Thursday, July 15, 2010

losing John Wayne.

On May 10, 1969 John Wayne came to town. Not by train, or by automobile, but instead by helicopter, to a cheering crowd of 28,000 spectators. Mr. John Wayne. Mr. True Grit. Of course, this all happened before I was born, but I have heard the story many times of how he came to Promontory to watch the Golden Spike meeting of the rails reenactment on the 100 year anniversary. A special program that depicts the events that took place on the historic day of east meets west. My father in law, who was out in Promontory at the right place and time, approached Mr. Wayne and asked him for his autograph. Imagine that, standing there next to one of the greatest Western actors of all time while he scratched his name on a piece of paper for you. I can just hear his rough voice, and see his dusty cowboy hat. It must have been a sight of a lifetime. My father in law went home and put the autograph in the safest place he could think of. And all these years, he has never been able to find it again. He turned the house upside down more than once trying to find what inevitably seemed lost. One of his most valuable possessions indeed, and possibly gone forever. It is easy to relate. I think how easy it is for us to put our most treasured possessions in places that we can’t find them. Our best words. Our highest praise for our children. Our deepest love for our spouses. Our hidden talents, and biggest dreams. All locked up nice and safe. Someone once told me if you want to keep from losing something, put it where you can find it. So today, don’t hide your treasures so deep that they can’t be found. Don’t lose your John Wayne. Because if you do, all your life, you will wonder what in the world ever happened to it.

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.” - John Wayne


Carin said...

What a fun story! We have heard the story of when John Wayne came to town lots. One of my favorites! My grandpa was the county commissioner at the time and he and grandma got to eat with him. My grandma says he was one of the nicest men she has ever met. A true gentleman. :) Love it.

Toots said...

This post makes me rething things, Aim. I want to bring out the best I have in my life and make it important and be proud of it! I really like how this all tied together--you would think that something so valuable as an autograph would need to be tucked away, but I like the way you turned it around to say that we need to not "hide" those things that are most precious. Good words...oh and I LOVE that quote from the "Duke!"

Rich and Tyra said...

Fun post! My dad LOVES John Wayne. What a great way to make us all think a little deeper too! Love it!!!