Oater Heaven…until…

It was a good day up until the end.

We played golf with Pete and Nancy Toennies, a great matchup and with the rain last week and assorted obligations, it had been a while. Nancy and Maureen were in a cart. Pete and i walked, our preference. i began terrible and ended pretty good, much better than the other way around. This foursome has fun together and that is most important.

And then, we had a late lunch, early dinner at the Brigantine, the Coronado original. Covid and California had stopped such a treat before Christmas and dining, although outside, began again last week.

The Brig has been one of my go-top places since…oh hell, i lost track. i do remember Wednesday nights. The legendary JD Waits and i shared a condo in the Coronado Cays with a boat slip below our patio where JD’s 25-foot Cal was moored. Wednesday’s JD and i would hit the Brig, have a Manhattan…or two, and then dine on their salmon with hollandaise sauce with a nice wine, finishing with a Courvoisier and a cup of coffee. Their margaritas were the best in town.

It changed of course. Went upscale, opened up a couple of more. The original expanded, got modern, prices went up. But the Brig is still my Brig. Had a couple of oysters on the half shell, still wishing i had ordered the half-dozen, and then a waygu beef burger with fries. As Bob Seger sang Brigantine, “You’re Still the Same.”

So we get home. i’m feeling cocky, and with my recent exchanges with Bill Hager about “Red Ryder,” i was ready for an oater. The news with its bleakness and it’s yanking our chain, and it’s selling stuff was what i put on briefly. Then, i quietly asked Maureen if she would mind my watching a western, adding if she did, i would go to the front room and watch one there. She said no, put in her ear buds, and began reading a book on her Kindle (i think: i’m still too stubborn to read anything that doesn’t have paper pages i can turn).

i turned to the Starz app, scrolled down to the “western category” and scrolled to the right, after a dozen or so, there it is: Bob Steele in “Ambush Trail.” Now i loved all of the western movies, even after they turned violent and bloody and gory and in technicolor or whatever they call it now. But the old oaters remain my favorite. And Bob Steele was my favorite. Oh there were about twenty or thirty western  heroes and certainly Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, and Gene Autry were the most famous. My favorite was Bob Steele. Lash Larue would have been right up there with Bob, but Lash with his 18-foot bullwhip for disarming villains, was mostly in the Saturday serials by the time i got to watch him. Bob Steele was in movies. AND he didn’t sing. He just rode his beautiful horse, fought for justice, the American way, and against the villains, always fighting fair, and only winging the bad guys.

So i watched Bob Steele once again be instrumental in fighting and fighting and fighting (i think there were at least eight fistfights) for western justice ending up triumphant, with no singing.  He had a sidekick, Sam Hawkins, who was really Syd Saylor, who made bad jokes. The plot was twisted and not all that terrific, but it didn’t matter. i mean there were two people actually killed by the bad guys and there was not one drop of blood anywhere near that black and white screen. Nobody was bludgeoned to death or cut into pieces and the good ranchers were saved from the nefarious freight supplier (with horse and wagons of course)

i was in oater heaven.

Maureen would occasionally look up from her kindle and shake her head. i think she was wishing she had taken me up on going to the front room. i mean this lady, along with her younger daughter, watch all movies, especially hen flicks i have mentioned, classics, period pieces, English stodgy stuff, all Academy Award movies. i think i noticed her nose was turned up when i praised Bob Steele.

i went to Wikipedia. i found Bob’s story and his filmography. The guy was amazing. His first movie was silent in 1920. His last was in 1974. In between he appeared in more than 200 movies, most of them westerns. And he could sing, but he didn’t in the westerns.

So i brought out my computer and showed Steele’s filmography to Maureen. She was unimpressed. Looking for someone to understand, i showed the filmography to Sarah. She scrolled through about twenty and said “yeh.”

So the night didn’t end all that well. But then i got to thinking:

Okay, okay, the realism was lacking. i figure i’ve got enough stupid realism around me i don’t need it in movies. Yeh, the acting wasn’t academy award quality, but there are a whole bunch of academy awards for stuff i found…unenjoyable and that is just me being nice.

And you know what? Bob and his good guys won. He made me feel good about the world.

So i’m planning on watching more oaters. But it will be in the front room. By myself.

2 thoughts on “Oater Heaven…until…

  1. There are those who do not appreciate a $.15 admission and a dime bag of popcorn to the Capitol or Princess on a Saturday to watch Bob or Roy or Whip or Gene overcome the bad guys. Always the good won out. Too bad our young folk don’t have those heroes to imitate.

  2. I was a fan of Lash LaRue. I also liked Red Ryder because of Little Beaver. It was nice seeing an Indian that wasn’t killed or portrayed as evil or a killer. My mother took us to see Davy Crockett when it was released in the early 50’s because it portrayed our people in the movie. She actually watched it with us.

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