Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Larger Than Life

See? C.U.T.E.
How had I never noticed this before?
And how long had this been going on?
Maybe I should explain . . .
I was at the movies.
Something the kids in my family did at least once a week.
The highlight of said week.
This particular picture was a western.
My favourite.
But something was different this time.
Oh, there were the usual items of interest.
Horses.
Lots and lots of horses.
And I think there were cattle also.
But for the first time, I noticed that there were also . . . cowboys.
Cute. Cowboys.
Huh.
When did they get there?
One cowboy, in particular, caught my attention.
Black-haired and lithe.
Slim and well-muscled.
And oh-so-delicious in jeans and boots.
Wow!
No wonder people liked westerns so much.
And I had thought they came, like me, to see the horses.
I was glued to the screen every time he appeared.
Which proved to be frequent.
Being as he was the star of the picture.
I was so enraptured that I didn't follow much of the story.
Oh, there were a couple of noteworthy parts.
One, in particular, featured one of the secondary cowboys being captured by bad guys and then creatively tortured with cactus needles within earshot of his buddies.
The next morning, his badly abused body was dropped in the middle of their camp.
I will admit it. It made me sick.
Literally.
For two days.
But even that horrifying scene couldn't dim the splendour of my new hero as he saved the day.
I watched eagerly for his name to be mentioned in the end credits.
Audie Murphy.
I said the name over and over.
Committing it to memory.
Then I headed home.
“Mom, did you know that there are really cute guys in movies?”
My Mom stared at me. “Umm . . . yes,” she said, rather cautiously.
This was a new topic of conversation for me and I'm sure she was wondering where I was going with it.
“Well, the movie I just saw starred the cutest guy ever!” I said enthusiastically.
“Really?”
“Oh, yes,” I said. “His name was Audie Murphy! Oh, Mom he was soooo cute!”
“Audie Murphy? THE Audie Murphy?”
“Oh.” I frowned. “Have you seen the picture?”
Mom laughed. “No,” she said. “But I used to drool over Audie Murphy when I was your age!”
Now it was my turn to stare. “Really?”
“Oh, I was so in love with him!”
“Huh,” I said and headed for my room.
My mom had been – had been – in love with my hero when she was my age?
He was . . . old?
Yikes.
I never saw my new/old hero again.
I think the movie I had seen was his last.
Newer, younger heroes took his place in my world.
Heroes that my Mom had never dreamed about.
But, oddly enough, at this end of my life, it's Audie Murphy that I think of when someone mentions their screen heartthrobs.
I guess it's true.
First love is always the sweetest.

18 comments:

  1. Let's see... my first movie/television love was the Corvette in Route 66, followed by the Harley Davidson Sportster in Then Came Bronson. I have to say that I was quite infatuated with Susan George in Dirty Mary-Crazy Larry, but her grandfather's pickup was something to behold too. I was really upset when they wrecked that '69 Charger...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh. I remember that corvette. Didn't see Then Came Bronson, so no opinion. Didn't notice Susan George, but probably got a good gander at that pickup truck and wrecking a '69 Charger?! That's sacrilege.
      Was it just camera tricks? Like what went into the combines in Prime Cut vs what came out . . .?

      Delete
    2. Prime Cut. You've got to be kidding! I talked with Dale Bussman (the owner of the farm where they filmed that) and he told me the entire story. They drove a Cadillac toward that combine. Then they had Hector's Steel in Calgary slice up part of a hulk (that was once a Ford Custom 500) in the 15 ft. steel bandsaw. They managed to shove a slice of car body in behind the rotating bats of the reel (all stop-action). There were a couple of guys inside the combine shell that had assorted parts (including a tire) all wrapped up in binder twine and chucked them out the back. Worst farce in a movie since the plastic horse in Frankenstein Conquers the World.

      Delete
  2. I have to admit I never had a star for a true love. I wonder if that's true of others, as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had many. Never got as far as buying magazines or anything, though. Just sighing over them during movies . . .

      Delete
  3. I'm wondering if it's the first love you remember with such fondness, or if it's the awakening.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Audie Murphy was a favorite of mine as well! He was a war hero and a cowboy star. Will always think of his sweet boyish face when his name comes up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember Audie Murphy! Dad and me would go to the movies every Thursday night after dinner at a cafe; Thursday being both payday and the double feature Western night. Audie Murphy was a big favourite of my dad's, so I liked him too,although I was only 9 or 10 at the time. Dad also like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne a lot. I have a couple of Audie Murphy's movies amongst my western collection, and he is still cute, but the crush type attraction wasn't there for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Going to movies with your Dad???!!! Who need screen idols! :)

      Delete
  6. I've been thinking about this since you posted yesterday, and I can't think of a single one! Now ask me about singers, and I won't be able to stop :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! That says something about you . . . and me . . .

      Delete
  7. My first cowboy love was Michael Landon from Bonanza and then Pa from Little House on the Prairie which was my favorite show of all time. I can still watch Pa chopping wood shirtless and well......

    ReplyDelete

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