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.