How many times have us "kids" sung that song? I know that we are fortunate to have a "hero" that we could look up to whenwe were children and can still do that today.
Heading to California a few weeks ago, Paul and I got snowed in while driving across northern Arizona. (As if we hadn't had enough of the stuff!) We had to take a different route. At the end of the next day we found our motel. Paul was reading the brochures for the area and discovered we were only 15 miles from Roy Rogers Museum. I don't know of any other western hero that gives me the feeling as Roy and his wife, Dale Evans. I think it was the feeling of family friendliness that Roy and Dale give that caught my childish heart years ago.
So the next day we stopped at his museum. It was early. Later on busloads of people came. It was nice to see the memorabilia. I've still got a holster and a gun like the one there near the Dale Evan exhibit. My holster is white with purple plastic jewels on it and red bullets in the belt. (I know it sounds tacky but I still think it looks great!)
As we were watching a movie with excerpts from his over 100 movies, and stories from his family, someone came into the room. We turned around and there he was!
We all got up, and went over to shake his hand. He explained that he doesn't usually come to the museum on Saturdays. But for some reason came over this time. Also, I noted an interesting phenomenon occurring when we greeted him. We were all probably of the age where we had been taught that we should be polite and say "Mr." to someone we didn't know well. So I chuckled at how we all went up to him and said, "Hi Roy!"
Roy just grinned back.
I asked Roy, (my daughter later kidded me about name dropping!), last summer I was thrown from a horse and broke my neck. In all your movies and riding, did you ever get hurt? He smiled and explained, No. Actually, not until a couple of years ago. Then he hurt an eye and has only partial vision in that eye.
Roy is about 85 years old now. He uses a motorized cart part of the time he moves around his museum. I understand Dale had a stroke awhile back but is doing well. Roy (I said it again!) smiled and explained that he and Dale would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this next New Year's Eve.
As we looked around the museum, we saw photos and memorabilia not only of Roy, but of his children (three have died), and from other western movie stars and his trips. As Roy looked at the glass case with pictures from his youth, and of his mother, he wistfully commented that the hard part about growing old is that you're the only one left.
But as I read my description of Roy I noted that what I remember most is his quick and bright smile. For everyone. Just like family.
Thanks to Roy and Dale for "adopting" all of us. And thanks to the rest of their family for sharing their folks with us.
|HOME||EXPLORADOR||COLUMN||PASO FINO NEWS|