|My first love.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.californiahistorian.com
The first memory I have of John on screen is in the 1960 film North to Alaska. Here I am, about five or six, sitting in the middle of the living room, on the floor, looking up at the television, and watching delightedly as John gets drunk, gets angry, punches the daylights out of everybody, kisses the girl, and--oh, yeah--shoots guns. My eyes follow him across the screen, never once leaving him, and my little insides start to get all bunched up.
|John and Stewart Granger in North to Alaska.|
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That shows just how magnetizing John could, and can, be. At the time he made North to Alaska, he was fifty-three-years-old--and there I was, some forty odd years later, wearing down the VHS tape to the movie, at the tender age of six and thinking that he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.
In the days when VHS tapes were the "in" thing (yes, I do remember them), I was lucky enough that my father (of course) had an enormous pile of recorded John Wayne films from old cable stations and ones that had actually been sold and distributed on tape. By the time I was ten, I had watched all of them fourfold. And still, it wasn't enough for me.
|John in Jet Pilot. He liked his lips, too.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.dcairns.wordpress.com
|No one can even walk like John.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.comicvine.com
As a little girl, I really wasn't that interested in movies where the actors kissed (I think I was still in my "Eww, boys have cooties" stage), but when John kissed one of his leading ladies, my little heart would beat real fast, and I'd go "Wow." Even then I knew that John was a man.
And since John did so many westerns, and that's the genre in which he is best remembered for (the poster boy, in fact), westerns have always been a favorite of mine. Many find them boring, but thanks to John, I have never found that to be.
|Gail Russell didn't think he had cooties either.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.dukewayne.com
|A young John Wayne.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.2009and-scene.blogspot.com
|I still think he's one of the most handsome men there ever was.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.octopuscinema.blogspot.com