Monday, January 19, 2015

We at the American Treasure Tour blog site take very seriously the responsibility to determine which treasure in our collection we are going to highlight on any given day.  We do careful analysis of what the public wants, contrast that with what they need, and what they are willing to be subjected to.  Then we do whatever we think is best anyway.  (Refer to the headline we did about Barney the Purple Dinosaur about fourteen months ago if you have any questions.)  Right now, we are happily in old movie land, as we explore media kits and photographs on display in our Music Room.  Today and tomorrow, we will dedicate space to another twofer:  Riders of the Purple Sage and My Darling Clementine.  Two classic western tales.  First...

My Darling Clementine was released in 1946.  Directed by John Ford, it is widely considered one of his best westerns.  It stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, Victor Mature as "Doc" Holliday, and Cathy Downs as Clementine Carter, Holliday's lover and the namesake of the film.  The film was beautifully shot in the naturally dramatic landscape of Monument Valley, located near the border between Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.  The story takes place in Tombstone, Arizona, and, to be honest, has nothing to do with the real story of Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holliday.  But the movie is pretty enough that it doesn't really matter.

QUESTION:  Which of the following characters in the film is fictional:
A)  Wyatt Earp
B)  "Doc" Holiday
C)  Clementine Carter
D)  Newman Haynes Clanton

ANSWER BELOW

LOVING LUCY:  Television has changed a lot since it was first introduced to the American public after World War II.  Besides just the quality of the signal and the variety of things to watch, people rarely make something on TV a cultural event anymore.  Sure, millions watch shows like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards, but it is likely that there will never be another time like this day in 1953, when a full 71.7% of American televisions were tuned to CBS for the episode of I Love Lucy called "Lucy Goes to the Hospital."  It coincided with the real-life birth by Caesarian section of Lucille Ball's son Desi Arnaz, Jr., and aired one day before the inauguration of 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower.  You have to decide for yourself which event was more important.

DON'T BE A POE SPORT:  Considering that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we realize we should celebrate his birth today.  The only problem with that is his actual birthday is January 15th.  So instead, we will recognize someone whose life may be a little less inspiring, maybe a little more macabre.  Edgar Allan Poe likely resisted entering the world on this day in 1809 (the same year Abraham Lincoln was born, by the by), but enter it he did.  His tumultuous life unquestionably impacted his own stories and poems of loss, misery and murder. Orphaned as a child, his beloved wife and cousin Virginia died after eleven years of marriage when she was only twenty-four (do the math), and he himself died in abject poverty at the age of forty.  But all of that led to some amazing work, so thanks for that.

QUOTE:  All that we seem is but a dream in a dream. - Edgar Allan Poe

Answer:  C)  Clementine Carter.  It is believed she may have been a composite of two non-fictional women:  Big Nose Kate and Josephine Earp.