“Like The Wind Across Your Face, Lucas Boy.”

The previous year is already gone, replaced by a new year.  Thus, it seems fitting to quote marshal Micah Torrance’s description of the passage of time from The Rifleman:  “Like the wind across your face, Lucas boy.”  He is an older man talking to a younger man, Lucas McCain, about the fleeting nature of time, a major theme in the show.

The series shows the special relationship between widower, Lucas McCain and his son Mark.  We see how Mark changes, from a ten-year-old to an adolescent and how this affects the relationship with his father.  He learns to accept people’s differences(another major theme), and learn there is a time for different things in life.  But, even in the early episodes, Mark takes an active role in defending his father and saving his life.  The Rifleman really deals with Mark’s education in the broadest sense, from going to the confines of the schoolhouse to learning about survival amidst rugged terrain.  His interaction with his father gives the show its dynamic, as they confront outlaws, outcasts, people uncertain of what they want and people who are too proud to admit they may be wrong.

In the last episode, we see Mark with a potential girlfriend, though it is clear Mark is not ready for commitment.  If the series had continued, Mark would have become an adult, which was not what The Rifleman was about.  As an audience, we are visual witnesses to the characters’ swift aging, and we are forced to accept Micah’s statement about the sudden rush of time.

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

7 Responses to “Like The Wind Across Your Face, Lucas Boy.”

  1. auntyuta says:

    I looked up in the Wikipedia: The Rifleman.
    I believe I never saw this TV series. It is interesting that Lucas had a rifle that a allowed him to shoot a number of times within a few seconds. As a teenager I used to read a lot of Karl May books. The main character in these Western books had a similar rifle!
    ‘The sudden rush of time’, I certainly can relate to this!
    Wishing you, dear Robert, a very Happy New Year!


  2. berlioz1935 says:

    I saw a few episode of the “Rifleman”, but not enough to grasp the ideas behind it. I know it is now a classic of American TV.

    The “passage of time” too, has a fascination for me. The “ravages of time” changes us all. It is the same as the endless surf of the ocean reduces even basalt.

    To notice this changing element in the passage of time is surely a sign of our conciousness.


  3. Time is a fascinating subject. J.T. Fraser wrote several books about the nature of time. His most famous is Time, Passion, and Knowledge. It is a heavy read, but essentially, he argues that to understand time fully we need to understand its different manifestations, such as biological time , physical time, psychological time, to name a few… I like your comment about time and evolution. Thanks for your thoughts.


  4. Sun says:

    sounds like it was a great series, Robert. thanks for sharing. ☺


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