Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

26 February, 2011

MY COUSIN DONNA AND THE LONE RANGER


Me at four-years-of-age with cousin, big sister Donna and new pet puppy Spot.

One of the bonuses of being a member of the Facebook community is that it affords a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with family and old acquaintances.  Due to some of my nostalgic writing, I have recently enjoyed connecting with three second cousins from Michigan and in particular, a couple of third  cousins whom I have never met. 

When I was growing up some 65-70 years ago, I was blessed to be a part of an extremely large family that consisted of my grandparents Harriet and Nelson Perry, five aunts, four uncles (and spouses) and 27 cousins.  My mother Grace was the youngest of the Perry brood and I, the youngest of the cousins.  We were an extremely close-knit family that gathered faithfully for special occasions -- Christmas, Easter, summer reunions, Thanksgiving and numerous times in between.  It would be nothing to have 30-40 of us under one roof at any given time, all hugging, kissing laughing, singing and eating lots of good food.  By contrast, families seem to break up and go their own way today and personally I think that it is a shame. 
 
I was so young and had no brothers and sisters, several of my then teenage cousins just naturally seemed to adopt me as their second little brother, Dickie.  Certainly to me, they were the equivalent of big sisters and brothers in every way possible and I spent a lot of time with them in my formative years.  Sadly, they are all gone now and I am the only one left to savor the happy memories of what used to be.  One of my favorite big sister cousins was Donna Phelps Cox (Reed), then of Detroit; and for the benefit of her daughter Betsy Priest and grandchildren Jennifer and Matt Pleva I pass on a story, the details of which may not be fully known to them.  It is a story that has special significance for me because Donna involved me at one point, helping to forge my lifetime fascination with cowboys of the wild west frontier.

Brace Beemer, shows trusty six-shooter to an admiring fan.
After graduation from school, Donna interestingly enough secured a job as a receptionist with WXYZ Radio Station in Detroit.  It just so happened that at the time WXYZ had come into prominence as the host and creator of the increasingly popular Lone Ranger series.  The star of the show in the 1940s was a strapping fellow by the name of Brace Beemer.   Donna would regale us with stories of how Beemer  would make it a point to stop and talk to her on his way into the studio.  She was a very petite, attractive, personable young lady and the six-foot, three-inch Beemer would loom over her threatening to put her in his vest pocket and take her home with him.  He had a pet name for her which completely escapes me at the time of this writing.


On one of my many Easter visits to my aunt Edith's home on Inverness Ave. in Detroit, Donna took me with her to the radio station on a day off from work.  She had arranged for me to meet Beemer following one of his three-times-a-week broadcasts.  I was spell-bound as Donna took me by the hand and led me into the studio where "The Lone Ranger" himself (minus his mask and dressed in a business suit and white shirt open at the neck) greeted me with an already-signed photograph that included sidekick Tonto (then played by John Todd). 


"Good to meet you, young man," said the radio legend, patting me on the back as he hurriedly made his way out the front door enroute to his farm outside nearby Pontiac, Mich.  It was absolutely one of those special occasions that a young lad never forgets.  It still gives me chills to think that I actually met the elusive Lone Ranger.  No where in the annals of radio history can one find a more popular voice than that of Brace Beemer as he portrayed the Lone Ranger in the 1940s and early 50s. In real life Beemer was known to be an all 'round outdoorsman who was both an expert horse rider and a crack shot, a combination that gave him a rugged and virile charm.  Although it was WXYZ station manager George W. Trendle who created and enhanced the Lone Ranger idea, it was my boyhood hero that carried the radio program so successfuly over the airwaves for more than 21 years. After the Lone Ranger series ended in 1955, he portrayed "Sergeant William Preston of the Yukon" on the television program Challenge of the Yukon, for a brief period.  He died in 1965


A little more about the Lone Ranger

With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of "Hi-yo, Silver!  Away!" The Lone Ranger regularly came into the living room of my home in Dresden just before our 6 o'clock supper time and I was glued too the old floor-model radio that seemed to burst at the seams with the vibrations.


The show, as stated, was the creation of station-owner George Trendle and writer Fern Striker.  Neither Trendle nor Striker had any connections to or experience with the cowboys, Indians, and pioneers of the real West, but that mattered little to them.  The men simply wanted to create an American version of the masked swashbuckler made popular by the silent movie actor Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro, arming their hero with a revolver rather than a sword.  Historical authenticity was far less important to the men than fidelity to the strict code of conduct they established for their character.



The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol; he used grammatically correct speech free of slang; and, most important, he never shot to kill.  More offensive to modern historical and ethnic sensibilities was the Indian scout Tonto, who spoke in a comical Indian patois totally unrelated to any authentic Indian dialect, uttering ludicrous phrases like "You betchum!"    


"Howdy pardner!"  Me in my best cowboy get up, including a Lone Ranger pistol and holster.  I could be the Lone Ranger one minute and at the drop of my straw hat transition to Red Ryder, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry or Roy Rogers.  When I wasn't in a Wild West frame of mind I could easily become The Phantom, Zorro, GI Joe and yes, even Robin Hood.  I was truly "the great pretender" as a kid -- still am, I guess. 

Historical accuracy notwithstanding, the radio program was an instant hit.  Children liked the steady stream of action and parents approved of the good moral example offered by the upstanding masked man.  Soon picked up for nationwide broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network, over 20 million North Americans were tuning into The Lone Ranger three times a week by 1939. In an early example of the power of marketing tie-ins, the producers also licensed the manufacture of a vast array of related products, including Lone Ranger guns, costumes, books, and a popular comic strip.



The Lone Ranger made a seemingly effortless transition from radio to motion pictures and television.  The televised version of The Lone Ranger, staring Clayton Moore as the masked man and Jay Silverheels as Tonto, became the ABC netowrk's first big hit in the early 1950s.  Remaining on the air until 1957, the program helped define the golden age of the TV Western and inspired dozens of imitators like The Range Rider, The Roy Rogers Show, and The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok.  Although the Lone Ranger disappeared from American television and movie screens by the 1960s, he lived on in a popular series of comic books well into the 1970s.



Cousin Donna would eventually introduce me to a number of other special things like my first movie, my first game of bowling and milkshakes but to my mind the greatest thing she ever did for me was to introduce me to her friend, The Lone Ranger.
"They went thata way, Kimosabe...We'll head em off at the pass!

23 February, 2011

My bandwagon runneth over with fruit cake

It's been a while since I posted a "Rosanneism" on Wrights Lane.  Well, in spite of my best intentions (and her orders), I just have to give in this one last (?) time.

This afternoon while out on a shopping trip, I was giving Rosanne a hard time/teasing about something, as is my calling in life (I fully expect that in time God will get me for all of that).  To tell you the truth, I can't even remember what wise-crack remark prompted her to blurt out with all the causticity she could muster, "Dick, I've had just about enough fruit cake from your bandwagon." 


As always, I considered myself told in no uncertain terms.  In some weird way I have learned to interpret her messages.

Did you ever force yourself to feign indignance while supressing the impulse to break out in hysterics?  I do that a lot!


Looking for a traditional family table game or the latest in video games?  Visit www.givemgames.com

18 February, 2011

WE CAN ALL LEARN TO DANCE IN THE RAIN


  • http://www.flickspire.com/m/passiontest/LearningtoDanceInTheRain


  • Life's events and experiences are like the weather -- they come and go no matter what our preference.

    This is a link to a wonderful video that is an excellent follow up to my last post (see blow) about making the best of things in our lives and being thankful for the simple blessings that we often overlook, or take for granted.  Watch it and you will see what I mean.

    16 February, 2011

    About the broken eggs and lemons in life

    I live in a world continually subjected to second-guessing and devil's advocacy which, out of necessity, I have learned to supress at all costs.  I do not think that I am any different from most others in this regard, it is just that I seem to place myself in vulnerable positions more often than the average person.  Activist innovator doers have a habit of doing just that.

    When we are not chasing rainbows, taking on causes and treading into the unknown we find ourselves deflecting the woulda, shoulda, coulda analystic influences in our lives.  Maybe at the end of the proverbial day, one balances the other out -- I don't know.  The bottom line is that we are the masters of our own destiny and that we accomplish nothing if we give in to negativity, be it of our own making, the victimization of others or pure happenstance.

    I have interviewed  several individuals recently who I greatly admire because they have overcome severe setbacks and circumstances that were beyond their control.  One describes his experience as the equivalent of being kicked squarely in the genital area and knocked to his knees while the other speaks of the nausea that accompanies disappointment, embarrasment and heartbreak.  While they come from differing cirumstances, they both had one thing in common -- the ability to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and make the best of the devestating situations in which they found themselves.

    An old friend who I often quote, has an interesting analogy involving the cooking of eggs.  "You can't make an omlette without breaking the eggs," he says.  "If, though, you really feel determined to keep the eggs in one piece, you can always cook something else.  If you are dealing with a tray full of eggs that are already broken, however, you may as well use them up.

    "What he was saying is that there is no point in wishing that a certain situation had never come about or thinking in retrospect about how the end result could have been much different.  What is done, is done, and the only way to improve it is to accept the unalterable and to go about seeing what can be made of it.

    It's all about another analogy, making lemonade out of lemons.  The end result can be quite surprising and palatable beyond our fondest expectations. 

    11 February, 2011

    INTRODUCING MY LATEST BLOG SITE

    I am pleased to announce the publishing of my 25th blog site featuring an interesting and talented young  hockey player who grew up in my hometown of Dresden.

    Robert Johnston (right) and older brother
     Brian, circa 1960
    Like so many other starry-eyed youngsters, Robert "Rosy" Johnston never did make it to the National Hockey League but he has maintained a burning love for the game all his life.  A respectable Junior "A" caliber player, Rosy eventually made his way out west where he played on provincial championship teams in both Manitoba and Alberta.  Now 57 years of age and living in Calgary, he remembers his formative years in Dresden with fondness and credits the grandmother who raised him and surrogate parents who mentored him with being responsible for the man he is today.

    It is a simple down-to-earth story that kind of makes you feel good about a lot of things and, in particular, a likeable blue collar guy who has done the best with what God and some caring people gave him when he was growing up in a small close-knit Southern Ontario community.    
    Click http://rosysheartneverleftdresden.blogspot.com

    08 February, 2011

    WELCOME TO THE WORLD EMERY!



    Born on Great Aunt Rosanne's birthday, Monday, February 07, 2011,  at 1:07 p.m., "Emery" 6 lb.14oz., daughter of Megan and Sean Krasnewych of  Scarborough.  Go ahead John and Jane, spoil your first grandchild all you want...It's allowed! 

    Looking for a traditional family table game or the latest in video games? Visit www.givemgames.com

    07 February, 2011

    LET'S DANCE: STEVEN TO THE RESCUE

    There are times when images captured by the camera lens are just too special and fun not to share.  Here are several that fall into this category for me.
    My granddaughter Madison, 6 1/2 years old (when you're six that 1/2 is very important you know), attended her first wedding on Saturday.  She loves music and dancing and was in her glory at the reception following the wedding.  Her priceless expression of joy and elation in the top photo said it all when the deejay began playing a song by her current heart throb, teen idol Justin Bieber.  At one point she asked a boy at the next table if he would like to dance.  The very uncomfortable young lad declined, saying that he "did not know how" (to dance).  Witnessing what had just transpired, Steven, a quick-thinking boyfriend of an older cousin, rose admirably to the occasion by coming to the rescue of the rejected maiden, whisking her away to the dance floor as Bieber belted out "One Less Lonely Girl".  For a 6 1/2 year old girl in a pretty new dress, it couldn't get much better than that.  As for Steven, God bless him! 

    Looking for a traditional family table game or the latest in video games? Visit www.givemgames.com

    05 February, 2011

    INTRODUCING: INTERNET MARKETING BY OUR VERY OWN RRW WORLDWIDE COMPANY

    After more than two months of hard work we are finally in a position to announce the launch of our new Internet marketing business, RRW WORLDWIDE LLC, LTD.


    GRANDKIDS LOVE GAMES
    Our initial entry into this highly competitive and exciting marketing field will be an affiliate site, www.givemgames.com, exclusively designed for family games of all descriptions -- table games, card games, puzzles, video games, educational games, party games and supplies and kids video games incorporated in unique parental control software for home computers.  The object of the site, as with all future sites, will be to direct online shoppers to quality products at affordable prices and to do it in a convenient, easy-to-follow format.


    RRW WORLDWIDE is a family-owned and operated company with Rosanne and I sole partners.  We have attained incorporation in both the USA and Canada.  Our head office will be listed as Las Vegas, NV because the bulk of our business will come from the States but we will continue to operate out of our home in Southampton.
    .
    ONE OF ROSIE'S GIRLS
    In the developing stage is a drop-shipping store for mobility products and health aids which will be available directly from our Mobility Aids Shop site. Rosanne will also have her own blog site, Rosie's Plus+X Factor, focusing entirely on over-size clothing for women -- "just like me."


    Future plans include development of a shopping site for art and artist supplies.
    .
    If you are interested in seeing samples of Givem Games and Rosie's Plus+X Factor you can click on the following links:
    www.givemgames.com
    http://rosieatplusfactor.blogspot.com

    Our corporate marketing site can also be viewed at 
    http://rrwworldwide.blogspot.com

    Wish us luck! 

    .

    01 February, 2011

    HAVE FAITH IN COMPLETING LIFE'S JOURNEY; SOMETHING BETTER AWAITS US IN THE END



    I wanna live my life just like you did
    And make the most of my life just like you did
    And I wanna make my home up in the sky just like you did
    Oh, but until I get there, until I get there..."


    A verse from "Save A Place For Me" as sung by Matthew West


    You know me, I like to talk about things -- or more accurately, write about  them.  While I always have my readers in mind, more often than not when I think about certain things and then in turn write about them, I am helping myself find clarity and resolution in some shape or form.


    There have been times, however, when delving into certain personal concerns and issues that I have concluded that there are no right or wrong answers or positions to be adopted.  The stock conclusion in such cases is generally "do what is right for you and follow your heart".  Being a sort of "there has to be an answer for everything" kind of person, I am not always satisfied with settling for such nebulous resolutions or solutions.


    Listening to the very beautiful and poignant video above this morning, an unresolved issue came flooding back to me.  The lyrics for "Save A Place For Me" were obviously written by someone very early in the grieving process and a lot of questions are still being asked of the deceased loved one in the song.  Love, the deep physical and emotional love that used to exist between two devoted individuals, lingers in every lyrical sentence.


    When someone very close to us inevitably passes away, particularly a husband or wife, how long must we put our life on hold?  When do we finally let go of the grief, the sadness, the longing, the sense of losing someone who once meant everything to us?  When do we pick up the pieces of what is left of our life, and get on with it?  Or should we just fold our tent and let the rest of the world pass us by, waiting for The Good Lord to eventually take us by the hand and fulfill the popular perception of a long-awaited glorious reunion somewhere in the great beyond?


    The question also begs to be asked:  "What would my dearly departed loved one want me to do?  Depending on age, of course, would it be acceptable not only to pick up the pieces of my life, but dare I even think about entering the social arena after being away from it for so long?  And what if I just happen to meet someone who offers the potential to love again in that very special way?   Would I?  Could I?  Should I?


    In my case, my first life partner passed away after 40 years of marriage. I was numb and hopelessly floundering.  A piece of me was gone, never to be replaced.  Anne came to terms with her illness and was more than ready to leave me, our two daughters and at the time four grandchildren...She was weary and deserved an earthly release which we all reluctantly accepted in the end.  I am convinced that Anne left us knowing that our commitment to each other had been fulfilled.


    Fortunately for me, almost magically, another unique person came into my life.  We had something(s) to offer each other and we instinctively recognized the path we were destined to follow.  That path, offering a chance at a new life, new love and all that it entailed, has been the right one for us.  In all fairness, however, the path that Rosanne and I have taken may not be suitable or even possible for everyone.  In that regard, I feel blessed.


    No matter how our live's unfold, or what direction we take, it is only natural that there will be some unresolved issues and unanswered questions.  Where and how we spend the rest of our eternity is perhaps the greatest mystery known to mankind.  No degree of moralizing or calling on religion will ever give us definitive answers to questions involving the afterlife. On the other hand, there is an inherent need for us to have faith while we are still in the here and now.


    Faith is a wonderful thing, if applied in the true sense of the word.  Faith is all about trust, belief and honest intentions.  Faith helps keep us on course as we experience the clefs and valleys in our lives.  When we lose faith, we loose hope.  When we loose hope, we die.


    As much as I love the song "Save A Place For Me" and I appreciate the sentiments that are expressed, in truth I have reservations (pardon the pun) about the prospect of anyone holding a heavenly place for me as one would reserve a seat in a theater or at a dinner table.  I simply have trouble wrapping my mind around that concept, however nice and conveniently self-serving it may be.


    My faith promises me one thing, and one thing only.  I have faith in a belief that if we live decent lives, a reward awaits us at the end of our earthly journey.  What form that reward takes is well beyond any human conception.  But the mere prospect of something better awaiting us provides incentive for us to keep on keeping on, doesn't it?


    And after all is said and done, the suggestion to do what is right for us and to follow our hearts does have merit.  That is what I have been doing all along anyway and I am sure that is what most readers have been doing as well.  We instinctively want to do what is right and our hearts are capable of leading us in wondrous ways.


    I choose not to live a fanciful existence.  The best I can hope for is that God will ultimately have a place for me that is in keeping with the life that I have lived -- and that it will not be too uncomfortably hot for my liking.


    I'll settle for that!