Saturday, November 12, 2016
SHARING THE WEST by DARRYLE PURCELL
Those of you who have read any of my books or occasional columns realize by now that I am a big fan of western films. And, with this group, I don’t consider myself alone in my enjoyment.
There are a lot of us who still thrill to the sound of “the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver,” and other classic lines that bring Pavlovian smiles to our faces. Whether it is the beginning of a 1930s matinee serial, the yodeling of a 1940s singing cowboy, the William Tell Overture from radio and early television, the theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, or even Frankie Laine singing Blazing Saddles, our attention is captured.
But, it is a common situation that spouses don’t always share the same interests. My wife, for instance, has not been a big fan of westerns. She doesn’t know Ken Maynard from Ken Starr and, when I mentioned the Three Mesquiteers recently, she asked if Annette Funicello had been a member. It’s a sad situation. However, being a modern, enlightened sort of guy, I figure that I can find a way to bring her around. Cowboy films are something that couples should share.
There is a slight difference in our film tastes. For instance, when we were first married, the wife asked me to go see a British comedy with her. I thought she said “Benny Hill.” I was delighted. When the lights came on in the theater, I had been stuck watching Notting Hill. The memory of that terrible night still haunts me with HCFDSS (Husbands’ Chick Flick Delayed Stress Syndrome). I probably should have reported her to the Geneva Convention.
Anyway, I’m over it. And I have a plan to improve her film interests. Christmas is coming up and, instead of getting her a new iron or set of dishtowels, this year I plan to shower her with DVDs that will certainly put a smile on her face.
Knowing that I have been thinking about holiday gifts, the little woman has been tossing out hints on things she would enjoy receiving. Just last week she was watching the Travel Channel and remarked how she would like to see more of the country. So, for her geographic knowledge, I ordered Buck Jones and Tim McCoy in Down Texas Way, Dick Foran and Leo Carrillo in Riders of Death Valley, and Randolph Scott in Abilene Town.
And while watching the Hallmark Channel, she mentioned how much she enjoyed romance films. You guessed it. I bought Romance on the Range with Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes.
One of the things the two of us agree upon is our support for law enforcement. Therefore, I think she will really appreciate the DVDs of Law of the Lash with Lash LaRue, and Guns of the Law with Dave O’Brien.
Now, obviously you have picked up that I’ve subtly taken her suggestions slightly to the west. And, by doing so, I have chosen the perfect Christmas entertainment that will inspire her to become a western-film aficionado. To cap everything off, I’ve included a 2017 calendar so she can keep track of family events. I can’t wait to see her eyes light up when she opens it to see the large, beautiful, color photos from the last 20 minutes of Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece, The Wild Bunch.
Who said romance is dead?