Fellow Filly, Linda Broday, and I just finished up a month’s booksigning tour for our newest anthology, “Give Me a Texas Outlaw”. We spent a lot of time up in the Liberal, Kansas area. We were the hottest act in town. Thanks Liberal!
One of our visits was to the famous Dalton Gang Hideout in Meade, Kansas, where we were met and welcomed by none other than the charming Doc Holliday. I’m adding a picture as proof of our adventure which was very interesting. Seeing Doc Holliday through the eyes of the curator Marc Ferguson was most mesmerizing, but I’ll save the Doc and the Dalton Gang Hideout for another blog.
One of the most interesting things Doc Holliday showed us was the best known cowboy in America John Wayne’s eulogy spoken at his funeral by his son, Patrick Wayne. One thing that most people recognize about the heroic cowboy was that no matter how famous he became, he lived by his own Code of the West.
It’s my pleasure to share the eulogy and John Wayne’s Code of the American Cowboy.
- A cowboy does not judge color of skin, but by character within.
- A cowboy always respects a lady and tips his hat to all that pass him.
- A cowboy stands strong for what the American Frontier is all about. Freedom, truth, justice and the American way.
- A cowboy will not be wronged, nor wrong another. The justice he deems out depends on that.
- A cowboy is loyal and hard working and maintains a high ethic.
- A cowboy loves his country, and will fight for its principals and sovereignty.
- A cowboy respects his animals and the earth they roam upon.
- A cowboy is faithful to what is entrusted to him.
- A cowboy is bound by duty, honor and gratitude for what God has given him, which includes his family and friends.
10. A cowboy maintains a hidden code in his heart, for all to see.
His birth name was Marion Morrison. Although his father was a pharmacist Wayne’s parents moved from Iowa to the Mojave Desert and tried their hand at ranching. That’s where he and his little brother, Robert swam in irrigation ditches and rode horses to school. After failure at ranching, his family moved to Glendale, California, where Wayne delivered medicines for his father, sold newspapers and had an Airedale dog named “Duke” … where he got his nickname.
John Wayne was bright, did well in school both academically and in football. He narrowly missed acceptance to Annapolis, so he went to USC on a football scholarship from 1925-27. Tom Mix got him a summer job as a prop man in exchange for football tickets. (Bet, he couldn’t get by with that today.) On the set he became friends with director John Ford for whom, among others, he began doing bit parts, thus the birth of John Wayne. His first featured film was in 1930 “Men Without Women”, where he went on to make about 70 low-budget westerns while his career basically bogged down in the mud. In 1939, Ford cast Wayne in “Stagecoach” the movie that made him a star. He appeared in over 250 movies, many of epic proportion.
His conservative stance was reflected in his producing, directing and staring in “The Alamo” in 1960; while his patriotic stand was enshrined in “The Green Berets” in 1968, which he co-directed and also stared in.
John Wayne won an Oscar for his role as one-eyed Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit” in 1969; and in 1979 he received a Congressional Gold Medal But, he is best remember for his parts in Ford’s cavalry trilogy, “Fort Apache”, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”, and “Rio Grande”.
A true cowboy spirit, won’t back up for nothing.
What is your favorite John Wayne movie?