In celebration of our Collector's Edition devoted entirely to John Wayne (on newsstands now!), we've launched a fun sweepstakes. Visit Americancowboy.com/contest to learn more about how you can win a trip for two to John Wayne's Birthplace in Winterset, Iowa and the Bridges of Madison County.
Remarkably, the 100th anniversary of John Wayne’s birth passed not long ago, and a lot of people have been getting in touch to reminisce and debate his relevance in history. Below is a poem from one of our readers:
"As a child growing up, my family and I would always watch John Wayne movies. We didn’t go to the movie theater much, but I can remember seeing John Wayne on the big screen and also watching him on TV. He was an American hero and legend, and still today most people know who he was and what he stood for. I still see bumper stickers that read “God Bless John Wayne.” This is my tribute to him." —Janet Eggleston of Amarillo, Texas.
He was a bigger-than-life hero…
A cowboy we all wished to be;
We’d sit, mesmerized and silent,
As we watched him on TV.
Duke was big and tough and rowdy.
His punch could knock a man plumb down;
And the bad guys took to runnin’
Whenever John Wayne came to town.
He believed in God and country.
He lived by guidelines, strong and true;
He made us proud to be Americans…
To love our old red, white, and blue.
He sat high up in the saddle.
He wore, with pride, his boots and hat;
He stood for right and truth and honor.
He made us want to be like that.
He never backed down from a struggle.
He was a giant among men;
And I sure would like to see him
Ride across that screen again.
In this time of war and trouble,
When we’re losin’ precious ground…
Our country really needs a hero.
I wish John Wayne was still around!