Welcome to Page 4...  A New Day!  Day Two! - Page 1  (Saturday, May 26th, 2007)

May 26, 2007

"Hold it.... it's my birthday"

This is it... the big day.  John Wayne's Birthday... 100 Years ago today, May 26th, 2007, Marion Robert Morrison was born in Winterset, Iowa.  Who would have thought back then that Clyde and Mary Morrison were giving birth to a child that someday would touch people's hearts, minds and souls.  For some 50 years he would be in the movies that would inspire people to be just like him.  He was a one-in-a-million and I don't think I'll see another one like him in my lifetime.

Back to the celebration...  we got up a little early Saturday mainly because we were worried about the weather and because they were putting on a pancake breakfast in Winterset.  The proceeds wer for the Winterset Exchange Program.  The minute we walked out of our hotel though it started drizzling...  not something we wanted to see.  We were hoping that it would be a light rain or just quit so the sun would come out and dry things off but checking the forecast before we left the hotel, that wasn't going to be the case.  We just hoped it wasn't so bad that they had to cancel everything.

We got to Winterset and grabbed some mighty good pancakes.  It was only a block away from the Birthplace so it was in just the right spot.  Once we were done we still had a couple hours until the parade started so we walked back over to the Birthplace. We waited for the gift shop to open and wouldn't you know it, we bought more memorabilia.  At this point the back of the truck was getting full but it's only once every 100 years.  We had a chance to talk to a few more people.  None of us were very happy about the weather.  But we kept hoping the skies would clear. 
We did walk around the town square for awhile and found a couple nice antique shops with some old Duke memorabilia on consignment so we took that off their hands.  We walked by the theater where they were showing free John Wayne movies all weekend.  Duke, back on the big screen.  We never got a chance to go to one but I first saw Duke in The Alamo on the big screen when I was younger. 

The rainy day was not good for the days scheduled events
The Old Five and Dime
Ben Franklin
Winterset Iowa Theater
Free John Wayne Movies

  I also found a really nice tapestry of Duke in one of the consignment shops.  When we got home we ordered a custom built hanger for it and it now hangs in the master bedroom.  All it says on the tapestry is "Made in Turkey". 
From what I remember from my Navy cruises in the Med is that a lot of the guys would pick up tapestries in Italy, France or Spain and most of them were made in Turkey or Greece.  It is 100% cotton and is very delicate and light.  Since I made this page the hanger has come in and I have been able to get a better picture of it.

Beautiful tapestry, almost looks like a scene from Stagecoach.

We did a little more walking around the town square and came across an important place in Duke past.  Well, at least it was important for his father.  We came across the old building where his father worked when they lived in Winterset.  They had a nice display in the window of Duke memorabilia.  If you all remember, Duke's father used to be a pharmicist back when Duke was born.

Clyde Morrison worked here back in 1907.
Old fashioned pharmcacy tools from Smith Drug.
Rx logs before we had computers.
From Smith Drug to the Village Bootery

We got back to the truck and proceeded to find a nice spot along the parade route where I could set up my video equipment and record the parade.  After spending another bit of money we found a perfect spot for the parade, no obstructions and not many people.  We setup the tripod and camcorder and was set to go.  The rain had let up a little so I thought maybe we'd get through the parade unscathed but unfortunately about 5 minutes into it, the rain started coming down pretty good.  We quick closed up the back of the pickup, I have one of those folding vinyl covers, I grabbed one umbrella and held it over the camcorder and the wife grabbed another and held it over us at the tripod location.  The parade wasn't long and of course as soon as it was over the rain stopped, go figure.  The video/audio of the parade is not very long, only 16 minutes, but the file zize is about 676 MB so you can click on the image and you can select view it or download it.  It's up to you so without further delay.  For your viewing enjoyment... the John Wayne Birthday Centennial Celebration parade:

Duke Centennial Parade