Murder and Redemption

Sunday, May 3, AD 2015

Trafton

 

 

When I was a kid I watched way too much TV.  How little of those hours I can recall now!  However there is one television show that I watched that has always stayed with me.  On October 25, 1971, when I was a freshman in high school, a Gunsmoke episode aired entitled Trafton.  The guest star of the episode was character actor Victor French, who would make twenty-three appearances on Gunsmoke, usually portraying a villain.  The Trafton episode was no exception.  He portrayed a gunman known simply as Trafton.  A murderer, Trafton had learned the gunman’s trade while riding with Confederate raider “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the War.  The episode opens with Trafton and his gang shooting up a town in New Mexico.  They attempt to rob the bank, only to find that the vault contains no money.  Frustrated, on his way out of town Trafton sees a Catholic Church.  He enters the Church and goes up to the altar, and takes a gold cross, a gold communion chalice and a gold paten.  The priest appears and tries to stop him,  Trafton unhesitatingly gunning down the priest.  Seeing a gold cross about the neck of the dying priest, Trafton stoops down to remove the cross.  As he does so the priest with his last strength, to the utter astonishment of Trafton, says, “I forgive you.” and with his bloody right hand traces a cross on the forehead of Trafton just before he dies.  Trafton uneasily touches his forehead, and then leaves the Church and rides off.

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5 Responses to Murder and Redemption

James Arness, Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, June 4, AD 2011

 

For all of my childhood, James Arness, and the show he starred in, Gunsmoke, were a constant presence.  The television show, a sequel to the radio show of the same name, came on the air in 1955 and ran for 20 years.  I was born in 57 and graduated from high school in 75.  Each week my family would watch the show, even the reruns.  We  had a slight personal connection to the show, my grandfather, a shoemaker, making a pair of boots for James Arness to wear in his role of Matt Dillon. 

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One Response to James Arness, Requiescat in Pace

  • This made me feel old all of a sudden. I remember watching James Arness’ Gunsmoke and Festas. I can’t seem to recall when that was really. Because of TV today I seldom watch television. Recently I discovered the RTV programs that in fact come from earlier times. I’m finding it hard to spend time with TV except for the so-called news today. When I want to relax I turn to the RTV TV programs, “A-Team” and “Night Rider” (so far); that fall in my “end of day” time.
    Thanks for this information. It set me to thinking how terribly fast the time gets away from us. I believe that because of his moral bent, Matt Dillon has a place in heaven.