John Wayne's senior photo in the 1925 yearbook from Glendale High when he was known as Marion Morrison. (Courtesy of Glendale High / January 17, 2014)
In honor of one of the most famous icons who has ever lived in the city, Glendale High School will change the name of its auditorium to the John Wayne Performing Arts Center, after the legendary actor who is not otherwise recognized in the city where he came of age.
Before he took on his stage name, Marion Morrison attended what was then Glendale’s only high school, then called Glendale Union High School.
The future western film star played on the school’s football team, served as class president during his senior year and acted in school productions before graduating in 1925.
Glendale Unified officials announced this week they have received permission from John Wayne Enterprises to use the actor’s name for the school’s performing arts center.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for years,” said Glendale school board member Greg Krikorian.
If you've ever wanted to own one of John Wayne's movie used weapons, like say, the large loop Winchester 1892, then you know the chances of that happening are slim to none. However, that is not to say you can't own a replica. Several replicas have been produced over the years, such as the non-firing replica sold by The Franklin Mint several years ago, the Winchester produced John Wayne commemorative .32-.40 large loop carbine, and the John Wayne 100th Anniversary commemorative .44-.40, also produced by Winchester. The problem with these guns is, however, either they are only wall hangings that don't fire, or they are wall hangings that do fire – because, seriously, who would make an investment of several thousand dollars and then destroy the value by actually firing it? And today, these carbines are demanding a hefty asking price when they come up for sale ($1,500 - $5,500. Even the Franklin Mint non-firing replica is going for $700+!). But if you want a working Model 1892, with the large loop, just like John Wayne's, and at a reasonable price (and standard caliber), then you're in luck.
Rossi is now offering a working Model 1892 large loop carbine that is the spitting image of the one used by John Wayne in several of his films, including True Grit. The Rossi 1892 also comes chambered in several popular calibers, including .38/.357, .44 Mag, .45 Colt, .44-.40, and .454 Casull. It also comes available either blued or stainless. The best thing about the Rossi 1892 is the price. According to the Rossi website, the MSRP is an affordable $635 (in case any of my kids or grandkids are reading this, “Hint, Hint”).
You can read more about the Rossi 1892 large loop carbine, including all the specs, on their website. Here's a link: http://www.rossiusa.com/product-list.cfm?category=8
As A Side Note...
As I was researching this post, I came across a photo of the 1892 on display in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. According to many people (but not the Hall of Fame website), this is the gun actually used by John Wayne in Stagecoach, True Grit, and many other western films. In comparing it to screen shots of Stagecoach and True Grit, I think I can safely say no to one and maybe to the other. While Wayne may have used the 1892 on display in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in several of his films, he definitely did not use it in Stagecoach, and the only way it was used in True Grit, is if it is one of several similar 1892's used in that film.
First, compare the screen shot from Stagecoach to the photo of the 1892 on display in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. (click on either image to enlarge it).
If you look at the two carbines, the one used in Stagecoach is a cut down version that is far shorter than the one in the Hall of Fame. In addition, the Stagecoach carbine has a larger and rounder loop that the one in the Hall of Fame. The two could not be more dissimilar.
In comparing the Hall of Fame 1892 to the screen shot from True Grit, although the two carbines are very similar, there are some differences in the wear on the stock. Some scratches and scuffs that appear on one, do not appear on the other. Most significantly is a very large and obvious blemish (noted by the arrow) that appears on the True Grit carbine, but not on the Hall of Fame carbine, nor is there any indication of any repair on the Hall of Fame carbine. That being said, the two are very similar, and since it was a fairly common practice to use more than one similar prop in the same film, the carbine on display in the Hall of Fame may very well be one of several similar carbines used in that film. (Click on the photo to enlarge it).
By the way, if any of you owns one of the Rossi 1892's, or is planning to purchase one, drop me a line and let me know what you think of it!
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