Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Duke

So I'm standing in line at the post office today, waiting to mail that copy-edited Trailsman manuscript back to the publisher (I went over it and answered the queries this morning). It's John Wayne Day at the post office because the new stamp bearing his likeness came out today. The employees are wearing Western clothes and there's a TV and VCR set up in the corner playing a tape of RIO BRAVO. For a visit to the post office, not so bad, though the line is still too long. But then some jackass in line behind me announces loudly that he doesn't see why John Wayne should even have a stamp and declares that people shouldn't make such a big deal out of John Wayne because "he wasn't even in World War II!" Well, no, Wayne wasn't in the war. He was 33 years old when it started, married with a family, and hardly draft material. I don't know whether he had any physical problems that would have disqualified him or not. But this guy (who was in his forties, which means he wasn't in World War II, either) kept going on about it, and I kept thinking about Lucy Van Pelt taunting Schroeder with "You never saw Beethoven's picture on bubble gum cards, did you? How could Beethoven be so great if he never got his picture on bubble gum cards?" Everybody ignored the guy and he finally shut up, but I'm still puzzled by the whole thing. How could somebody have such an irrational hatred for John Wayne that they make a scene in public just because there's a John Wayne stamp?

Other than that I wrote a little, but not much, and I'm still reading that Homer Hickam novel, which is very good so far.


Cap'n Bob said...

I believe John Wayne had an old football injury--bum knee or something--that excused him from the draft. I'm sure CBS has more info about this.

Unknown said...

That guy probably doesn't even like RIO BRAVO. You should have asked the guy about the Emily Dickinson stamp. I'm pretty sure old Emily wasn't in WWII (The Big One).