By the time I’m eight I have probably watched a lot of movies featuring Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Cisco Kid, Tom Mix, and all the others who ride their horses at full gallop from start to finish. They are called Early Bird features, shown every Saturday morning. Admission is ten cents. Sometimes, however, a bread wrapper from the A. J. Cripe’s Bakery gets us in free of charge.
The same winter I turn eight we move to California. Mom has my full attention after she tells me we’ll be driving across Texas. Wow, I mutter to myself. Laying eyes on some of these movie stars exceeds my wildest dreams.
The highways in 1945 are two-lane. So it takes awhile to get to the cowboy country. But eventually I awaken to her summons.
“We’re in Texas now.”
Rubbing my eyes, I peer out the window at the bleak landscape. Not a cowboy, a horse, or even a cow stands between me and the distant horizon. What’s going on here?
“Are you sure we’re in Texas?” I ask.
About that time I spot a fellow wearing a cowboy shirt with pearl snaps and a white Stetson, just like Roy Rogers. But he’s not on horseback. He was driving a Ford pickup. Mom says we’ll be in Texas all day. Maybe there’s hope.