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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pride Generating Entertainment

Tales of the Texas Rangers
The early part of my childhood was spent in Texas, 1956 to 1959.  I’ve only lived in three states for any length of time, but I can’t imagine that any other State in the Union could generate more pride in its citizens than Texas does.  In the short almost 4 years that I lived in Texas, I was led to believe that Texas was the only State that mattered.  According to any Texan you listen to nothing grows bigger, better or more beautiful than in Texas.
There were a couple of television show at the time that really brought out the pride of the people, I remember the many quality programs that the family use to sit together to watch.  Some examples were; M Squad, Wagon Train, Highway Patrol, Route 66, Gunsmoke, and The Twilight Zone, but the Texan’s favorites were Tales of the Texas Rangers (NBC 1950-52 and CBS 1955-58):
·       On radio, Joel McCrea's Pearson often worked by request with a local sheriff's office or police department, but in the television version,Willard Parker assumed the role of Jace Pearson and had a regular partner, Ranger Clay Morgan, who had been an occasional character on the radio show. Morgan was portrayed in the television version by Harry Lauter. William Boyett appeared five times on the television series, including the role of Wade Crowell in the 1955 premiere episode, "Ransom Flight."  ~Wikipedia

·       During the opening and closing credits of the television series, the actors march toward the camera as an off-screen men's chorus sings the theme song, "These Are Tales of Texas Rangers", to the tune of "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad". The radio series used contemporary cases and modern detective methods to solve crimes; it was a procedural drama, in many ways Jack Webb's Dragnet with a western flavor. The television version had some episodes set in the 1950s, comparable in some ways to Rod Cameron's syndicated series, State Trooper. Other episodes were set in the 19th century in a traditional western genre. In each case, Parker and Lauter were involved with chases and shoot-outs. The weaponry varied greatly between the modern and older stories. ~Wikipedia                                                                                                                            

Another television series that generated major Texan pride was The Adventures of Jim Bowie (ABC 1956-58), mostly because of the short time he lived in Texas and his heroic stand at the Alamo:

·       The series stars Scott Forbes as the real-life adventurer Jim Bowie. The series initially portrayed Jim Bowie as something of an outdoors-man, riding his horse through the wilderness near his home in Opelousas where he would stumble across someone needing his assistance. He was aided by his ever-present weapon the Bowie Knife, something he designed in the first episode The Birth of the Blade.Gradually the series shifted from the country to the city, having Bowie instead spend the majority of his time in New Orleans. He was frequently shown looking to invest his money in real estate, or coming to the aid of someone who had been swindled. ~Wikipedia
·       Story lines focused on the exploits of Bowie before he moved to Texas (then part of Mexico), and his death at the Alamo in 1836. During the series' two season run, Bowie encountered many historical figures of the era, such as President Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, John James Audubon, Sam Houston, and Davy Crockett. ~Wikipedia

I was actually saddened when I found out that we were moving out of Texas, because of the sense of pride I felt, at being an adopted Texan.  I left large numbers of family members that I meant to go back and visit but that I never saw again.  If I were to visit them now, they probably wouldn’t even remember me.  The beauty, however, is that I have a vivid memory of them, and they will forever be young in my mind and heart. The best is yet to come….

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