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The Lone Ranger and the Riders of Justice Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

We sat there every Saturday from one till four. There were four of us, Tom, Ed, Bill and I, and we had the best seats in the house, the front row. We could look up, and see the frontier horizon, from top to bottom, and east to west; we liked it that way. When Roy Rogers flashed across the screen, we all saw him in living tones, and more than life size! When Gene Autry roared on, he was larger than life!! You name the cowboy, we saw them on Saturdays. We saw the G-Men, Rex Allen, Lash Larue, Hopalong Cassidy, The Three Mesquiteers, Dick Tracy, Batman, Superman, The Green Hornet, and WE LOVED THEM ALL!

For 6 years we spent our Saturdays watching our celluloid heroes get into and out of trouble; we watched blazing 6 Guns and heroines in distress; towns were reborn after the villains were routed and the streets became safe for women and children when the hero rode off with the girl or became Marshall. No matter how often we’d seen the plot we sat transfixed from the opening credits to the closing sunset.

But today was special, it was a triple feature: Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger. We came especially early this time-I was dressed as Roy Rogers-white felt hat, Roy Rogers bandanna, Roy Rogers patent leather gun belt and ivory handled pistol set, Roy Rogers vest and chaps and my boots WITH SPURS! I was ready for action, and I’d find it!

Ed was decked to the hilt too. He had his Gene Autry look down pat, from his head to his sparkling tipped cowboy boots, he too was ready for action. I asked him where Champ was.

“Champ, he’s at the stable. I gave him a rest today. Twenty miles on the prairie is enough for any horse, even Champ! Where’s Trigger?” Eddie asked.

“Trigger, in the back alley, ready for a quick get away” and I giggled.

We were playing, I was Roy, the King, and he was just Gene Autry.

We looked at Tom and Bill, they were the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Tom was the ultimate Lone Ranger fan-he had all the comics, all the books, all the erasers, toyboxes, guns and was the president of the local fan club. Bill was Tonto because he had met Tonto once at a fair, and because Tom had a bigger collection of toys.

“Well Tonto” Bill said in his best Earl Graeser voice “five minutes until the movie starts, you scout out the candy stand.”

“Kemo Sabe-me get big bowl of popcorn for Scout, and little drink for you.” he replied.

We all waited outside the theatre for the doors to open. As we talked excitedly, kids hurried from their parents vehicles and joined the line.

“There’s Andy” I yelled!

“Hi Gordon” he yelled back. “Where’s Trigger?”

“Out in the back alley” I answered defiantly.

I faced the door again. The coming attractions posters teased me-Roy Rogers in the “Bells of San Angelo”, Gene Autry in “Navajo Trail”, and the Lone Ranger in “The Lone Ranger Rides Again”. The pictures stared back at me saying-come, see me, BE LIKE ME! The actors names rolled easily off my lips, Rooooy Rogerssss, Ssssmiley Buuuurnet, Chief Thhhundercloud, Dale Evvvvans, yep, like old friends, their names brought a smile to my lips. I could hear the six guns firing and the horses galloping. I could see the bad guys giving up already.

I crouched down like Roy and drew my pistols quickly.

“Bang” I exclaimed as I squeezed the trigger of my Colt 45 replica.

“Got me, ya varmint” croaked Johnny as he lay play dying on the sidewalk in from of the Roxy.

“Ha ha ha ha” we all laughed.

“That’ll teach you, you nasty polecat” I added for good measure.

Ed poked me in the ribs with his finger and pointed at the Gene Autry poster.

“It’s Navajo Trail-catch that action shot-Gene Autry in battle against the lawless west. Sounds Great! Bet Gene could outshoot Roy any day of the week” Eddie said confidently.

“How much?” I asked.

Eddie thought a little.

“Two comics and a pack of bubblegum” he responded.

“You’re on” I said.

Bill and Tom stood there quietly. The Lone Ranger and Tonto spoke little but acted mightily.

“Come on Bill, Lone Ranger, who’s the greatest-Gene Autry or Roy Rogers?” I asked.

Bill regarded us thoughtfully.

“DRAW”

We both drew as quickly as we could. My gun cleared my holster as Eddies flew out of his hands and fell to the sidewalk.

“Got ya Gene!” I exclaimed excitedly.

“Ya got the drop on me this time Roy, but Champ is still faster than Trigger!”

The theatre door opened, and we were soon in another world, where right and wrong were black and white, and the good guy always won…

We emerged three hours later into the late afternoon sun. I was Royed out, Eddie was Gened out, and Bill and Tom were Kemo Sabed out., but we were happy. Our heroes had faced adversity and come out on top with little or no bloodshed. Gene rode away, Roy got married(again) and the Lone Ranger and Tonto rode off into the sunset leaving behind a silver bullet.

“Some afternoon” Eddie offered.

“Yeah” Bill agreed. “Let’s go over to Tom’s playhouse, it’s only 4:00 PM, and suppers not for an hour yet.”

It was only a ten minute walk to the playhouse, but we ran. Every minute saved meant one more minute of Western Action. We made quite a scene, running down the Saskatoon streets to 225 Avenue D South. My silver and tin sparkled in the sun and clanked and rang I ran, holding my hat in one hand and my pistols in the other. Eddie sped alongside me and Bill and Tom took the short cut through the back alley and hopped the fence to the clubhouse. Tom sped up and ran to the door.

“Beat y’all” he yelled breathlessly.

Tom’s mother poked her head out of the backdoor.

“Supper will be ready at 5:00 PM Tom” she said.

“Yes mom, I’ll be in for supper” he replied “Let’s go in guys.”

Tom’s playhouse was our refuge. It was built by his dad in the summer of 1944 as a birthday present. It was small, square and had two windows, sort of like an old wooden cabin. Sometimes it doubled as one when we were lost in a blizzard, and mangy old coyotes or an Indian raiding party were threatening us. The outside was painted brown, and the door was decorated with a sign that said:

 

Evil Doers Beware!!

Heroes Inside

 

The sign was Eddies idea, but we all helped make it. Inside it was all ours. Pinups of Roy and Trigger, Gene and Champ, The Lone Ranger and Silver, Tonto and Scout, Rex Allen and Koko, and other cowboys too good to mention were plastered all over the walls from top to bottom, and left to right on the North wall. The South wall held our dart board, the east was our wall for villains. We’d put pictures of the bad guys up and throw darts at them. There was a table in the corner with four chairs beside it. On the table lay a stack of comics-our required weekly reading.

We had a good system, I read one, then passed it on to Eddie, who read it and passed it onto Tom, and then Bill got the last crack at the comic, who returned it to the stack.

Bill was the last one in this week, so he closed the door. We took our places, and then looked at each other. He started to speak.

“Guys, every week we argue over who is the greatest hero. Last week Gene was, the week before, the Lone Ranger was, this week it’s Roy.”

“Of course” I said “that’s cause I’m faster, smarter, have a faster horse, and dress better than Gene Autry!”

Eddie piped in.

“Hold it there Roy. I’m a better rider and rancher than you are.”

“And the Lone Ranger and Tonto take no credit for their heroic deeds” Tom added.

“Silvers faster!” Tom said

“Triggers faster!” I said.

“Champ!”

“Silver!”

“Trigger!”

“Silvers better trained!” Tom exclaimed.

“Trigger’s the smartest horse in the movies!” I countered

“Champ is the smartest!”

“Roy is a better shot with his Peacemaker” I anted.

“Gene’s the deadliest rifle shot west of the pecos!” Eddie defiantly said.

“The Lone Ranger only shoots the guns out of the villains hands.”

“So does Roy!”

“So does Gene!”

Tom stood up.

“Stop it guys-every week we do this. And no one ever really wins. Today, I was the Lone Ranger, and you Eddie were Gene, and you Gordon, were Roy. But you know what-they’re all heroes.”

We shook our heads in agreement.

“Gene is a pretty good shot” I admitted.

“And the Lone Ranger sure does a good job of cleaning up varmints and no good for nothing owlhoots.” Eddie admitted.

“Have you ever seen anyone of them do anything dishonest?” Bill asked.

We shook our heads.

“So they’re all heroes, right?”

“Yeah” I said.

“I guess so,” Eddie nodded.

“Instead of fighting about who’s the best why not let them work together” suggested Bill.

“You mean-Roy, Gene, the Ranger and Tonto, as a team?” Eddie said cautiously.

“Yeah-villains beware!! You don’t have a chance.” I said excitedly.

And so our tale began……

If you like this story, email your comments…Next instalment next week.

The Lone Ranger and the Riders of Justice-Chapter 2 and 3

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Important announcement from Red Deer Festival of Trees

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Dear Festival Supporter,
Once again, let us take this opportunity to thank you for your past sponsorship support. For the last 26 years, Festival of Trees has provided more than $16 million to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre thanks in part to your generosity.
While it was a difficult decision, Festival of Trees has been closed to the public due to the current rise of COVID-19 cases in our province however we are still moving forward with a virtual Tree Room, online Silent Auction and our Festival Virtual Fete.
We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, but we need to lead by example and prioritize the health and safety of our community, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and staff.
We remain committed to enhancing healthcare in Central Alberta. Although Festival of Trees is closed to the public, we are offering a number of ways for our community to participate virtually while supporting our goal of raising funds for electronic fetal monitoring for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and other care centres in Central Alberta.
We will showcase the Tree Room and sponsor banners virtually, through Facebook Live and our other social media channels. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rdrhfoundation to be notified when we go live.
You will be able to view packages and bid from any computer or mobile device: www.reddeerfestivaloftrees.ca/auction.
We are grateful for your commitment to Festival of Trees, and most importantly our healthcare. We thank everyone who had made plans to attend this year’s Festival of Trees and we look forward to a time where we can gather again.
If you have questions or concerns, please email [email protected].
With sincerest regards,
Red Deer Regional Health Foundation
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Indoor Winter Market accepting applications for vendors

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From The Downtown Business Association

Vendors wanted for Scott Block Theatre Winter Market.

The Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA) is looking for vendors who would be interested in participating in this year’s first indoor winter market happening November 26 to 28 at the Scott Block Theatre (4816 50 Ave).

The Scott Block Theatre Winter Market is the first indoor winter market hosted by the DBA for Red Deer Lights the Night. This Alberta Farmers’ Market Association approved market will feature local vendors selling an array of make it, bake it, and/or grow it items. The times and dates for the market are:

  • Thursday, November 26: 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday. November 27: 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 28: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    To be a vendor at the Scott Block Theatre Winter Market, just complete the vendor application on our website.

    Applications must be received by Thursday, November 5, 2020.

    Please submit applications by mail or hand delivery to:

    Red Deer Downtown Business Association 120, 5009 50 Avenue
    Red Deer, AB T4N 4B2

    Or email to: [email protected].

    The Downtown Business Association has been operating in Red Deer for over 30 years, serving approximately five-hundred business owners in the Downtown area. Through partnerships and leadership in advocacy and promotion, the DBA is the catalyst for a vibrant and prosperous downtown that is the place to live, work, play and do business.

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december, 2020

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