52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Radio & Television

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


Dressed in a red cowboy hat, red vest and red skirt, 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?

Cake - 6th Birthday

My western-themed 6th birthday cake had a corral. “Happy Birthday, Padnuh!”

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 WesternStarYears
Alias Smith and JonesPeter Duell, Roger Davis1971-1973
Bat MastersonGene Barry1959-1961
Big ValleyBarbara Stanwyck, Rickard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors1965-1969
BonanzaLoren Green, Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon1959-1973
BrandedChuck Conners1965-1966
CheyenneClint Walker1955-1963
Daniel BooneFess Parker1964-1970
Death Valley DaysHosts: Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan1952-1975
Dr. Quinn, Medicine WomanJane Seymour1993-1998
FuryPeter Graves, Bobby Diamond1955-1960
GunsmokeJames Arness1955-1975
Have Gun Will TravelRichard Boone1957-1963
Here Come the BridesBobby Sherman1968-1970
High ChaparralLeif Erickson1967-1971
Kung FuDavid Carradine1972-1975
LaramieJohn Smith, Robert Fuller1959-1963
Little House on the PrairieMelissa Gilbert, Michael Landon1974-1983
MaverickJames Garner, Roger Moore1957-1962
My Friend FlickaJohnny Washbrook, Gene Evans, Anita Louise1956-1957
RawhideEric Fleming, Clint Eastwood1959-1966
SugarfootWill Hutchins1950s
The Lone RangerClayton Moore, Jay Silverheels1949-1957
The RiflemanChuck Conners, Johnny Crawford1958-1963
The Roy Rogers ShowRoy Rogers, Dale Evans1951-1957
The VirginianJames Drury, Doug McClure, Lee J. Cobb1962-1970
The Wild Wild WestRobert Conrad, Ross Martin1965-1969
Wagon TrainWard Bond, Robert Horton1957-1965
Wanted Dead or AliveSteve McQueen1958-1961

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?

Me holding my toy gun on a neighbor.

A true cowgirl never misses a chance to catch an outlaw.

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  1. I’m enjoying this series of your posts so much! So many nice memories from childhood, and I’m loving your photos, too. And I DO remember your horse very well! 😉

  2. Blue Eyes and Bluebonnets says:

    Oh no. I had totally forgotten about that. Starshine had a way of letting people know she was in charge. I am so lucky that you were still (and continue to be) my friend after that day. You are the BEST!!! :)

  3. We were big into Davey Crockett so we even had a coonskin cap. I always wanted a horse too, but since I knew I was never going to have one my girlfriends and I would tuck our head scarfs into the waistband of our skirts during recess and prance around like palominos. LOL

  4. I’m loving the photos! Go you, Cowgirl, Go!

  5. The Rifleman, Johnny Crawford(Mark McCain) Performs with his band in the L.A. area. They dress in tux. and perform music from the 1920s, 30s, and big band era.
    Have Gun Will Travel- Last Christmas Ellen and I visited the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, the suposed home of Palladin in the TV show. I know it’s fiction…I just thought it would be cool to go there. A beautiful and expensive hotel I might add.

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