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Front St.Trails Section - Clovis Free PressBack St.
Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press
Sunday February 18, 2001
It's a lonesome trail
without cowboy heroes

By Loran Smith, Contributor

Gene AutryRoy RogersClayton Moore

     CLOVIS -- Last year we lost three of our cowboy heroes. First, Roy Rogers died, and I am not sure whether Roy was stuffed or buried. He and Dale Evans, his longtime wife, stuffed Roy's horse Trigger when Trigger went to that great corral in the sky.
      We had not been without Roy for long before we lost another great cowboy hero. Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, died, and I shed a tear or two when I heard his voice at Christmas time. That voice will probably last throughout the
      current millennium, singing ''Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.''
      I don't know what a music expert would say about ol' Gene's singing style. Doesn't matter to me. His voice was very pleasant, and the millions of records he sold has to count for something. I don't know about you, but it wouldn't be Christmas without Gene singing his Christmas songs. I look forward to the Christmas season so I can hear Gene. And Bing Crosby singing ''White Christmas.''
      After Roy and Gene passed on, it wasn't too long before we lost the Lone Ranger, and that really hurt. I always liked Roy and Gene, but I had a special affection for Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger. I rode with him and Tonto into the sunset many times. I got to where I could chime out, ''Hi Yo, Silver, Away,'' just like he did at the Dixie Theatre pn Saturday afternoon, leaving his calling card -- a silver bullet.
      The Masked Man always got his man. He foiled many bank robberies. He always was there in the nick of time when some no-accounts were up to no good, like robbing a train. What I liked about him was that he was tough on cattle rustlers. It was so much fun to see the bank robbers and cattle rustlers being put in jail.
      They had a forlorn look as the Lone Ranger put them in handcuffs and took them away. In those days, the man in the white hat always won.
      Kids don't get much in the way of white hat justice today. Today, so often in our movies, the crooks win. And if they don't win, they commit a trail of violence a mile long.
      Can we bring the Lone Ranger, Roy and Gene back? When I was growing up, my big Christmas was when I got holsters and two cap pistols from Santa Claus. All I needed was a horse and that was a different matter, but you can always find a solution to any problem, especially if you have imagination.
      In the pasture beside my grandfather's house there was a thicket of wild cane which, with imagination, became my horse. Break the tallest cane pole you could find, put it between your legs and you had yourself a horse.
      After I gave up on Cowboys and Indians and moved into baseball and began listening to the older boys tell dirty jokes, I got a big laugh out of that old story about the Lone Ranger and Tonto loping along in the valley.
      They looked up and Indians were swarming down on them from every direction. The Lone Ranger became concerned and looked over at Tonto. ''What are we going to do?'' he asked his trusted Indian sidekick. ''What do you mean 'we,' Kemo Sabe?'' Tonto replied. Click here to watch complete episodes of "The Lone Ranger" online.

[Editor's Note: Loran Smith is executive secretary of the Georgia Bulldog Club.]

Letter to the Editor

© 2001 Clovis Free Press. All rights reserved.

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