A tribute to my husband, James Arness,
on his 90th birthday May 26th.
Jim’s birthday is the same
as John Wayne’s and when Jim was doing his first film with Wayne “Big
Jim McClain” in Hawaii the crew was going to have a big shindig for
Wayne’s birthday. Someone told Wayne it was also Jim’s birthday
and Wayne included Jim in celebrating both of their special days. Jim was
so surprised and felt proud that Wayne was so gracious to include him since
they had just met.
Jim was born in 1923 in Minneapolis. His brother, Peter Graves, of “Mission Impossible” was three years younger. Jim and Pete would often reminisce about their wonderful childhood. In the summer they spent time on an island north of Minnesota called Ox Lake. He and Pete would take a canoe to town to buy groceries and other goods. But Jim’s favorite thing to do was to take the canoe by himself to the opposite side of the lake. He would pick berries for homemade ice cream and he would find the tallest tree to sit in to daydream in the afternoon. Little did he know one day he would become an actor known around the world.
I know we all miss him dearly and I think of him every day with loving memories.
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