One of the satisfying aspects of this blog for me is how a post will occasionally spark one of its diverse and intellectually agitated commenters to take the original post in unexpected and delightful directions. This gem from Karl Penny is a prime example. In the article inspired by the legal problems faced by the owner of Charlie Brown’s now grown up cartoon voice, I mentioned the actor who was TV’s Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, prompting this lovely anecdotd from Karl. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post “You’re A Marked Man, Charlie Brown!“:
“Your comments about Clayton Moore got me to remembering one of the reasons I became such a fan of Clayton Moore, the man, even more than his acting. It’s from William C. Cline in “Those Enduring Matinee Idols”:
“In conclusion, I want to describe a vignette I witnessed during the afternoon that illustrated why Clayton Moore has been so successful and well-loved during his 24-year stint as ‘The Lone Ranger’, and why those of us who cherish serials detected the quality of the man even before then.
As Moore stood talking–with occasional interruption to shake hands with fans, sign autographs, and even speak to a small boy about the dangers of handling real firearms–a young woman timidly approached him holding the hands of a little lad of about seven and a girl perhaps nine years old. The boy gathered up his courage and thrust out his hand boldly. ‘Hello, Lone Ranger,’ he blurted. ‘My daddy says you’re the best. How come you’re not on TV anymore?’
The little girl just stood there.
‘Thank you, son,” Moore replied. ‘I’m sure your dad is a great fellow, too. Maybe some time later the TV stations will show the programs again. Then you and your sister can see Tonto and me in action like your dad and mother did.’ The little girl continued to just stand there.
Turning to her, Moore noticed the expression on her face–that unique, particular expression that indicates only one thing, blindness. Looking up at the mother, he spoke one word, softly: ‘Total?’ he asked.
‘Not quite, but legally,’ she replied.
‘Here, take my two hands, honey,’ he said, turning his full attention to the girl. Gently drawing her closer to himself, he placed her hesitating fingers on his face and mask, the famous red bandana, the drawcords on his blue shirt, and then the huge silver buckle and belt at his waist. Then he touched her fingers ever-so-lightly to the silver handles of his holstered pistols and looking straight into her eyes–eyes that obviously could see him back only as an indistinct blur–quietly whispered, ‘God bless you, sweetheart.’
He placed the little girl’s hands back into her mother’s and smiled. The mother smiled back, not attempting to speak. Without another word, the trio turned and walked away.
It was sudden, unexpected, and only lasted a few minutes. Yet from a man who has played heroes and villains, traded shots with the worst bad guys the movies and TV could dish up, and fought rough-and-tumble with the likes of Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel, Roy Barcroft, Ken Terrell, Eddie Parker, and Fred Graham, there had come a small gesture to a little girl, so tender, so compassionate, so loving, that it summed up eloquently what Clayton Moore has made ‘The Lone Ranger’ mean to two generations of American youth: Trusted Friend.”
“Now there is a hero.
“Do they still make actors like that?”
Graphic: Poor William’s Almanac