Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who wrote Festus' lines on Gunsmoke?

I woke up this morning, but wasn't ready to get out of bed so I turned on the tv. Gunsmoke was on and almost at the end. As the program was finishing, Festus Hagan waxed philosophical. Remember Matt's mule riding sidekick who alwasy called him Matthew? A man had almost shot Marshall Matt, only to find out it wasn't Matt who had shot his father in the back, it was his grandfather.

As usual there were the last couple of minutes where you get an idea of how things turned out. It seems that the grandsons ended up helping the grandfather with the farm and invited Matt and Festus for supper.

Festus began saying to Matt how it was 'soulsome' to see them together and how things had turned out 'roundy'. If I could interpret, I'd say that he was saying that good alwasy prevails, and that things come full circle. And of course he said all these things with his back woods, nasaly twang.

I was movie deprived in my youth as were most of the kids of my generation who lived in the country. We didn't go to the movies much, and by the time I was able to enjoy going on a Saturday afternoon, the small movie houses had closed and it was necessary to drive about 30 minutes to the nearest one. In other words the Saturday matinee pretty much skipped my generation unless you lived in a 'big city'.

Had I been able to go to the movies, I might have known what a handsome man Festus(Ken Curtis) had been in his younger days. I might have known how refined and polished he was. I might have known that he was one of the 'Sons of the Pioneers' who sang all those cowboy songs in 3 and 4 part harmony. I might have known that he was in some of John Wayne's movies. In The Alamo he was a dashing young officer who played father to John Wayne's real life daughter. In She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, he was one of the troops who sang 'I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen' to Maureen O'Hara's character.

Which brings me to wonder, just who wrote those hick lines he delivered? Did he have some input, or did the writers have a backwoods hillbilly hick on staff that wrote such eloquent lines for him to deliver?

In my opinion, he often stole the show, and brought a fresh element to the sometimes ordinary western. I think he may have helped Gunsmoke one of the longest running shows on TV. We never missed an episode.

Whichever it was, Festus will always have a special place in my heart.

What's your opinion on this weighty matter? Inquiring minds want to know. And it's time for me to get in the shower and get ready for church. Hope you are planning to attend worship services this morning.


Lisa J said...

I think I will have to add you to my list of favorites. I truly enjoy reading your blog. How did you come across mine may I ask? Thanks for your kind words left on my post!

Memaw's memories said...

Lisa, I probably found you on Chickens in the Road. I've been reading her alot lately. I read Pioneer Woman, but she has so many comments, I don't usually read a lot of them.

I am really enjoying the blog world. It allows me to ramble and talk about the things I love.

Thanks for commenting.

Lisa J said...

I love Chickens in the Road and the Pioneer Woman. Wish I was half as good as they are and wish I knew 1/4 of what they do about the blogging world. Good to meet you, I love reading people's blogs around the U.S.

Renna said...

I can't answer your question about Festus, but I enjoyed the stroll down Gunsmoke Memory Lane. ;-D

I'm guessing by your reponse to LisaJ that you must have discovered me at Chickens in the Road, too. I rarely comment at PW's, since she usually has at least a couple hundred comments per day (not counting contest days).

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog today. Your's certainly looks like a happy place! :-)

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