Roy Rogers was the most popular and publicized American cowboy. He starred in over 100 western movies and had a long running TV series, The Roy Rogers Show, which co-starred his constant companion, Trigger. The TV show aired previously on the radio for nine years before making the transition to TV. The Roy Rogers brand was on almost everything you could think of – from action figures to comic books to restaurants. Roy married Dale Evans in 1947. Roy’s signature song, Happy Trails, was written by Dale. It was the song they ended their short lived TV series, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show. It soon became their signature song and synonymous with a cowboy’s way of saying see you later. Roy passed away in 1998 followed by Dale three years later.
My mom was one of the biggest fans ever of Roy Rogers. She told me how she was one of the first ones to see a new Roy Rogers movie, she could tell you every show he had been on, and she knew every detail of his life – well at least all of the details that were on TV or in magazines. At one point, after the introduction to cable TV, she recorded every Roy Rogers movie on VHS tapes from a station that ran all the old westerns. She held onto those VHS tapes till the day she passed away. I completely understand though because Steve Perry is my Roy Rogers. I get it honestly.
Roy Rogers lent his name to a roast beef, burger chain – Roy Rogers restaurants. We ate at his restaurant quite often because; well because it was Roy Rogers. They had good food too. I loved their Double R Burger – it was a burger with ham and cheese. It was awesome. They opened a new restaurant in a neighboring town and my mom found out that Roy Rogers was going to be there for the grand opening. Of course, we had to go. She dragged my dad and me along with her. I was not particularly happy about going but I had no choice.
We get to the restaurant and let me tell you it was packed. There was a line most of the way around the building. There was a wooden platform with four or five steps with an offset where Roy stood and four or five more steps on the other side. We stand in line what seemed like forever. We finally get to the front of the line, walk up the steps and Roy shook our hands, said “Happy Trails” and handed us a picture of himself on Trigger. We walked down the other set of steps and headed back to our vehicle. We didn’t even stay to eat.
Now I wasn’t real happy about having to go to this but at least we were going to get something to eat. Or so I thought. According to my dad, there were too many people and he just wanted to get out of there. Now I am really not happy because I did not get my Double R Burger – not then anyways. We headed back towards home but we did stop at another Roy Rogers restaurant – one that was not so crowded. I got my Double R Burger after all.