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The Duke’s Birthday

By Staff | May 17, 2012

Academy Award winning movie “The Quiet Man” will be shown in Winterset next weekend during the John Wayne Birthday Celebration.

While researching 1962 newspapers for our St. Pat’s special section, I came across movie advertisements for “The Quiet Man” being shown in Emmetsburg. Instantly, there was an “Irish connection.”

Brian Downes from Winterset, Executive Director at John Wayne Birthplace, had previously sent a postcard on the 2012 John Wayne Birthday Celebration saluting 60 years of “The Quiet Man” movie.

Hailed as director John Ford’s greatest triumph, “The Quiet Man” stars John Wayne as an American boxer who, after accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, returns to his Irish birthplace to forget his troubles. Instead he falls in love with the fiery Maureen O’Hara and their ensuing onscreen romance became a Hollywood legend. The picture received Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography. But the real star of the picture, according to O’Hara, is Ireland itself.

We’ve written about this before, but here’s a reminder:?if you have the time, take a trip to Winterset next weekend for the John Wayne Birthday Celebration, May 25 and 26.

In addition to featuring “The Quiet Man,” a documentary “Dreaming The Quiet Man” will be shown with interviews with Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne’s daughter Aissa, directors Martin Scorsese and Peter Bogdanovich and surviving bit players in Ireland who worked on the film.

A highlight of the celebration is a benefit dinner to raise funds for the planned John Wayne Birthplace Museum. The event will be hosted by the actor’s daughter, Aissa Wayne.

For details on the event, visit the John Wayne Birthplace website: www.johnwaynebirthplace.org/birthday

Let’s hope for clear weather this Sunday, May 20, so we can view the annular solar eclipse.

Information from the Science Center of Iowa tells us a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. Iowa will view a 66% obscuration of the Sun (two-thirds of the Sun will be covered by the Moon). This is the last annular solar eclipse visible from Iowa until 2014, when 44% of the Sun will be obscured. The last annular solar eclipse visible in Iowa was in 1994.

The solar eclipse begins around 7:20 p.m. and will last until approximately 8:30 p.m.

Do you remember viewing a solar eclipse by making a pinhole in a piece of cardboard? If I remember correctly, stand with your back to the sun; hold the cardboard toward the sun, with another piece of paper beneath it. The sun’s image will shine through that tiny pinhole and project the image of the eclipsing sun onto that second piece of paper. You can view the eclipse safely that way. How fun.