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100 in 2020


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100 years ago today in Bethune Colorado,  Ben and Maude Pyle had a little bundle of joy and named him Denver Dell Pyle. He did a lot of acting before he became known as Uncle Jesse Duke. He was Briscoe Darling on Andy Griffith, Mad Jack on Grizzly Adams, he was on the Doris Day show and a ton of other stuff. He really loved the oil industry and did a lot of investing in it. By the time Dukes hit its peak he had actually made more money in the oil industry than in his over 3 decades of acting. He said he wanted to continue acting to fund his oil investments and simply because it was so much fun. He had two boys with his wife Marilee who he married in 1955 and divorced in 1970....David in 1956 and Tony in 1957. He later married Tippie Johnston in 1983 while Dukes was still being filmed and they were still together when he died on Christmas Day in 1997 at 77 years old. He is buried in Forreston Texas.

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I don't usually think of the actor I mentioned in my last post. I usually think of Jesse Duke, lifelong farmer who still lives in Hazzard County and still has nephews who are driving him crazy. I like to imagine I live just down the road and go to the farm to help and after a hard day's work eat supper and sit around on the porch before sunset with Jesse while the boys are chasing women and Daisy is working at the Boar's Nest. Despite the fact that Jesse is different than me he has still been a great mentor for over 40 years. I am now Denver's age in season 2 and every day strive to be take the good parts of who he was and mirror them. Sure he could be a little rough at times but deep inside was a man who did his best to follow the Good Book, was always loyal to family and community and loved the land. It was always funny to hear him say "I ain't your Uncle Jesse" and I always wanted to hear him tell me "I am your Uncle Jesse". Even though I never met him and I'll never hear those words I know I would have gotten along great with him if we would have been neighbors and in my mind we are neighbors. Visiting Uncle Jesse is what I do in my mind when things get tough. He just has a way of making everything better. I love you Jesse. And I love you  Denver. This 'ol world has been a better place the last 100 years because of you. 

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