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