Western Non-Fiction posted May 15, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level

The Shootist

by vickib

They warn me sternly, "Don't go near the window."

Really? I live here. I peek through tattered lace drapes. Second floor, perfect vantage. Muddy street, cautious cowboys on uneasy horses. Two, tough looking, tie off at the hitching post. One adjusts his belt, swaggers bowlegged through saloon doors. The other stands look-out, alert. Gunfire. I jump, bump the curtain. Damn, what have I done? Hold my breath, wait.

A signal informs me all is clear. Whew, that was a close call. I push the curtains wide open to get the full view. Film crew, cameras, technical stuff, movie trailers, hustle and bustle. Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard, two of many actors. Stunt men, fill-ins, make-up people wrap up. But there's this one guy ... This one guy, he stands out from the crowd. I've watched him come and go from his trailer for weeks. Does he see me looking at him from my window? Does he know how much I admire him? Seems the least he could do is introduce himself. Soon he will be gone.

That does it! I tromp down the stairs. Determined. I'm going to get in trouble for this.

stand-off in street
finger on trigger-click
photo of John Wayne


I was sixteen living in an old Victorian house in the historic part of Carson City Nevada when they made the movie The Shootist on the street I lived on. It was John Wayne's last movie. I also got Ron Howard's autograph when I passed him walking down main street and said to myself, that was Ron Howard, so I turned around and talked to him for a minute. But meeting John Wayne was pretty special to say the least. I have to tell you though he wasn't too happy I took his picture, I think it was my bad timing, but he was gracious, after he yelled at me. We weren't suppose to look out the windows when they were filming, but I used to sneak.

For Humpwhistle who inspired this when he mentioned John Wayne in a review reply and I told him I'd met John Wayne. I'd forgotten all about it.

Do you think I'll ever get off this haibun kick?
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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© Copyright 2021. vickib All rights reserved.
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