An Amazing, Easy Read: Dennis Hopper’s Special-Day Bio

Tomorrow, in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, another “Dennis Hopper Day” will be celebrated. This one starts with an 11 a.m. bikers rally and “Easy Rider Ride,” and ends with an evening screening at the Old County Courthouse of Hopper’s iconic 1969 indie.

The reason we bring this up – besides the fact that we love anything to do with Hopper – is that on the official website for the annual celebration, there is an absolutely spectacular bio of Hopper, written by the man himself. Now, not all job opportunities for our readers today warrant, or even allow for, such a bold approach. However, for those of you about to try and dazzle a recruiter or managing editor with an unconventional bio, or interested in some atypical LinkedIn lingo, perhaps Hopper’s words can serve as inspiration:

I was born in Dodge City, Kansas, on a farm, in 1936. I followed the light changing on the horizon.

I watched the hard rain in puddles. I collected bugs in the mornings by picking up leaves and putting them in a fruit jar with nail holes in the top. I lay in the ditch and watched the combines come along the dirt road. They were from Oklahoma. I wondered where the trains went. I shot a BB gun at the black crows. I fought the cows with a wooden sword. I hung ropes in the trees and played Tarzan. I listened to Joe Louis fight on the radio. I fed the chickens, pigs, cows. I swam in the swimming pool my mother waged in Dodge. I got a telescope and looked at the sun and went blind for five days. I caught lightening bugs, lightning shows, sunsets, and followed animal tracks in the snow. I had a kite. I used the telescope to burn holes in newspapers. The sun was brighter than I was. God was everywhere, and I was desperate. I sniffed gasoline and saw clowns and goblins in the clouds. I was Errol Flynn and Abbott and Costello.

I ODed on the gasoline and attacked my grandfather’s truck with a baseball bat, breaking the windshield and headlights. I ate raw onion sandwiches in the Victory Garden. My father went to war. I drove a combine and one way-ed. On my broom horse I announced the beginning of the war to the crows. I was William Tell and Paul Revere. I dug fox holes in the field and played war. I racked balls in the pool hall, smoked cigarettes, drank beer, and ate more onions. My grandfather and grandmother Davis were my best friends. I walked on the rails on the train tracks. I shot marbles with an agate shooter. I caught catfish and carp in the river. I wondered what mountains looked like, and skyscrapers. I imagined them on the Kansas horizon. At thirteen I saw my first ones. They were smaller than I had imagined. So was the ocean. It was just like the horizon line on my wheat field. I was disappointed. I had a newspaper route. I delivered the newspaper from my bicycle. I collected paper to sell. I sold empty Coke bottles for money.

[Photo of Hopper at 2007 CineVegas premiere of Ocean’s Thirteen: s_bukley/]