Clint Williams Realty
Dear "Faithful Friends" (I'll expand on that later)
I was killing time on my day off, waiting for word on some real estate stuff, and became inspired to ponder this question. "Who was Harold J. Smith?"
Any one tuned into classic films and television, or who is up to snuff on well know & iconic symbols of the 20th Century should know. He was, and likely still remains, one of the most recognizable figures in American Culture.
He appeared with Humphrey Bogart John Wayne, Glen Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Anne Bancroft, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara. Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds ... to name but a few.
He was in oscar winning films, as well as appearing on the Brady Bunch.
Most better recognize him by his professional name, Jay Silverheels. More just know him by his most famous role of "Tonto"
He was born May 26, 1912, a true Canadian Mohawk of the First Nations.
He appeared as Tonto in 217 regular television shows, several full length movies, hundreds of cameos & personal appearances, & even frozen pizza commercials.
He also was a noted horse breeder. When someone asked him if he ever considered racing his famous on-screen horse "Scout", he responded, ... "I could out run Scout".
Both Clayton Moore, John Hart, and Clayton Moore again after his contract dispute was settled, got top billing as "The Lone Ranger". But since the Lone Ranger wore a mask or an occasional disguise 99% of the time, Silverheels has the more recognized face of the franchise.
The name "Tonto" became synonymous with both "Friendship" and Loyalty". The happy reality is that both Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels were possessed of a wonderful and genuine lifelong friendship until Silverheels' death in 1980. Clayton Moore professed his brotherly love and affection for his friend until his death in 1999.
I used to wait with anticipation for each episode, which were all Saturday morning repeats after my 2nd birthday in 1957. My favorite perch was my coil spring powered "rocking horse" , wearing my red cowboy hat and with my faux pearl handled silver cap pistol at my side. I think my heart rate doubled when I heard the "William Tell Overture" (or "The Lone Ranger Theme" as it was rightly known). That music still has that effect for me.
I roll my eyes at those experts today who decry toy guns. In spite of helping the Lone Ranger shoot his way out of many jams, I never turned into a serial killer. Actually, the Lone Ranger could shoot a gun out of a bad guys hand so fast, they never had a chance. And he always hit the gun... their hand never even bled! Once in a while, a bad guy would refuse to surrender or put their gun where the Ranger could shoot it out of their hand, they would promptly slip and fall off a cliff. Served their evil butts right! Good always prevailed.
And after all had benefitted from his heroics, with Tonto rescuing him at least once a show ( You see: Tonto saved him, and he saved everyone else... simple equation) the people would always ask: "Who was that masked man?"
The answer was "I don't know, but he left this." It was always a silver bullet, since he was apparently prepared to fight vampires and werewolves if need be. They must have said "Property of the Lone Ranger" on the side, because it wasn't until then they would gasp: "That was the Lone Ranger.
So you see, the Lone Ranger and Tonto helped everyone. They helped me! I knew then I wanted to be on the right side. Not only did the good guys always win, they were kind and nice and cared about people. They looked for the good in others, and actually asked question first and shot later. Right made might, and not the other way around. I could look to their example and remember to tell the truth and not steal or be a "back shooter" in any way. I never was or will be perfect, but I had a good idea of the standards.
Back in the 1830's someone wrote this.. The Lone Ranger's Code:
Dang! I wish he were running for President! That would make my choice easy. In fact I would vote for Harold J. Smith in a heartbeat. He would be a good "Kemosabe" to have.
By the way, "Kemosabe" is not a made up word. It actually is translated "faithful friend" from the Potawatomi language.
So, "Be well, Kemosabes",