The Alamo, John Wayne, and Texas
The Alamo is that which is quintessentially Texan. As we ponder our fate in these incredibly confusing states of political upheaval and directional impasse, it behooves us to think back to 1836, when fewer than 200 brave souls stood up to thousands of Mexican army soldiers. This was a rag-tag group of citizen soldiers, led by Colonel William Travis, and supported by household names such as Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.
There wasn’t a man among them who thought he would live. And no doubt many wished they could have left. But this was a time when honor, integrity and doing the right thing meant something.
John Wayne directed the 1960 movie, The Alamo, and he played the role of Davy Crockett. There are Texans among us today who remember when the cast descended on San Antonio, and stayed for several months. The stories are legend and for good reason; that generation did not eat tofu and drink smoothies!
By most accounts, Wayne insisted on telling the story as it was, and the script stayed as close to the truth as possible. The fact is that there were no survivors from the Alamo, so the actual day the old mission was overrun is left to conjecture.
There are two great John Wayne monologues in the Alamo, and we are pleased to not only provide the texts for your reading pleasure, but also the links, in case you wish to take a trip down memory lane.
First, Davy Crockett tries to explain to a beautiful young lady why he came to Texas, and what his coming had done to his outlook on life. He said:
I’m gonna tell ya something Flaca, and I want you to listen tight. It may sound like I’m talkin about me, but I’m not, I’m talkin about you. As a matter of fact, I’m talkin about all people everywhere. When I come down here to Texas I was lookin for somethin. I didn’t know what. It seems like ya added up my life, I spent it all either stomping on other men, or in some cases, getting stomped.
I had me some money, and I’ve had me some medals. But none of it seemed a lifetime worth of pain of the mother that bore me. It’s like I was empty. Well I’m not empty anymore. That’s what’s important. Ta feel useful in this ole world. Ta hit a lick against what’s wrong, or ta say a word for what’s right, even though ya get walloped for sayin that word.
Now I may sound like a bible beater yellin up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting. But that don’t change the truth none. There’s right and there’s wrong. Ya gotta do one or the other. Ya do the one and yer living. Ya do the other and ya may be walkin around, but yer dead as a beaver hat!
I don’t know about you, but that’s just about as good as it gets. And as a yank who wasn’t born in Texas but got here as fast as I could, those words resonate with this author! To listen to John Wayne say it as only he could, click on this link.
Then there was the great scene between a slightly pretentious Colonel Travis and Davy Crockett, who, along with his men, had just pulled in from Tennessee. Colonel Travis was having none of their evening tomfoolery, and sought to delay a serious conversation with Crockett until the following day. Crockett gave Travis something to think about. He said,
Republic; I like the sound of the word. Means people can live free, talk free. Go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat. Same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step, or his first baby shaves, or makes his first sound like a man. Some words can give you a feeling that make your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.
Again, nobody spoke like John Wayne, so if you would like to here him talk about the meaning of the word Republic, click here:
Travis’s character develops from an erudite senior officer into a brave patriot commanding officer. Who can forget the words he wrote days before he and all his fellow soldiers fell to the swords and bullets of the attacking Mexican army?
Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.
Texas is a state that stands tall. It is a beacon; a ray of hope in an otherwise dark alley of progressive, leftist thoughts radiating from the east to west coasts. We didn’t come by our way of life accidentally. Texans are proud of their heritage and rightly so. “So listen up (America), and listen tight. When I come down here to Texas I was lookin for somethin. I didn’t know what….it’s like I was empty. Well I’m not empty anymore. That’s what’s important. Ta feel useful in this ole world. Ta hit a lick against what’s wrong, or ta say a word for what’s right, even though ya get walloped for sayin that word.”
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