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Eternal youth

BTW, for those who care … today is the 60th anniversary of the death of James Dean.

Yes, it’s a tragedy to die young, but it’s quite a feat to achieve lasting glory (and become an eternal symbol of Troubled Youth) on the strength of just three movies. Impossible to imagine James Dean living to 84.

I used to commemorate this day faithfully every year to the point where it became a running joke for my friends. Been lax about it lately. But sixty years dead and still going strong; that deserves some notice.


  1. Matt, another
    Matt, another September 30, 2015 7:20 am

    James Dean? Who? Any relation to Jimmy Dean?

  2. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal September 30, 2015 8:15 am

    Sometimes I think people such as James Dean stay popular precisely because they died before they could disappoint anyone. He started out bright and was gaining popularity, then, poof. He was gone. Never had a chance to have a real scandal (as far as I know) or to do anything that dulled his shine.

  3. Claire
    Claire September 30, 2015 8:25 am

    Kent — Precisely. Never a scandal. Never even a sub-par performance. Never a wrinkle, a paunch, or a gray hair.

    Had he lived he could have ended up … Brando. Or Welles.

  4. MJR
    MJR September 30, 2015 3:03 pm

    With regards to James Dean, as jack London wrote:

    “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

    That was the way James Dean lived and that was the way he died… Hell an hour and a half before the accident he got a speeding ticket.

  5. LarryA
    LarryA September 30, 2015 3:39 pm

    I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

    Given a choice, I’ll take a third alternative. One of the ladies who writes a weekly column for the newspaper I work for is Clarabelle Snodgrass. (Her real name.) Mover and shaker in the community, big family, sweetest person you’ll ever meet. There were several hundred people at her hundredth birthday party, three years ago.

    TXCOMT September 30, 2015 11:27 pm

    LarryA, you can’t describe such a gift to womanhood (and mankind, too) without naming the naming the paper…I’d like to read a column or two of hers; I’m sure she’s pretty decent writer!


  7. jc2k
    jc2k October 2, 2015 6:13 am

    Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

  8. AG
    AG October 5, 2015 7:39 pm

    Didn’t know you were a James Dean fan. I happen to drive past “the site” several times a year for one of my gigs. I will again this Thursday.

    Been sans web access for almost a month for geographic reasons. Some good blog entries while I was gone.

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