Saturday, November 19, 2016

Kissing John Wayne And Other Wild Texas Tales

The Cowboys are big in our Texas family and roundabout Texas too for that matter. When my husband and father-in-law had their shared birthday recently, as usual Wild Bill was in the background while he let his father have the day.
Pop was 93 that day. The number 82 is his favorite player. His devotion to The Dallas Cowboys is legend as you can witness by the decor, the presents, and even the cake.
Every year Pop tells everyone The Cowboys are going to win the Superbowl...he might just be right this year!
 After attending Pop's big bash, Wild Bill and I headed to his favorite BBQ place down in McKinney. Wagon wheels, sawdust floors...this ain't a "high-dollar" place as they say in Texas.
But if you love low-and-slow cooked brisket and plenty of sides to choose from, this would be your style of place. 
I'm more a ribs person and, in my opinion, they have the best around. Sorry for the quality of the pictures. It was dark in this area and there were lots of people in line. Wild Bill whined when he saw me whip out my phone camera. He said it was wrong to hold up the line, but I think he just wanted to mosey on over to the vegetables and sides.
He likes when I get ribs because the smallest portion is more than I can handle so he always gets the spares.
Yes, that's a small baking pan with butcher paper on top as the dinner tray. It's not fancy, but fer shur you'll know you've 'et in Texas.
Our table was under the John Wayne wall. That big close-up of John Wayne's face is even signed by the Duke. A picture and info of the beloved McKinney City Marshall was on the wall too. Here's the best picture I could get of the Marshall.
Now here's a true story and not a tall tale. I was stationed in Mississippi, just East of New Orleans, for Air Force technical training in 1969. 
(Me 2 years later)
A group of us took the bus to New Orleans one Friday night. The bus was delayed so we didn't arrive in New Orleans until well past midnight. We checked into our hotel and headed to the Bourbon Street area, and we were sitting in a cafe eating a sandwich at around 2 a.m. 

Bourbon Street is foot traffic only and very narrow and old. It's not far from one side to the other. You can imagine the shock we felt when John Wayne (a hero to all back then) and just one other guy came out of the bar across the street...and John stood there, with his back to the street, beating on the closed door!
Never one to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, across the street I charged and tapped John Wayne on the shoulder. Let me say here, the man was TALL and larger than life. I asked if I could shake his hand, and he put out his left hand because he had a drink in the other. While shaking his left hand with my right (more like holding it than shaking) I asked if I could give him a kiss? He planted one on me! 

Then, still holding my hand, we began to walk down the sidewalk while he told me about the "...Son-of-a-B..." who threw him out and told me never go in that place! (I was 19, they wouldn't have let me in anyway)
Meanwhile, side-kick man was telling him "John we have to go!" Everyone around had recognized The Duke by now, and they all crowded around. 
One guy asked if he wanted a drink of his Peach Brandy (a pint bottle held up) and John Wayne threw his glass in the gutter, grabbed up the pint, and (without wiping it off like they use to do in westerns) he drank about half the bottle. It was magic!
I didn't wash my hand or lips for about a week. The next night we saw all the actors outside a theater for the premier of his latest movie, The Undefeated

John Wayne appeared again to have had more than a little peach brandy from the way he was walking that night, but I was still too smitten to care. Do you blame me?

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Oh, my! Amazing story re. John Wayne! And thanks for YOUR service. You are gorgeous in that photo.

    Happy birthday to your dad (and hubby, too). Sounds like a PERFECT celebration.

  2. What a wonderful family time and celebrations. I enjoyed your exciting John Wayne story and I took say thank you for your service!

  3. Great story and there is nothing and I do mean nothing, better than good barbecue.

  4. Love this story!! What a brush with fame. :)

  5. Such a great story and a amazing birthday bash.

  6. Happy Birthday to Wild Bill and his Pop!

    YOU got a kiss from John Wayne?!?!?!
    OMG! I'm so envious!
    I've always loved how he was such a man's man and cowboy and... I wouldn't have washed my hand or lips either!!!

  7. Happy birthday to your husband and father in law.
    Wow that is so cool. John Wayne. What a great story.
    Didn't know you were in the Air Force - Thank You for your service!!!

  8. Happy birthday to your father-in-law and husband. It looks like it was a really fun day. Is he really 92? xo Laura

  9. Woo-woo! What a cutie you were and still are! Loved your John Wayne story, but that barbecue made me hungry all over again after dinner!