Clint Eastwood – My Hero!

“We drove around in an old Pontiac … towing a one-wheel trailer. We weren’t itinerant: It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either. It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce.”

Those are the words of Clint Eastwood. I’ve always admired Mr. Eastwood, possibly because we are the same age and grew up under the same circumstances. Except my family drove around in an old Durant four door as my father searched for work during the depression. We didn’t realize that we were as poor as we were, because everyone around us was in the same situation. Yet I don’t regret growing up in the that era. I think, as Mr. Eastwood says, it did give those of us who lived through it a certain conservative attitude. I know that my mother, who was responsible for putting something on the table for us to eat, spent the rest of her life “saving” everything. When I was an adult with a good job, and took mom out to eat, if there was a roll left on the restaurant table, she would wrap it up in a napkin and put it in her purse. She saved every every piece of cloth-which she would piece together to make me “pajama tops” on her treadle operated sewing machine.

And, like Mr. Eastwood, I’ve had trouble with personal relationships and suffered multiple marriages and divorces. I’m sure he is a difficult person, especially for a woman, to live with. It’s not that we are cruel or unfeeling, but speaking for myself I know that often I live in a dream world of my imagination, and I’m sure that people (wives, children, friends, acquaintances) see me as aloof or standoffish. That’s not my intention, it’s just that my mind is continually creating “fiction” that I will write sometime, and in that state I’m oblivious to what is going on around me. I’m also capable of responding  harshly, if I am interrupted when working on a novel or a story. I don’t mean to be “mean,” it just comes out that way. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife, whom I love dearly.

It is said, by the actors whom Mr. Eastwood has directed, that he is the “easiest director ever to work with.” He doesn’t believe in doing 30 takes of a scene, when the rehearsal scene is good enough to capture what he has in mind for it. There are some directors who, probably from their own insecurity, will shoot the same scene over and over and over.

When I was in television I worked with some directors who were like that. And I can tell you that after I had read a commercial (or whatever it was that we were taping) and rehearsed it once, we could do 20 re-takes and they would never be better than take number 2. I also was fortunate enough to work with some directors who, like Mr. Eastwood, understood that concept. They were a pleasure to work with.

Also, like Mr. Eastwood, I have mellowed with age. Things or situations that would have set my temper off when I was younger, no longer bother me. I think that age changes one’s perspective and brings reality more into focus.

Clint Eastwood is one of my heroes. I think he would agree with me that, “Sometimes life sucks – but the alternative is unacceptable.”




About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on and available from . .
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2 Responses to Clint Eastwood – My Hero!

  1. Cindy ( Burnett ) Finley says:

    Mr Beckmann I’m an old friend of Joanna’s from High School, have thought of her thru the years and would love to catch up with her and say, hello.
    I’m on Facebook under Cindy Finley.
    My profile pic is of me and my husband. We live in Jefferson Ga.
    If you can touch base with her and let her know would love to see how she is and maybe chat and catch up. Hope this finds you well and enjoying retirement. Thank you.

    • Hi Cindy!
      Joanna is doing well, and I will tell her you are looking for her. Right now she is in the process of moving from Greensboro, NC to nearer Raleigh. Her company headquarters is moving and so are Joanna and her husband. I’m sure she would be delighted to hear from you. Take care.

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