By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey
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On a recent Columbus weekend I ventured to Lone Pine,
Up at the foothills of the High Sierras, along with some friends of mine,
To partake in a celebration of the highest magnitude
About a bit of movie history and to show our gratitude
For major influences from our youth. All had gathered there
To touch on a few fading feelings with intentions to reclear the air
Like the early Hayes Commission did in shaping our moral code
When it sent a message to the younger set that decency should be the mode.
And from the very instant I arrived till my bags were packed to go,
I felt as if I were part and parcel of a matinee movie show.
Like I was riding with Hopalong Cassidy through the bad land country side,
Or with the mighty legions of Gunga Din or a Wild West Roundup ride.
Some of the actual players were there for a little added zest
Who portrayed the unsung heroes that fought and won the West.
Like Pat Buttram, the side kick that rode along with Gene,
And Pierce Lyden, the outlaw -- boy was he ever mean.
And Peggy Stewart even showed, the Queen of the Republic lot,
And Harry Carey Jr. and Jan Merlin shared their Lone Pine thoughts.
And for a bit of added sweetness, Pilar Wayne reminisced
About her life with our man the Duke, even their very first kiss.
We got to tour the Alabama Hills where so many films were done,
And enjoyed the splendor of the rocks and peaks in the pleasant October sun.
I could just see the Duke with his sideways walk and talking that pilgrim drawl,
Or a posse from El Dorado riding along a boulder wall.
You can conjure up many possibilities there on those actual sets,
If you pay no attention to telephone poles or trails left by jets.
I could see myself in the saddle next to Roy and Dale,
Or bringing to town Bad Billy the Kid just like Monte Hale.
And I found out all those stars' ideas are much like yours and mine,
And they put their coats on just like us -- one arm at a time.
Why, they were more than proud to stop and gab and sign those 8-by-10s,
And pose for all your camera shots like you were just as good as them.
I ate Pit Bar-B-Que, saw Roy Rogers Jr., and watched a couple of "B" movie shorts.
The whole weekend was filled with awe, I'm happy to report.
I saw one down-home red-neck parade and listened to cowboy poets,
Saw fast-draw stunts, bought a few tapes, and had a ball, I want you to know it.
Oh! Just before I left I signed up for film-fest number five.
I want the same room for next year's show and I can't wait till I arrive.
And I think I'm speaking for my pardners, too, the Trail Riders of the West:
Thanks, Lone Pine, for a wonderful time. We know you done your best.
By Will "Cherokee Slim" Lacey - November 29, 1994