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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
     Monday, October 6 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Hopalong Cassidy

Yesterday on the way home from church a car in front of me poked along, another of the endless stream of drivers I encounter whose only way of demonstrating power over others is by being obnoxious on the highway. As I finally got a place to pass I muttered to myself, "Pokealong Cassidy."

HoppySuddenly it struck me: The cowboy hero of my childhood, Hopalong Cassidy, had a ridiculously facetious name. Here I am 61 years old and this has never occurred to me before. I was laughing aloud as I turned onto Lewis Road. How did he ever get such a silly name? I don't remember him ever "hopping," much less hopping along. He was usually on a horse, though unlike Roy Rogers' Trigger or even Dale Evans' Buttermilk, or the Lone Ranger's Silver, I don't remember the name of Hopalong's horse. Maybe I wasn't as big a fan as I thought I was. But then although there were a lot of Hopalong Cassidy movies and comic books, there wasn't a half hour series that ran weekly year after year on radio and later television as there was for Roy Rogers/Dale Evans and the Lone Ranger.

Why did we have to have favorite everythings in childhood? Favorite cars, a decade before we could even drive; favorite actors and actresses; favorite colors; favorite teachers; favorite superhero (mine was Captain Marvel...I usually went with the underdog, which he was vis Superman), even back before anyone called them superheroes. But I like to think it was also the fact that Captain Marvel had to say the magic word, Shazam! to get into his super personna that appealed to me. It was a native proclivity of mine toward being word-oriented. But in comic books I even preferred Super Mouse to Superman. Or, for that matter, Micky Mouse.

Was Hopalong Cassidy just a nickname for Bill Boyd, more properly William Boyd, who was the actor behind the role? Like Clayton Moore, the most famous "Lone Ranger," he would have probably have found out otherwise if he tried to press that point. Moore, who died at age 85 in 1999, had been legally enjoined from appearing in public as the Lone Ranger in later years. But there was no Hopalong Cassidy Restaurant franchise owner to take such an extreme measure against William Boyd if he'd been inclined to go on appearing as Hopalong in his declining years.

Actually, the Internet Movie Data Base reports that there was a Hopalong Cassidy TV series from 1949 to 1952. Presumably, unlike the others, it did fade into the sunset after its relatively short run, rather than going on forever on TVland rerun heaven. Also, IMDB records that there were approximately 75 Hopalong Cassidy movies starring Boyd from 1935 on. And his horse was Topper. Of course! How had I forgotten?.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Think about it (but not too long)

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

—Sent by Bill Dalrymple 

Thought for today

All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.

— Alexandre Dumas 

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