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On J.R. Ewing

"It'll be my masterpiece."
-- J.R. Ewing, TNT's Dallas, season 2

I've been meaning to put pen to paper (so to speak) for some time about the passing of actor Larry Hagman. The death of a celebrity is one of those curious events, wherein fans who did not know the person typically experience some sense of mourning, even if in a slight form. This is not an extraordinary experience to explain away. Someone we've become visually and audibly familiar with has perished. They often provided us with many hours of entertainment. To mark their passing is not uncommon.

Such it was in November of 2012 when Larry Hagman died during filming of the second season of TNT's Dallas drama series, playing the character that made him famous decades ago -- J.R. Ewing. I've already remarked upon the fond memories and familial emotional bond I'd had watching the original Dallas some years ago, so this entry will be about the character who helped make it all worthwhile, and what he meant to me.

Back when I was in Kindergarten (so, not very long ago, really), we had a special Career Day, where us kids could come dressed-up as a representative of the field in which we had an interest in pursuing. While some students came dressed as doctors or nurses or firemen, yours truly came as.... a mayor. That's right, I apparently had political aspirations even at such a tender age. My mom helped make a very large key to the city that I gave away to a girl in the class, but what stood out most was my outfit.

It's true that a mayor holds a certain degree of power, no? At least, that was my reasoning. So, in order to dress the part, I attended class that day dressed in a suit, stetson hat and a painted-on mustache (for the 'adult' effect). There is no doubt the outfit was partially influenced by the attire of Dallas's J.R. Ewing. What better way to emulate such a man than to wear stetson hat (you know, as most mayors do)?

J.R. Ewing was not, of course, a mayor. But he was a powerful character on a popular television show of the time, and so the connection in my little kindergarten mind was made. Mayor = power, power = J.R. Ewing. Of course, J.R., like the man who portrayed him, was human and therefore not all-powerful, so it goes that in tonight's episode of Dallas on TNT, he is scheduled to die.

If, some day, I ever do become mayor, I think I'll wear a stetson hat to at least one meeting, in honor of Dallas, Larry Hagman and the good old days.


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