Friday, March 13, 2009

The Romance of the Lone Ranger

First ~ thank you to ~ ~

As a kidlet I couldn’t get enough of The Lone Ranger, starring Clayton Moore, on Saturday morning TV, in the good ole’ days of black and white. I might even have grabbed my stick horse and galloped about. Heck, I rode that critter until it wore out.
After all, who could resist the theme from the William Tell Overture, not this buckaroo gal...
I raced inside as fast as Silver whenever I heard the blood-stirring beginning by Fred Hoy ~

Hi-Yo Silver — A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver … the Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!

And this intro is from the radio show, born out of the Depression, and begun February 2, 1933 ~

“When the West was young and danger lay at the end of every trail, the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, brought law and order to the length and breadth of the early Western states.”

Yes, I had a little girl’s crush on the masked man. And a little secret from my past...shhhh.. I also had a big crush on Tonto. Most of all, my heart belonged to Silver, then Scout, their horses. Horses always won out at that age.
Since forever, I’ve been in love with TV’s version of the Old West, the romanticized adventurous stories where the good guys win and the bad guys are beaten, then justice triumphs. Not to mention Dale Evans and Annie Oakley were no cowering-in-the-corner females. No sireee! They could shoot and ride with the best of them.
Okay - not the corral, I’ve always wanted to write my own cowboy romances. I even went through a period of reading Zane Grey, long, long ago. Now, I have several Western Romance WIPs going, admittedly all of them in the fantasy/paranormal subgenres. One I hope to submit to Liquid Silver Books soon, Seneca and Trail’s love story. So, of course, I’ve been enjoying my trip down memory lane with all of my favorite cowboys of yesteryear (lots of them!).

~~~ And then, my memory was lassoed when I was wondering what to blog about for Happily Ever After. The first man I fell in love with, when I was sixteen, was gorgeous. Mike Gray was eighteen, and I mean he was living work of art. He had women after him like crazy.
I had never seen any actor who resembled him until the ill-fated movie ~ The Legend of the Lone Ranger - 1981 ~ Klinton Spilsbury, the actor with a name guaranteed to fail, starred as the Lone Ranger. Evidently, his career was also ill-fated. I can’t even find a photo of him. However, let me tell you that movie didn’t fail me. I thoroughly enjoyed every mesmerizing moment, even if it wasn’t the true Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore.
Branded into my mind’s eye is the scene of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, astride Silver and Scout, racing side-by-side. Oh heavenly days... I swooned inside. Desire swamped every cell of my body. And, all I could do was wish with all my heart, I lived that story with them, riding alongside them on my own fantastic steed... while knowing, of course, it would never happen. A hopeless dream. Merely fantasy.
Perusing the pictures from the TV series...yes, I did remember those moments, and it felt darn good reliving those memories. It felt strange and not strange, because I haven’t seen them since childhood.
No, none of my WIPs are based on that particular Cowboy and Indian, plus magnificent horses, fantasy... yet.
But ya never know.

~~~ I believe one of the reasons Westerns have endured, even with a lessening in popularity until recently, is because there is a genuine romance to the Old West, despite the harsh and cruel realities. So many of the true stories are a testament to the resilience and power of the human spirit. And, if a man or woman were good, they were really good, rising above the ugliness and the baser natures around them.
This is a scene at the end of the first episode of the Lone Ranger TV series ~

The last remaining Ranger from the ambush puts a mask on, one Tonto has made from the vest belonging to his dead brother, Captain Reid. Next, Tonto hands him the weapons.

Tonto: Here, guns, to kill bad men..
Reid: I’m not going to do any killing..
Tonto: You not defend yourself?
Reid: I’ll shoot if I have to. But I’ll shoot to wound, not to kill.. If a man must die, it’s up to the law to decide that, not the person behind a six - shooter!
Tonto: That’s right, Kemo Sabe!
Tonto: You all alone now. Last man.. You are lone Ranger..
Reid: Yes, Tonto.. I am.. The Lone Ranger!

Guess what? Unknown to little ole’ me, Disney is planning/scripting a Lone Ranger movie, staring Johnny Depp as Tonto... and, maybe, George Clooney as the Lone Ranger... that’s the runaway rumor, anyway.
Here’s my own little tribute to the Wild, Wild West. This is a Serial Flash I began, that is now up to *Part 75*. It’s New Year’s Eve night on two different, but parallel Earths.

Courtship on Another Earth

Part 1 ~

Sylva stroked on the red lipstick carefully. The shade was deep scarlet and it looked like a swathe of gleaming velvet on her lips. “Who needs collagen injections?” she murmured, then surveyed her festively made-up face. Dusky twilight purple shadowed her eyes, highlighting the blue-green color. A shimmer of pale gold brought out her high cheekbones ~ a magical contrast to the glistening pink-gold powder covering her face, her neck, and artfully ending at her propped-up cleavage, displayed by a heart-shaped tight bodice of midnight satin. “Mirror, mirror, on my bathroom wall, who’s the New Years Party fairest of them all?”

Zeke flashed a cocky half-grin at his appearance in the mirror his mother had given him decades ago. The white-gold scroll work surrounding the tall oval mirror contrasted sharply with his tan leather vest and matching pants, both designed for riding his horse into town and as evening wear for the new year’s celebration. His cream-colored silk shirt clung to the muscles of his chest, won by hard work on his family’s ranch empire. And won by the fistfights he was famous for ending, but never beginning. Tonight, by long-standing tradition, he could claim any available woman as his bride.

Part 2 ~

Sylva flipped a smile at her reflection. Stepping back to see herself more fully, she thrust her hip, accentuating the sassiness of her short satin and tule-layered skirt. “Adorably sexy,” she complimented herself. Okay, her thighs were full unlike the stick figure models that had successfully invaded the fashion world. Her calves were shapely, what used to be considered starlet-sexy...especially since she wore spectacular ankle-strap black heels, along with a pair of old-fashioned seamed hose. Tonight, she would strut her stuff with the best of them. Tomorrow, no more job. She was one more victim of the current economy.

Zeke strapped on his pearl-handled revolver. He’d cleaned and oiled it earlier, then made certain it fired properly, shooting several pennies out of the air. Since they’d become non-legal tender eleven years past, he figured that was a damn good use. Leaning down, he slid a dead-aim derringer, one of his grandfather’s designs, inside his fancified riding boot. Decorated with swirls of gold thread and engraved with the ranch’s crest, his new boots were a show of his hard-won status as the Overseer of their horse operations, from breeding to sales. Yep, it was time to settle on one woman.

Part 3 ~

Sylva beat back the worry that threatened to overwhelm her. Pasting a smile on her face, she tossed her strawberry blonde hair a bit. The long length waved over her bare back while her dangly ruby-imitation earrings swung her eye. She felt sexy and sultry. Swivelling her head, she looked at her profile from the corner of her eye. She’d pulled the sides of her hair up, banded it, then attached a tiny glittering rose. As if possessed by a spirit, she faced the mirror, whispering, “I wish I may, I wish might, find my true love tonight.”

Zeke plucked his mahogany leather cowboy hat from the bronze curlicue hook, plopping it on his head. From years of practice, since he’d been knee-high to his father, the broad-brimmed hat settled at the perfect rakish angle, and covered most of his bay-colored hair. The curling waves at the nape of his neck and above his ears were touched by a golden sheen from all the time he spent outdoors. He’d had more than one woman, scarce as they were in these parts, run her fingers through the fringes of his hair, as if she sought real gold. He grinned.

Part 4 ~

Sylva grimaced and shook her head at herself, before whirling away from the mirror, and out the bathroom door. Yeah, that would be the day. True love, ha! She’d tried it several times now, with results more dismal than the prospect of not being able to find job. Refusing to think about what possessions she could sell to get by, she lovingly picked up her long velvet cape. Reversible, the hooded cape was a glorious red velvet on one side and a deep midnight black on the other. Who cared if people thought she looked like a witch in it.

Zeke swung the fringed buckskin jacket off the garment post, and slid into it. It fit his frame perfectly. He’d made certain of that by having it tailored in town, despite his family’s protest and ribbing over his extravagance, as they called it. But hell to the four winds, Brennon outfitted the other young bucks and the ranch gentlemen. All of whom partook of sophisticated entertainments in town, other than Sophie’s Sin Saloon. What did he care if others thought he was too dandified? His quick aim with a fist or gun meant most would keep their comments to themselves.

Happy Age of Aquarius
May your most romantic dreams come true ...

Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~


Savanna Kougar said...

Greetin's, leave a comment or two ~

Lindsay Townsend said...

Beautiful post, Savanna! I love those fiction flashes: the anticipation of 'seeing' them both getting ready.

Cowboys are such a deep part of the USA culture. It's fascinating to learn more of them and their enduring appeal.

I love later cowboy movies - the Clint Eastwood grimy spaghetti westerns and UNFORGIVEN.

(I used to watch a TV programme called CHAMPION THE WONDER HORSE when I was little. The star there was, well, the horse.)

Bekki Lynn said...

Oh, gosh, Savanna -- I loved the Lone Ranger, Bananza, Gunsmoke and OH MY YES - BIG VALLEY -- Jarrod (Richard Long), the lawyer, sent my heart all a pitter-patter. Adam on Bonanza, when he was around, did a number, too.

And the westerns with Audie Murphy --

John Wayne's voice --

Daniel Boone with Fess Parker -- I loved looking at him, but Mingo (Ed Ames) always had this mysterious draw --


[My second son's name is Jarrod in honor of Jarrod Barkley.]

Francesca Prescott said...

Oh, Savanna, how fun! I never really saw The Lone Ranger, but I was hooked on Zorro, I thought the actor (no idea what his name was) was gorgeous, and had such a crush! I also remember watching The Virginian; my Nana and Auntie Beatrice used to love that show. Would you believe I can still remember the fact it's going to be stuck in my head all night!!

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Lindsay, thank. Yeah, Clint Eastwood absolutely. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly... one of my all time fave movie westerns... and the horses were to die for.

Champion, Gene Autrey's horse, or another Champion. Gene Autrey was probably the first TV serial Saturday western show I saw. I loved Champion.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, that is fascinating, Bekki. I had a thing for Adam of Bonanza too.
Bat Masterson was so cool! And, The Texan.
The Virginian and Rawhide... oh, and Maverick. I always got a kick out of that one.
The Big Valley was fantastic. The lawyer, yummy. I didn't remember his name... but his scenes are playing in my mind.

Daniel Boone... King of the Wild Frontier... I knew his great-great something granddaughter back in my early teens.

Loved Davy Crocket too!!! memory is vague on him. Darn it.

That is so cool your son is named in honor of Jarrod, which is just a great name, anyway.

Savanna Kougar said...

Francesca, I'm not sure who I would choose Zorro or the Lone Ranger... if I had that

I had such a massive crush on Zorro, which carries over to now.

And The Virginian, omygawd, talk about smoldering sexy! The music was powerful too.

Linda Banche said...

I loved the Lone Ranger. He's exactly what a hero should be, good, honorable, and true, as well as great-looking.

Oh, and I'm a great Zorro fan, too!

Do a blog on Zorro!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Zorro, Zor-ro! (Chanting)
I agree! A blog on the appeal of the strange, masked hero. Yummy!

Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, you guys! I hear ya. Zorro it is... the Disney Zorro... the Antonio Banderas Zorro...

Somewhere, and I'll never find it now... I have a paperback of the original Zorro novel, which is darn good for that kind of novel.