Remembering The Duke

johnwayne Marion Mitchell Morrison was born at Winterset, Iowa on this day in 1907. Small and shy, the bullies teased him about his name. His Airedale followed him to school, but as dogs weren't allowed at school he left "Duke" at a local fire station. The firefighters had trouble remembering Marion's name, so the dog became Little Duke and the boy Big Duke. In school he worked moving sets for a movie studio, when he first appeared on film the studio gave him yet a third name: John Wayne.

I love the Duke’s movies, my favorite is “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and my second favorite is “The Green Berets” – I have always felt a kinship with the Duke, even as a kid, I pretended to be him when we played Cowboys and Indians, I imagine it has something to do with sharing a birthday.

Below are some quotes, hope you enjoy.

“Courage is being scared to death – and saddling up anyway.”

“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.”

“Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.”

“I would like to be remembered, well … the Mexicans have a phrase, "Feo fuerte y formal". Which means he was ugly, strong and had dignity.”

“Westerns are closer to art than anything else in the motion picture business.”

“You're going to think I'm being corny, but this is how I really feel: I hope my family and my friends will be able to say that I was an honest, kind and fairly decent man.”

     All from John Wayne, 1907 – 1979

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

3 Responses to Remembering The Duke

  1. EagleWatch says:

    The Shootist and True Grit for me … I like most of his films, though.

    The first quote is one of my all time favorites (and have heard versions of it from time to time). So true.

  2. TVNews says:

    “Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

    Amen! Never were truer words spoken.

    Favorite Duke flick is a tie between McClintock and Big Jake.

  3. I love the Duke too.

    Here is one of my favorite quotes:

    “I’m not gonna hit ya. No, I’m not gonna hit ya….Like hell I’m not.”