Archive for the ‘John Wayne’ Category

The Binghams are not electronics kind of folks. When I get new technology, it is usually handed to me at work. In almost 22 years of marriage, we have purchased 3 televisions. The first, a necessity after the hand-me-down brought to the first home caught fire during a movie. The second, a “birthday/father’s day” gift after it’s predecessor began to develop funny lines across the screen. The third? A small “close out sale” set for the bedroom to serve as the official “second viewing option” for the family.

Fast forward to last night. As a result of a Christmas gift from my in-laws, a Best Buy gift card with an attached note saying “go buy yourself a flat panel TV”, we took the plunge and did just that. After we got it all hooked up last night, we began cleaning out the entertainment center cabinet to purge some old stuff, and my daughter found a copy of “Rudy”. “Hey, that’s what we were watching the night the first TV caught fire”, I told her. As I continued cleaning up, the girls went in to the bedroom to watch “TV purchase number 3”, and then the screams and laughter followed. It seems this TV, upon being turned on, caught fire and gave up the ghost. What are the odds?

Accordingly, I have two items on my to do list for today:

1) Give the church treasurer our pledge card for the year,
2) Go to the electronics department at Wal-Mart.

True Grit, indeed….


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There is a great scene, one of many, from the classic John Wayne 1960’s era movie, “The Alamo“; “The Raid for Cattle”. Historically inaccurate, to a degree only Hollywood can deliver, it made for good drama in the middle of an already great movie.

It seems our heros were running out of food in the mission, turned fortress, and decided to sneak out one night, under Davy Crockett’s leadership, and steal hundreds of cattle from right under the Mexican Army’s nose. Now why, you may ask, after enduring days of siege would a carefully planned raiding band go into the heart of the enemy camp just to steal a bunch of cattle, when they could have used said raid to inflict massive damage to the enemy and flee for safety in the dark of night, living to fight another day? You will have to ask the director that one. I guess they had a hankerin’ for a steak dinner.

As our heros were returning to their broken down fortress on the Texas plains, their bovine bounty in tow, a carefully orchestrated progression of defensive ramparts was presented by another of our heros, Col. Travis. As each defensive line would execute their shots, his orders repeatedly rang out “close Ranks; fall back”.

There’s a lesson here for us, amidst this Hollywood hoopla. Close Ranks – Take risks for one another when there’s a need; come to the aid of of one another when peril awaits; stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder, when defending a position is necessary. And, lest we forget, don’t neglect the need to Fall Back, when the moment calls for it.

The oldest daughter came home tonight from college, the whole mile or so from that distant locale, to enjoy a couple of days of Fall Break R&R with the family. Time to fall back and close ranks.

Daylight savings time will be ending soon. We often question this annual right of passage, but I find value in making a point to “Fall Back” when the darkness is closing in. Mornings become brighter, and we all catch that small dose of “gaining another hour” in our hectic life, borrowed though it may be.

So, it’s time to be off to pack for a little time at the lake with said College escapee. I should remember to pack the Heinz 57: there may be a raid for cattle ahead…

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Ever wonder why we like some things, despite the “paradox” factor?

I like history and war movies (lots of war movies, but nothing really graphic – the old stuff where you “hear the bullet” before the hero falls, like John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima or Frank Sinatra in Von Ryan’s Express).

But sadly, I must confess that I like many movies that would also be best classified as “Chick Flicks”. Sleepless in Seattle, Some Like it Hot, and You’ve Got Mail (possibly my favorite). Yes, I admit that Meg Ryan is cute (sorry, Sherry), but I believe there is much more to it than that. Sherry and I saw “Julie and Julia” today, and I have to admit, I liked it as well. Good story, despite the fact that Julia Child’s voice has annoyed me all of my life, and I certainly don’t like to cook. So what was the connection?

I has to be the story. Redemption. These “Chick Flick” favorites are almost always stories of Redemption. And relationships; these stories make us think a lot about relationships and friendships, especially our own. What’s working? What’s not? How can I do better? What am I missing?

Today’s movie was a great story of friendship and what it’s all about. Sherry is my best friend. Am I the friend she needs me to be as well? Do I think about her and watch out for her interests and needs as fully as I should? I hope to. She deserves it.

There is another great story of Redemption out there. It’s called the Bible. Great narrative of people with everything to gain, and blowing it, but things work out. Or, at least, they can work out for the best. The movie is not over yet; we don’t know what happens to all of the characters, but we know the ending. The good guys make it. Love triumphs over evil.

Jesus is Lord. I am Redeemed. And that’s no chick flick. Thank Goodness. I don’t mind the idea of being one of the unsung hero’s in our ongoing war movie; and I hope to not “hear the bullet” when it’s my time to exit the screen.

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