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The John Wayne Scrapbook
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Introduction When I mentioned to a fellow author that I was preparing a book about John Wayne, he cynically replied, "Great! Just what we need--some more 'startling revelations' about the Duke." His criticism was justified. Over the past couple of decades, it appears that everyone and his brother has written a book about "the real John Wayne." Hopefully, this one will be entirely unique in that I state categorically that I never knew or even met John Wayne. I have no desire to "expose" any secrets or dig up any dirt. My goal is simple: honor a man whose films I have enjoyed for most of my life.
This book is designed to be fun. Hopefully, you can open to any page and be entertained. If you are looking for scandal, search elsewhere. If you require scholarly research work, you will not find it here. This is meant not to enlighten, but to entertain. You may learn nothing in reading these pages, but, hopefully, you will find a great deal of enjoyment in not expanding your horizons while perusing this book.
I would hope that the legions of John Wayne fanatics and collectors are pleased with this effort. I tried to design the book from a fan's point of view. I suppose the book should have been dedicated to every other collector of Wayne memorabilia. You know who you are. Like me, you're probably in possession of anything bearing Wayne's likeness, even if you know there is no practical reason for having such material. Somewhere, we all have tucked away that tacky blanket upon which is a depiction of the Duke bearing the same artistic merit as those velvet paintings sold in Florida gas stations.
I have been a lifelong fan of Wayne's, and I guess I owe my mother some thanks for not discarding my memorabilia when I was much younger. (See, Mom I told you collecting this stuff would pay off someday!) Wayne's films were a central part of my childhood as they were with so many other people's. The memories they evoke are bittersweet. On cold winter nights and hot summer days, my father would take my brother Ray and me to see the Duke's latest extravaganza. They were pleasant times, when theaters still served real butter on popcorn, and you could count on a double feature (occasionally two Wayne film for the price of one).
The first John Wayne film I can remember seeing was The Horse Soldiers in Union City, New Jersey, in 1959. Even at age three, I recall recognizing the Duke, thereby indicating I must have been exposed to his movies even before that early part of my life. As I grew older, other priorities began to encroach on the blissful innocence of youth. And yet, I never lost my interest in Wayne or his films. Fathers would take their sons to see him on screen, sometimes accompanied by their moms. This did not occur too often, as mothers seemed to realize that for the men of the house, seeing a Wayne film together was the most basic act of "male bonding." As kids we all felt that as long as our fathers and John Wayne stood tall the world would hold no peril for us.
My father has long since gone, and so has John Wayne. The world we live in is becoming a far more frightening place than perhaps they would have cared to see. And yet, on cold winter nights and hot summer days, I sometimes reflect back on those innocent times when the world--and we-- were somehow more carefree, and the only worry I had was getting to the next Wayne movie on time with my dad. The naivete of youth is permanently lost, but I hope my recollections of those times stay with me forever. Maybe they will. Thanks for the memories, Duke.
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Book Description Citadel, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Rev Upd. Seller Inventory # DADAX0806522305
Book Description Citadel, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0806522305