OK!

Today is the anniversary of the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone,  AZ between the Earp brothers  and the Clanton gang.  None of these were real solid citizens, but this “battle” haunts us to this day with cowboy legend. I loved movie westerns growing up.  Having Native friends has tempered this somewhat.  I was surprised to hear that one of Husband’s Native colleagues likes nothing better than to vegetate and watch westerns while lying in bed.

Virgil Earp was supposedly the real hero in this incident but Wyatt got all the credit about it because he wrote a book about it. This seems unfair to me, but I never had any siblings. I wonder what Virgil thought about it?

What is your favorite western movie or novel?    How are things with you and your siblings?

102 thoughts on “OK!”

  1. As I was reading the post, I was trying to remember the name of the third Earp brother—I had Wyatt and Morgan. You supplied Virgil, thanks for that.
    Ian Frazier, in his book, On the Rez, has a funny segment about watching some old westerns with some Oglala Sioux friends ( https://books.google.com/books?id=59i7W4DjJqcC&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=ian+frazier,+movie+indians&source=bl&ots=2cr99uyOnt&sig=ACfU3U2RNV9AIYJMyBXQ-ZF0AQj2AgXnYg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjSoaq25bnlAhUPcq0KHcqGB78Q6AEwB3oECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=ian%20frazier%2C%20movie%20indians&f=false ) pages 28-30.

    I guess my favorite western reading is Ivan Doig, Larry McMurtry and Wallace Stegner. I’ve read a couple Cormac McCarthy, but he’s too dark for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have really enjoyed Ivan Doig. There was one novel, though, in which the characters were ranching sheep in Montana. The list of calamities went on so long without relief, that I finally skipped to a chapter toward the end. While it was realistically similar to some of the farming stories of calamity and stubborn endurance in my own family, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

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        1. Wow. What a recording. There is an image of the record and I was trying to see a date, but I could not. That has to be really old. It makes me grateful for the music we have now.

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  2. Easy question – Shane is my favorite. I never got into westerns much, so I don’t have a lot to compare. It was a great book by Jack Schaefer, and I remember seeing the movie, too, and thought it was well done.

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  3. Easy for me to. Blazing Saddles. Of course some people think Blazing Saddles isn’t a real western but that means my second choice probably isn’t considered a real western either and that’s Support Your Local Sheriff. I suppose if we’re going to get close to “real” westerns then maybe True Grit?

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      1. Blazing Saddles is one of two movies that I think of as my Northfield Grand movies. Blazing Saddles and Star Wars. I saw them both in the Grand Theater in Northfield and went back three more nights each to see them over and over again. The only other movie in my life that has rated that kind of treatment is The Princess Bride which I also saw saw four nights running after it came out.

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  4. Sibling question is a little more complicated. I’m not close to either of my siblings unfortunately. Despite having grown up with the same parents and more or less the same household we are very different to the point where it’s hard to cross the lines. Middle sister is conservative, religious and insular. Baby sister is very liberal but prone to conspiracy theory, which sometimes a funny combination. Then there’s the whole Walt Disney World, tattoos, Ed Sheeran thing.

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  5. “Unforgiven” with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. I had friends in high school who were fans of the “Spaghetti Westerns” – those have their place, but “Unforgiven” was the first that felt a little truer because there were no “good guys” or “bad guys” there were people making choices based on circumstance and that doesn’t always end well.

    (And I get along fine with my brother – if there were a book about us, he’d probably tell me to write it as he’s not a writer and he doesn’t like to brag about his accomplishments.)

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    1. This reminds me that just the other night I watched one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I’m struggling to remember the name right now but it was aspaghetti western with Ron Ely of Tarzan fame. It was clear even though it was dubbed that he was the only one speaking English during the production and it was so bad. Please don’t ask me why I left it on all the way to the end.

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  6. I can’t recall the specifics, but I once heard that Indian extras in a famous western film took advantage of the fact nobody understood their language by mocking whites who didn’t know they were being dissed in Navajo or whatever the language was. Indians used to fill the theaters to laugh at that film.

    I’ve never stopped enjoying stories or films about the old west. In my teens I fell in love with a history of the old west, reading it over and over until I memorized the stories. My favorite western film now would be Lonesome Dove, a story loosely based on real people (Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight) and real events. I recently enjoyed two books: Shot All to Hell (an account of the Northfield Raid) and To Hell on a Fast Horse (a biography of Billy the Kid). On YouTube, the History Guy has some wonderful videos with Old West stories, including two recent videos about Butch Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh and the mysterious Etta Place.

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    1. Lonesome Dove author, Larry McMurtry, has produced a number of very fine westerns. I especially enjoyed his series about the settlement of the Midwest from 1820 to the pre-Civil War era. He covered some ground that rarely is written about. (The Berrybender series).

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    2. Many of the Native American characters in some of the Westerns were played by white actors painted brown. I love watching Bonanza reruns because they are so funny, in retrospect. One episode features Marlo Thomas in hideous brown make up portraying an Indian woman. Really, really bad.

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        1. The Danes usually didn’t dub foreign films, they used subtitles instead. This was true also of “Bonanza” and other American TV series that were popular in Denmark. My parents didn’t own a TV set until the year I was working in Basel (1961-62), so I hadn’t seen any American series prior to that.

          My sister came to visit me over the Christmas holiday in Basel. I recall walking along a street covered with freshly fallen snow while she described, in quite vivid detail, her favorite series “The Flintstones.” She cracked herself up in the process, and laughed till she cried, and I, of course, had no concept of what she talking about. I can still hear her imitating Fred calling “Wilmaaaa,” and his “Yabba Dabba Doo!” catchphrase. A sweet moment of sisterly bonding.

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  7. I don’t see many film anymore, but I’ve always enjoyed a good Western. “High Noon” stands out as being in a class by itself. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was also memorable.

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  8. One of my favorite westerns was a film called The Grey Fox, starring Richard Farnsworth. Alas, for some reason it seems never to have been issued in DVD.

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  9. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Several mentions of favorites I can endorse: Lonesome Dove and Butch Cassidy. I also enjoyed Dances with Wolves a lot, as well. The TV westerns were much more memorable to me because they were just so awful, filled with stereotypes and predictable plots. They made up much of my childhood viewing: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, etc.

    My sister and I have a schtick we have done for a very long time regarding the sad and very short lives of any woman on the Bonanza TV series, especially a romantic character. Those poor doomed women, who populated one or two episodes each year, were unfortunate enough to fall for one of the Cartwright men who seemed to have a very checkered history with women, although that did not seem to deter those deluded women. The Ponderosa Ranch seemed to be a black hole for women. God Forbid that a woman could actually survive to inhabit the ranch. Those women fell to the following fates, providing dramatic exits, then leaving the Cartwright men temporarily bereft and grief-stricken:

    Fatal gunshot wounds from roaming bands of Outlaws.
    Indian attacks
    Kidnapping
    Diseases (I vaguely remember small pox being one of the killers)
    Bad Guys attacking stage coaches and robbing them
    Train derailment

    Any actress who took one of those parts had to know it was a one-episode contract.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My mom says she had a crush on Loren Green and that’s why I was named Ben.
      It’s interesting to read that Loren Green was a pretty accomplished Shakespearean actor. (And just now reading on Wikipedia about him I found this tidbit: “He was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname “The Voice of Canada;” his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones with his deep, resonant voice following Canada’s entry into World War II in 1939 caused many listeners to call him “The Voice of Doom” instead, particularly since he was delegated the assignment of reading the dreaded list of soldiers killed in the war.”)

      I get along well with my siblings. Four others, 1 brother and 3 sisters. I’m 15 years younger than the oldest so she and I aren’t ‘best friends’ just because we never grew up together and didn’t really get to know each other. But we still all have a good time together.
      Lately, my 93 yr old mom has started texting in the mornings just so we know she’s “Up and Adam”, as she frequently says. Then we have a good time asking who Adam is or whatever.
      On Tuesdays she goes to quilting. Except her phone can’t spell Quilting so we get random words. Last week she went to “Welding”. Once it was a ride “to wealthy”.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have always associated the “Pa Cartwright” voice (Lorne Greene) with Star Trek and Jean Luc Picard, who replicated that voice of authority with low, resonant tones.

        But then I always have thought that the space movies and shows are really just a rehash of western themes and plots in a different venue, right down to the white and black characters of Star Wars.

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        1. True enough. A good western that is really a soap opera/western in space is the “Firefly” series (which, alas, only lasted one season). The characters and ethical questions asked are great, and because it’s Joss Whedon, the humor can be biting.

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  10. little big man needs to be added here
    great movie. kind of the forest gump of the westerns
    i had shane in mind but couldn’t help remembering how the west was won, the john wayne and gary cooper marlena dietrich jimmy stewart masterpieces done in the 50’s

    blazing saddles and support your local sheriff were a hoot and had a component like cat ballou with that great drunken ride by lee marvin, i grew up being a roy rogers hop along cassidy kid with hat and boots and attitude but grew up not being a fan of the genre through my young adulthood of western or army films. today i like both for the interesting variations on the simple premises
    unforgiven is a outlier
    the man who shot liberty vallance to be included and high noon
    and you can’t beat some of those side kicks walter brennen gabby hayes the sons of the pioneers
    good genre

    family has no good story lines
    mom does a good job of keeping a lifeline out to the 4 kids
    sister in florida i have disowned after the last time i gave her the opportunity
    show something other than her true colors and she chose to be irreversibly ugly
    brother only sticks his head in when he needs something from you. nice guy good to see him but… schoolteacher sister has such difficult issues right now i feel for her. it’s hard to see a 60 year old having an identity crisis. i guess i wasn’t paying attention

    my kids thank goodness all get along. my oldest son scares off second son because he is unavoidably a 20 minute conversation that’s impossible to shake but if that’s our major challenge we will be ok

    i had a guy work for me who’s last name was alton
    changed from dalton when the dalton gang was a bad thing to be associated with.
    i am king of the cowboys in a group i was in in high school where the criteria for nomination was how cowboyish you are when the first vowel of each named are swapped out
    tom jines .. king of the cowboys as i jingle jangle jingle

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      1. My college BF loved a western musical called “Paint Your Wagon”. That should have tipped me off to his character, but no. He was really cute and from a rich family which clouded my judgement. I think Lee Marvin was in that movie, too, but I recall the singing being pretty raspy and without much nuance.

        Does “Oklahoma” count as a western?

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  11. Western authors I’ve enjoyed include Ivan Doig, Larry McMurtry, Frederick Manfred, and Bill Crider.

    A film that I think you could possibly justify thinking of as a Western, though it’s a documentary, is “Sweetgrass.” It’s a remarkably beautiful film that captures Montana sheepherders leading their flocks to summer grazing in the Beartooth Mountains. It’s amazingly well done.

    My sister and I don’t have much of a relationship, partially because we live so far apart, but truth be told, also because we’re very different. It doesn’t help that I don’t enjoy her kids or her grandkids. Don’t know how the heck she ended up with a 22 year old skinhead, neo-Nazi grandson.
    If I lived in Denmark, or even Europe, I know I’d see her more often than I do, and we might find more common ground than we now appear to have.

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  12. I liked the movie Riders of the Purple Sage. The book is so anti-LDS Church, though. It gives an idea of the intense dislike people had for that religion.

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  13. As an only child I was simultaneously an object of pity and envy, thought of as spoiled and/or deprived. My children have a somewhat conflictual relationship,, but keep in touch.

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  14. A TV series that we didn’t see when it was actually showing on TV, but which we binge watched during one of visits to Kino, Mexico was “Deadwood.” A lot of unsavory characters and language in that one, but very entertaining.

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  15. Husband and his siblings are sort of distant, and never visit us. I think it is mainly because where we live isn’t very interesting to them, and getting together just for the sake of family isn’t something they do. We are very welcome going to see them, and they are kind and gracious to us. They both have spouses and children with pretty serious issues related to unemployment, chronic pain, and Bipolar Disorder, and I try to keep that in mind so I don’t feel resentful that they won’t travel to see us.

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    1. today visits aren’t the best way
      company and fish are best gone in 3 days but… skype snap chat instagram make it possible to keep the strings set with a unrequited response implied
      here’s what i got and i’m putting it out there for you and if you don’t partake so be it

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  16. This post has triggered a set of earworms that I may as well inflict on you. Back when westerns were as prevalent as police procedurals and detective shows are today, some of those westerns had theme songs with lyrics. Some of those lyrics repeated the name of the show so often (think Rawhide or Cheyenne) that it’s easy to guess where they belong. The theme from Have Gun, Will Travel repeated “Paladin” in just about every line and I think a lot of people believed that was his name.

    Here are lines from some TV western theme songs. See if you can attach them to a show:

    1. Among the legends of the West, one name stands out among the rest
    2. Long live his fame and long live his glory and long may his story be told
    3. He was lightning quick and leather tough and he figured that he’d been pushed enough

    Any you can add?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On a DVD we had for a time, the first episode was included. It had the lyrics as the theme-song instead of the instrumental version we were all familiar with. Those went something like:

      The best in the west…Bonanza
      We fight for the right in the light of the fight…Bonanza….

      Rights and fights were really the big theme—-Bonanza

      We must have been starved for entertainment.

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        1. Rawhide was
          Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
          Though the streams are swollen
          Keep those dogies rollin’
          Rawhide!

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    2. Nope! You’ve just tapped into a huge hole in my youthful cultural experiences. Of course, I suspect our age difference plays in here as well.

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    1. I always forget about Bat—it must be a weak spot in my western education. My great great grandmother grew up with Wild Bill Hickok, though, and was friends with his little sister in Mount Airy Illinois.

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  17. I think it is funny that The Light Cavalry Overture and the William Tell Overture are so closely associated with westerns, but have nothing to do with cowboys.

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    1. I agree. That must have to do with the choices the early producers made of music in the background for both movie and TV westerns, as well as cartoons. These are so European.

      On a similar note, I understand that in Europe, especially Germany, they are obsessed with 19 century western culture and have weekends in which people experience covered wagons, buffalo, Indian attacks, camping, etc. Somewhere these cultures must reflect one another. THey intersect somehow.

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    1. Moore probably got interested in this area when he visited the General Mills offices . . . which were in (or close to) Golden Valley. General Mills made Cheerios, which I think sponsored The Lone Ranger. I’ve written about Moore before. He was a character. Indeed, he kept confusing people by going into character (the Lone Ranger) at inappropriate moments.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Don’t judge me, but this morning as I lay in bed just waking up I was trying to remember the names of the tv cowboy’s horses. Silver and Trigger were easy, and Dale Evan’s horse and Gene Autry’s horse were more challenging. Hopalong Cassidy’s horse was the one that stumped me for a while but I think I have it. I could google them, but where’s the fun in that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s about the ONLY question you could have possibly asked about cowboy horses that I would be able to answer: “Topper.” Please tell me I’m right.

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