I begin the research with all the intent of writing about a comparison between aspects of John Wayne’s character and my dad’s but the more I read and found odd incidents in both lives I began to think upon a question; if each physical representation of energy is connected wouldn’t that be fascinating.
I began the comparison with the fact they were both Gemini which includes,communication is a skill they loved or hated, the sign is friendly,outgoing, they have sharp minds, and do not suffer fools. Because of the fact they can be gregarious they made friends easily. They both believed hard work leads to success. It was written about the duke that if he felt ignored or powerless he would explode in anger, he needed approval far more than he wanted money.
They were both ruggedly handsome,raucously funny at times and relentlessly honest. While each shared living in our country’s historical time of dire straights, the stock market crash, each with their separate skills tackled their futures with courage and commitment.
Using his extraordinary physical strength my dad found steady work as a plasterer. Carrying trays topped with pounds of wet cement up and down a ladder all day, building homes in Southern California kept the man in the black robe carrying a scythe away for more than three decades. While John Wayne helped build and carried a national image of our country in films. Both extraordinary feats to keep poverty, financial humiliation abated. Early on they understood they could depend only on themselves to obtain food and clothing. Wayne’s father said to Duke that no one owes him anything, he had to make his own way. while my dad’s father died when he was born and his mother died when he turned eighteen was happy he was told that he had to make his own way. They were both prepared for the worst. With that Gemini perseverance both struck out and quickly found that attribute they could rely on, physical strength; Duke, determined to ride a horse, shoot a gun and fall off a horse convincingly while dad carried mortar,and with fear fueled tenacity they fought off hunger and loneliness through the thirties,forties and fifties.
Duke was quoted to say, “I’ve played the kind of man I’d like to have been.” The character of Johne Wayne developed before our eyes over fifty years in film. I saw dad, the scary man who could later in life sob and say he’s sorry. He would put his fist through a door when pushed too far by my mother, who knew all his buttons. But he would never bring himself to harm her. He’d raise his voice to a storm of a pitch and blow out of the house like a southern gale to return several hours later calm and forgetful since he did like to continue fighting for long. On screen Duke would slug his opponents, tie them up or serve them justice face to face and at the end kiss the girl. John the character over the years grew mature and wily and weary of people, his temper could get the better of him. In real life I read that Duke was a lover of family. Kindness came at a small price because early in life he learned a lesson the hard way and that was to never hurt people or animals. Dad didn’t mind doing either. Both falanderers had mothers that was as hard as nails and neither spared the rod on them. Harsh words in place of loving kindness from both their mothers left holes in them,deep and festering for the rest of their lives. And I read that the soft and kind women Duke married could have been what he wished for in a mother. However even though in the beginning my mother was pliant and accommodating later in life she resisted his orders and restrictions and left him to live out his life Alone. The damage of their arguing impacted my life as well as sister and brother. I wonder even though the Morrison children keep the John Wayne image perfect what were their lives truly like living with a dad that drank often, was a workaholic because of his fear of poverty and aloneness could have been like? Anything like ours when dad lost his temper and mom cried her eyes out and we hid in our room out of fear. Could it have been similar since drunks are similar, could he have been mean and hot tampered enough to frighten his children? Duke learned that the drunken behavior would not be tolerated on his job, he was fired from an acting studio for drinking. The ugly head of poverty shown and the lesson learned. Maybe he would say some hurtful words to his three wives while drunk that spurred them on to leave him. But he didn’t learn that lesson because he had three of them. He had the job and in the image of John Ford he received the approval he so much craved. Dad, well, poor thing I do not believe he ever received approval from my mother. Narcissists like my mother can not and will not let the control of her power supply get away by giving it approval.
The contest went all of his life.
Even though John Ford might have berated Wayne in front of the crew during shoots it was Wayne that played cards with Ford after a movie wrapped, it was Wayne that was billed a star in John Ford’s movies and it was Wayne that called Ford his only friend he ever had after Ford’s death.
Dad well, his friends were run off by my mother’s complaints and over the forty years subsequently he was alone, all his friends gone and she surrounded with her pseudonym-friends, she had won. Poor dad.
In the end they both succumbed to cancer, of the lungs for my dad and the stomach and lung for the Duke. It was painful to watch but both men are described as never giving into self pity. Not until the very last did they give into the necessity of having to remain in the hospital. Determined as they were to provide for their families even at the very end, Duke was reported to have come out of a comma suddenly, and talked with his family around him for several hours. He was alert and did not experience any pain and talked as if he were still working on a movie. He laughed and loved them and left them unselfishly with a picture of his old self for them to take with them. Dad died away from , hidden by my mother’s insatiable need to control every aspect of him,yet he appeared to me in a dream the year he died. And in the dream he looked at me and said, “I love you, to me, something he had not said to me in real life. He was healthy looking in the dream mad smiled at me, good bye.
The Gemini energy that carried them through life graciously guided them out.