Meeting your childhood hero live- in person is a thrill of a lifetime. Imagine what a blessing that is. Imagine meeting and getting to know all your childhood hero’s. That blessing has happened to me.
As a youngster going to the movies and seeing your idol or star up their on the giant screen was nothing short of breathtaking. My hero’s were Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger Hopalong Cassidy and Flash Gordon. When my family bought their first television Saturday morning was nothing short of fantastic on this new entertainment medium. One hero after another!
ROY ROGERS. King of the Cowboys.
To me Roy was the coolest of cool. He could ride like the wind, Shoot and never kill. Sing with such style and most of all he embodied truth, moral courage, honesty, integrity and loyalty.
I can’t remember any American more popular than Roy Rogers in the early 1950’s.
There were re- released movies ever week at our local theatre. Roy starred in over 80 feature films. Saturday mornings with Roy, Dale, Trigger, Buttercup and Bullet on our TV was a tradition. Roy filmed over 100 TV episodes on his ranch in California. Every drug store and candy shop had the newest Roy Rogers comic book on display. Sears ( Sears Roebuck) had a whole section devoted to him. My bedspread was a Roy Rogers special edition. Roy was the second most popular character -related merchandising character behind only Walt Disney. Roy’s picture was on my Post Cereal box. I looked on the internet and over 2 1/2 billion boxes of cereal feature Roy on the cover. It was Roy who created The Sons Of The Pioneers. There is a great book on Roy and it’s called ” It’s always been about the music! We may never return to the Sons of the Pioneers days but their music will live forever!
HOW I MET ROY.
Roy’s wife, Dale Evans (“Queen Of The West”) had a syndicated television show on many of the Christian cable channels. One such channel was Super Channel 55 in Orlando, Florida. My dear friend Miller Goodman was general manager of that station. That’s where I recorded my early VHS shows and later several of my DVD’s. Miller directed, edited or oversaw all of my productions. He was also a magnificent keyboard player and never missed getting the right keyboard close up shot. While having a lunch break with the crew Miller mention that the station was carrying Dale’s show. I talked about being a Roy Rogers fan and he said ” The next time you’re in California call me and I’ll set up an interview with Dale that we can use at the station and you will meet Roy too. Two months later I was playing in Laguna Hills and took 3 days off and drove to Victorville, Ca. to meet Dale at The Roy Rogers Museum.
The museum was huge and the first third was about Roy, Dale and their children. In one word Spectacular. The rest of the museum had memorabilia from their movies and their television shows. The picture below was taken about a half our after we taped the interview
In the museum they had a small theatre called The Sidekick Theatre. That’s where I first met Roy. You could see clips from their movies and television shows that featured mostly Pat Brady and Gabby Hayes. Roy told me that Gabby (Real name George) was like his Dad, brother and best friend. “I loved him and I miss him every day of my life. I know God will let me be with my friend in his time.”
The picture below was taken out front of the sidekick theatre. To the right of us was Trigger. Roy said, “You know if I don’t take care of myself Dale will have me stuffed and I”ll be up on trigger”. Then Roy laughed. Before we said goodbye from that first visit Roy yodeled for a minute or so and I can still recall that sound to this day.
I was a proud member of The Roy Rogers Riders Club.
These were the by-laws.
1. Be neat and clean.
2. Be courteous and polite.
3. Always obey your parents.
4. Protect the weak and help them.
5. Be brave but never take chances.
6. Study hard and learn all you can.
7. Be kind to animals and care for them.
8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
10. Always respect our flag and our country.
I am so blessed to have met The King of the Cowboys and The Queen of the West!