1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Memories Are Made Of This

Herman King - April 23, 2012

I was shocked recently when I realized that  I have been carrying around a false memory for years. Psychologists say it is fairly common. Do you remember the Lone Ranger? The spine-tingling trumpet of Rossini's William Tell Overture? The baritone voice of Brace Beemer saying "from out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver!. The Lone Ranger Rides again!" The radio version began in 1933. The first cinematic version was the 15-part 1938 serial. I never missed a single episode. My sweaty little hand gripping a dime and my bare feet stinging from running over asphalt and gravel, so as not to be late.

There were five Texas Rangers. They wore full-face masks (though the lower part was more of a veil) unlike the silly eyes-only mask of TV's Clayton Moore, which wouldn't have hidden the identity of anyone. I only remember two of the actors who played the rangers: George Montgomery and Bruce Bennett (who also once played Tarzan and co-starred in several John Wayne movies, a very versatile actor).

In the movie cliff-hangers when one ranger was killed his mask was removed and his identity revealed. In the 15th chapter I remember the Lone Ranger turned out to be George Montgomery. Only it wasn't. My memory, though vivid, is wrong. He was Lee Powell, an obscure actor who was killed in World War Two at the age of 36. The Lone Ranger was his only significant role. Powell's Tonto looked  a bit like the Indian on the buffalo nickel but he was played by Chief Thundercloud. Real name Victor Daniels who wasn't an Indian.

Clayton Moore's TV Tonto was Jay Silverheels, who was actually born on a reservation. My implanted memory of George Montgomery (nee George Lentz) as the Lone Ranger is understandable. He was at least one of the Rangers, had a long and successful movie career, was a talented furniture designer, architect, sculptor, and long-time husband of Dinah Shore, before she shacked up with Burt Reynolds.

My memory is still good. I can quote Shakespeare from memory: "We are such stuff as dreams are made of and our little lives is rounded with a sleep." "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time." 'and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death...out, out brief candle, life's but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more, .it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Reminds me of citing before Stella Nelson.

There, I feel better already. My memory is still working. Who cares who played the Lone Ranger? 
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