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Watching a Western with My Son

Continued from here.

It’s been right many years since I’ve seen The Sons of Katie Elder, but I could remember most of it. Strangely, though, I couldn’t remember how it ends. Turned out I did actually remember the ending, I just didn’t realize the John Wayne Western ending I remembered was for this movie. They’ve all kind of gotten a bit jumbled in my memory over the years.

Before the movie started, Calfgrit10 asked me about Westerns:

“Is that where they have the guns that they have to click to make them shoot?” he asked.

“Yes, they have to pull the hammer back before they pull the trigger to shoot it.” I explained. “It’s called single action. . .” and I explained how they work.

“And they use those rifles with the handle underneath?” he asked. He sort of mimed the action of a lever under a rifle.

“Yep, that’s called a lever action,” I explained, and I described what that action does mechanically.

He was remembering the time I took him out shooting guns with my father and brother, (and brogrit’s girlfriend).  He shot my dad’s single action revolver that day.

I inherited that .357 revolver, as well as a lever action .30-.30, when my dad passed. They’re up hidden in my office now. While Calfgrit10 and I were discussing the weapons of Western movies, I had the urge to go get the guns and show him. I wanted to say, “You know, I have a couple of those kinds of guns. Let me show you.” But, that’s too close to, “Hey, you wanna see my dad’s guns?” But those words are dreadfully dangerous. So I put the thought away. I could show him in a more appropriately reverent and calm moment some time later outside the excitement of movie time.

We watched the movie, and he seemed to enjoy it. He didn’t get up from the sofa with me, and he didn’t talk about other things during the scenes. That’s signs that he was engrossed in the experience, just like me.

Afterward, he said he liked the movie, and would be interested in seeing another Western with me some time. Great. I wish we could have watched the movie with my dad, and had three generations of us men loving a Western at the same time. That would have been cool. My dad would have really enjoyed that.


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