Monday, December 14, 2009

Gene Autry, Oklahoma

We left the Interstate and took Highway 77 north into Oklahoma turning west on State Highway 53 following signs to the town of Gene Autry on Happy Trail Road, Tumbleweed Drive and Prairie Street!

He owned the Flying A ranch in that area. In 1941 the town of Berwyn changed it's name to Gene Autry, OK. When the local school closed it was purchased to be used for a theater and a museum as well as the local post office.

The museum was a walk back into nostalgia for us. We used to listen to the cowboy shows on radio and then our children watched th
em on TV! Large movie posters used to advertise the movies at theaters and pictures with short biographies of all the cowboys, cowgirls and other actors that played parts in westerns over the years are hanging on the walls of several rooms and the hallways.

Do you remember the names of their horses? Roy Rogers & Trigger. Smiley Burnett & Ring Eye. Tex Ritter & White Flash. Gene Autry & Champion. Dale Evans & Buttermilk. Lone Ranger & Silver.

How many items were sold with Gene Autry logo? Cowboy boots, bed spread, mugs, coloring books, comics, puzzles, wrist watches, lunch boxes, billfolds, belts, clocks, record player, neck scarve
s & spurs.

Most unusual items: bicycles & tricycles with saddle shaped seats, horse head & a holster & gun! Gene Autry repeating cap pistol. Red rubber boots.(Our kids would have loved these!) Suspenders for little boys.

Whips were a part of some cowboys costumes as well as used in everyday life. A leather holder(holster) attached to a belt was made to hold the coiled whips.

A 16 mm large reel movie projector that was used to show these movies brought back memories for Jim. He used to get called out of his high-school classes to run the projector for teachers, who were showing movies to their classes.

One room has items from the local area showing how life was lived on the ranches.

A fun couple of hours! If we lived closer we'd attend one of their live western shows.

Headed back to Highway 77 and north through the Arbuckle Wilderness Area.

See you along the way,

Prairie Schooners

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