Happy Trailers

Before the features the other night, the Starlight Drive-in projected several reels of vintage coming attractions previews. A rare Roy Rogers Riders Club introduction, used as a welcome at children's events held more than 50 years ago, was screened, too.

Roy was known as "King of the Cowboys," making as many as eight western films per year during the 1940s. He moved to television for "The Roy Rogers Show," 1951-57.

I'm guessing the footage is from the mid-to-late '40s. In it, heroic Roy and his spectacular Golden Palomino stallion, Trigger, gallop into view, stopping short of the camera.

Actually, I found this moment to be a bit thrilling.

My earliest memories include watching "The Roy Rogers Show." I also liked Roy's girl, Dale, and her horse, Buttermilk. I recall my grandmother serving me warm milk during those episodes. I'm trying not to become disturbed.

Plus, "The Smartest Horse in the Movies" has one of my favorite scenes of all-time in "Son of Paleface" (1952). Trigger's in bed with Bob Hope!

From the vantage point of the 21st century, the surprising thing about the Roy Rogers Riders Club message is Roy welcomes the buckaroos to the theatre and immediately bows his head to pray.

Trigger, too.

The Cowboy's Prayer

Oh, Lord, I reckon I'm not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me to ride it straight the whole way through.

And in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
Above all else, the happiest trail would be
For You to say to me, "Let's ride, my friend."

The world has changed.

"True," says my friend, Frank. "So few praying horses these days."

1 comment:

Tim said...

I love Roy Rogers movies. I have a few of them on DVD. I forced my Darling Daughter to watch, and she eventually learned to love Roy's charm too. And there's singing in there, too!



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