Memorial Day 2008 in Los Angeles – dark clouds streaming in off the Pacific, driven by a cold wind, then some spotty sun, then more of the low clouds – a day to stay home, but for all the old John Wayne war movies on television. You get that on Memorial Day. He's always the stoic hero, as others die around him. But of course Memorial Day is about those who died fighting the good fight. And that's what those movies were about, after all – how to die well.
It seemed best to visit the old cowboy, rather than watch him in flickering black-and-white win this war or that. It seemed best on a cold Memorial Day.
John Wayne, 1979, by Henry Andrew Jackson (born Harry Shapiro in 1924 on the South Side of Chicago, and a good friend of Jackson Pollock) – a six ton, twenty-one feet high bronze at Wilshire and Le Cienega (discussed previously in May 2005) –