He said he wanted to be stuffed just like his Horse Trigger....
The City of Victorville, said no way Roy Rogers
For years, as I headed up to Victorville to work in the Courts, I was always fascinated by the 'Fort' just to the North of the court complex, so one day I had some time before I headed back down the hill to home, so i thought I would stop in and see what this place was all about....I'm glad I did....I saw Roy Rogers just before he died....His wife Dale was down in Irvine at Trinity Broadcasting recording her one hour Gospel Hour.
He was in his late 80's and still able to talk to people, and take them on short tours....His favorite exhibit was of course his preserved Trigger....His favorite phrase was, "When I die I want to be stuffed and left standing next to my Horse"
Roy Rogers was born in 1911 in Cincinnati Ohio, and lived in a Tenement row building so common back then in the eastern cities....what is interesting is this entire area was cleared out so that they build the Riverfront Stadium.....The Stadium was finished in 1970 and Rogers would later joke that he had been born at second base.
Roy lived in Cincinnati his entire childhood......As his family gradually worked there way out of the slums he eventually took a job in a factory that paid something like $2 bucks a day making shoes....In 1929, His father and Roy, who felt like slaves in this factory, had the opportunity to head to California, so they quit and headed west....Roy traveled with his entire family to California....His uncle who was also tired of the big city life and wanting something new, tagged along for the ride.....His older sister Mary had moved to Lawndale (The Torrance area) a few years before and she promised Roy and the entire family that they could move in with her till they all found something better....The something better happened when the house next door to Mary became available for rent.
Rogers took a job laying asphalt on new roads being built in the area until that factory closed its doors due to the Great Depression finally making its impact felt on the west coast.....Roys cousin, Stanley, informed him that he could probably get hired at a shoe factory in LA, but he turned that down as well.....Rogers, hesitantly told his father that he was going to pursue a living in music.....With his father's blessing, he and cousin Stanley Slye went to Los Angeles and applied to various theaters as 'The Slye Brothers'.
In 1933, Roy married Lucile Ascolese, but they were divorced just three years later. The couple had no children.....Rogers and his second wife, Arlene, were married in 1935, had three children: an adopted daughter, Cheryl, and two biological children, Linda Lou and Roy Jr..... Dale and Roy, were married a couple of years after his second wife Arlene had died, on New Years Eve 1947, at the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma....They had only one daughter, Robin Elizabeth, who died of complications of Down Syndrome at age two......
In the mean time Roy was becoming famous as the "Singing Cowboy".....After four years of little success with his cousin Stanley, he formed Sons of the Pioneers, a western cowboy music group, in 1934......The group hit it big with songs like "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds".....The Sons of the Pioneers continued their popularity through the 1950s.....Although Rogers was no longer a member, they often appeared as Rogers' backup group in films and on TV.....Some of the Survives of the group have also been seen in "Back to the Future III", and many John Wayne Movies.
From his first film appearance in 1935, he worked steadily in western films, including a large supporting role as a singing cowboy while still billed as "Leonard Slye" in a Gene Autry movie......In 1938 when Autry temporarily walked out on his movie contract because he found out what Gene was making, Slye was immediately rechristened "Roy Rogers"and never looked back.....Rogers became a matinee idol and American legend......A competitor for Gene Autry was suddenly born.....In addition to his own movies, Rogers played a supporting role in the John Wayne classic Dark Command, a harrowing fictionalization of Quantrill's Raiders directed by Raoul Walsh......Rogers became a major box office attraction, and Dale Evans was cast in a movie with him in 1945.
Rogers and Evans were also well known as advocates for adoption and as founders and operators of children's charities.....They adopted several children......Both were outspoken Christians and appeared together on Trinity Broadcast Network, where one of there most famous songs "Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again" was performed.....It was an instant hit, again, to million of new viewers....The song was the sign off of their TV show for many years.
They had moved out of LA and had bought a huge track of land In Apple Valley, where they built their home which is styled after a western villa.....Numerous streets and highways as well as civic buildings have been named after them in recognition of their efforts on behalf of homeless and handicapped children.....The Victorville Courts are named after Roy Rogers.
Roy Rogers has three stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.....For his contribution to the motion picture industry, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1752 Vine Street, a second star at 1733 Vine Street for his contribution to radio, and a third star at 1620 Vine Street for his contribution to the television industry.
Roy and Dale were inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1976 and Roy was inducted again as a member of the Sons of the Pioneers in 1995. Roy was also twice elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, first as a member of The Sons of the Pioneers in 1980 and as a soloist in 1988.
Roy Rogers died of congestive heart failure on July 6, 1998 at age 86.....He is interred at Sunset Hills cemetery in Apple Valley.
Gary Hall, the ghostpainter