You know Jim Craig, right?
Hmmm. Okay, maybe you're thinking on it. The name has a familiar ring to it.
Look down. Any clues? Maybe without even clicking play your memory recalls the trumpet, the crack of the whip, and then the eerie silence just before hooves crash on the downside of a rocky cliff.
Oh yeah, Jim Craig!
The otherwise nameless hero of Banjo Patterson's classic poem, "The Man from Snowy River". Filmakers gave the hero a name, Jim Craig. Tom Burlinson brought him to life on the screen, and girls everywhere fell in love. Go on. Admit it.
This film was released in 1982, the last year I lived in Australia. The movie's popularity in the U.S. created a new respect and fascination in the States for the Land Down Under.
For me The Man From Snowy River was a link to the place I called home throughout my childhood. Now, it is nostalgic. Then, it was a reminder of the courageous spirit of Australians and of the mates I'd left and missed.
A lump still forms in my throat when the trumpet blasts and the whip cracks. Some things remain a part of our soul. All these years later, I am still a little bit Aussie. And a bit proud of it.
A Tarheel by birth,