The 50’s were a time of good guys and bad guys, all on a small black and white screen. There was Zorro, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Fury, My Friend Flicka. Values and moral standards seemed clearer then and as a kid reared on TV westerns, I chose my heroes as much for the horses they rode as for their moral character.
Roy Rogers was definitely a good guy because he rode a spectacular golden stallion, Trigger. Roy had a great tenor singing voice, and he had a devoted wife, Dale Evans, who sang with him and was a second fiddle to no one. Just keeping her own last name meant she was a bit of a rebel at the time.
I never saw Roy shoot a bad guy; he only shot their guns out of their hands, and would tie them up and take them to the sheriff. Then he and Dale would ride off into the sunset singing Happy Trails To You.
Why be nostalgic over Roy Rogers and Trigger? The Roy Rogers Museum is closing and the golden palomino Trigger, stuffed and preserved when he died at the ripe old age of 33, is being auctioned off. I can’t imagine owning a rearing stuffed horse, but this old horse was the stuff of dreams for little girls like me. He led me to my own golden horses years later.
Happy Trails to you, Trigger. I hope you land in a home that really treasures what you meant to a whole generation. There just aren’t many horsey heroes any more.
Roy Rogers and Trigger (doing a fairly decent passage!)
Roy and Dale singing Happy Trails