Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 4-23-12
This year, 2011, would have been the 100th birthday of Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys. Everywhere celebrations are taking place to recognize the man and what he represented – honor, straight shooting, word is one’s bond, handshake honesty, belief in God – all the values most of us hold dear. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and don’t forget that golden Palomino, Trigger, shall ever remain heroic symbols representing the best of our nation where dreams can come true.
A hundred years ago as we all know
Leonard Slye was born.
So here’s a bio of the kid from Ohio,
Listen up and learn.
Though it wasn’t cool, he quit high school
And drove a truck for awhile.
He was a lad who helped his dad
Keep the family in style.
He liked to sing; made rafters ring
Playing for friends and neighbors.
He made a decision, he had a vision
Making music his life-time labor.
So he teamed with his cousin;
They went buzzin, out to California.
They rented cheap digs; sought singing gigs
Among the palms and begonias.
Four years later he still hadn’t made ‘er
So he set about changing gears.
With other guys, Leonard Slye
Formed Sons of the Pioneers.
They sang “Cool Water” like they oughter
And “Tumbling Tumble Weeds.”
The boys were a hit; got acting bits
Which made ’em shout with glee!
In 1938, the hand of fate
And an artful movie dodger
Gave Len a hand and a moniker grand
King of the Cowboys: Roy Rogers.
Roy became a household name
An idol for every kid.
He stood for bravery; thumbs down on knavery
In everything he did.
He married Dale, a songbird frail
She was Queen of the West.
To King of the Cowboys, she was his joy
Theirs was a union blessed.
Without fail, Roy and Dale
Made movies portraying honor.
Of cowboys ideal, steadfast and real
They gave us ethics to ponder.
Trigger, Roy’s horse, was of course
The smartest equine in pictures.
He could dance and happily prance
Of tricks he flaunted a mixture.
Roy rode him fast and when Trigger passed
The horse became an icon.
At the Rogers Museum you still can see him
Golden in the setting sun.
Roy and Dale have ridden the trail
Through St Peter’s gate.
Where the angels sing and the Heavens ring
Welcoming Roy and his mate.
How about you – and you – and me?
Shall we follow Roy Rogers’ lead?
And use our days in honorable ways
Helping folks in need?
At Heavens gate, will Roy await
As we approach all alone?
Will he shake our hand; with wide smile grand
Sayin’, Howdy Partner – welcome home!