‘Welcome back. I lived the cowboy way of life this past weekend along with actor Robert Duvall, singer George Strait and the great Red Stegall just to name a few so here’s the story of how it all happened.
First up is a brief history of just a few of the celebrities who attended this year’s event. Robert Duvall of course is an Academy Award winning actor and filmmaker whose movies include The Godfather, Lonesome Dove and True Grit among many others. The standing room only crowd of over 1,000 was completely transfixed as he told them that receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was just as memorable as getting an Academy Award. George Strait also received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award and he gave a moving acceptance speech as well while many in the crowd sang his songs in harmony. Reba McEntire and her two sisters were on hand to represent award on behalf of their mother Jacqueline McEntire who passed away last year at the age of ninety-three. Jacqueline and Jim Shoulders’ widow Sharon were both recognized for their legacies and their support of the institution.
The presenters of the dozen or so awards included many people who you may have heard of. Actor Barry Corbin who may be best known for his roles on Dallas and Northern Exposure but who also appeared in Lonesome Dove, Wargame, Urban Cowboy and at least a dozen other productions was always available for an autograph and a photo with fans. John Wayne’s son and daughter Patrick and Marisa Wayne were also easily available to visit with. Patrick’s movie credits include nine films he made with his father and many more with another big star, James Stewart. Bruce Boxleitner, another star of many films, the legendary stuntman Dean Smith, two of John Wayne’s daughters and Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry who has some of Will Rogers’ blood in her were all presenters and this gives you an idea of how special this event is. Yes, some of the most accomplished people in the entertainment industry come from around the world to participate.
So, who was the Master of Ceremonies for this star-studded event you may ask and the answer is none other than Oklahoma native and actor Rex Lin who by the way is dating Reba Mc Entire another born and bred Oklahoman. Rex was actually born in Spearman, Texas in 1956 but the family moved to Oklahoma City when he was twelve. After graduating from OSU, he had a successful career in banking and then found a position with an energy company in western Oklahoma. At the same time, he was pursuing work in film and TV. Commercials and bit parts came and went until 1989 when he got his first major role in Night Game. From then on Rex has remained busy, appearing on both the big screen and on TV, most notably in CSI: Miami. With his easy-going personality and great sense of humor Rex Linn is the perfect person to emcee the Western Heritage Awards and he is coming back next year so I recommend you don’t miss it.
I’ll end where I started- if you want to be a cowboy even if its just for one daylike I did check out the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum anytime. It ‘s easy to get to and their collections of cowboy history and memorabilia are extraordinary.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road………………….