Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly

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 *

2016 People's Defender