“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” – Sammy Davis Jr.
Mr. Bojangles / Sammy Davis Jr. / written by Jerry Jeff Walker / 1972
Nobody does this song better.
I’m sure a few people were surprised to see Sammy Davis Jr. listed as one of the Actors that Sam Peckinpah had considered for the role of Dutch Engstrom in The Wild Bunch, which was eventually
played by Ernest Borgnine.
But I’ll tell you something – I bet Sammy would have done a great job.
Firstly Sammy Davis Jr. was one of the greatest Entertainers who ever lived. He could do anything:
Stage and Screen, Stand up, Impressionist, Dance, Sing, Recording Artist, played several musical instruments … ???
Immensely talented – the consummate performer.
Also like many American kids of his era, it appears that Sammyloved Westerns – that probably dreamed of being Cowboy like many of us did.
I have plenty of evidence to support my claim:
Sammy’s Gunhandling / Twirling talents were legendary in Hollywood
and he showcased them often.
And he had all the best gear.
Sammy … truly ONE of a kind.
Check this out.
Sammy and the King of Westerns.
What more can you say?
Ratpack Cowboys / Sargeants 3 (1962)
The “Rat Pack“??
I used to watch these movies and think:
“That Sammy has more talent in his little finger
than the rest of these guys put together.
The Rifleman: Season 4, Episode 21 Two Ounces of Tin (19 Feb. 1962)
Winterlude / Bob Dylan / from album New Morning / 1970
Rose and I have visited most every Park in the Calgary area
over the last few years.
Some of the parks are large and uncrowded with lots of Wildlife.
Others are pretty crowded.
Carburn Park gets plenty of people.
The pond was active.
How times have changed.
When I was a kid most boys used to lean on a hockey stick
to learn how to skate.
See what I mean?
But while everybody else in North America was being
assaulted by bad Weather we were having a party.
In Calgary we get those warm winds we call Chinooks.
These make a winter palatable.
I’ve been sick for nearly 3 weeks.
That must almost be a record for me.
I’ve finally gotten over whatever was lodged in my sinus.
My headache and fever are also gone now too.
My last symptom?: tiredness. I’m tired all the time.
Initially, I thought this thing was Flu.
Now I’m sure it was Covid. Again.
But the Home Test Kit was inconclusive.
I paid the price for not getting another Covid shot.
Sunstroke / Avoid it
How long can you go without sleep?
This all reminded me I of the time I had sunstroke back in 1970.
I had just landed a road construction job for the City of Calgary –
a paving crew – shoveling asphalt.
Unfortunately, back then they had a policy against long hair –
so I had to get my hair cut off.
This proved disastrous.
The first 2 days I worked it was at least 85 degrees F. Absolutely scorching.
I got severe sunburn on my arms, face and most notably
– the back of my neck.
Nobody used Sunscreen in those days.
This resulted in Sunstroke – though I didn’t know I had Sunstroke because
I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I’d never heard of it.
It’s deadly though, I can assure you.
The Sunstroke totally destroyed my Central Nervous System.
The Sunburn itself was so bad that I would lie in the bathtub
with the water up to my neck.
This stopped the tremendous burning on my arms and neck.
But I figured everything would be fine after the burn went away
– which took a few days.
Boy, was I wrong.
The Sunstroke endured.
My newly destroyed Nervous System started to
profoundly affect my sleep –
whereby It often took me 4 hours just to get to sleep.
Even after I got to sleep though, I did not get any rest.
You can imagine that pretty soon this started to break me down
– physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
It became a true Dark Night of Soul.
Unbelievably, however – get this – I kept right on working!
– shoveling that bloody asphalt – like being on a treadmill in Hell.
I didn’t miss a day.
I’m certain they were all betting I’d quit.
But I didn’t.
What did happen however, was that I was becoming
It wouldn’t stop and I didn’t know what was wrong with me?
Finally I went to a clinic to see if they could figure out what was going on?
They gave me a bunch of tests.
Then the doc came to me and said, “Your nerves are completely shot.”
Not much of a Diagnosis Doc.
But they knew nothing about the horrific Sunstroke or Sunburn I’d suffered
– and the Sunstroke I was still experiencing.
Neither did I. I only figured it all out much later.
So … their conclusion?: Drug Abuse.
It wasn’t of course. So much for medical science.
Their solution?: a prescription for Valium 5.
You can definitely say I thought this was totally asinine.
But what could I do?
I went to the drug store and bought the Valium.
I took it … and incredibly, almost immediately, it fixed me.
My screwed up nerves finally settled down
– and for the first time in months I was able to get some sleep.
GOD … what an ordeal that was.
I paved roads for 7 years.
That’s a lot of Bad Karma.
Somebody was asking me about this Post recently … so I’m reposting it.
It’s about John Wayne’s incredible smoking habit
and his death from cancer.
sunday morning coming down / kristofferson
“Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire”, the old saying goes.
And sometimes death.
Smoking is a lot like Russian Roulette.
You know there’s a bullet in there.
But you’re gambling that it doesn’t have your name on it.
It’s a hell of a gamble.
A gamble that John Wayne lost.
John Wayne’s smoking exploits are as Legendary as he is. I’ve seen several different claims as to how much he smoked: 4, 5, 6 and 7 pack of cigarettes a day! Most claim 6 packs a day. I refuse to believe 7 because 7 packs of cigarettes a day is 7 x 20 cigarettes = 140 cigarettes in a 16 hour day (8 hours for sleep) – or 8.75 cigarettes an hour – which would be smoking
1 cigarette about every 7 minutes. That seems impossible.
Even for John Wayne.
I was a heavy smoker myself for quite a while – 2 packs of Canadian cigarettes a day – 25 cigs per pack. So I have some experience with this thing. When I finally quit, I coughed up tar for 6 months. Smoking is an extremely insidious addiction. Before I started smoking I very rarely caught flu or even a cold. After I started, I caught everything. Smoking seriously damages and devitalizes your whole immune system.
Don’t do it.
So lets’ see … John smoked 6 packs a day x 20 cigarettes per pack = 120 cigarettes a day.
Could you smoke this many cigarettes a day?
Assuming John Wayne couldn’t smoke while he was asleep (?) and assuming he slept about 8 hours a day, that’s 120 cigarettes divided by 16 hours = he smoked about 7.5 cigs an hour. That’s a lot. But possible.
These are all Guesstimates, of course, but you get the picture: John was an outright addict.
And even though John grew up in an era where smoking was portrayed as being debonair, sophisticated, suave and ‘cool’, it must have been very difficult to be around him due to this excessive smoking
– even if you were a smoker yourself.
And I’d guess it would pretty well be impossible for a non-smoker.
Strangely however, in most of his Westerns, John seems to smoke very little. ? Guns and Booze are plainly evident. But not cigs. ??? Though it surely wasn’t hard to catch him smoking ‘off camera’, he rarely brought it to film. And even then, it didn’t seem overdone.
In advertising, John, of course, wasn’t the only celebrity who endorsed smoking. Dozens of Actors, Actresses – and even Athletes and Doctors endorsed smoking in that era. Magazine ads, TV commercials, radio ads, billboards … you name it.
There’s controversy over how John came down with Cancer –
due to an urban legend about the 1956 film The Conqueror that had been shot near an Atomic Bomb testing site.
But John wasn’t falling for that and openly confessed his cancer
was due to his excessive smoking habit.
Recently, I was saying to Rose that people
don’t send Christmas cards anymore.
So naturally we got a quite a few.
Not as many as we used to, but …
Of course, getting cards requires
that you send them as well.
I attended 3 Christmas feasts / dinners.
I know I put on a couple of pounds for sure.
Lucky me, lucky days.
It sweeps in so swiftly …
then like a snowflake …
I try to cherish each moment
and count my Blessings.
There are many.
Tyson was born to British immigrants in Victoria, and grew up in Duncan B.C. A rodeo rider in his late teens and early twenties, he took up the guitar while recovering from an injury he sustained in a fall. He has named fellow Canadian country artist Wilf Carter as a musical influence. He made his singing debut at the Heidelberg Café in Vancouver in 1956 and played with a rock and roll band, The Sensational Stripes. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Art in 1958.
Ian Tyson Discography:
One Jump Ahead of the Devil
Old Corrals and Sagebrush
I Outgrew the Wagon
And Stood There Amazed
Eighteen Inches of Rain
All the Good ‘Uns
Live at Longview
Songs from the Gravel Road
Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories
Songs from the Stone House
All the Good ‘Uns Vol. 2
Tyson became a Member of the Order of Canada in October 1994 and was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2006. In 2003, Tyson received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, with Sylvia, in 1992.
Ian Tyson was inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame, with Sylvia, in 2006
He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989. (Sylvia Tyson was inducted in 2003.)
The song Four Strong Winds, written by Ian Tyson, was named as the greatest Canadian song of all time by the CBC-Radio program 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version in 2005.
An announcement in July 2019 stated that Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, individually, not as a duo. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article stated that “the duo’s 1964’s hit, Four Strong Winds, has been deemed one of the most influential songs in Canadian history”. The report also referenced the song You Were on My Mind, written by Sylvia Tyson, as well as her four albums (1975–1980).
A lot of good times and a lot of good music Ian.
If Bromberg does your song that’s a real tip of the hat.
The Illustrated London News’s illustration of the Christmas Truce: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches” The subcaption reads:
“Saxons and Anglo-Saxons fraternizing on the field of battle at the season of peace and goodwill: Officers and men from the German and British trenches meet and greet one another —
A German officer photographing a group of foes and friends.”
I like Nicolas Cage.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of his Movies.
Not all. But lots.
Even Ghost Rider.
And he’s made a lot of Movies over the years.
And just when you figure his career is
winding down (or over) …
he makes 10 more.
And you never really know what going to come out???
Crazy? or Good? Both?
Despite all (I’ll spare the gory celebrity details)
he’d still has enough Star Power
to Headline most projects.
And a couple of those recent projects have been Westerns:
Let’s have a look.
Butcher’s Crossingis a 2022 Western shot in Montana. Internet Movie Database (IMDB) says this:
“A frontier epic about an Ivy League drop-out as he travels to the Colorado wilderness, where he joins a team of buffalo hunters on a journey
that puts his life and sanity at risk.
Based on the highly acclaimed novel by John Williams.”
Only Nick Cage could put out a Movie that
has been already Premiered
at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
and been favorably reviewed on Internet Movie Data Base IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes … BUT has NO Trailer!
I searched high and low and all I could discover was
that they working on it. So I can’t really give
you much of an idea what the Movie looks like.
My gut feeling is that this will be a
pretty good and watchable Western.
Based on the Book:
Butcher’s Crossing by John Williams
“Butcher’s Crossing is a western novel by John Williams, originally published in 1960. The story follows William Andrews, a young Harvard student who leaves his life behind to explore the American West. The book begins and ends in the fictional frontier town of Butcher’s Crossing, Kansas, in the early 1870s, where Andrews joins a buffalo-hunting expedition. He and the people he meets along the way must confront and survive the brutal realities of nature in their attempts to get buffalo hides to sell. Along the way, Andrews contemplates his purpose in life with respect to nature, specifically through the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”
So where to watch it?: – Vudu.
– Netflix streaming.
– Amazon and amazon prime.
– Most popular streaming movies.
– Certified fresh movies.