Tag Archives: movies

Rio Bravo: My Rifle, My Pony, and Me

As he does every year, my father came to visit near the end of September so that he could attend our local fall festival. Unfortunately, that weekend turned out to be a soggy one, with so much rain that the festival was drowned out and closed early. Instead of walking around and getting soaked, we stayed in on Sunday and watched a couple of westerns. Sundays are probably the best day for westerns — I remember watching Bonanza and Rawhide as a child while my parents made breakfast. I actually don’t know too much about westerns and I mainly watched so that I could hear the theme songs and the music that played throughout the show. I preferred the zany antics of The Three Stooges and Laff-A-Lympics, also shown on Sundays, but westerns were just as good at helping me forget that eventually I’d have to trudge off to church.


When my dad last visited, he introduced me to Shane, which has become one of my favorite films. Recently, in the library’s 50 cent used book room, I found the paperback version of the novel. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s now part of the tall stack of books I need to read.

So. Late September. It’s raining like crazy. We managed to watch two films that day – some Spaghetti Western I found stressful and annoying and Rio Bravo. I’d read that Rio Bravo was made in response to High Noon, which I haven’t watched yet — so I can’t comment on John Wayne and Howard Hawks’ intent or which movie I preferred. But please note that Leigh Bracket was a co-writer of the script! Leigh Bracket, like Dean Martin, never disappoints.

Anyway, for now, I’ll say that I enjoyed Rio Bravo. In my eyes, Dean Martin can do or sing no wrong and Ricky Nelson plays the quiet, composed rebel quite well. Angie Dickinson as the sexy, spunky outlaw Feathers is fabulous (oh, those legs!), as are most of the feisty women who have appeared in many of the westerns I’ve watched.

The absolutely best part of the movie, however, takes place when the crew is holed up in prison, waiting for the U.S. Marshal, preventing their murderous prisoner from being rescued by his gang. In this scene, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson pass the time by giving Stumpy and Chance — and lucky for us — a beautiful little performance.


Book Binge

Right now there are a hundred things I should be doing, such as dusting, painting, gardening, writing, etc. Instead, I’ve been staring at the pile of books taking up living room space. When I went back to work at the library, I made a rule for myself: Check out no more than two books and two DVDs at a time and stay away from the 50 cent used book room. I actually did very well for about two weeks but today I’m not sure where to start. Yesterday, I watched Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950 film noir w/ Gene Tierney & Dana Andrews) and The Watcher in the Woods (1980 Disney film w/ Bette Davis — love the book and have always loved the movie as well). I still have five DVDs left to watch. I picked up three great used books this past week too: Lost Moons by Jack Vance, The Five Gold Bands by Jack Vance (I’ll have to find out why the library is discarding Vance books), and a Sunset book on perennials. I also have ten books checked out. Oh, and don’t forget all the reading I have on my Kindle Fire. So I might feel a little overwhelmed at the moment, like a child who has too many new toys to choose from.

Last weekend the Friends of the Library held its annual Big Book Sale, a huge event that takes place at the county fairgrounds. The items sold are donated or discarded books, many in like-new condition. Throughout the year, donations come in, placed in the overflowing sorting bins. They come in one or two at a time, sometimes five boxes or more at time! The Friends of the Library is an amazing group — they transport and sort all of these items, deciding which to sell at Amazon/Alibris/AbeBooks, which to place in the used book room, and they organize the amazing Big Book Sale. Where would so many libraries be without their volunteers and the communities that support them?


There are always quality items that are donated to the library all year long. People give anything from a book they’ve only read once to their personal libraries when they retire and/or decide to downsize. Since this is a college town, there have been some amazing collections donated by retired professors. And, as a result of all these generous donations, the sale is always a great success every year — for the public as well as the library. The first day, which starts on a Friday evening, is sort of like the Black Friday sales, with people pushing through the doors and running down the aisles to find those perfect books (or DVDs, games, CDs which are also sold) and great deals. Book lovers come as far as two hours away or more. On Sundays, the remaining books are $5 a box! This might be surprising, but I’ve never been to the Big Book Sale, mainly because of the crowds and because I might go nuts and buy every book I see. Fortunately, there are plenty of folks who attend.

But back to the piles of library books on my living floor. This is what I have to choose from:

The Best American Short Stories 2012, ed. Tom Perrotta
A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Sensation by Nick Mamatas
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy by Judith Watt
The Lupus Book (Fifth Edition, 2013) by Daniel J. Wallace
How Music Works by John Powell
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad
The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia (2010)
Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil

So where do I start? The Best American Short Stories and Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy. I still need to finish That Mad Ache. However, that could change as I’m easily distracted. I’ll probably have to spend the next couple of days just reading so that I can return the items as soon as possible. I need some space as I begin spring cleaning!

Follow what I’m reading at Goodreads.

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