[Memories from my past.]
[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!
[Damn! Here comes another bruise!]
Hold everything! Where are his westerns?
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.
[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.
[Hey stop! I got wedgie!]
© JW Thomas
[Some days you get off on the wrong side of the horse.]