Page 7 - Discover Winter 2023
P. 7

that he would be politely bland when asked              often recognized for their efforts on behalf of
        about other personalities and the movies                homeless and handicapped children. What
        and TV shows of the day. He wasn’t. He had              struck me most about Roy Rogers was his

        always prided himself on being more than just           genuine warmth. He presented himself to us
        an entertainer. He believed that as a cinematic         as a kindly old grandfather type, and it was
        idol, he had a responsibility to be a positive          real, not any kind of a put-on.

        role model for children.
                                                                   What got me thinking about all of this
           So, when asked about such epics as “E.T”,            some 40 odd years later is that in today’s

        or “Star Wars”, he flat out told us that he             Hollywood, Roy Rogers would be a square
        didn’t think much of them. When asked                   peg in a round hole. His down to earth

        why, he told us that those characters were              sense of honesty, fair play, and old fashioned
        imaginary. He felt that in order to reach               values seems conspicuously absent from the
        young people and influence their character, it          entertainment industry of the 21st century.

        was best accomplished with real people. He              Remember that Roy had experienced success
        pointed out that there was always a moral               in movies, TV, radio, and the music industry.
        in the stories that he presented, and that his          In fact, he is the only person ever to have been

        integrity meant everything to him.                      elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame
                                                                twice, once as a member of the Sons of the
           Pete had confirmed this prior to our first
                                                                Pioneers, and again as a solo artist.
        meeting with the singing cowboy. For many
        years, Roy had been approached by different                He was consistently ranked as one of the
        corporations for endorsements. When it was              most popular western stars for just over a

        Marriott’s turn in the barrel, Pete was told in         decade, and he did it without foul language,
        no uncertain terms that if he were to lend his          bad behavior, or nasty talk. He appeared in

        name to this fast food endeavor, he wanted              over 100 films, most often as himself. Roy and
        final approval on everything that Roy Rogers            Dale were outspoken Christians, and often
        restaurants would serve. Obviously, Marriott            spoke just as loudly with their actions as with

        had agreed to his terms. I remember how                 words.
        much I liked the “real good fast food” that Roy
                                                                   The longer that I live, and the more of the
        Rogers restaurants served.
                                                                world that I see, the more I appreciate the legacy

           Now, one might get the impression that               that Roy Rogers left behind, as well as my great
        Roy was all talk, but further inquiry dispelled         good fortune at having met this marvelous man.

        that notion. Roy Rogers, together with his
        wife, Dale Evans, adopted several children,
        and worked tirelessly as advocates for

        adoption and children’s charities. They were

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