In Westerns, nearly every handsome hero needs a cantankerous old man as his companion (like Gabby Hayes). If not that, then a fat, silly one (like Smiley Burneette, or a dopey, well-meaning nic one (like Tonto);or one who limps (like Chester), or at least one who is always getting into a mess that the hero gets him out of (like Andy Devine).
May 7, 1945, was an important day by any measure.
For Gen. George S. Patton, it started early, with a call just after 4 a.m. from Gen. Omar Bradley, who said, “Ike just called me, George. The Germans have surrendered.” This was mixed news to Patton, who was convinced the war was ending too soon, leaving the Russians as a future threat and, in any case, leaving Patton, a man who lived to fight, without a war. “Peace is going to be hell on me,” he had complained to his wife, Beatrice, four days earlier.