|Contributed By Seneca L. Erman
- January 26, 2011 -
I had the pleasure of conferring the degrees on Bro. Wayne when I was WM. He was a gentle giant of a man and very gracious. I taught him his degrees (first and second) at his hotel room. As you can surmise, he was a quick study from his movie experience.
He taught me to sip Jack Daniels and smoke (or chew on) Optimo cigars during our work. He did the full work on the degrees in due form, but our 3rd baseman had to stand up on a chair to deliver the important act during the 3rd degree. John took it gracefully and participated fully. He did the 3rd proficiency in California and went in to the upper degrees and the Shrine.
When he went into the Shrine, he sent his plane (a multipassenger turboprop) to Tucson to take me and my wife and children and the Potentate of Sabbar (Hack Baldwin, who was also treasurer- I think- of Marion McDaniel at the time) and his wife to witness the fun. We wondered how we would know which plane was his at the Tucson private airport. John assured us we would recognize it. We did. It had a painting of an "Oscar" on the fuselage and the "Oscar" had a patch over one eye.
John had just received the award for "True Grit". We watched him go into the Shrine and had a good time at the reception. Afterwards, his friend, whose name was Reifschneider, who was married to the owner of Knott's Berry Farm, gave my kids books of tickets for rides at the amusement park.
We saw the Duke several times after that, at the Shrine in CA and at the Francisco Grande Hotel in Casa Grande when he came in to visit his ranch near there or when he came to visit Tucson.
Seneca L. Erman, MD, PM
|Contributed By Jim Wild
- January 26, 2011 -
T here are two stories I like to tell about Duke. One is the first time I met John Wayne I kept calling him Mr. Wayne. He interrupted me and said to me, "My friends call me Duke."
The second is the script of Cahill U.S. Marshall that he let me read. As I was reading the typed script I noticed it was typed J.C. Cahill. The 'C' was crossed out and a 'D" was hand written above it.
When I asked Duke why the C was crossed out and the D written in he said if he were to make that movie calling himself J. C. the press would be all over him for trying to set himself up as Jesus Christ so he had them change the C to a D.
WB Jim Wild
|Contributed By Don Milligan
- January 27, 2011 -
The night of BR John's ranch foreman (of his Casa Grande, AZ ranch/cotton farm) being scheduled to be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason was upon us. The lodge members were not sure that the Duke would be able to attend due to his schedule. Well lo and behold, the Duke rode in with his foreman just before time to open lodge.
BR John wanted in the worst way to play a part in the second section of the degree. However, he had not asked to participate due to his schedule. Just before the second section was about to begin, the WM approached me to ask if I would share "third base" with him. You see, I had been scheduled to do this part and was well prepared. BR John and I talked and behold, he wanted to do the physical part and I do the speaking part. As he would say, I would read the lines while he did the acting, because he had not had time to memorize it. It might be noted that he had just about a photographic memory and could have committed the part to memory very quickly, but he did not want to do that at the last minute.
Anyway when it came our time to participate, we preformed great together, except for just one little detail. BR John was accustomed to putting himself into acting a part and this part was played the same. When it was time to lay his foreman down, BR John did a great, but strong-handed job.
Immediately, afterwards he turned to me and whispered (the Duke could never really whisper due to his strong voice) "I wholloped H--- out him didn't I". I shushed him quickly because I am sure all nearby heard him. I was still concerned about his ranch foreman, as to whether he was just put down or if he had been put to sleep. The foreman was fine and the two of them later had a little discussion over coffee and doughnuts in the dining room.
Just about every time BR John was in or near Tucson making a movie (he was at old Tucson a lot as well as the movie set near Benson, AZ) he would go to lodge. He just liked the way he was treated in lodge and during refreshments afterwards. He just wanted to be one of the guys, with no fanfare. Most of us honored him because he had had some of his favorite sport coats torn to shreds when he was out in public. So we would not call our wives and tell them that he was at lodge. I for one got into trouble at home for this but he would give me an autograph for the wife and kids to please them.
Occasionally, after lodge when he had had a hard day at work before, he would ask during the coffee and doughnut break, if anyone wanted to go out for a little libation to end the day. Of course, we would go home and let the family know what was happening and go to one of the out of the way places that would let BR John in the back door without letting everyone know he was there.
So anyone that was with him received the same treatment. He just wanted to quietly have a stiff libation, some conversation and then call it a night.
In all occasions that I was around this man, he impressed me with his need to just be one of the ordinary people with no fan fare. He not only walked tall, rode tall in the saddle but projected an image of greater than life itself. For my money, I am the richer for having known and associated with him.
I remember one night that the Duke was at lodge. Everything went well and he gave us a little talk but I cannot remember what it was about. After the lodge was closed and all of us were having a cup of coffee and donuts, BR John was sitting across the table from me and near the end of our refreshments before we headed home. The Duke took off his rug and put it into his inside jacket pocket. He commented that he liked to do without it as much as he could. He said, of course he had to portray an image for the public and on film. To me he looked just fine without the thing, so after I would sorta wonder if he always wore it under that trademark Stetson hat in the movies. Only he and the movie set knew for sure.
My wife still lets me have it when she talks about the Duke. She has all of his movies and some of the publicity sales stuff that she treasures still. Of course his autographs are hidden among her treasures. I guess that I probably should have managed for her to meet BR John but at the time I really did not think it was that big of a deal for her. Oh, well !!!!
WB Don Milligan
|Contributed By Bob Volsteadt
- January 27, 2011 -
Another anecdote, from BR Bob Volsteadt
(Who is about 6"1 or 2" - You'll see why this is notable)
I met him in the parking lot, in front of our Lodge, the afternoon he was taking his degrees. If you recall, he always looked so tall in the movies. I stood beside him and said "you aren't so darn tall", and he said "they can do wonders with the cameras". We chatted for a while while the lodge was being prepped. Then went inside.
We went to dinner that night at a restaurant near Golf Links and Kolb. It isn't there any more. While we were waiting for dinner we had a drink in the bar, and as people came in they were really surprised to see him and would sort of stare to make sure I guess.
Several tables were set up in the middle of of the room to accomodate our crowd, near the entrance, so people could see him when they came in. That bothered him somewhat, so after the meal he wanted to go back to his hotel room, which was on Alvernon just North of Broadway.
Have an "Anecdote" for this page? Contact WB Steve Harrington PM
MAY 16, 1907 - JUNE 11, 1979
Born Marion Morrison, "The Duke" appeared or starred in over 200 films in his fifty-year career, winning an Oscar for "True Grit" in 1969.
Remembered for his definition of the American individualist of a mythical Wild West, he came to represent America to several generations of movie-goers.
He was member of Glendale Demolay Chapter during his high school days
Duke was also a Freemason, like his father before him, receiving his craft degrees in July 1970 in Marion McDaniel Lodge 56, Tucson, Arizona.
A Senior DeMolay, he was also awarded the DeMolay Legion Of Honor in 1970, in December of that year, he joined the York Rite Bodies in California and became a Shriner in the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple, located in Long Beach.
John Wayne Chapter 3667 Order of DeMolay
Initiated: July 9, 1970
Passed: July 10, 1970
Raised: July 11, 1970
Marion McDaniel Lodge 56, Tucson, Arizona
John Wayne receiving his Masonic Bible
At Marion McDaniel Lodge 56, July 1970