Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trigger is for sale

When I was in the sixth grade, I sat near a Currier and Ives print of two horses pulling sulkies. Since I was as much a victim of education as a beneficiary of it, I can now admit that I spent much more time gazing at the lithograph than doing my schoolwork. One day, instead of berating me for being inattentive, my teacher informed me that she placed the print there because all girls like horses. Although I accepted her statement, I knew that most of my friends liked horses, but not the way that I did. Later, I did have a horse of my own, but in the sixth grade, I was still longing.

Nowadays, girls are more apt to drool over twinkly vampires than equines, but I am rather glad that I grew up in an era when the good guys and the bad guys were firmly delineated. My early Saturday mornings were ruled by television shows, including Roy Rogers, Fireball XL 500, Fury, and Sky King. Horses and flying were equally entertaining, and the good guy generally won out in the end.

Time has marched onward, and most youngsters today have not seen a western. These worldly wise offspring probably would not be amused by a horse who could untie ropes or do the hula, but my favorite equine star from yesteryear, Roy Rogers' palomino sidekick, Trigger, could do those tricks, and much more. After living some thirty years (a good old age for a horse) he was preserved via taxidermy and became an exhibit in the Roy Rogers Museum. While that might seem a bit yucky, when Trigger died, Roy said he couldn't just put him in the ground. Last year, the museum closed, and Trigger, whose image was as well known as any human movie star in the 40s and 50s, is going on the auction block, along with other memorabilia from way back when cowboys were heroic.

These are sad times indeed.

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