Freelance Stuntman on the Western Fringe

[Memories from my past.]

Jerry stunt #16

[What’s a stuntman without his trusty steed?]

Beginnings often span generations.

Pop dreams of Hopalong Cassidy,

Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.

Junior imagines Audie Murphy,

John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood.

Pop vacates the country,

no more dung to sling.

Junior starts his dream in a barrio,

a suburb of L.A.

City boy with a country heart,

no stables to muck or rake.

Lone Ranger’s mask,

two white-handled cap guns.

Bonanza lunchbox until the age of eight:

hold onto them any longer and even the girls

would give tear-jerking wedgies.

What a surprise a dozen years make:

paid to play childhood heroes:

bang-bang shoot um’ up.

But the only stars attached to Junior’s name

come with impacts and concussions.

It helps to be an adrenaline junkie,

plus hustle here and there.

Fights, falls, fire: their willing to pay,

Junior’s willing to play.

Skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba:

give him the check, he’ll hit the deck.

Car crashes, chases, motorcycle jumps – Stop!

Jerry stunt #15

[Damn! Here comes another bruise!]

Hold everything! Where are his westerns?

“Sorry fella…

but he ain’t never rode a horse.”


Don’t years on a carousel count?

The S.O.B. just walked away.

Junior proved him wrong –

he could fall off a horse

better than he could ride one.

Next, he bought a stunt pony

that could fall along with him.

When both go down

neither feels like such a loser.

When they fell together

they finally got the westerns.

Live shows, exhibitions,

documentaries, stunt competitions.

Jerry stunt #19

[Brotherly love… stuntman style!]

Yippee ki yay – blankety-blank.

Hero cheers – villain jeers –

sexy ingénue whistles and catcalls.

Stunt actors receive the loudest ovations.

Pointing guns at an audience

has an influential effect.

The western fringe

is both blessing and curse.

No fame or fortune would there be.

But more fun than a Sci-Fi wife

at her first alien abduction.

Non-western stunts are in demand,

and pay much better.

Junior doesn’t care –

at least not much –

at least not when asked publicly.

Junior’s living his dream.

A childhood fantasy:

It comes with every call to

saddle-up, spur um’ on,

shoot um’ down, and roll um’ over.

Though he still ends up with

a wedgie or two

while performing a stirrup drag and release.

Jerry stunt #26

[Hey stop! I got wedgie!]

© JW Thomas

Jerry stunt #17

[Some days you get off on the wrong side of the horse.]


10 thoughts on “Freelance Stuntman on the Western Fringe

    • jwtatfbc April 21, 2016 / 3:49 am

      Well, one side of me did anyway, my friend. Especially after finding out that I was the first generation that was raised in the city. I wanted to go back to my roots.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 21, 2016 / 3:52 am

        You picked a tough profession to accomplish that. Years ago, I had a friend whose husband had been a stuntman. He about wrecked his body.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 21, 2016 / 3:54 am

        Well, my friend, you know that I started with a messed up body from my military days. And the stunts did exacerbate the injuries over time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 21, 2016 / 3:58 am

        When one is young, one feels invincible. Then when one gets a bit older, sees that maybe they should have been a little nicer to their body. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 21, 2016 / 4:00 am

        Wise words indeed; where were you 20 years ago when I really needed to hear it? ha ha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 21, 2016 / 4:02 am

        Probably laid up with a herniated disk. lol I didn’t take good care of myself either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 21, 2016 / 4:04 am

        Ouch! Well, at least we’ve learned the lessons now, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 21, 2016 / 4:07 am

        A little too late. 🙂 I’m off to bed, JW. I’m about to nod off…not enough sleep plus extra allergy medication…
        Good night and sweet dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 21, 2016 / 4:08 am

        Good night and sweet dreams to you, Pretty Lady.

        Liked by 1 person

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