I was watching television last week, sort of aimlessly flipping through the menu of channels, all 800 of them. You know the drill. I usually stop when I reach the upper tiers with programs from India and China. Then I start going the other way until I reach Channel 3. It’s hard to find good TV these days, even with all the choices, unless you’re a big fan of “Duck Dynasty,” “Honey Boo Boo” or three channels’ worth of “Law & Order” reruns.
In the course of my endless, mindless journey across the vast expanse of the Comcast universe, I stumbled upon two different versions of the same movie, “The Alamo,” playing at the same time on adjacent channels. Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton were playing Sam Houston and Davy Crockett on one channel, while John Wayne and Richard Widmark starred as Crockett and Jim Bowie on the other.
I had watched a few minutes of the Duke’s version when my thoughts turned inward. I remembered how the theme song from that old Alamo movie had always moved and haunted me. I have always thought of it as one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing songs I’ve ever heard. You can find it by searching for “The Green Leaves of Summer by Dimitri Tiomkin” on YouTube, but mark my words: Once you hear it, it stays with you for days.
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