“Hey, Ma, how ’bout some cookies?”

by chuckofish

Raymond J. Eastwood
High Plains Range Land, 1950

A glorious three-day weekend is upon us. My office is officially closing at Noon today so it’s actually a three and a half day weekend! One more Zoom meeting to go and then I am free to putter around my house to my heart’s content. (Daughter #1 is driving home this weekend so I will do more than putter.)

Yesterday we had the electrician in our house all day fixing numerous things and (finally) installing a new ceiling fan in my ‘office.’ Hopefully nothing will break for awhile. Now we will have light in the basement again, so we have no excuses for getting back to work on all those boxes.

This week we watched a couple of old Charles Bronson movies: Breakheart Pass (1975) and Red Sun (1971). Breakheart Pass is a good western/mystery-on-a-train story written by Alistair Maclean and directed by Tom Gries. Red Sun is also a western with the added attraction of Toshiro Mifune as a samurai who joins forces with Bronson to retrieve a ceremonial Japanese sword.

Both movies offer lavish productions, good casts and excellent music. I enjoyed them. However, I can never watch a Charles Bronson movie without thinking of this:

Tomorrow is the birthday of Missouri native and legend Jesse James (1847-1882). Everyone knows that he and his brother Frank were American outlaws, bank and train robbers. Disenfranchised ex-Confederates, they wrecked havoc across the Midwest, gaining national fame and often popular sympathy. Jesse James has been portrayed in film by Tyrone Power, Roy Rogers, Rod Cameron, Audie Murphy, Clayton Moore, Robert Wagner, James Keach, Robert Duvall, Kris Kristofferson, Colin Farrell, and Brad Pitt, just to name a few. I tried to watch the Brad Pitt version of the Jesse James story, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) in preparation for this post, but it was unwatchable. I cut my losses halfway through. Like many 21st century films, it was more interested in the look and sound of the movie than the story or the characters. There was not one likable or interesting character. It was slow, it was boring. Worst of all, it was filmed in Canada and did not even look like Missouri.

There are many museums and sites devoted to Jesse James across the U.S. including several in his home state. The James farm in Kearney, MO is a house museum and historic site operated by Clay County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. One can’t help but think his mother would be proud. I may have to add Kearney to my bucket list.

One of my favorite blogs, which I have read for years and whose author I admire, is ending (at least for the time being.) Times change and we roll with the punches and I applaud her decision to focus (without guilt) on her large and exuberant southern family. You go, girl!

I thought this piece from one of my favorites was very on point. “We have to decrease and defund our inner police so that Jesus can increase in us.” (Did you get the reference to John 3:30?) SO true!

Have a joy-filled weekend. Love where you are and who you’re with.