John Wayne embodied the spirit of the rugged American, a man’s man, whether it was playing a cowboy, war hero or outlaw on screen. Known as “The Duke,” he was man who could also show his emotional side, especially when a child, animal or his sweetheart were involved. John Wayne loved many things – his family, his craft as an actor, and a good glass of nicely aged bourbon, often indulged in while doling out advice, like “never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness,” or that “a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
Today launches the 1st annual Dallas John Wayne Film Festival benefiting The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, hosted by event co-chairs Anne & Steve Stodghill and David Hale Smith, with festivities taking place throughout the weekend at LOOK Cinemas in Addison. Timing is ideal, as a new artisanal spirit is about to hit Dallas stores shelves that is made to honor the spirit of John Wayne, created by his son Ethan Wayne, along with partners Jayson Woodbridge and Chris Radomski of Hundred Acre Wines, and great friend Richard Howell, together co-founders of Monument Valley Distillers, a craft distiller producing small batch superior bourbon, whiskey and brandy.
Their latest product, DUKE, is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon created with the commitment to preserve the legacy of John Wayne, this great American hero. Son, Ethan Wayne, notes on the new product that “the goal with the DUKE was to make a Bourbon that embodies the spirit, strength and richness my father personified while realizing his unfulfilled dream of distilling fine spirits.” The Bourbon will be available throughout Dallas starting in May, retailing for $34.99 a bottle. Tickets to the various films showing during the festival are available via the LOOK Cinemas website.
Full disclosure, my husband and I am on the festival committee for this weekend’s event. As my friend, Steve Stodghill, noted when he asked us to participate, “If you don’t love John Wayne and hate cancer, you’re not a true Texan.”