When the Beard and I started the blog, we had a lot of ideas as to the types of things we wanted to include. Admittedly, because we’ve been geeks all of our lives, we have many loves related to specific mediums and genres. Westerns was something we wanted to tackle, but we wanted to get our feet wet with other genres we considered more mainstream.
Little did we know that the more we talked to people, the more of a mainstream fan base we would find. So thanks, first, to all those people that communicated their fandom for Westerns as a genre. We dedicate this whole month of June to you, and hope that we do more than an adequate job of informing and entertaining you. For those of you not yet fans, continue to read our posts. We hope to wet your whistle with some cool sarsaparilla and rot gut whiskey.
As we began to do research, I went to some old standby Westerns to re-educate myself to the genre. Admittedly, this is not my preferred genre. I am a horror geek, first, as most of the regular readers to this blog can attest, but pretty quickly my tastes become more eclectic. So when I began to make a pretty steady viewing diet of Westerns, I went to Amazon Prime and started watching Randolph Scott movies.
When my Dad noticed that I was watching a lot of Randolph Scott, he asked, why him? I told him right away that Westerns for me are resonant of my childhood. I am a latchkey kid. For those unaware of the term, it just means that I was a kid that spent some of my day (after school) without adult supervision. Both my parents worked and even though my dad worked at night and slept during the day, he was in the house simultaneous to the arrival of his children. He just usually would sleep until dinner.
I know some of you are still wondering, what does this have to do with Randolph Scott in particular, and Westerns in general? I’ll tell you in a minute.
Most of us who were kids in the 70s had a pretty standard routine. We would come home from school, and watch cartoons while we did our homework. Cartoons had a limited viewing time, different from today where you can pretty much watch whatever you want, whenever you want online. They would end around 4:30 in the afternoon. You then could either take a nap or watch the 4:30 movie on ABC, in New York City. I had to have dinner started before Mom got home from work or I got consequences. I wasn’t allowed to go play in the street so basically I would watch the 4:30 movie.
There were a lot of really good things about the 4:30 movie. Probably the BEST thing about the 4:30 movie is the fact that every week there was a specific theme to the movies shown. One week they would air Shirley Temple movies. The next week they would air Godzilla movies. A third week would feature War movies. A fourth week maybe Matt Helm. The eclectic categories of these movies accounts for the diversity of my viewing pallete today.
When it came time to show Westerns, Randolph Scott was practically in all of them. There was something about his chiseled features, furrowed brow when he was angry, prominent aquiline nose, and radiant smile when he was joyous. I mimicked him in all our games of pretend Cowboys and Indians. (Obviously in this more enlightened age different terms would be used, but I would suggest you fill in words that you would consider more appropriate. At that time, that’s what we played.)
What I’m trying to say is that, both the Beard and I were shaped by these movies, and there was something about the carriage of this man that engendered the desire to emulate his sometimes quiet dignity and other times fiery indignation. Although, the Beard and I were lucky enough to have our fathers present in our lives, Randolph Scott was a way for us to see our fathers in comparison to, and qualities embodied in.
However, our fathers did not suffer in the comparison; in this they were NOT lacking. Randolph Scott was my Dad’s quiet dignity and he was also Eliseo’s fiery indignation. Randolph Scott may not have LOOKED like our Puerto Rican fathers, but he sure did embody the qualities of our Dads and I believe that we could see them in him.
As we begin June, we ask you all to celebrate High June with us. It promises to be an emotional, heavy duty month, where we celebrate the Western genre. Please recognize that we are paying homage and not making fun. The Mustache and the Beard are clowns. We are serious about our love for geek culture, but we are also self-effacing humorists. We have been this way since we were young and those that were our contemporaries would generally sit listening to us as if we were entertainers and educators. Everything we say is in that spirit.