Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

Buckshot Enterprises Presents a site for posting and reading Alias Smith and Jones Stories
 
HomePortalFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Forever Pete by Friscogirl

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
CD Roberts
Admin
avatar

Posts : 114
Join date : 2013-09-23

20140306
PostForever Pete by Friscogirl



Forever Pete
by Friscogirl

Okay, I start with a confession. I’ve always loved Westerns. From the time I fell in love with Rin Tin Tin in that hokey old TV series…all the way through “The Rebel”…“The Thin Man”…“Bonanza” (at least the early episodes)…“The Virginian”…“The Big Valley.” Put a handsome guy on a horse with some fancy sidearm action, and you’ve got me watching.

But by the late '60’s, the Westerns were disappearing off of television, being replaced by lighter fare such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ,“The Odd Couple” and “The Partridge Family.” So I was delighted to discover “Alias Smith & Jones.” And Pete Duel. Start with a dark-haired dark-eyed hero with the Devil in his smile and the cutest dimples on God’s earth…stir in a plot line of a rapscallion trying to do good but always tempted by “the other side”…and toss in the element of a man running for his life (think “The Fugitive” in the 1880’s…) and I was smitten.

No matter that I was just starting out my career in a high-pressured job producing local television news. What did matter was that the world in 1970 was an unhappy and unsettling place; anti-war protests, civil rights anger, women demanding equality, an unpopular war in Viet Nam. There wasn’t much there to give a girl a chuckle. “Smith & Jones” fit the bill.

Pete had campaigned for anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy; he’d been shocked by the bloodshed at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He loved the outdoors and campaigned for a cleaner environment years before it became a political movement. If he cared about something, he acted; he didn’t just stand by.

And he brought that passion to his work. Pete’s Hannibal Heyes was a person of exquisite complexity, much like the era we lived in.

- He could be dark and forbidding… (Think of “How To Rob A Bank in One Hard Lesson” when he almost drowned Harry Waggoner in an effort to find the Kid.)

- He could be sweet… (Who could forget his guitar solo in “The Posse That Wouldn’t Quit?”)

- He could make the most appalling bad decisions… (Think “Six Strangers at Apache Springs” where he ventures into dangerous Indian territory looking for gold dust.)

- He was devious…in too many episodes to point out. But most of all, he was loyal to his best and only friend in the entire world: Jedediah Curry.

It’s rare to see a series where the partners dare to show that they care about each other. These guys actually touched each other: starting in the pilot as Heyes slung his arm around his partner while watching the futile attempt to recover the safe…to “Night of the Red Dog” where Heyes solicitously wrapped up Curry in warm blankets. They gave each other comfort in a dangerous, threatening world. Heck, they even had to share the same bed at times! (What a radical notion! Think of all those sitcoms where the husband and wife had to sleep in single beds to observe propriety!) Pete Duel was a man who seemed confident of his own masculinity, confident of being in his own skin. The warmth he projected on screen was the same warmth friends off screen attributed to him.

He was a Mensch.

I never would have thought that a man so quick to laugh would have so much sorrow inside him. Who would have realized then that Pete Duel struggled with serious depression, except those who knew him the best?

In my 30’s I waged my own battle with blackness, and there were times when I felt that simply dissolving myself into nothing…would be the most welcome thing in the world.

Maybe that’s how Pete felt that terrible New Year’s Eve, 1971. We’ll never know.

I learned of his death the next morning. I was at work putting together the “Noon News” when the bulletin crossed the wire: ding! ding! ding! Pete Duel was dead. I remember staring at the copy as it churned off the noisy wire machine; then ripping it off and taking it to my desk where I stared at it some more. I felt tears well up and a stab of sorrow. How could this happen? A mistake, surely? A terrible, terrible accident?

The very least I could do was make sure to include a mention of his passing in my newscast. The fact that I remember writing it...40 years later…says how difficult the job was. How do you sum up a man in 15 seconds of copy?

I would imagine I wrote something like this:

Pete Duel, the popular star of the TV Western “Alias Smith & Jones” was found dead this morning in his home in Los Angeles. Duel’s girlfriend called police after hearing a gunshot and finding the actor on the floor with a bullet wound to the head. Duel was rushed to the hospital, but died hours later. The cause of the shooting is under investigation, but police suspect the young actor committed suicide.

So very neutral in tone. Just the facts, ma’am. It’s what I did…and do…for a living.

Forty years later, Pete seems somehow very much alive. On the DVD’s of “Alias Smith & Jones”…in all the wonderful fan fiction on these pages.

So I thank you, Pete. For bringing us Hannibal Heyes. For all the bright passion in the too-brief flame of your life. For sharing yourself with us. You’re forever young.




(Writers love feedback! You can tell Friscogirl how you enjoyed the story with a quick comment. Just click Post Reply for the Comments for Heyes 2.0 thread below the story.)
Back to top Go down
http://asjbuckshot.forumotion.com

 Similar topics

-
» Forever Travels #1!!!!
» Always and Forever
» Forever My Sarah
» [020000] FINKL - Forever MV
» [020307] FinKL - Forever
Share this post on: Excite BookmarksDiggRedditDel.icio.usGoogleLiveSlashdotNetscapeTechnoratiStumbleUponNewsvineFurlYahooSmarking

Forever Pete by Friscogirl :: Comments

avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:54 am by royannahuggins
PENSKI - Friscogirl, you did a marvelous job writing about a sad topic - the day Pete died. And yet you celebrated his life, too. Thank you for writing such a touching tribute!
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:54 am by royannahuggins
GHISLAINE EMRYS - Wow! What a beautiful tribute--you summed things up wonderfully. I love that you were able to insert a tribute to Pete in your newscast. This was very touching—thanks
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:55 am by royannahuggins
REMUDA - Beautiful tribute, Friscogirl! I love the way you detailed Pete's life and shared the reaction you felt at the news that shocked us all. We were all certainly taken aback by it. It was one of those events (for me) that you always remember where you were and how you found out. Thanks for a very heart-felt and moving addition to the VS!
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:55 am by royannahuggins
SILVERKELPIE - This was a moving tribute, beautifully written and bringing back the moment when we all heard the sad news. Can I also say that whilst reading all three tributes it struck me what an interesting and diverse group of people are on this site. No wonder there are such wonderful stories to read when all that experience of life comes together.
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:55 am by royannahuggins
LANA COOMBE - Lovely. I think Silverkelpie has said all the things I wanted to say, so I won't repeat. Thanks Friscogirl.
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:56 am by royannahuggins
RAMBLINGIRL - A very nice tribute to Pete, Friscogirl. I think we all remember with heartbreak, that day we heard that Pete had died. That sadness still remains with a lot of us Petey girls today. I think he would be amused and deeply honored, if he knew how many teenage hearts he had captured over the years, with his portrayal of the Hannibal Heyes character. His acting ability has proven to be timeless, every time the episodes air it draws new fans. To remain in the thoughts and the heart of so many people forty years after his death, says a lot about the man. As long as one fan remains, he will be forever remembered and forever loved.
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:56 am by royannahuggins
You said it all right there Ramblingirl. I think that's how most us feel, nicely put into a nutshell.
avatar
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:56 am by royannahuggins
AKEAYS - Wonderful tribute, Friscogirl. i think most of us remember that terrible moment when we heard of Peter's death and grasped at frail hopes that it was all a mistake. Hannibal Heyes also died for me at that time and remainded dead for 40 years. Then I found this site and he and Kid Curry have come galloping into my life again! What fun. Thank you, everyone!
Re: Forever Pete by Friscogirl
Post  by Sponsored content
 

Forever Pete by Friscogirl

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 

Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Stories: Alias Smith and Jones  :: Virtual Season :: Virtual Season 2010/2011 :: Fan Tributes to the Stars-
Jump to: