A Day In The Life

True Grit Remember the movie "True Grit"? For t…
August 29, 2006, 2:30 am
Filed under: My Life

True Grit

Remember the movie “True Grit”? For those of you who may not remember, the movie was released in 1969 and featured John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glenn Campbell, Robert Duvall and a host of other actors including Dennis Hopper. The movie was based on a novel by Arkansas author, Charles Portis. The story, in brief, follows young Mattie Ross ( Kim Darby ) in her quest to avenge her father’s murder. Her father was murdered by a hired hand/outlaw, Tom Chaney, and Mattie seeks out the meanest US Marshal in the Oklahoma Territory, Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne), to hunt down the murderer. Mattie and Rooster are joined on their quest by Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Glenn Campbell). The movie is packed with no good outlaws, lots of action including shoot outs and a tumble into a rattle snake pit, plus some really beautiful scenery. The entire adventure takes place in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory yet most of the actual filming took place in Colorado.

Ok, enough background…..I saw “True Grit” and I loved it. Mattie Ross was my hero and I thought Glenn Campbell was just too cute. Tom Chaney was evil incarnate. I used to saddle up my horse, Champ, and ride around our farm pretending I was Mattie Ross riding off to bring Tom Chaney to justice.

At the time I was deeply involved in my “True Grit” dreamworld, my dad had a horned Hereford bull that we named Tom Chaney. Tom Chaney, like his namesake in the movie, had a nasty temper.

(This isn’t actually Tom Chaney in the picture, but he looked a lot like this bull except the real Tom Chaney was nearer the size of Paul Bunyan’s ox.)

So, one day I had finished my “True Grit” fantasy. I had unsaddled Champ, brushed him down and was meandering the long way around through the pasture toward the house and the homework that awaited me. Suddenly, I became aware of some heavy breathing, snorting sounds and through a little stand of trees I could see Tom Chaney. He was staring right at me and sort of tossing his head around. Did I mention that Tom had horns? Fantasy took a sudden dive and reality put wings on my feet. I began to run. Now I have been known to tell a tall tale or two, but I swear I could feel that bull’s hot breath on my heels and his pounding hooves made the earth quake as I ran toward the nearest fence I could see. I was flying. I have never run faster in my life. The fence loomed ahead of me. I gathered all my 12 year old strength and flung myself into the air. My legs didn’t clear the top strand of barbed wire, but I managed to land on the far side of the fence in a heap on the ground. The important thing was…I had escaped. I was safe. I picked myself up and turned around fully expecting to see Tom Chaney roaring to a halt as he reached the fence behind me. He was quietly grazing near the little stand of trees.


6 Comments so far
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I was waiting for it to pick u up and fling you like a fake rodeo clown. (That is as close to bull’s I’ve been.)

And then you were gonna post a pix of the scar on your bahooney for all of us to see
.. and for me to paint h a ha ha ha h ah ah haa

Comment by Pamela

Good story. Bulls have can burst in to action with lightning speed but can’t sustain it for too long. A bit like cats.

Did you know that True Grit is most well known among film buffs for the scene where Rooster Coburn puts the reins in his mouth and charges?

The reason it that it is well known, is that he fires eighteen or possibly twenty(I forget exactly) shots from two six guns without reloading. I love the Duke. They never seemed to be able to find a horse big enough to fit him!

Comment by willowtree

Oooh, Pamela….what a thought! I had some scrapes and cuts plus a good-sized tear in my jeans. Better you should paint my 12 year old bahooney than my 48 year old hind parts…unless you have an awfully large canvas.

WT….yes, I knew that was the most famous scene from the movie. I need to watch it again and count the number of shots! The Duke rocks!

Comment by SongBird

Too funny!!! That is a scene that should have been shot on camera!! As I was reading, I was waiting for you to get gored. Such a relief at the end. Made me laugh outloud!

I’ve probably seen True Grit – just don’t remember it. In my favorite John Wayne movie he doesn’t even play a cowboy – The Quiet Man

Comment by Karmyn R

“Fill your hands you sons-of-bitches!” Rooster

We love that movie!! I have watched it several times with my Grandad (the biggest John Wayne fan in his part of the world).

I guess tonight is the night for me to read blogs to McD. He actually laughed out loud. I did too. What a great story, and so well written.

Comment by Julie

I really enjoyed that story! I’m pretty sure I was at the edge of my seat.

Comment by Angelina

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