Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy” OVCTC, GE host Community Service Day 65 years in the pulpit Jamison, Richmond, Minshew conquer second race of 2017 Brushcreek season Manchester’s Cox signs with Rio basketball program Senior Profile: Andrew Weeks A dozen SHAC champions Thomas D Lute Sandra F Schwab Turning something broken into something beautiful Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide One dead, two injured in ATV accident 2017 Graduation Ceremonies West Union Alumni and Friends Educational Fund announces 2017 Scholarship Awards TAG students tour Pennsylvania Commissioners proclaim Older Americans Month Building an anti-drug culture one t-shirt at a time SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS NAES students awarded Science Camp scholarships SSCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program celebrates graduation Bauman selected to National 4-H Congress Lois Pertuset Hazel Nixon Philip L Paeltz Manchester Youth Volleyball Camp begins May 30 Jase Thatcher Figgins’ walk-off winner sends North Adams to Division III sectional finals Lady Hounds top East 10-3 in sectional opener Commissioner Pell, union reps travel to DC Forgotten experience brings back good memories for WUHS seniors Gordon Boldman Local teen injured in jeep accident BCI Investigation underway Rick Arnold Happy Mother’s Day- Do you want food? Robert Hodge Melvin Tipton Lady Dragons Basketball Camp begins May 22 Lady Devils Basketball Camp is May 30-June 1 National Day of Prayer celebrated in county NAES students enjoy day at GABP Car strikes Amish buggy near Winchester Eldon J Shoenleben Farming out life lessons to children and parents Proposed Medicaid changes could cost Adams County millions Annual ‘Redneck Run” returns to Manchester May 13 They really were the best of times West Union hosts Junior High, High School County Track Meets Figgins signs with SSCC Soccer Perfect again! Senior Profile: Caley Grooms James T Hughes Anderson signs with Rio Grande Basketball Senior Profile: Miranda Schiltz Playing for Dad, Part II Lady Indians win SHAC Big School title Danny Bryant Sadie Stamm Franklin E Brayfield Softball, baseball tourney match ups announced Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Georgetown next week Southern Ohio Genealogical Society offers program on ‘Family History Sources at the Ohio History Center’ Joseph A Johnson Jr Kramer tosses two shutouts in five days Trip to Akron = two more wins for Lady Indians softball Devils blank Dragons in non-conference battle Meade twins part of Rio baseball program Playing for Dad Senior Profile: Madison Welch As Mr. Seas It, for ACOVSD High School graduates We stayed up all night with Bob Clean up of Manchester’s abandoned gas stations continues Ribbon cutting held for canoe/kayak access sites Columbus Industries donates driveway repair to Animal Shelter North Adams Elementary recognizes March Students of the Month Animal Shelter Adoption Center announces new hours of operation Major road construction planned for summer months West Union Elementary honors March Students of the Month Charles D Jordan Betty Ginn Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday Missing Adams County man is found Lady Hounds fall to Whiteoak in slugfest Calvert’s walk-off gives Hounds 9-8 win over Whiteoak Charles A Benjamin Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster

The days when westerns ruled the air

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser

After the discovery of gunpowder and then the invention of the gun, it probably wasn’t long before the invention of the first cap pistols arrived on the scene. With that came the glamorizing of the Wild West and the many ways of selling it to the public began to appear. Even in the 1800’s there were traveling shows that recreated just how the west was won. Most notably was Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show that traveled the world re-enacting just how the west was won to the delights of millions.

Movies came upon the scene as a new way of viewing re-enactments and of course the daring tales of the Wild West were one of the biggest themes that grabbed the public interest.. People just loved to see the good guy versus the bad guy. Bank robberies, stagecoach hold-ups and the most exciting part, the gun fights, kept audiences glued to their seats. There was nothing like a good bust-em up and shoot-em up cowboy movie. These movies created stars such as Tom Mix from the silent movies to Gene Autry, who not only beat the bad guy in every movie, but sang in between the fights and shoot-outs. Cowboy movies were top draws in the movie theatres from day one on.

In the 1950’s television was growing into a huge market and of course one of the first topics covered was of the western. In the 50’s and 60’s, westerns were at their high point of popularity. I know because I tried to watch every one that was ever on.

On Saturday night when Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke kept peace in Dodge City, on Sunday when Roy Rogers and Dale Evans did likewise, always with a happy ending as they rode off into the sunset singing “Happy Trails”one more time. Later on Sunday, Ben Cartwright and his boys protected Silver City and the Ponderosa successfully (but it was fatal to fall in love with a Cartwright as a rare disease would prove fatal). On another channel were the Maverick brothers Bret and Bart and they won the west with their wits and gambling prowess.

There wasn’t a night in the week that didn’t show a western and it was amazing that it took this many cowboy heroes and each with a special gimmick to keep the west safe from the bad guys. I often wondered about that but I kept on watching as I figured that I would learn the answer eventually. Some didn’t even use a gun. Jim Bowie used his oversized Bowie knife to prevent crime. Sadly for him he ran out of different ways to do so and his show was short-lived.

Western shows were many and my enthusiasm was sky high to see just how good prevailed every time. I remember one episode of Sugarfoot where he stopped an Indian uprising by having read the Almanac and saw there was to be an eclipse that night and he told the cheif that if the moon disappeared from the sky and he called it back there was to be no fighting and son of a gun it worked. Was there no end to the clever ways the west was won? Of course I hoped not as I just couldn’t get enough of all this action.

It came to me finally. If the west was so bad and the odds of surviving so slim, why did the west exist after a few years? I quickly dropped that thought when a new series began and more new ways to win arrived. I loved this era in television. For over 22 years Matt Dillion and the Cartwrights kept the west a much calmer place to live. Also with the western the writers had to deal with American History and this was a period of time when America wanted to look back at our past and show the public just how hard it was to settle this country and how successful we had been at it.

In every show I ever watched there was a common thread. Each show presented the viewer with a leading character who wore a holster and a Colt 45 pistol. Each star also was the fastest draw in the west (or at least the fastest in his show). As I said in the beginning, ever since the gun and bullets appeared on the scene, we have all been intrigued by them, even though most folks today aren’t too wild about using them as the only way to settle an issue. There still is something that draws our interest to them.

The bottom line is that as I grew up I watched westerns as much as I could because there was a lot of excitement, action and suspense in every show. When you are a little boy and have been playing on the farm all day,the western took me as far away from my setting as it could. Besides when a cowboy in black walked up to a person and handed them his business card and it said “Have Gun Will Travel”, there was no way was going to turn the channel. The west was more than wild it was entertaining!

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved