Today would have been John Wayne’s 110th birthday. He was one of my favorite actors growing up.
I had the special honor of working on several of his western jewelry items when I ran and designed for the Edward H. Bohlin Company many years back, and I actually ended up with a buckle that John wore in one of his movies and a couple of other special collector items.

During my time at Bohlins, which was by far the most famous western jewelry and saddle company in the world, I had the special privilege of meeting and working on pieces for many of the last remaining western stars including the Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) who gave me a Silver Bullet as a gift.
Clayton had his Lone Ranger Outfit stolen and since our company was the original designer of his famous movie outfit, his holsters and Trigger’s saddle, we remade his entire set for him which you can see in the attached photo.

I also got to work with Gene Autry, and helped with some of the organizing of the Gene Autry Western Museum just before Gene’s death.
John’s ranch, the 26 Bar in Eager Arizona was close to my ranch in the Cibola Wilderness in New Mexico, and he would shop for supplies at the same places that I did. In town, he was just a guy, and one highly loved and respected.

In any case, the cowboy days are fading, and while I grew up on Westerns and the idea of living on the range, today’s kids grow up on Star Wars and such and probably dream of living in space. I wonder if the Stars of those shows will retain the eternal quality that John Wayne did?
Anyway, the Duke has always been a hero of mine and as such, I honor his memory and his many contributions to a better world.

Peace & Blessings,
Patrick McCollum