"The Duke" lives on in East Texas

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

MOUNT PLEASANT, TX (KLTV) - He is one of the most popular western cowboy actors of all time. I'm talking about "The Duke", better known as John Wayne.

"I got to meet John Wayne," said Harry Brown. "I shook his hand."

Meet 75-year-old Harry Brown, of Mount Pleasant. His Legends and Lawless Museum is Wayne's world.

"J.W. was a 'legend' and he was after the lawless," explained Harry. "Legends and lawless, that's what J.W. was."

Over the years, Brown has collected commemorative John Wayne memorabilia, but his wife Nancy said he couldn't keep it in the house.

"I had no idea that he had all this stuff in my house," said Nancy. "He had it pretty well hid you know."

That's when Harry opened the museum right next door to his home.

"We built the museum and I fell in love with ebay," said Harry. "And ebay was just growing strong and that's where 90 percent of this stuff came from. That's the complete set of 12 plates and matching tank cards. Very few people have that complete set."

Brown even has John Wayne on the cereal box of champions.

"Every famous person is always on a Wheaties box, right," I laughed with Harry.

"That's right and here he's on pop sickles," he chuckled.

His Red River D belt buckle was on on ebay biding for around $150. So, where did Harry get his?

"I got mine for $3 down in Canton," said Harry.

And even with all his John Wayne obsession...

"He's been a good husband," said his wife. "He don't believe that, but I would have been gone a long time ago if he hadn't been! So, I still think he's a pretty good Joe."

If you want to check out the Legends and Lawless Museum, it's behind the Mount Pleasant High School. Admission for adults is $2 and students can get in for $1.

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