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The Rutherford County Line

The Rutherford County LineWe watched an Earl Owensby movie, The Rutherford County Line, last night. If you don’t know who Earl Owesnby was, that’s okay. You wouldn’t be expected to. He was a film-maker in the Ed Wood mold who made movies in and around the Cleveland County, North Carolina area back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Trust me, if you grew up in that area, you’d at least heard of Earl Owensby. I’d never seen one of his films until last night. We watched The Rutherford County Line because Victoria was an extra in the film. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to see her in a few scenes, with her too-cool 1980’s hairdo.
According a common quote about the movie, “Rutherford County Line is the real-life story of an even-tempered North Carolina sheriff who intends to discover who killed his deputies. Earl Owensby plays Sheriff Damon Huskey of Rutherford County, North Carolina.” The movie is based on an incident that occurred on May 31, 1979, when Deputy Sheriff Roy Huskey (Damon Huskey’s brother) and Deputy Sheriff Owen Messersmith were killed while investigating a domestic abuse call. A North Carolina state trooper, Robert L. (Pete) Peterson, was also killed later by the same man. Needless to say, this was a big deal in Rutherford County.
Being as how I grew up in Cleveland County and this happened in 1979 (four months before my 9th birthday), this didn’t make much of an impression on me. So it was kinda cool to learn more about it. Especially if it meant getting to see Victoria’s movie debut. And in spite of Earl Owensby’s terrible acting, it wasn’t really all that bad of a movie. Especially later on when the focus shifted from setting up what a generally great guy Damon Huskey was and went on into the murders and the pursuit of the killer.
I guess in the end, about the only thing that I can say of The Rutherford County Line is that I’ve finally watched an Earl Owensby movie. And I got to watch Victoria while doing it. That’s just cool. But then, I’m a fan of Victoria’s from way about, so I might not be the most impartial of judges.

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