Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Best: Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

The famous movie and TV cowboy, Roy Rogers (Leonard Franklin Slye) was born in 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio and became a western movie star by the mid-1940’s.

It was his desire to reflect his Christian ethics into his cowboy character as much as he could. Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans, were devoted Christians and were well known for their charitable work and the adoption of as many as twenty orphans and other children, plus raising their own.

Roy was one of those actors who was a straight shooter, both on and off the screen. But one of the few stigmas he carried was the issue of not serving in the military during WW-2. But Roy was not a draft dodger.

Roy was classified by the draft board as 1-A in 1945, and he was ready and willing to ship out when called. But because of his age (over 30) and being married with children,
his classification was soon changed to 3-A. It is not clear whether Republic Pictures played any part in Roy's deferment, as was the case for another movie giant, John Wayne. But Roy Rogers as a draft dodger? Not Likely.

I remember in Roy’s TV series that he promoted his ‘Roy Rogers Rider’s Rules’ to encourage youngsters to do what was right and remind them to love God and honor our country.
Here are those rules:
  1. Be neat and clean.
  2. Be courteous and polite.
  3. Always obey your parents.
  4. Protect the weak and help them.
  5. Be brave but never take chances.
  6. Study hard and learn all you can.
  7. Be kind to animals and take care of them.
  8. Eat all your food and never waste any.
  9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly.
  10. Always respect our flag and our country.
I also found this prayer that Roy had written:

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 ride it straight the whole way through.
And when 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.”
-- Roy Rogers
Our younger generation has sadly missed out on having movie stars such as Roy Rogers and Dale Evans to look up to. So much of what they represented would be mocked and ridiculed in many of our movie theaters and public schools these days. And with so many parents, and even grandparents who have let these old truths slip away, I often wonder who will teach today’s youth to ride or walk those paths of righteousness. 

And remembering Roy as a singing cowboy, I think that some of his best songs as presented in the movies and on records were where Roy appeared with the Sons of The Pioneers.

If you cannot see this video, click here.

Roy Rogers provided us with many fond memories of those days back in the 1940's and 50's. He and Dale will be remembered by a great number of us old timers for the rest of our lives.

There have been many articles written about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, but I'll just let the following video close my post here, as it tells the story much better than I can:

If you cannot see this video, click here.

Happy Trails To All!

Gary Miller

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