Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Who Is That Masked Man?....
Who Is That Masked Man?
is that masked man, anyway?" They always asked, as he rode off into the
"Why, don't you know? That's the Lone Ranger!"
The William Tell overture swelled in the background as we heard him shout,
"Hi Yo, Silver, awa-a-a-y! " Is there a person anywhere who can hear
the William Tell overture and not think of the Lone Ranger?
I spent many childhood hours listening to the radio or watching TV to hear tales
of the Old West and the Lone Ranger with his faithful Indian companion, Tonto. I
would rush home from school to be sure not to miss the program.
There were a lot of cowboy heroes back then: Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Johnny Mack
Brown, Wild Bill Hickok and The Cisco Kid. But the greatest of them all was the
mysterious Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger always wore a black mask to protect his identity, and the mask
was part of his mystique. Because of this, he was sometimes mistaken for an
outlaw, but he would always set the record straight and prove that he was on the
side of law and justice.
I think the idea was to be known not for WHO he was, but for WHAT he was.
Cowboy heroes needed suitable transportation and the Lone Ranger rode a large
white steed named Silver. I'm not sure why its name was Silver as it seems that
Whitey would have fit better, but nevertheless, the horse was named Silver. The
horse was smart far beyond normal equine expectations and could always be
counted on to gallop in and help the Lone Ranger out of a pinch if he whistled.
The Lone Ranger was really big on silver things. Silver
horseshoes were worn by Silver, the horse, and the Lone Ranger always used
silver bullets in his gun. According to legend, he owned a silver mine. I guess
that is how he was able to afford to ride around the countryside hunting down
outlaws instead of working.
Cowboys back then always had a "sidekick" that rode with them. The
sidekick made the coffee and beans when they camped, held the horses while the
hero fought the bad guys, and was always eternally loyal. The Lone Ranger had a
clever companion in Tonto, who could sneak into town unnoticed and do
surveillance. The Lone Ranger could not sneak in unnoticed as the black mask and
white horse gave him away every time.
Like millions of other kids, I was completely taken in by all of
this imaginary hype. I joined the Lone Ranger's Safety Club and had my own card
identifying me as a member. I had a genuine Long Ranger badge and knew the
secret code for messages. I never had any bad guys or sheriffs check me out, but
I was ready if they did.
I also had a cap gun and holster with silver plastic bullets. I
would have worn a mask as well, but it was too hot and hard to see out of the
eyeholes. I don't know how the Lone Ranger became such a good shot while wearing
a mask. The Lone Ranger could shoot the gun right out of a bad guy's hand and
never leave a scratch.
The Lone Ranger went from radio to become a star on TV and make movie serials,
still wearing the trademark mask and fighting against the bad guys. Nowadays we
would call him a vigilante, but in the Old West roaming the plains and looking
for outlaws to bring to justice was an acceptable occupation.
The Lone Ranger captured the imagination of a million kids, and gave us a
bigger-than-life hero with strong moral values, something we don't see enough of
now. I don't know what ever happened to him, but I suppose he was canceled and
just faded away into the sunset before we had time to thank him, leaving nothing
behind but a silver bullet. Anything else would be travesty.
After all, he's the Lone Ranger.
*The Lone Ranger re-make movie is now due out 31 May
Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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