Blog 1162 – 11.01.2018
I love the John Wayne 1967 movie in which he plays Marshall Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn, Kim Darby portrays Mattie Ross, Glen Campbell plays Texas Ranger La Boeuf pronounced “La Beef”, Jeff Corey portrays Tom Chaney, and Robert Duvall plays Ned Pepper. I equally love the 2010 version of the novella by Charles Portis and staring in the respective roles above in order, Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfield, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper (Odd that Barry Pepper plays Ned Pepper – no relation of course.)
In the story young Mattie’s father is shot and killed by their hired hand, Tom Chaney, on a business trip they made together to buy ponies in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Mattie comes up from the family farm in Darnell County to see her daddy’s body is shipped home for burial, to collect his things, and to get justice. When she asks the local sheriff who he would recommend to track down her daddy’s killer, he names one man as the best tracker, another who might let a man escape because he prefers to always bringing them back alive, and then Rooster, a surly Marshall who works for the court, knows the Indian Country, and has been known to pull a cork, but always brings in his quarry dead or alive. She picks Rooster for the job because she says he has grit.
When he and the Texas Ranger La Beouf try to leave Mattie behind at the ferry crossing, she and her equally spirited pony, Little Blackie swim the stream ahead of the ferry. As she swims past the ferry on her pony’s back both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges each playing Rooster deliver the great line, “God, but she reminds me of me.”
I love the song too. My Mockingbird Version with Glen Campbell and Elmer Bernstein’s great orchestration, I attach here:
I would make the observation that little Mattie was looking for a man with True Grit to match her own. I am hoping to get to vote for the first time in over six years on next Tuesday. I have been working on the road and let my voter registration lapse using the excuse that my vote would not make much of a difference in my very Christian and very Conservative state of Texas – neither of which I have professed to be for quite some time. I will not be looking for Christian Conservatives on the ballot but for more progressive thinkers with no particular allegiance to one color or one religion, to big business, to big pharma, or to big oil but with the little and middle men and women more in mind, a man or especially a woman with True Grit and determination to make a real difference not just to conserve something that seems to be working best for the old white guys in the two per cent.
Agree with me or not – be sure to vote. Show your True Grit. It matters.
Your friend and fellow traveler,