. Instead, I am going to explore the wisdom that can be found in the movies of Kurt Russell.

By the way, here is some kind of interesting trivia. Kurt was in a movie with Elvis Presley. Later, he portrayed Elvis in a couple of movies. He also pretended to be an Elvis impersonator in another movie.

From It Happened at the World’s Fair

Adults, they’re all nuts!

From The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

Modernization isn’t everything!

Everyone’s just out for himself.

From Used Cars

Fifty bucks never killed anybody.

You know, it used to be when you bought a politician, that son of a bitch stayed bought.

From The Fox and the Hound

Forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.

From Tequila Sunrise

Friendship is the only choice in life you can make that’s yours!

Don’t get caught.

From Tango & Cash

Too much television can hurt your eyes.

From Tombstone

There’s no normal life.

Wearing that badge don’t make you right.

From Forrest Gump

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

You’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

You have to do the best with what God gave you.

There’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off.

From Escape from L.A.

The future is right now.

From Miracle

Great moments are born from great opportunity.

 

Movie Wisdom – Sam Elliott Edition

19 Jan

Next week, Justified, my favorite television show, begins its final season. It is filled with great actors who portray great characters, but this season adds one of the all-time favorites, Sam Elliott.Elliott

He has been great in Westerns and other movie genres. In honor of his appearance on Justified, here are some words of wisdom that can be found from his movies.

From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Move in slowly, check out everything.

Don’t ever hit your mother with a shovel.

From The Quick and the Dead

Why is it that the man who begs for mercy never gives it?

It ain’t never too late, unless you’re dead.

From Road House

Nobody ever wins a fight.

From Gettysburg

Follow the cigar smoke, find the fat man there.

From Tombstone

There’s no normal life. It’s just life.

From The Hi-Lo Country

The only time to yell is when you’re with somebody, or when you’re alone.

From Ghost Rider

You can’t live in fear.

Raise no more devils than you can lay down.

If you don’t make a choice, the choice makes you.

Wise words. Here are some more wise words. Watch Justified. It is awesome.

What If Johnny Ringo and Bandit Darville Made a Porn Movie and Called It “Listoeia Dwnuwo Maexco”

24 Mar

Do you ever look at the Search Terms that pop up in your Stats and wonder a few things? Who looks this stuff up? How did they get to this blog? When did spelling get thrown out of the window? I just looked through the Search Terms from the past 30 days and saw a few that stood out.

I decided to list a few, but there will be some additions. I may have a couple of comments, but the real fun will be visual. I am going to do an image search of each one and pick out the best photo.

listoeia dwnuwo maexco – Understand?

So, this is what a listoeia dwnuwo meaxco is.

So, this is what a listoeia dwnuwo meaxco is.

what does dreaming about sailing into the sunset on a motorcycle represent? – It means that you have invented a new mode of transportation, the floating motorcycle. I suggest you get a patent.

Nice boat

Nice boat

funicello guns – Annette made a lot of beach movies, but none of them involved shooting her way through an amphibious invasion.

Not a gun in sight.

Not a gun in sight.

frank sinatra and jesse james – Now, those two would have had fun together.

Brad Pitt made a movie about Jesse James and was in a remake of a Frank Sinatra classic. That is as close as I can get.

Brad Pitt made a movie about Jesse James and was in a remake of a Frank Sinatra classic. That is as close as I can get.

johnny ringo porn girls – Why Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your porn ‘stache.

It is the safest picture I could use. I just do not know how it got in the mix.

It is the safest picture I could use. I just do not know how it got in the mix.

watch the porn version of smokey and the bandit – If this exists, then I must watch it while having a Diablo sandwich and a Dr. Pepper.

The movie he wishes he had made.

The movie he wishes he had made.

dickersonroadwhores – You have to be from Nashville to understand this one, but I guarantee the girls on Dickerson Road know how to put spaces between words.

Yep, that is what happens on Dickerson Road.

Yep, that is what happens on Dickerson Road.

tombstone az 1 square fot deed souvineer – I have always wanted a fot as a souvineer.

Just try not to end up six fot under.

Just try not to end up six fot under.

imbeciles poem – I am honored that someone has described the imbecility of the world in iambic pentameter.

I have to buy this book.

I have to buy this book.

Anyway, that was my “I cannot think of anything else so I will write this” post of the month. I promise that better content is on its way.

The Makers of Legend

11 Mar

This semester, I am teaching Expansion of the United States and had my students read The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel, an excellent study of how a historical event can get turned into a movie.

The book is chronological, and the reader can see how the story continues to evolve as different people use it for different reasons. I will not go into great detail, but, as the story gets passed on, those who tell it do so with various reasons. In the end, the story barely resembles the reality, and the reality, to many, would be more interesting.

I chose this book because I want my students to know that there is more to history than what happened in the past. History is also about who interprets it and when they do that. I believe it is as much about the people looking into the past as it is about people who lived in the past.

One of my favorite movie lines comes from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. When Senator Ransom Stoddard finished telling reporters about his life and what happened in the town of Shinbone, Maxwell Scott, the newspaper editor, rips up the notes and throws them into the fire.Print the Legend

Ransom Stoddard: You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?

Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

That line conveys the difficulty that historians of the American West, or any other history, faces when trying to find out what happened way back then. Dime novels. Newspapers. Journals. Diaries. Inaccuracies and embellishments can be found everywhere.

However, it is not just those who record history who cause problems. Those who took part in history do the same. In the book I mentioned, the story was being told incorrectly from almost the beginning, and those incorrect accounts were coming from people who were there.

This brings me to a video I stumbled upon while scanning through YouTube. It is called The American West of John Ford and should be watched by anyone who likes the Western genre. John Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda reminisce about working with Ford and take turns interviewing him.

During those interviews, all of them freely admit that Ford was not interested in depicting historical accuracy. He was interested in telling stories within a Western backdrop. He used the genre to study the human condition. However, there was one part of the documentary that got my attention.

While talking about My Darling Clementine, about the actions at the OK Corral, Ford said that Wyatt Earp had personally told him what happened at the gunfight and drew a map for him. In the movie, Ford depicted the gunfight just as Earp had described. According to Earp, a stagecoach came by, and he used it for cover to get closer to those he was after.

I have read a ton about Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral. I have been to Tombstone, Arizona and stood where the gunfight took place. At no point have I ever heard about a stagecoach being used as cover. It could have happened, but that would be a new take on it for me. Hopefully, a historian can tell me that I am wrong, but I do not think a stagecoach had anything to do with it.

So, who are the makers of legend? Was it John Ford, a director who admitted to not caring about historical accuracy? Was it Wyatt Earp who could have embellished a story to impress his Hollywood friends? Was it the director of the documentary who included that story in his movie? Is it me for writing about it?

Listeria – Cattle Towns, Mining Camps and Other Assorted Outposts

14 Feb

True West magazine came out with their list of the “Top 10 True Western Towns of the Year”, and I had to see what they came up with. As it turns out, other lists were included – “True West Towns to Know” and “True West Towns to Watch”. A quick counting brought the total number of towns mentioned to 30.

I decided to weed that list down to those that I have visited. I have no idea what criteria the people at True West used to compile the list, but here is a little information about the places that I know about.

1. Dodge City, Kansas is, in my opinion, the most famous of all the cattle towns. It was the epicenter of a huge industry and the home of real life lawman Wyatt Earp and fictional lawman Matt Dillon. Dodge City is still a player in the cattle industry, but I do not see it as a tourist mecca. Obviously, any lover of the Old West must go there, but they will be disappointed with the fake western town that sits on the main drag. However, the trolley tour is cool.

Inside a fake saloon on a fake streetfront.

Inside a fake saloon on a fake streetfront.

2. Durango, Colorado is a cool western town that has held on to its past. Historic buildings, such as the Strater Hotel, line the streets. The famous train from Durango to Silverton starts its journey at one end of town. There are restaurants, bars and a bookstore with all of the great western historians.

A couple of cars on the Durango and Silverton Line

A couple of cars on the Durango and Silverton Line

8. Lincoln, New Mexico is a state monument that looks almost like it did when Billy the Kid was roaming around. There are all kinds of buildings and museums, but the best is the old building from which he made his famous jailbreak. Billy the Kid is the most famous of those who participated in the Lincoln County War, but I find myself more interested in John Chisum and some of the others.

9. Tombstone, Arizona which its economic peak during the 1880s and had its growth stunted when the minerals ran out. That circumstance makes it still have that feel of a frontier town. Of course, that could also be because they ripped up the concrete sidewalks and put down wooden ones. The OK Corral is cool. The Birdcage Theater is cool. However, the coolest thing is talking to Ben Traywick, the town historian.

If this building could talk, then it would have some real stories to tell.

If this building could talk, then it would have some real stories to tell.

10. Lewiston, Idaho is a place that I have never been. However, I must mention it because the Cumberland University baseball team has won two national championships in Lewiston. It is a western town, but it is also a baseball mecca.

There is half of the Top 10, but some interesting towns are on the other lists, as well.

Prescott, Arizona is listed as one of the “True West Towns to Know” and, on the surface, looks like any other regular old town. However, a walk around its square gives you an idea of what it used to be like. The square is huge and is bustling with activity, as people venture into the historic buildings.

This statue stands in front of the county courthouse.

This statue stands in front of the county courthouse.

“True West Towns to Watch” lists several places that I have visited.

Juneau, Alaska is the state capital and can only be entered by plane or boat. It is a small place that has a frontier and isolated quality. One of my great memories of Alaska is having a drink with my brother in one of Juneau’s saloons.

Cody, Wyoming is another good western town. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of my favorite places to visit. A few years ago they had a traveling exhibit in Nashville, and I was able to take my students.

Checotah, Oklahoma sits on Interstate 40, and, frankly, I have never been in the downtown area. We have only stopped a few times for gas. Most people probably know it as the hometown of Carrie Underwood.

Custer, South Dakota is one of the less famous mining camps in the Black Hills and is overshadowed by Deadwood and Sturgis. However, it is a good place to stop and look around. Also, it is named in honor of George Armstrong Custer, the man who led the gold-finding expedition into the Black Hills.

Bisbee, Arizona sits several miles down the road from Tombstone and is a place that I like better. Its economic boom lasted into the 20th Century, which means it has a more modern look than other mining camps. It also has a great mining museum operated by the Smithsonian Institute.

Those are the places listed by True West that I have visited. It would be interesting to read if any of you have been to these places. What are your thoughts and stories? What other towns have you visited that you think may be or should be on the lists?

From Sports Illustrated to The Old Farmer’s Almanac

24 Dec

This is another one of those nights when I don’t have anything to write about. I thought about an expose on Duck Dynasty and the dangers of turning a real person into a television character, but I have heard enough about that topic. All I know is that I don’t agree with the opinions of most of the people around me.

Last night, my mind was running crazy with ideas to blog about. There was this movie character that I was going to compare to a person in my town. Then, I remembered how many people in my town read the blog. I also thought about writing about our dinner at a local establishment. In fact, that could be a future one.

Heck, I even thought about listing a bunch of stuff that I like. One day, I was driving down the road when I came upon a bridge. Out of the blue, I said, “I like bridges.” The lady who was with me said that I sounded like Forrest Gump. It’s true. I like bridges. That’s just the way it is.

As I sat down at the computer, I considered writing about the emails that we get from students when the semester is over, but I have already written about that. It’s usually over by down, but I am still getting emails about grades on Christmas Eve.

Of course, I could write about my current treadmill book. It is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. No Country for Old Men and The Road have already been scratched off my McCarthy list. They were both made into great movies, and I think this one would make a great movie, too. It would be one of the bloodiest and most realistic Westerns ever made. I am proud to say that McCarthy is a Tennessee guy.

Those are all things that could be written about, but I’m not going to do any of those. Instead, I am going to list some of the things that are on my desk.

There is the latest copy of Sports Illustrated.Sports Illustrated

Next to it is a box of dry erase markers.

A gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond is underneath there somewhere.

My grade book is out for those emails that I have been getting.

There is even a couple of VHS tapes.

There is a tape measure sitting on top of a book called John Henry: The Doc Holliday Story. It was written by Ben Traywick, native of Watertown, Tennessee and official historian of Tombstone, Arizona.

Sunglasses and a stapler are butted up against each other.

Beside them are a couple of lottery tickets that didn’t pay off.

My trusty iPhone is next to my trusty calculator. I know. The phone has a calculator, too. I don’t care because I like the old-fashioned kind.

There is a stack of bills and a newspaper clipping from the Civil War.

A little further away sits the 2014 issue of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.Almanac

If you want to get smarter, then you need to pick up a copy. It’s full of all kinds of great information. For example, November 25, my birthday, is one of the best days to set posts or pour concrete.

That’s the stuff that’s on my desk, and that’s also the reason my wife keeps telling me that I need to clean it.