Happy Trails to you: Roy Rogers’ Trigger’s on the auction block.
Seven months too late, I have learned that the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri has closed. (Source: news article on Comcast.)
Damn! Or, as Roy and Dale might have said, dang.
It’s really too bad about the Museum, alright, but their demographics are tumbling along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. After all, there can’t be too many folks under the age of 55 who actually know who or what Roy Rogers was. (I say what as well as who, because for a number of years there were a lot of Roy Rogers fast food “restaurants”. Now – the market having exerted its supremely good taste – there are blessedly few. But,
damnably dangably, most of them seem to be on the NY State Thruway, which I travel with some regularity.)
While the demographic for the Roy & Dale is not such a hot one, it’s probably not that off the mark for Branson. But there’s a lot competing with it, what with Yakov Smirnoff, Andy Williams, and Paul Revere & the Raiders out there. And, you know, when you see a live show you might want to go again, because the stars can vary it up from time to time. I mean, I’m sure Andy always does Moon River and Can’t Get Over Losing You (personal fav, by the way), but if you’re lucky one show he’ll throw in Canadian Sunset, and in another Born Free. You never know. Plus I hear Yakov Smirnoff has a boatload of jokes.
But a museum commemorating a dead cowboy star, and his dead, stuffed horse, is probably pretty static. Seen Trigger once…
Even though the Roy & Dale Museum is now defunct, I was delighted to learn that, if I get down to Christie’s sometime in the next couple of days, I can bid on some of the exhibits. Unfortunately, I don’t have room for the primo item on the block: the stuffed Trigger, Roy’s boon companion, his golden palomino stallion. Too bad, because I think an investment in Trigger could be a sound one.
Sure, they’re not making any more Roy Rogers’ fans, but they’re not making all that many more stuffed movie and TV star golden palominos, either.
So forking over the expected price of $100K - $200k wouldn’t be a squander, it’d be a steal.
After all, you may not be able to beat a dead horse, but you can buy and sell one. And this big boy has BRILLIANT INVESTMENT written all over it. That’s Roy and Trigger on happier trails. But I do want to make sure that folks understand that it’s the stuffed Trigger, not a stuffed Trigger avec Roy, that’s on sale.
Nice shot of both, I must say, although I suspect that some parts of Trigger might have been airbrushed. Wonder if they’re stuffed. Hmmmmmm. Okay. I did a bit more “research”, and found stuffed Trigger.
Looks like those private parts may be covered over by saddle parts. For a moment there, I was thinking Whoa, Nellybelle!
By the by, there’s a bit of sexism going on here. Dale’s horse, Buttermilk, is only slated to fetch $30K to $40K. And speaking of fetch, Roy’s German Shepherd Bullet is predicted to go for a measly $10K to $15K. It may be a dog’s life, but it’s apparently a horse’s after-life (at least if you’re Roy’s palomino stallion).
If you’re not interested in stuffed animals, Nellybelle, the jeep driven by Roy’s hi-larious TV sidekick, Pat Brady, is on the block, along with cool stuff like boots, belt buckles, a cowboy shirt, walking sticks, and a bolo tie.
Did I say bolo tie?
There is a plain old vanilla bolo tie, but just when I was asking myself who might be the audience for all this stuff, I happened upon what must be the most novel novelty in the auction:
TRIGGER'S ROAD APPLES
Comprising two Buffalo Nickels and a bolo tie and an ash tray made from Trigger's road apples
Could be yours for a mere $200 - $300. This must be a first for Christie’s.
(I found all this good stuff on Christie’s site. Don’t know if they keep this type of info up post-auction, but just search on Trigger. If it’s there, you’ll find it.)
Alas, they weren’t auctioning off the one item I would really have been interested in: the Roy Rogers slippers that were one of the few gimmicky, branded items I possessed as a child. I did find some on eBay, but mine were black. I believe they also had a little yellow star-shaped spur. Find a pair in black for me, spurs intact, and now we’re talking, cowpoke.
If you want to learn even more about Roy Rogers, there’s a website, of course.
Roy, of course, is no relation. His real name is Leonard Slye, which would have made a terrible name for a cowboy hero, that’s for sure. Someone named Slye would be wearing a black hat, not a white hat. Roy Rogers makes a far better cowboy name – better than Gene Autry. Although maybe not quite as good as Hopalong Cassidy.
And a tip of the cowgirl hat to my brother-in-law Rick for letting me know about the auction.