Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in Texas, but my favorite TV shows as a child were westerns! I loved all of them — from the Adventures of Rin Tin Tin to Zorro.
I was a pint-sized Annie Oakley
Because I watched every western on all three TV channels growing up, I wanted to be a cowgirl. And the fact that I couldn’t talk my parents into moving from the swampy Gulf Coast suburbs of Southeast Texas to a West Texas ranch didn’t keep me from wanting to make my dream of being a real cowgirl come true. I was a determined kid with a healthy imagination.
So I decided that the best way to become a cowgirl was to look like a cowgirl.
Dressed in a red cowboy hat, red vest and red skirt, I was a pint-sized Annie Oakley. And with toy six-shooters in a holster on my hip, I was ready to form a posse and track down any outlaws who dared to ride into my neighborhood.
All the cowboys and cowgirls on TV had beautiful horses. Dale Evans had Buttermilk and Roy Rogers had a golden palomino named Trigger. Little Joe Cartwright rode Cochise, a majestic paint. So it goes without saying that I wanted a horse of my own. I was tiny, so a tiny horse could live in the back yard. It wouldn’t take up any more space than the Great Dane down the street.
Even though I had as much of a chance of getting a horse at that age as I did of talking my parents into letting me lead a wagon train to California, I thought they would see the benefit of having a horse in the family. A horse could help with chores by eating the grass in the lawn. That way my dad could watch football or baseball games on Saturdays instead of having to mow the yard. Made perfect sense to me. My parents? Not so much.
This is where that healthy imagination of mine came in handy. I decided I could be a cowgirl AND a horse. So the pint-sized dressed-in-red Annie Oakley began galloping around the neighborhood, neighing like Fury or Flicka (two of my favorite shows at the time). My mother still likes to tell everyone about the time she and my dad were standing in line at West Groves Elementary School to vote, and about how embarrassed she was when I came galloping and whinnying up to a group of strangers, demanding, “Put your hands up.”
I never did give up that dream of owning a horse. In high school, my parents bought me a beautiful brown and white paint. I named her Starshine, but instead of living in the back yard, she lived in a stable a few blocks away. And I always made sure to swing by my house to let her munch on some grass in the front yard — just in case Dad wanted to watch a football game instead of mowing the lawn.
What was your favorite TV western?
Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite TV western. Is it listed below or was it another one not on the list? Why did you like it? I’d love to hear from you!
TV Western Star Years
Alias Smith and Jones Peter Duell, Roger Davis 1971-1973
Bat Masterson Gene Barry 1959-1961
Big Valley Barbara Stanwyck, Rickard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors 1965-1969
Bonanza Loren Green, Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon 1959-1973
Branded Chuck Conners 1965-1966
Cheyenne Clint Walker 1955-1963
Daniel Boone Fess Parker 1964-1970
Death Valley Days Hosts: Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan 1952-1975
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Jane Seymour 1993-1998
Fury Peter Graves, Bobby Diamond 1955-1960
Gunsmoke James Arness 1955-1975
Have Gun Will Travel Richard Boone 1957-1963
Here Come the Brides Bobby Sherman 1968-1970
High Chaparral Leif Erickson 1967-1971
Kung Fu David Carradine 1972-1975
Laramie John Smith, Robert Fuller 1959-1963
Little House on the Prairie Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon 1974-1983
Maverick James Garner, Roger Moore 1957-1962
My Friend Flicka Johnny Washbrook, Gene Evans, Anita Louise 1956-1957
Rawhide Eric Fleming, Clint Eastwood 1959-1966
Sugarfoot Will Hutchins 1950s
The Lone Ranger Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels 1949-1957
The Rifleman Chuck Conners, Johnny Crawford 1958-1963
The Roy Rogers Show Roy Rogers, Dale Evans 1951-1957
The Virginian James Drury, Doug McClure, Lee J. Cobb 1962-1970
The Wild Wild West Robert Conrad, Ross Martin 1965-1969
Wagon Train Ward Bond, Robert Horton 1957-1965
Wanted Dead or Alive Steve McQueen 1958-1961
About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History
For the third year, Amy Coffin of the We Tree Genealogy Blog has created 52 weeks of prompts for genealogy bloggers. The theme for 2011 is 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. These are shared on the Geneabloggers.com web site, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.
Week 6: Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?