Happy Trails

I heard a short story on NPR about an auction of the entire contents of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans museum. Apparently, the family needs the money to pay off debt. I went to the Christie’s website this morning and if bids were still being accepted, I would have bid on a lot of silk scarves worn by Ms. Evans – 16 in all. The auction estimate was $300 to $500. I would have paid more.   

In a previous lifetime – back in the ‘70s – I worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, first in Winnipeg, then in Toronto, then back in Winnipeg. (I’ve heard all the jokes and snide comments so just let it go.) For the last season of my seven years with the network, I was the senior (line) producer on the hour-long evening news and current affairs show. And it was a pretty plum job – FOR WINNIPEG. We had our own building – a charming (?) old church with offices downstairs, studio on the main floor and control room in what had been the choir loft. But I digress. Whenever a “celebrity” came through town, he or she would usually end up on our show. Once, that celebrity was Dale Evans. For all of us of a certain age (you know who you are), she was an icon. Before she arrived, the show host and I talked about the interview and I suggested that at the very end she ask Ms. Evans to sing “Happy Trails.” I figured the worst that could happen was she’d decline but if she agreed…well, how cool would that be?! In she walked with her gorgeous Western clothes – remember those big skirts with piles of crinolines underneath?! – and a beautiful smile. She was extraordinarily gracious, chatting with everyone who approached her, signing autographs. And at the end of the segment, proudly singing “Happy Trails.”    

 I wonder if anyone else remembers…