Remembering the Duke - Your West Valley News: Topstory

Remembering the Duke

John Wayne fans a cut above the rest

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:09 am

John Wayne was born Marion Mitchell Morrison 103 years ago today in Winterset, Iowa.

Any other information about the movie star’s life, career or beliefs can be obtained from Dave and Roberta Jenkins of Sun City.

Enter the couple’s barber shop in El Mirage and you’ll see more than 160 pictures, drawings and posters on the walls. A life-size cardboard cutout of The Duke stands in the corner and other memorabilia is everywhere.

No doubt about it, the couple are John Wayne fans.

“We had one customer about 20-odd years ago who brought in two (pictures). He brought us in an 11-by-16 and an 8-by-10 and that started it. And people would come in and say, ‘Oh, you guys like John Wayne?’ And they’ve been bringing them in ever since,” Roberta said. “We’ve bought maybe half a dozen of the (items) ... but we have 160 pictures on the walls, we have all kinds of books and collections and knives and all kinds of things.”

“People come in and they look around and pretty soon they come back in and say, ‘You haven’t got this one.’ And they bring it in,” Dave said. “Christmas time is the biggest time. We’ve got one guy who brings something every year at Christmas time.”

Included in the collection is a blanket, statuettes, cigarette lighters, carvings, paintings, posters, books, belt buckles, bola ties, coffee mugs, calendars and seven clocks. Dave even visited the modest, four-room house where Wayne was born and raised.

But, at home, the couple sticks to the basics. No pictures, no decorative plates, no John Wayne toilet paper (“It’s rough and tough and don’t take no crap off of nobody.”) At home, it’s all about the movies. They have more than 100 of the actor’s films.

“We just keep it all here,” Roberta said.

“We like the Western atmosphere. This is the West,” Dave added.

Every cranny of the small shop has another piece of the collection, and a TV in the corner features any John Wayne movie being shown.

“We’ve got the Western channel, and we like to watch that. If his movies are on TV, we’ll find them,” Dave said with a laugh.

The exuberance for The Duke — who got his nickname as a boy from local firemen who watched him walk past the station with his airedale dog and called the pair “Big Duke” and “Little Duke” — is shared by customers, the Jenkinses said.

“I did a guy about a week ago or so and he said ... he knew John Wayne’s grandson. And he said, “I’m going to tell him you have all this stuff and maybe he’ll come over and check it out,’” Roberta said. “Wouldn’t that be neat? That would be fun.”

El Mirage resident Walter Jones, who was Dave’s “second or third customer,” and has been frequenting the shop for nearly 25 years, said he enjoys the ambiance created by the decorations.

“I like it,” he said. “Who isn’t a John Wayne fan?”

If and when the couple decides to close up the shop and retire, they said they will donate their collection to John Wayne’s son if he is interested in it.

“If we found out he wanted it, we’d send it to him,” Roberta said. “He’s probably got it all already anyway.”

For the Jenkinses, John Wayne represents more than a great actor and major movie star. He is someone to respect and admire.

“I think a lot of people looked up to him as a hero, you could call it. He’s our favorite — I don’t have heroes. But a lot of people look up to him as a hero. I think he was a great man. He had some awful good ideas, which will never be used,” Dave said.

Despite the extensive collection, the rewatched movies — the couple said they’ve seen more than 120 of the more than 150 films he made — and the appreciation for their favorite actor, Dave said he has one regret.

“I never met him. They say he was a wonderful man and what you saw in person was just like him on the movie screen,” he said. “We’ll be watching his movies. We’re just happy to have had him.”

Dave’s Barber Shop is at 12329 N.W. Grand Ave., El Mirage, along Grand Avenue west of Primrose Street. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday and may be reached at 623-583-9114.

Erin Turner may be reached at 623-876-2522 or eturner@yourwestvalley.com.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

RCSCW Board and Membership Meeting

Tell Us What You Think!

Loading…

More Corporations Are Putting Money on LGBTQ Equity

BOSTON (WOMENSENEWS)—Target made news this year when it announced that transgender people were welcome to use the bathroom of their choosing i…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 12:20 am @ http://womensenews.org/2016/06/more-corporations-a…

New York’s latest effort to ban Airbnb might violate First Amendment

An effort backed by unions and the hotel industry might succeed in shutting down Airbnb in New York. Doing so might require the state governme…

Published: June 25, 2016 - 12:05 am @ http://watchdog.org/268800/new-yorks-latest-effort…

PRESS RELEASE: Activists call “Humans not Hedge Funds” to confront St Louis ‘big coal’ power players 6/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Climate Justice Alliance: Michael Leon Guerrero, (505) 263 4982 MST, michael@ourpowercampaign.org Missourians Organizing…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:48 pm @ http://www.ourpowercampaign.org/press-release-peab…

CDC shuns AZ's FluMist, all but nixing U.S. sales this season

Dealing a blow to AstraZeneca in its largest FluMist Quadrivalent market, a CDC committee has recommended against any use of the nasal vaccine…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:49 pm @ http://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/astrazeneca-s-f…

June 23: Snake River AZ release party at The Brass Tap in Mesa

The Brass Tap at Mesa Riverview welcomes Snake River Brewing to Arizona with a tasting from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Snake River, Wyoming’s…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:39 pm @ http://mouthbysouthwest.com/events/june-23-snake-r…

An American Dream Deferred

One of the most important lessons I learned growing up was that if I played by the rules and worked hard, I could accomplish anything. This wa…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:35 pm @ http://www.ips-dc.org/american-dream-deferred/

Keeping Busy Inside {20 activities for kids}

Whether you are stuck inside because of the AZ summer heat or a mid-west winter storm, this list can help you and the kids keep busy inside an…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:19 pm @ http://scottsdale.citymomsblog.com/2016/06/23/keep…

This Sci-Fi Short Is So Beautiful You’ll Forget It Was Created to Promote a Video Game Company

A humanoid robot—or something that looks very much like one—awakes in an unfamiliar prison. The screen built into its chest gives its name as …

Published: June 24, 2016 - 11:05 pm @ http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/06/23…

Plane Forced To Make Emergency Landing In Tucson After Passenger Made Threat

The plane landed at Tucson International Airport on Wednesday afternoon and was met by a group of law enforcement officers including the FBI, …

Published: June 24, 2016 - 10:49 pm @ http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/compass-airlines…

Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4 protect passengers very differently in new IIHS tests: video [UPDATED]

Updated with a statement from Toyota. See below. Back in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added a new challenge for automakers…

Published: June 24, 2016 - 10:47 pm @ http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1104644_hyund…

Facebook

YourWestValley.com on Facebook

Twitter

YourWestValley.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to YourWestValley.com via RSS

RSS Feeds