I went to a movie recently. Well, it wasn't that recent I guess. It was about 60-plus years ago. I went because one of my many heroes was the star. You may remember him. His name was Roy Rogers. He had a Palomino horse named Trigger and a German shepherd dog named Bullet and a wife named Dale. Dale wasn't as neat as Trigger and Bullet. I can't remember if Roy's sidekick was Smiley Burnett or Gabby Hays. Maybe it was neither. Roy was my main concern, plus Trigger and Bullet. I guess if Roy had had a cat, he would have named it "Revolver."
Anyway, Roy was my hero!
Gene Autry was around then and Hopalong Cassidy; his friends called him "Hoppy." But they couldn't compete with Roy as far as I was concerned. I wanted to be just like Roy when I grew up. I looked forward to having a Palomino horse and a German shepherd. I thought I might pass on having a "Dale."
I knew my mom would have appreciated me staying where Roy lived; a place where no one got dirty. I mean Roy could ride through dust and storm and remain immaculately groomed. He never even lost his white hat in a fight! I bet Roy's mom was pleased with him. Heck! I could get dirty now if I was tied to a chair. But all that would change when I went to live where Roy roamed. My mom was going to be so proud. My wife just said if I still wanted to go where Roy lived, she wouldn't stand in my way. What a great gal she is! She always wants the best for me. I was impressed that Roy wore two guns - a pair of six guns with ivory handles. Two holsters on one belt! They were great guns, too. They never ran out of bullets. Luckily, Roy's special guns were never mass-produced because they would have put all the bullet stores out of business.
Roy was a good cowboy. He never killed anybody. He just kept shooting the guns out of the bad guys' hands or shooting black hats off their heads. Roy sang too! I don't know how he did it. Jogging alongside Trigger, he never missed a note on the guitar and his voice never wavered. I didn't mind it when he sang "Twilight on the Trail" or "Get along little doggies," but when he sang to Dale, it kind of made me gag a little. I mean, cowboys don't sing love songs. Well, Vince Gill might, or Randy Travis, but they don't wear a pair of six guns!
It seemed to me that Roy, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and the Lone Ranger all lived in the same place. Hoppy was a bit of an enigma because he wore black but was still the good guy! None of them ever got dirty no matter the circumstances. The Lone Ranger and Red Ryder each had Indian Companions. Roy had me, and I was loyal from Saturday to Saturday. It was to him I gave my 12 cents, and he gave me an adventure.
I'm not sure I still want to be like Roy when I grow up; not like he is now anyway. I've tried playing the guitar and singing, but I'm not very good at it. My wife just said "Amen!" She sure gets religious when I'm reminiscing. I have a small backyard, so owning a Palomino is out of the question. Just as well, I'd never be able to climb up on him. I don't have a German shepherd because I have a navy blue suit and that breed tends to shed! Numerous times, my wife has said to me, "You sure shot yourself in the foot that time." I'm not quite sure what she means, but I figure it's best not to own a gun. My feet don't move too well, anymore, but I don't see any reason to shoot them.
When Trigger died, Roy had him stuffed. I don't think he did that with Bullet or Dale. Though I'm not sure. Roy's passed on to the twilight of a distant trail. I'm told Trigger is housed in the Smithsonian Institute whiling away the hours with Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. As for me, I can't seem to go two hours without getting my shirt dirty.
But I went to a movie - not too recently - to pay homage to one of my heroes. It was over 60 years ago. And not only could I see Roy, but it was a double feature and I might see Tarzan or Buck Rogers. There was a newsreel and a cartoon, too! Twelve cents went a long way then. But those days are gone and Roy's gone and 12 cents insults a panhandler today. Yesterday, to many, is a long time ago, but to me, it only seems that way.