Remembering Lone Ranger
I am a Lone Ranger fan that started listing to the Lone Ranger in 1948. Growing up in the 1940s, I listened to the Lone Ranger on my little radio. I was a big radio fan. In Washington, the Lone Ranger was broadcast three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 7:30 p.m., With no pictures, my mind envisioned the wonderful stories of “the masked rider of the plains” and it became a major part of my young life.
The Lone Ranger first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived from the studios of radio station WXYZ which was a Detroit radio station. The show proved to be a huge hit, and spawned an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957. Coloring books as well as comic books and moves were byproducts of the radio and TV show. In the1950’s you could get lunch boxes, hats, guns and holsters as well as complete Lone Ranger outfits. I had the hat and guns as well as a lunch box. In the early days George Seaton, Earle Graser, and most memorably Brace Beemer played the Lone Ranger on the radio.
To television viewers, Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger. John Todd and Roland Parker played Tonto on the radio. On television Jay Silverheels played Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s sidekick.
Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” As they galloped off, someone would ask, “Who was that masked man anyway?”
Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as kemosahbee meaning “trusty scout” or “trusted friend. These catchphrase, along with his trademark silver bullets and the theme music from the William Tell Overture, are indelibly stamped in the memories of millions of us who came of age during the decades that the show was on the air. Reruns of the Lone Ranger starring Clayton Moore were still being shown almost 24 hours a day somewhere in the world and you can listen to the old radio shows on line.
Brace Beemer was the personification of “my” Lone Ranger. He was the deep booming voice that portrayed the masked man on radio from 1941 to the mid 1950s. Beemer made many personal appearances in full costume as the Lone Ranger. The year I saw him, he had visited children’s hospitals, and was going to appear at a rodeo, which was being presented at the National Guard Armory in Washington D.C.
Brice Beemer was the voice of the lone ranger when I started to listen to the radio show. He was the voice of the Ranger from 1941 to the last new episode on radio, which was broadcast on Sept. 3, 1954.
I remember when it was announced that he was coming to Washington; I must have bugged my mother for a month to “please take me to see the Lone Ranger.”
She didn’t tell me until the day before that she had gotten the tickets. The night before I laid awake all night wondering if I would get to talk to him.
The Armory was and is a huge place. When we arrived there was already a line trying to get in. We were lucky to have tickets.
The rodeo started and it was fun watching the bronco riders and the calf throwing contest. It seemed to go on for hours. Finally the lights went out and a spot light came on and the theme to the lone Ranger started.
The announcer started like he did every radio and TV show “With a Firry horse and the speed of light and the cloud of dust, It’s the Lone Ranger” with that a mask man riding a bright white horse came into the arena guns blazing.
He rode around and stopped in the middle of the arena as he reared his horse a time or two. He spoke asking if we were good kids. Did we mind our folks? He told us the importance of school. I’m sure he said a lot more but I don’t remember what.
After finishing his talk he and Trigger took a bow and he started slowly around the arena fence.
I ran down to be close and was lucky enough to shake his hand. When I opened my hand there was a silver bullet. The bullet was made of metal and looked real even though I’m sure now that it wasn’t.
He rode around a little longer, waved to the crowd and was gone. I did not know it then but the man playing the Lone Ranger was Brice Beemer who was the voice of the Lone Ranger to me he was the Lone Ranger. I had that old bullet for a long time but over the years I lost it.
Every time I see the old show on TV or hear an old broadcast I can still feel that handshake the leather glove taking my little hand firmly and shaking it.