Updated 16 May 2008 URL is www.tentativetimes.net/jdr/lindpoem.html This poem is by fan club supporter Linda Levine of South Bend, Indiana. Linda also plays concert piano and knows more about James Dean and Rock and Roll than most people could even imagine. Thanks, Linda, for sharing this poem with the fan club.
Who is James Dean?
A Fairmount hometown boy makes good,
Making movies in Hollywood.
He didn’t go to Hollywood to labor for big bucks,
He felt more at home in an old pair of jeans
Than in a fancy tux.
It was the love of his calling that drew him there
To perfect his craft, he spared no care
Or effort. He worked endlessly In New York dramas, on live TV,
Testing stunts on a game show,
He wanted to learn all he could know about ‘Show Business.”
From a commercial to Broadway he did it all;
But still, this young man heard the call
Of Fairmount, his hometown, calling to him,
Bringing Dizzy and Billy Bast, on a whim,
With him back home.
He once went to the high school to visit the kids,
A visit from “the Rebel” - they just flipped their lids.
A county vault champion, one of their own,
Had made it in Hollywood, and was already known
As an up-and-coming actor, one of the new breed
Of Method School actors, who knew what we need
Real performances, so realistic, in fact
That the actors really don’t seem to “act”
James Dean as Cal, they said it was he
Really playing himself, a performance to be
Put on a line with those of the best,
Barrymore, Olivier, and all the rest.
Jim Stark was a boy who was misunderstood
By his parents, and yet, he did all that he could
To be like a parent to Plato and Judy.
This ‘Rebel” boy was no longer moody
But grew up fast, taught his parents to parent
No longer a rebel, no longer an errant.
Jimmy was great as the young Jett Rink,
A wild young stallion who wanted to sink
A derrick, on land that was willed him by Luz.
Jett fought with Bic as Jim fought with Buzz.
“Y’all thought I had a duster? - We will never forget
Jett’s cocky speech, when he then met
Bick on the porch, and covered with oil,
Made a play for Leslie, it made Bic’s blood boil!
The movie wrapped, the Porsche was new,
Jimmy and Rolf set out in the blue
For a race in Salinas that fateful morn,
Drove the car into history. A legend was born.
James Dean, a Fifties icon, is everywhere seen
On posters, in books, on the big movie screen.
The cigarette, the jacket, the cycle, the hair,
This unforgettable actor seems to be everywhere
He lives on in our hearts, his legacy lives on,
Inspiration to many, our love he has won.
© 2000 Linda Levine
Here's a link back to the James Dean fan club page
and here's the link to www.deaners.net