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I always loved Alias Smith & Jones when I was a kid, it was instantly accessible and had the right balance of humour, irreverence and action I liked Pete Duel (Hannibal Hayes) from the start, affable and with an infectious smile he was precisely the sort of person that young boys would imagine being when they grew up, the dashing cowboy the bad guy made good. I did not know that it stopped being made in 1971 due to the untimely death of Pete Duel who committed suicide on the 31st December 1971 at the age of 31, a mere 21 days after I was born. Pete Duel was by all accounts a deep, sensitive and caring man. A genuine idealist passionate about the environment he wrote poetry and got involved in environmental projects a lot. I have heard some of his readings and it is plain that he saw the trouble that our lifestyle was putting us in, crucially he made the link that this was a direct result of the relentless pressure to have everything bigger, better, cheaper, quicker etc. One has to wonder what he would have made of the situation nowadays, I suspect he would not have been pleased. It saddened me to think that someone who fought against the status quo at a time when it was not easy to do so should have felt compelled to take his own life perhaps because of the pressure he felt at taking things too much to heart. The world is robbed of a valuable presence when people like Pete Duel are lost. I believe there is a very fine line between caring enough and caring too much, the key is more in the effect of the caring, there seem to be a number of examples of people who are passionate about things and it has an effect on them too much to bear. Pete Duel was caught in sadly an all too familiar triangle of sensitivity, alcohol and a gun and it was this that led to his death.

Why is it that we have our lives cheapened by the constant celebrity of mediocrity. We only ever seem to hear about the vacuous imbeciles who appear to wish to justify the term ‘Oxygen Stealer’, so often there appears to be no merit in what they do at all. I know Pete was not the only actor in Hollywood who cared and was involved in good causes, I know of Charlie Sheen and Mike Farrell not to mention Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon who continue to work tirelessly for a better world. I admire them immensely for it because they have chosen that path knowing that it will lead them often outside the mainstream, I know this path in my own life and have trodden it a long time. It is ultimately the only one to take if that is the way that you feel, but whilst it is fulfilling and gives you your integrity, there is no doubting that it is a lonely path and for some perhaps too much so.

In the case of Pete Duel it seems to be summed up by his Alas Smith & Jones co-star Ben Murphy “you would have loved him.” What a great pity we never really got the chance to.

GLEN CANYON EULOGY

Now I weep with unknown brothers
for our land I never knew.

Land once taken gone forever
raped and stolen from our view.

Time and distance culture different
that decided I not see
land now taken gone forever.

By the white skin.
Weep now white skin.

By the white skin
you and me.

Song Of The Day ~>Jamiroquai – Emergency On Planet Earth

Original Comments:


baracuda made this comment,
He looks like your man out of men behaving badly, not Clunes, the other one, what’s his name, shagged that Amanda Holden, oh you know the one…
[Redbaron responds – Neil Morrisey’s the fella you’re after. I after thinking he looked a little more like Richard Hammond your man out of Top Gear.]

comment added :: 30th May 2005, 12:26 GMT+01
Katie made this comment,
You’re becoming a tiny bit macabre babe with all these eulogies. Things are a bit weird for me at the moment, I think you know why and home doesn’t even feel like home any more so that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet. Many thanks for the repromotion though. Talk soon xxx
Visit me @ http://screamtoasigh.blog.city.com

comment added :: 31st May 2005, 06:08 GMT+01

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