I’ve been practicing race walking. The form one must perfect is quite odd, really, and I’m sure when people see you race walking they question if you’re “ok”. I call it the John Wayne walk. Anyone who is 60-something knows what I’m talking about, and that reminds me of Peggy.
So, it’s 1950-something and Peggy and I enjoyed putting on skits for mom and dad. Typically these grand shows would occur in the living room, after dinner, homework done. On this particular eve, we decided to be cowboys and mimic one of those scenes where the two make their way to the saloon and belly up to the bar (kitchen counter). Well, Peggy had the John Wayne walk mastered. Both arms held out in front of her, she swaggered in, cowboy hat perched in a cockeyed fashion on her head, mumbling something John Wayne-ish, like “I’m gonna rope every calf, cow, steer in the corral…”.
We greeted each other at the “bar” and I said to the imaginary bar tender, “We’ll have two whiskeys, bar keep!” in my deep, cowboy voice. “John Wayne” runs behind the counter and puts two shot glasses up on the bar (jelly glasses that mom got free from the gas station!) and fills them with root beer, and runs back to the other side of the bar.
“Here’s looking at you, pardner!” I said, as I raised my glass in John’s direction. “Here’s lookin’ at you, pardner!” John bellowed. And at that, we raised our glasses and slugged our shots down. With one exception. As I raised my glass , I completely missed my mouth and root beer flew all over my face!
I can still hear mom and dad laughing. Dad slapped his knee and let out a hoot, and John Wayne and I laughed til the cows came home!
Here’s lookin’ at you pardner!