“A Masked man and an Indian Rode the plains, Searching for Truth and Justice”. Nostalgia (part 5)

nostalgia, history, the lone ranger, radio             ‘Hi, Ho! Silver’         Nostalgia   

When I was a very little girl my mother and I would pull our chairs up close to our Zenith radio and wait for the iconic shout, “Hi-Ho Silver! Away!”  and the weekly  radio show of ‘The Lone Ranger’. The first of 2,956 radio episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on  WXYZ. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either (it remains unclear)  by WXYZ radio station owner, George W. Trendle, or by Fran Striker, the show’s writer. It’s been suggested that Bass Reeves, a legendary Federal peace officer in the Indian Territory (1875 – 1907), was the inspiration for this character.

Each episode was introduced by the announcer as follows:  ‘In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!’

Then not too many years later I went to the Saturday matinees at the movie house and to watch the serialized adventures of the Lone Ranger. radio, movies, the lone ranger, tonto,  I believe that was my first crush on a guy. And Tonto was so exotic….what a duo!  Actors (above) Clayton Moore played the Ranger and Jay Silverheels was Tonto.

Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as “Ke-mo sah-bee”, meaning “trusty scout” or “trusted friend.” These catchphrases, his the lone ranger, tonto, nostalgia, silver, scouttrademark silver bullets, and the theme music from the William Tell overture have become tropes of popular culture.

The show and the characters were so influential that both actors took their positions as role models to children very seriously, in their daily lives,  and tried their best to live their lives by the creed that was created for them. It read:

I believe…

that to have a friend, a man must be one.
that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
that ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.
that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
that sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

Just the other night I saw the first trailer, on TV, about the new movie, “The Lone Ranger”.  What a kick!  And under all that paint tonto, the lone ranger, radio, nostalgiaon Tonto’s face is Johnny Depp.  No surprise there; Depp has always gone his own way and chosen roles that intrigued him.  He has historically thumbed his nose at agents, managers, studio CEO’s, and accepted diverse and (others may believe) crazy roles.  Good on you! Johnny!loneranger.new

 

 

 

 

the lone ranger, silver, scout, Tonto, radio, nostalgia           The Horses:  I was horse-crazy as a girl and loved Silver and Scout as much as the heroes. According to the episode “The Legend of Silver”: before acquiring Silver, the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. The Lone Ranger saves Silver’s life from an enraged buffalo and, in gratitude, Silver chooses to give up his wild life to carry him. The origin of Tonto’s horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rode a white horse called White Feller. Then Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend Chief Thundercloud, who then takes White Feller. Tonto rides this horse and refers to him simply as “Paint Horse” for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout.  In another episode,  the Lone Ranger, in a surge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild.

I remember that episode like it was yesterday.  I couldn’t believe that the Lone Ranger, MY lone ranger and MY Silver were to be parted. Not until the next Saturday, at the local movie theatre, did Silver return to his beloved master.

Yes, I am a writer of fiction, plays and poetry but the thing I really like about this ‘blog’ business is I get to write about writing and storytelling.  I can write about stories that intrigue and endure.  The story behind The Lone Ranger intrigues and certainly is enduring!
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