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Not your daddy's cowboy movie

I got a call the other night from Roy Lee Wilkes, of the Baxley Wilkeses. You might remember me mentioning Roy Lee before. We used to talk a lot but he's busy grabbling for catfish, now that that's legal, and I am busy doing all the things I do. You know how it is.

But I rarely hear from Roy Lee these days - maybe about as often as Georgia Tech signs a blue chip prospect in football, which ain't very frequent. Roy Lee is a little on the cheap side, you see, and he still thinks there is such a thing as long distance.

Whenever I do hear from Roy Lee it is almost always because he is upset about something and Mr. Jack Daniel has whispered my name - and phone number - into his ear. And the call always comes late at night - long after my bedtime, which is 9:30.

This time Roy Lee was, indeed, upset and he had, indeed, been having a conversation with Mr. Daniel - a rather long conversation, judging from the tone of my buddy's voice - not to mention the way he was slurring his words.

This time he was upset because his wife, Lulu - the former Miss Lulu Bobo of TyTy - had talked him into going to see a movie. What he actually said was, "Danged if Lulu didn't drag me off to the picture show. At one of them indoor places, too. Wasn't even the dad burn drive-in."

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the drive-in had gone the way of long distance calls, for most of us.

"When's the last time you went to the show, Roy Lee?" I asked.

"I don't recall the year, he told me - but it was that one the Duke made right after he got his eye put out."

"Roy Lee," I countered. "I don't remember John Wayne losing an eye."

"Must've," he came back. "The dude had a black patch on through the whole movie."

Now that wasn't Jack Daniel talking, understand. That was all Roy Lee.

"How did she get you to go?" I inquired. In her younger days, Lulu was quite a looker and that question wouldn't have been necessary. Nowadays, if she's going to drag my buddy that far from the remote control and the refrigerator - it's going to take some doing.

"Tricked me," he said. "Told me that it was a cowboy movie and that it was going to win the Oscar for best picture."

"Was it any good?" I asked.

What followed cannot be printed in this or any other family newspaper.

I'm pretty quick, understand, and it didn't take me long into his tirade to realize that Roy Lee had followed up "True Grit" with "Brokeback Mountain."

I haven't seen the movie myself, although I hear that it is very well done, if you like that sort of thing. I don't. That's why I haven't been to see it.

But I do read the paper and I do watch television and I know all about "Brokeback Mountain." Roy Lee doesn't read anything in the paper that doesn't involve the Georgia Bulldogs. Maybe if Coach Richt had written a review, he would have been spared.

"Well, how did you like the movie?" I asked, just to be mean.

"I'll tell you one blamed thing," he said. "Hoss and Little Joe Cartwright are turning over in their graves right now."

"What about Adam," I asked - whom you might recall was the more genteel of the Cartwright brothers."

"I never did trust him," Roy Lee said. "I think he might have been in the movie."

I think I got Roy Lee soothed down a little bit by the time we finished talking, but I bet it will be a long time before Lulu gets him to another picture show.

That said, I will tell you right up front that I believe the folks in Hollywood have the right to make any kind of picture they want to, as long as the folks in it are adults. And I can see the movie or not see it, so "Brokeback Mountain" doesn't affect me one way or another.

But Bob Dylan hit it big about a generation too soon because the fact that this particular movie is receiving so much critical acclaim is just one more example of how much the times really are a'changin'.

Some would argue that that is a good thing. Some would say it is not. I'm not getting into whether it is or isn't, but Roy Lee did say one thing I agreed with.

I really do kind of miss the days when you might see a cowboy kiss his horse when you went to a movie - but you wouldn't ever see him kiss another cowboy.

Darrell Huckaby is a Newton County native and the author of six books. He lives in Rockdale County, where he teaches high school history. Visit his Web site at www.darrell.huckaby.net.