Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Westward Pilgrim


Although Madison county is primarily recognized as the place with all the covered bridges seen in the Clint Eastwood movie, it is also the birthplace of John Wayne. They have a little tourist trap of a gift shop behind the house and charge lots of money to actually tour the inside of the house. I've never done the tour and really don't care too. It is a small house with furnishings from the early 1900's and most likely don't even belong to the Morrison (John Wayne's real surname) family. But the gift shop is always well air conditioned and they always have a John Wayne movie playing on the television so I don't mind a stop. We also spend some time out behind the house in a gazebo and contemplate life from the shady comfort.

This is probably the fourth or fifth time I have stopped there but the first time I knew that there was a statue of the Duke on the other side of the block as the house. When I heard that, I snuck down the alley behind the house and remedied that situation.

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An Indian walked into the trading post and asked for some inexpensive toilet paper. The proprietor showed him a four pack of double quilted rolls for $4.99 but the Indian said they were too expensive. The proprietor showed him an eight pack of 2-ply tissue for $2.99 but still the Indian said they were too expensive and asked for the cheapest stuff the proprietor had. The proprietor sold him a 16 pack for $0.99 and the Indian went on his way.

The next day the Indian returned with the toilet paper saying he didn't want it because it was John Wayne toilet paper. The confused proprietor asked the Indian to explain what he meant by John Wayne toilet paper. The Indian told the proprietor that the toilet paper was John Wayne toilet paper because it was rough and tough and didn't take shit from anyone.

The only John Wayne joke I know.

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After an aborted bridges tour and a stop at the birthplace of John Wayne, we still had time on our hands so we drove into the city and stopped in for a tour of the capital. I've been there many times over the years but always find something new to photograph and study. Below is the painting called "Westward" by Edwin H. Blashfield that takes up an imposing presence over one of the stairways. Although the picture doesn't show scale, it is probably close to 20 feet tall and 50 feet long. It is loaded full of meaningful symbols of which I won't go into but I thought it rounded out this post of John Wayne, the king of the west for a time in the movie theaters.


7 comments:

sage said...

That statue of John Wayne appears to be huge.

Ed said...

Sage - It is just a trick of perspective. I would guess that it was life size but up on a pedestal.

edifice rex said...

Amongst construction workers, the old toilet paper joke is still going strong because the quality of Port-o-let furnishing is, shall we say, less than desirable.

roaring40 said...

It's a very real hit or miss whether your site will take the comment for this past six weeks or so. At first I thought it was the browser setting on my side. But I've noticed it with other sites with this white window as well. Just to be safe one needs to Ctrl-C the comment. Frankly though I forget to do that and lose the thing in the transfer.

Wayne has a particular connection here. But what I'd not realised was that he gravitated to Irish people in LA who were amongst his very close friends. He was a bit of a Republican though wasn't he. :-)

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - It is nice to know that the joke lives elsewhere though I am surprised because I've never found someone who has heard it before.

Vince - I haven't heard anyone complain about posting comments.

I don't know much about Morrison outside of the movies. Personally I wasn't a real big fan of him. Today he would be what is called a character actor in that he plays the same kind of character in every movie he acts in and probably wouldn't be nearly as famous as say a Johnny Depp.

Leigh said...

You make a good tour guide, LOL.

Bone said...

This reminds me of something you'd see along the Natchez Trace.

Also, I've bought that toilet paper. Once. Never again!