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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Rose

[Norma photo]
The rose is a very dramatic flower.

There, I've said it! And I am still a man.

I am a typical American of my time, who grew up watching oaters on UHF (ultra high fructose) TV stations full of strong, silent role models. Drama was left to the female lead, whose difficult job it was to elicit heartfelt responses from Gary-Cooper-quiet heroes who often really were Gary Cooper. It went like this:

Rose: Don't go, Tex, oh don't go.

Tex: Gots to go, Rosie.

Rose: But the Driscoll gang'll get you.

Tex: Mehbee...

I should mention here that bad-guys were pretty much always Driscolls in old westerns, and the most repeated line was,"C'mon out, Driscoll!" Then you'd get 15 minutes of bullets ricocheting off a big rock in the dusty yard of a clapboard cabin. My theory is these scenes have historical root in a real Driscoll family that conducted a similar argument in Ogle County, Illinois, in the 1840s. It is a cautionary tale, like the Bible's story of Rebekah's contentious twins, of what can happen when family counseling is delayed.

Tex:....mehbee not.

Rose: But Tex, I...I love you, you big galoot.

Tex: Aw, Rosie.

Rose: Just come back to me.

Tex: Aw Rosie. Yuh give me the goldurned emotions!

Tex rides away, of course. Rose clasps her little fists under her quivering chin and walks back to the one-room school house --Rose is always the schoolmarm. We follow Tex into a chaotic universe, but Goethe and Rollo May have assured us nature throws its assisting forces behind the individual who begins a constructive cycle. Tex enters the fray, same fray I saw in most every western that raised me, and brings himself back. We're not so sure his methods were suitable for a general American, or global, rosy future, but he won and he's a hero. I'm a little male kid and think, "Wow, we're not so different: he puts his hat on one leg at a time, just like me!"

The rose is a beautiful, dramatic flower. But beauty and drama can cover the secret, injurious nature of reality. The hero is quiet, strong, possessed of an uncomplicated mind, a mind in which secrets are safe. But what can be more dangerous than what we withhold from each other --perhaps secrets the mind keeps from itself? Ooh ooh! He's riding back up to the school house. Rosie runs out. They share a long mindless period of eye-contact.

Tex: Aw, I reckon I love you too.

Now what was I thinking about drama, vigilantism, morality and the mind? I forget.

11 comments:

  1. The big, strong, silent types can often fool us. Rumor hazzit that Gary Cooper liked roses.
    I like roses and old cowboy movies.
    Draw your own conclusions......

    (a great post!)

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  2. Well yup...I guess I like roses too. And thanks, Jon!

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  3. My brother Beery had a friend named Driscoll. He turned out to be a psycho. There's a lot in a name, no matter what The Bard said.

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  4. Ah, yes, times were simpler then, and the lines, clearly drawn. I wonder how much harm that "silent-suffering" male role model caused for countless young men who never learned how to express their emotions. I did love those old oaters, though. "Hey, Ceeeesco!" "Hey, Poncho!"

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  5. Austan, would a rose by any other name smell like Driscoll?

    Susan, Cisco and Pancho were the best of the oater teams, an introduction to Cervantes!

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  6. Geo.- I sincerely hope with my whole heart that nothing else on Earth smells like Driscoll.

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  7. I'm not a deep thinker but I do remember those old westerns where the good guys and the bad guys chased each other on horse back round and round and round the same huge chunk of rock out in the middle of nowhere. If they were firing real bullets they would all have been dead after the second round.

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  8. Is Driscoll some kind of oven cleaner?

    Those are some mighty fine roses you got there, if you don't mind my sayin' so. (I think I could have been an actor back then.)

    Yeehaa!

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  9. mybabyjohn/Delores--I suspect horse-operas' lack of depth was part of their charm. Welcome!

    CarrieBoo--Rose is "Candelabra", a favorite here. Its color is almost like a flavor.

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  10. I like roses because you can eat the petals :-) New follower, via Susan Flett Swiderski, btw

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  11. That would agree with the color-flavor connection. Welcome Lily!

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