James “Jimmy” Stewart Is My Hero

My favorite actor of all time is Jimmy Stewart. I stumbled upon him in a funny way. My husband (at the time he was my boyfriend) opened the world of Jimmy Stewart for me. He loved classic movies and watched them often. We were both teenagers then and watching classic movies is not a typical teenage favorite. To tell you the truth, it drove me nuts that he watched these movies!

One day, he wanted to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”. I was slightly annoyed and thought of several other things that I would prefer to do. He finally convinced me to give it a try and promised that I would love it. I grudgingly gave in and prepared to watch it. I was enthralled by it from the beginning.

The story was interesting but the catcher was the moment Jimmy Stewart hit the screen. He was opening his arms wide showing the store keeper what kind of suit case he wanted. Then…… he spoke. His way of speaking was so endearing and different to me. I think I fell in love at that very moment! It was not a romantic type of love, just a love of something great.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” has been my favorite movie from the very first time I watched it. After seeing it, I got my hands on every other movie that Jimmy Stewart has been in. I have been touched by them all. I feel very “peaceful” when I watch one of his films. There are times that I am feeling bad and pop one of his movies in to feel a little bit better for awhile. He has that effect on me.

It is very hard to pick my favorite movies and put them in any kind of order. These are my tops though: It’s A Wonderful Life, Shanendoah, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Harvey. I truly love them all from him being a young man to his much older roles.

I clearly remember the day Jimmy Stewart died. I was on a camping trip with my family. My Dad is an avid newspaper reader and went to the camp store to get his paper. He came back and told me that my favorite actor died. I felt like someone hit me in the chest. I was so very sad and ached for a television set so I could see the news. I missed most of the tributes they had on t.v. after he died since I was camping. I did get to see a few when I got back home and they always brought tears to my eyes.

A lot of people would like to meet “famous” people. I have never felt that way because quite honestly, Hollywood does not impress me much. They are just people like the rest of us. However, I would have given anything to have met Jimmy Stewart. He is the only famous man I feel would have been worth a good hand shake. I would have loved to had the opportunity to tell him just how much he added to my life with his wonderful movies.

I have honored Jimmy Stewart in my own way. My third son’s middle name is James after the great actor. I plan to make sure my son knows what a wonderful man he is named after. I hope he will love his movies as much as I do.

Kathleen Baxter:

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