Gunfights and Posses

  During the coronavirus shutdown people are watching lots of movies and old TV shows.. Most people love a good western.  They admire the soft-speaking,  hard-fisted hero epitomized by actors like John Wayne and James Arness.  The television show Gunsmoke starring Arness was a prime-time staple for many years, and millions of Americans watched the […]

More on Icons

  On April 10th I wrote about icons. As we all know, the cinematic and television industry is in the business of  producing icons.  Some of them are good.  Some are bad.  Many of them are larger than life superheroes or supervillains who bear very little resemblance to real persons. Much of what we see […]

My First Movie

I remember my first movie.  I can still call to mind images from that movie some eighty-five years after seeing it. I was five years old, and my parents took to me to a theater in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, to see a recently released film, Treasure Island, starring Wallace Berry, Lionel Barrymore, and the […]

Birthday Reflections

Today is my 90th birthday.  I’m a bit surprised to still be walking and talking.  No one else in my immediate family lived so long. I was born during the first year of Herbert Hoover’s term as President and less than two months before the stock market crash that began the great depression.  Of course, […]

Where Have the Heroes Gone?

In medieval Europe the troubadours sang of the peerless Roland and of King Arthur and his table round, fearless warriors for truth and justice.  Next to them stood beauteous maidens, virtuous virgins without flaw or blemish. In the early days of our republic an author named Parson Weems published readers for young children.  In them […]