Tag Archives: True Grit

Movie Wisdom – James Westerfield Edition

6 Oct

The other day, I was flipping through the guide when I saw that Hang ‘Em High was on. As I always do when I see this movie on the guide, I turned to that channel and watched some of it. I do not think it is the greatest Western ever made. In fact, it has a “television set” feel. However, it is still one of my favorites.

As luck would have it, my favorite scene was coming up. It probably sounds morbid, but I really like the part where they are having the multiple hanging in the middle of town. Folks have filled the streets to see the spectacle and the condemned are brought to the platform. As the hangman puts covers over the heads of each man, they are asked if they have any last requests, and one of them says he wants a chaw of tobacco. Then, he spits before that put on the hood.

I have watched that scene a ton of times, but, this time, I decided to find out who wanted the tobacco. He is one of those character actors that you see in a lot of stuff, but I did not know who he was. It turns out that it was James Westerfield, and he was born in Nashville.James Westerfield

He was a guest star in a bunch of television shows and acted in a lot of movies. In his honor, I decided to see what wisdom can be found in his films.

From The Pride of the Yankees

All the arguing in the world can’t change the decision of the umpire.

People have to live their own lives. Nobody can live it for you.

From On the Waterfront

Do it to him before he does it to you.

Conscience… that stuff can drive you nuts!

Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. Well, they better wise up!

Some people just have a face that sticks in your mind.

From The Shaggy Dog

Frankly, I think that dogs don’t like mailmen because… well, because sometimes they bring bad news.

There is nothing wrong with girls; they’re character building.

From The Absent-Minded Professor

There’s nothing in the rule book that says one team can’t jump higher than the other.

Desperate men do desperate things.

From Hang ‘Em High

When you take the devil into your mouth, you’re doomed!

When you hang a man, you better look at him.

We all have our ghosts.

From True Grit

Outside is place for shooting!

Looking back is a bad habit.

I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains!

From The Love God?

When will the government stop interfering with private business?

If you love your country, you’ll publish a filthy magazine.

Yep, those are definitely words to live by.

Mindful Meanderings at Music at the Mill

16 Feb

Last night, we went to Music at the Mill, a fundraiser for a local private school. Music at the Mill

A lot of people turned out to watch singers in various stages of their careers – some were searching for the spotlight while others were fading from it. Most of them did a great job, and a great time was had by all. Although, the Willis Clan stole the show. If you like Bluegrass and some old Irish tunes, then you need to check them out.

Collin Ray was the headliner. He is someone who I have heard of, but I was not sure what he sang. It turns out that I recognized several of his songs. However, it was a couple of other tunes that sent my mind on one of its meandering journeys.

Collin talked about the influence that Glen Campbell has had on his career and mentioned that he has put together a tribute album. As a sampling, he sang “Galveston“, one of Campbell’s signature tunes. It was a good rendition, although Collin Raye cannot touch Glen Campbell’s guitar skills.

Later in the set, he sang Don McLean’s “American Pie“. Most people, including me, sang along, but my mind also went into another direction. As people sang the chorus, I started connecting trivial dots.

“The day the music died” references the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson, the Big Bopper. “This’ll be the day that I die” is an homage to Holly’s song “That’ll Be The Day“. To take this thing further down the rabbit hole, Holly was inspired to write that song after watching The Searchers and hearing John Wayne, as Ethan Edwards, say, “That’ll be the day.”

So, listening to Collin Raye sing a song by Don McLean made me think of something that John Wayne said in a movie. However, it did not stop there. That is when I realized that he had just sang a song by Glen Campbell, who starred with John Wayne in True Grit, the movie that won the Duke his Oscar. These days, many critics think that he should have won the Oscar for The Searchers and that the win for True Grit was a lifetime achievement award to make up for it.

As I said, most people were singing, but my mind was meandering.