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News Posted: July 24, 1998
Cousin Hugh Wesley owned the two story General Store in downtown Glens Fork, Kentucky, he lived upstairs and downstairs was the store part, walkin' into the store and to your left at the rear was a nice clean counter that in case you had a hankerin' for a cheese sandwich or a hunk of baloney, cousin Hugh would fix it for you, he'd fix me one now and then but for the most part I would just have an "RC Cola and a Moon Pie".
I don't know what it was about the combination of the two that for a young boy that was about as close to heaven as you could get, come to think of it remembering back to those good old days, somebody, and I don't know who, had a song we used to hear on the old Crosley now and then called, "Give Me an RC Cola and a Moon Pie And Play Maple On The Hill", now the dude or dude-ett' who wrote that bugger must have really loved them Moon Pies and a cold RC Cola.
Second best about those early days I reckon was them "Burma Shave Signs", my brother and I sitting in the back seat headed down through Madison, KY would see who could spot them Burma Shave signs first, he would cheat though, if he was sittin' on the left he would read them backwards so he knew the answer before he knew what the question was or the statement they were trying to make.
I had a sign painter some years ago make me up some signs about the size of your local street signs, on them we had him paint just a few old memories I guess you would call them, like "Roy Dale and Trigger" * "Sun Records" which we always thought was the greatest label ever, "Glens Fork Kentucky" because we never wanted to forget where we can from and where we would end up one of these days * "Burma Shave" *Hillbilly Heaven" * Lum and Abner", there are a few things that we just never want to forget. In our little old office above all the pictures of people we don't want to forget either, those signs are nailed to the wall
You really couldn't say that Glens Fork has grown much over the years, when we left there a bunch of years ago the population was 221, I know you can read that but just in case you might think your computer dropped a zero or two, that's "Two hundred and twenty one" We were back through there a couple- three years ago, one of the good ole boys that is still there, after he took a little spit from his Mail Pouch chewin' tobacco, said it was now 222.
Since crime is running wild in these United States, we ask him if any of it had made it to Glens Fork, this time he must have chewed and spit for what seemed to be five minutes before he answered, but all the while he was a chewin' you could plumb see he was a thinkin' , finally he said, "You boys remember (and he mentioned an old boy's name down the road a piece)" we said "sure, we remember him" he said "Well, he fell off his wagon the other day comin' in to town", I said, "why, that sounds more like an accident then a crime," He said " well, you'd think so, but a bunch of us ciphered it out the other day, that his old woman shoved him off just as they was crossin' the creek".
Must be a song in there somewhere:
Thinkin' back on the RC Cola and Moon Pies, I think it was Lonzo and Oscar who recorded it, It was probably that famous duo that wrote it.
If there is anything that we like to read or hear about, then it's one of the good old boys or girls from yesteryear still doing good and so be the case of one the Old Town Hall Party members, Cliff Crofford, a lot of us hear a song and like it but don't really care who wrote it, and that's ok as long as you go buy the record, and one of those songs that Cliff wrote was recorded by one of our friends Daddy, every time you think of this song you can not help but remember the way the man that recorded it said these last two words of the song, and they were simply, "and-me" our friends name is Andy, his Father's name was Walter Brennan and of course the song was "Old Rivers" and if that ain't a classic I'll shuck your corn...But back to Cliff Crofford, he called the other day, and we really felt happy for him, He said they had used two or three of his songs in the new Robert Redford movie "THE HORSE WHISPERER" the reason he didn't know if it was two or three, he hasn't seen it yet and don't know if they used the third one or not..anyway, one-two-four or a hundred and six, that's really great, Cliff is a Great writer.
My favorite Cliff Crofford song as far as a good tell it like it is ballad is concerned is one that among others, Mel Tillis recorded, it's one that (as the song goes) that because it was so hot nobody where they worked wanted to go to Tucson to handle some accounts so (as the song goes again) and Cliff wrote, "Go on and send me down to Tucson, and I'll get the job done and call up the one-----" well you get the idea, that's called killing two stones with one bird.
A week or two ago, one of our nice readers ask us where Don Deal was, since we to were also a fan of Deal's, especially one song we used to play the heck out of, we started asking everyone that called or that we called if they knew where he was, even ole Cliff the other day, he said wow, I haven't even heard his name in I don't know when. We have no doubt we will find him, I just hope he is alive and well and still doing good, the problem is that every few days we have one less person to ask, and I guess you know what that means.
It is getting closer to Gene Autry days in Gene Autry, Oklahoma, the 25th, 26th, and 27th, of September, a couple of news letters ago we said October but it is September and the way Mr. Elvin Sweeten has "Sweetened" up the place down there it would be well worth your while to make the trip. Ancel Cook called Elvin the other day during one of those western lighting storms, the phones were cutting in and out so Elvin was having trouble hearing what Ancel was saying, what he was saying was, "who's going to be singing there this year" but all Elvin heard was "I'm coming down to sing" Now Elvin loves good ole Ancel but when he thought he was coming to Oklahoma to sing Elvin 'bout hung himself, thank God he didn't , Ancel is in enough trouble as it is trying to impersonate Freddie Hart, the other day there was a big wreck on the freeway, since Ancel didn't have anything else to do he started singing "Easy Lovin" the C.H.P escorted him clear out of town.
The good news is this year on those dates above the 25th,26th &27th on the 9th month of this year Headlining the show at the Gene Autry Museum will be Rex Allen Jr., the Have Gun Will Travel man, Mr. Johnny Western, The Oklahoma Balladeer Mr. Les Gilliam, Janet McBride, Cowboy Bill Hale, Cowboy Poet Mickey Dawes and the pride of Ardmore, Oklahoma Mr. Ancel Cook plus between now and show time, many more names will be added.
If you have not been there what it is-IS a salute and dedication to the "B" Western Cowboys, it is a film and music festival to remember all the "Singing Cowboys" from the Silver Screen, it is a nice way to spend a three day vacation in one of America's most beautiful states in the Heartland of the west, Oklahoma. You can write for more information and or directions to The Gene Autry Museum> P.O. Box 67 > Gene Autry, Oklahoma 73436 or you can call either 580-389 5335 or 580-294-3155, the best part of all is, the admission is less than a bucket of chicken, $ twelve bucks $ now you couldn't beat that with a frog leg.
Remembering some people and songs, Leon McAuliffe was promoting his new Capitol release of "I Don't Love Nobody" b/w "Shape Up Or Ship Out" >> Bill Carlisle just signed with Hickory records his first release will be (not exactly a love song called) "Shangha Rooster" >> Bill Phillips just released his new one called "I Can Stand It As Long As She Can" >>Buck Owens had a hit with "My Heart Skips A Beat" but the other side was bigger and almost his signature song called "Together Again" >> Dave Dudley will be hitting the road for 85 straight days >>For two dollars you could buy a Kitty Wells Cook Book >> and the "Texas Troubadours" band had a line up of stars, Leon Rhodes, the country bumpkin, Mr. Cal Smith, Jack Drake, Buddy Charlton, the statue of a fool man, Mr. Jack Greene, Johnny Wiggins and the man himself Mr. Ernest Tubb>>the Country Music Review listed Roger Miller with the number one song "Dang Me">> and the number five song was another giant we haven't heard from in a while, John D. Loudermilk, his song ? "Blue Train" >>>All this and Bobby Bare and "Miller's Cave" in the year of "1964"
Going through a scrapbook of some of the country stars from 1967 that contained 62 pictures, all of them (excluding the women) had one thing in common, now what would you think that would be ??? they all had them, they all showed (unlike today's artist) some were big, some were little, some stuck out and some laid back***"Give up ?" EARS!!!! a scrapbook thirty years later you'd have a hard time finding an ear, they got hair on um, in um and over um..Funny how time changes things.
Well the King is gone, Roy Rogers rode off into the sunset just like he wanted and to be laid to rest at sundown, though the people were many that came to pay their last respects and drop some tears in the high desert sand waiting for a last glimpse of the man everyone thought they knew as a personal friend, but if all of those had of come that would have really liked to, Chicago would not have held them all, but they were there in heart, spirit and love for the man who made Happy Trails, just that, they remembered just like me, reading in the papers Roy Rogers is coming to town and then begging Dad to take you, but it was my Dad that read it first and said be ready Saturday mornin' boys we are gonna go see Roy.
Roy Rogers gave everything he could possibly give of his life to being true to what he believed in and to filling that Big Silver Screen with a code of the west that consisted of some real powerful bad words like "shucks" and an unforgettable sidekick like "Gabby Hayes" who really knew some powerful lingo like "dangburnit".
It was Roy Rogers that filled the stadiums around the world when he showed up to ride the smartest horse in the movies his faithful friend and apart of his life "Trigger", it was Roy Rogers that after a sell out crowd rode out into the parking lot after his show to entertain the boys and girls and moms and dads that waited and waited but couldn't get in because it was a sell out show, I know because I was there, It was Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who adopted many little children and helped many, many more to make their way through life a little easier.
It was Roy Rogers that decided that he had had enough when the big city moved in around and felt the drifting sands of the Apple Valley would be the place to make his home and build that special Museum that he could share his life even more with those that rode with him throughout those days on the Silver Screen, admission to his little Museum was barley pocket change and he loved to sit and talk with those that had remembered him and Dale, Trigger & Bullet, and good ole Gabby, and it was Roy Rogers that when the time was right gave each of his children an equal amount of his life's work, to carry on their life with, after he had reached his last sundown.
It was my Brother and I that were sent to a Roy Rogers movie one Saturday morning with out doing or chores of taking out the trash and mowing the lawn because our Dad knew something that we didn't know and that was, how sick our Mother was and he didn't want us to be there, it was my Brother and I that was sitting there with a nickel change in our pocket eating a box of pop corn, drinking a coke and watching Roy Rogers when the little neighbor boy came in and sat down beside us and said "Your Mom just died"
And it is the IRS that is now saying the Roy Rogers Museum owes them seven hundred thousand dollars, my Brother and I between us spent 29 years serving for our Country, in the Marines and in the Navy and are proud of it, we love America, most of it, and if we had the seven hundred thousand dollars we would give it to the IRS because all the great memories that Roy Rogers left us is worth much more than that.
We'll see you next time, but just in case we don't, take care of yourself
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