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Have Orange County Supervisors Reignited the Debate Over Renaming John Wayne Airport? – My Blog

An effort by Orange County supervisors to come up with new logos for John Wayne Airport has seemingly reignited the long simmering debate over Wayne, his views on race and whether he’s still the right fit for a local airport in an increasingly diverse metropolitan county.Last week, a story by Voice of OC – about county supervisors voting to spend $50,000 to develop a new logo for the airport – sparked a flurry of online comments and emails noting the logo debate missed an important wrinkle.The supervisors’ discussion revived calls from two years ago to rename the airport, citing John Wayne’s comments in a 1970s interview that he “believe[s] in white supremacy.”

After last week’s article on the airport logo initiative, Anaheim resident Gabe Gayhart wrote an email to Voice of OC saying the airport’s name should be changed, calling Wayne a “cowboy from the cowboy and Indian era in a racist time.”“It’s time we honored our true heroes and got rid of the names of racist anti Native American, anti-African American (read the John Interview in Playboy) actors,” wrote another reader, who asked that their name not be published.Others chimed in on Instagram with calls to scrap Wayne’s name from the airport.“If they spend $50k it better be to drop the John Wayne moniker,” wrote Aliso Viejo resident Aimee Monahan.“Just call it Santa Ana or Orange County Airport,” she added.“Absolutely [expletive] not. I’d be on board if they used that money to change the name,” wrote another reader.“John Wayne was a [email protected] Screw him and anyone that thinks his views on people of color were acceptable,” added another.“Rename it to what it ALREADY is in the airport code (SNA) to the Santa Ana Airport or at least call it the Orange County Airport.In summer 2020, following the police murder of George Floyd, the county faced calls from local professors and the OC Democratic Party to rename the airport.They cited a 1970s interview of Wayne in which he said: “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”“I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves,” he added.The OC Republican Party and then-President Donald Trump opposed the renaming effort, which ended up getting no traction among county supervisors.“We can remember the good things that John Wayne did for this nation and Orange County. We can and do condemn what he said in that 1971 magazine interview. So, we can also learn from his imperfections,” wrote OC Republican Party Chairman Fred Whitaker at the time.“Iconography is about enshrining the larger ideals of good from their lives, not the flaws. Those goals are best served by keeping our history in front of us, not by destroying it to serve the radicalism and frenzy of the present moment,” he continued.The county GOP chairman wrote efforts to remove people like Wayne from public spaces was driven by similar mindset that drove the Nazis.“The totalitarian ideology that drives the current desire to destroy our nation’s past has a dark and troubled history across the world,” Whitaker wrote.“From the guillotine of the French revolution to the Bolshevik gulags, to Nazi concentration camps, to the Cultural Revolution in China, to the human burnings and beheadings of ISIS, history is replete with totalitarian movements that insist upon demonizing groups of people, defacing statues and erasing all symbols of the past.”Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner says he continues to oppose removing Wayne’s name from the airport, noting the actor’s “iconic Americana profile” and saying he was starly different from the Confederate leaders whose statues were removed in the wake of Floyd’s killing.“Unlike John Wayne, Confederate leaders are memorialized in bronze and stone only because of their despicable views and treason against America,” Wagner wrote in a text message to Voice of OC late last week.“In addition, Wayne did not say in that article that minorities were irredeemably inferior, but only that their attainments at the time were, in his wrongheaded view, inferior. He held out the explicit view that educational achievements he felt then lacking were in fact attainable,” Wagner continued.“Again, that contrasts with Confederate leaders who believed in the inherent inferiority of minorities,” he added.“As wrong as Wayne was in his views set out in the magazine, he is not celebrated at the airport for those views. Renaming the airport would show us to be a society incapable of drawing that principled distinction, and consigning each person to judgment based on their worst days rather than on the totality of their lives.”Asked for her view, Supervisor Katrina Foley said she hasn’t received any calls recently to change the airport’s name and that her priorities are elsewhere.“My priority right now is addressing operational, structural, and environmental issues at the airport, including the new concessions program, millions in deferred structural maintenance, assisting the small pilots being priced out, and onboarding our new airport director Charlene Reynolds, who has done an excellent job,” Foley said.The other three supervisors didn’t return messages for comment.It remains unclear how Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett came to pick Laguna College of Art and Design for the $50,000 logo update, as opposed to design programs at other Orange County colleges or opening up to a countywide competition.Bartlett didn’t return a phone message for comment.Foley – who proposed the $50,000 project alongside Bartlett – said she was simply going along with what Bartlett proposed.“This was all Lisa’s suggestion as she was using her [federal COVID response] funds to support the school in her district.  I’ve supported the schools in my district in other ways,” Foley said in a text message to Voice of OC.“We sit on the ad Hoc committee for the airport together so when she asked if I would support, I agreed. The logo is ancillary to the funding for the college. If the board majority doesn’t like the proposals then nothing changes.”As for the name, Fred Smoller, a Chapman University professor who wrote a 2020 op-ed calling for the airport to be renamed, says the airport should reflect Orange County’s diversity – and that Wayne’s comments undermine that.“The county is much different than when the Duke lived here,” said Smoller, referring to Wayne by his nickname, in an interview late last week.“[The airport is] a major public building and the name should reflect the new Orange County, and the fact that it’s a diverse county. We have Wayne’s quotations that are quite racist. And that sort of thing is not reflective of who we are, and more importantly who we aspire to be,” he added.“Those are not our values.”

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‘It Was a Pretty Miserable Experience’ – My Blog

John Wayne has worked in a wide variety of filming locations over the course of his career. However, they didn’t all provide comfortable conditions for the cast and crew. Wayne’s son, Patrick, once noted the “worst” film location of them all, calling one of his dad’s filming locations a “pretty miserable experience.” Nevertheless, he still enjoyed making movies with his father.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, worked with his dad on film locations
'The Green Berets' filming location John Wayne pulling a wagon along

Patrick followed in his father’s acting footsteps. His first roles included uncredited roles at Wayne’s filming locations, which gained him momentum moving forward into bigger roles. Some of these include Rio Grande, The Searchers, The Alamo, and The Quiet Man. However, he later moved more into managing the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which pushes to advance research in the fight against cancer.

Patrick has a wide array of stories from the Wayne filming locations. His father remains one of the most iconic Western actors of all time. Patrick looked up to his dad, but they didn’t always have the best time on the set of the more grueling filming location.
‘The Green Berets’ was the ‘worst’ John Wayne film location for his son, Patrick

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick for Medium about some of the iconic Wayne filming locations. He explained that there was one set, in particular, that he just couldn’t stand.
“That would have to be The Green Berets,” Patrick said. “We were on location at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, which is located about 125 miles west of Atlanta. But it was nothing like Atlanta.”
Patrick continued: “Oh my God, it was pretty dreary. That’s fine but it started raining to the point of where we couldn’t even work. Boy, there was nothing to do except sit there and wait ’til it stopped raining. It was a pretty miserable experience from the weather aspect at that time [filming commenced on August 9, 1967]. It was past the worst part of the summer, so the humidity wasn’t that bad.”
Wayne’s difficult conditions on the Green Berets filming location makes sense for the movie’s story. It follows Col. Mike Kirby (Wayne), who selects two teams of Green Berets for a specific mission in South Vietnam. They must build and run a camp that the enemy seeks to capture, but that isn’t all. They must also kidnap a North Vietnamese General behind enemy lines.
‘The Green Berets’ is a controversial war movie

The Green Berets succeeded at the box office, but critics found the film incredibly controversial. They slammed the film for being heavy-handed and predictable. However, its war politics particularly upset a lot of critics. Nevertheless, The Green Berets easily sold tickets to audiences, making it a financial success.
Wayne went through some rough conditions on the filming location, but it proved to be worth his time. Despite its politics, the film made the legendary actor a large sum of money and remains a well-known war picture. It was also an opportunity for Patrick to work with his father on another film.

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Ann-Margret’s precious memories of ‘teddy bear’ Duke on The Train Robbers – My Blog

JOHN WAYNE was “slightly infirm” on The Train Robbers but tenaciously pushed through filming despite two fractured ribs, balance issues and a daily lie down, according to co-star Rod Taylor. Ann-Margret remembers Duke appearing strong despite his declining health and admitted the Western star “gave me the confidence I lacked”.

By the 1970s, John Wayne was coming towards the end of his career as a Hollywood star. In 1973, aged 65-years-old, he had been living with one lung for the best part of 10 years and was suffering from emphysema on the remaining one. That year he released two Westerns which aren’t remembered as his best but saw the ageing icon carry on with much determination. One of the films was The Train Robbers, which co-starred Ann-Margret and Rod Taylor.
The Train Robbers saw Ann-Margret’s feisty widow work alongside three cowboys in recovering a cage of gold that was stolen by her late husband.
Before shooting started, Wayne had fractured two of his ribs, which was so painful he struggled to sleep at night.

This meant that his action scenes had to be scaled down and co-star Taylor remembered Duke being “slightly” infirm during the shoot.
The Time Machine star said the Western legend had trouble with his balance and understandably needed afternoon naps.
train robbers cast

Despite his health problems on the movie, Wayne refused to delay filming and strived forwards.
Ann-Margret had fond memories of her co-star’s tenacity, recalling: “Duke was still a strong, rugged, formidable man, larger-than-life and incredibly personal. He was a big teddy bear, and we got along famously. Duke gave me the confidence I lacked.”
The Viva Las Vegas star appreciated this given that 1972 had been a very difficult time in her life, having been seriously injured when performing in her Lake Tahoe show.
john and ann
Ann-Margret felt John Wayne gave her the confidence boost she needed (Image: GETTY)
train robbers poster
The Train Robbers poster (Image: GETTY)
In terms of the confidence boost she needed, the actress had to overcome her fear of horses as there was much riding needed for her character. It was here that Wayne gave her the support she needed.
The Train Robbers had average reviews and later Quentin Tarantino would comment the film was “so light it’s barely a movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amusing.”
Wayne also released Cahill: US Marshall in 1973, which saw a significantly weakened Wayne having to use a stepladder to climb onto a horse.
That year also marked the death of his most famous collaborator, the director John Ford.
Upon news of the filmmakers’ death that August, Wayne told journalists: “I’m pretty much living on borrowed time.”
Duke would go on to make a couple of better-reviewed Westerns in True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn opposite Katherine Hepburn and The Shootist.
The latter film was his final one and saw him playing a terminally ill gunfighter.
The Hollywood icon himself died of cancer just a couple of years later in 1979.

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John Wayne Snuck An Emotional Tribute Into The Searchers’ Final Scene – My Blog

Celebrity culture has been around since the advent of film. The stars of the silver screen become our heroes, and sometimes they transcend to become almost mythical heroes. John Wayne is one of those actors, a name that instantly floods your mind with specific images and characters. Wayne would become synonymous with the Western genre during Hollywood’s classical film period and defined masculinity through memorable roles such as Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” Sheriff John T. Chance in “Rio Bravo,” and Lt. Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort in “The Longest Day.”

Because he’s so well known for his iconic tough-guy image, it’s hard to imagine a young Marion Robert Morrison (Wayne’s given name) looking up to a hero. And yet, “The Duke” tipped his hat and secretly told us. A small unscripted gesture in one of his most famous films gave us a glimpse at his softer side and a clue as to just who might have been Wayne’s childhood hero.
It is beautiful in its simplicity
John Wayne standing in doorway

John Ford’s 1956 film “The Searchers” was groundbreaking in how it challenged the racist male heroes of early Westerns. The film stars John Wayne as Ethan Edwards in what many consider Wayne’s most memorable role. Edwards is not a strong, likable hero but rather a bitter, racist loner who is redeemed only in the final moments of the film. Scott Allen Nollen’s book “Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond” describes how Wayne’s unscripted gesture in the final moments of “The Searchers” was an homage to a childhood hero, early Western star Harry Carey. The final shot of the film has Wayne standing in a doorway by himself before turning to ride off alone (presumably into the sunset).
The shot is brilliantly framed and lit by Ford, with the interior of the house dark, emphasizing the solitude of Edwards’ life as he walks away from what little family he has left. Just before turning to leave, Wayne made a familiar gesture that was not in the script. Nollen writes:
“He was to look and then walk away, but just before he turned, he saw Ollie Carey, the widow of his all-time hero, standing behind the camera. It was as natural as taking a breath. Duke raised his left hand, reached across his chest, and grabbed his right arm at the elbow. Harry Carey did that a lot in the movies when Duke was a kid in Glendale, California. He’d spent many a dime just to see that.”It was beautiful in its simplicity, like the scene it occurred in. But the gesture was a nod to much more than Carey himself.
‘One of the most resonant gestures in the entire body of Ford’s work’
Harry Carey at saloon
Before Ford’s relationship with John Wayne, there was Harry Carey. To put it in a modern context, it was like Martin Scorsese collaborating with Robert De Niro before his work with Leonardo DiCaprio. According to Mostly Westerns, the pair collaborated on more than two dozen films, and Ford said that he learned a lot about the industry with Carey as his tutor. It was during these early days of the Western where Carey would develop his iconic arm pose where he grabs his right arm with his left hand at the elbow. The gesture would permeate throughout Ford’s films by other actors.
The pose can be seen at the 1:09:30 mark of Ford’s 1917 film “Straight Shooting.”

After Carey died in 1947, Ford would continue to cast Carey family members including Harry Carey, Jr. Both Harry Jr. and Carey’s widow Olive appeared in “The Searchers.” And though the brief gesture might have been inspired by Carey’s widow, it was felt far beyond the Carey family. As Nollen notes:
“Joseph McBride referred to Wayne’s spontaneous, profound re-creation in ‘The Searchers’ as ‘one of the most resonant gestures in the entire body of Ford’s work, a gesture movingly encapsulating whole lifetimes of shared tradition.’”It turns out the rough, tough cowboy John Wayne did indeed have a hero. He also showed his soft side in paying tribute to Carey, his family, and the Western icons that came before him.

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