After reading your excellent (as always) composition on your graduation present, I was moved to share. Pray forgive me the maudlinity! This is a K&E Log Log Duplex Decitrig 68 1210. It was my third slide rule, given me by my parents as a graduation present. I carried this slide rule with me through college and kept it in my desk at work until I got my first HP pocket calculator. Now it holds pride-of-place in my slide rule collection.
Memphis, TN - The deadline for sending in your registration for the Class of '64's 50th Reunion has been extended to September 1st, but please don't wait until then to do so. Remember all classes are invited to participate and we, the Class of '64 hope you will invite us to your own 50th reunion when it happens. Click on the Upcoming Events link in the left navigation pane to download the registration form.
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Those Other Shows on TV
"Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion"
Unfortunately for us, but I am sure a blessing for his patients, Dr. John Drummond is not retired like I and many of you are, so he cannot always find the time to do a new western series each week. Since his contributions have become such a hit with many of you, I have decided to try to fill the void when his work will not allow him the time to contribute a new series. To keep from infringing on his territory, I have elected to pick out some of the odd shows that really were unique in their story lines and do not have a common theme.
This week I have selected "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion" as my subject. One reason I remember this series so well is because of the Marx Captain Gallant playset sold by Sears and containing a fort, plastic legionnaires and Arabs, and a desert camp. My family could not afford to buy me the whole set, but I was given a box of just the plastic soldiers one year for Christmas. Like many of us back then, I had to build my own fort and pretend a lot, but I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures my mind created for my army and the desert raiders.
Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion was a half-hour black-and-white television series about the French Foreign Legion starring Buster Crabbe in the title role. Crabbe's real-life son, Cullen Crabbe, played the Legion mascot, with cowboy sidekick Fuzzy Knight playing himself as Legion comedy relief. The series premiered on NBC on 13 February 1955 and ended its first run with the 65th episode shown on 7 December 1957. It was shown for many years in syndication on American television under the title Foreign Legionnaire.
The first season of the television show was filmed on location in French Morocco with many actual Legionnaires and their installations featuring in the show. With increased danger to the crew, the series moved to Italy. The studio was one owned by Sophia Loren and was just outside the gates of the US Army base, Camp Darby, near Pisa. One of the producers of the show was Harry Saltzman.
The series episodes were almost like Westerns updated to French North Africa. The French Foreign Legion genre of films continued to be as popular in the 1950s as it did in the days of silents, and during the 1930s and 1940s.
Here's my trivia questions for this series.
(1) Buster Crabbe was famous for two other movie characters. Who were they?
(2) In 1932 he got world attention for something that had nothing to do with TV or movies. What was it?
(3) What was Buster's son, Cullen's character named in the Captain Gallant series?
Marx Captain Gallant Play Set
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Roy Rogers
Interesting that John Drummund could resurrect so much about our hero Roy Rogers. I went to work for FEMA in California in August of 1998, and wound up in Roy's backyard, nearly, dealing with flood damage on the high desert from 17 inches of rain in one weekend, from the El Nino rains. Apple Valley is behind Victorville which is along I-15 which eventually connects to Las Vegas, but Apple Valley skirts a section of old Route 66 in the back country. And one of the problems with the town of Apple Valley is that it is situated in a shallow dry lake bed. To deal with their drainage problems a number of so called dry wells have been drilled to channel water into the underground during heavy rains. That area is all part of the Mohave Desert, which also contains the Mohave River. You can't really see the river since it is actually underground. Back to Roy's town. All the main cross streets are named for western indian tribes. One street was called Flathead after the Flathead Indians of the Northwest. Its actually a nice town that use to have a popular retreat. Part of that facility is still there. Roy's house was on one of the side streets and is a two story brick box Hacinda structure with windows on both levels and a balcony with a metal railing front and sides. Nothing too impressive, at least that was the one pointed out. I was disappointed that he had died 6 weeks before i arrived. His publicity shots never revealed that at 87 he really looked 87. Up on the Interstate opposite of Victorville was Roy's Western Fort and Museum. It was rugged looking on the outside with board and batten covering as I remember. After his death they finally sold it to someone in Branson, MO. As you began your tour of the museum you realize that Roy was a pack rat. It was very nice inside for a roadside museum, but he didn't throw anything away, maybe reflecting his early beginnings and the trek he made with his family driving from the Ohio river community where they lived to California. I think his dad didn't have work there along the Ohio and packed up the family and headed west. Something John didn't mention is that Roy raced motorcycles and also worked as a stuntman in the beginning, once in California.
In that museum were some big game items from a trip he had made to Africa some years before. I don't recall all the African trophies but there was an elephant head on the wall, and it was not small. In one display case was every watch he had ever owned. There were pictures of his and Dale's film successes and of their family. One cute caption under a picture of the entire family on a parade float somewhere was " do we have to sing Happy Trails, again?!!" So goes celebrity. In the back was a green shoe shop machine we've all seen back in our early years. This reflected on the time he was a shoe repairman. On the shelf above the entire length of the machine was every boot pair he had ever owned. There was also a jeep with a custom made aluminum runabout and a Mercury motor on a trailer behind it. But that was nothing of the style of the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage located back in LA out by the Zoo.
Maybe John can collect some material on Gene Autry I can add to.
(Editor's Note: John says he will answer this request next week.)
Subject: John's Articles
This issue was very good! Really enjoyed the story by John Drummond about Roy Rogers; brought back many memories….Thanks for doing a great job and keeping us together!
Subject: Roy Rogers' Museum Sold
Michael R Kuettner
The Roy Rogers Museum in Branson , Missouri has closed its doors
forever. The contents of the museum were sold at a public auction.
(Editor's Note: Michael sent me an email with lots of pictures and text about the closing of the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson. I could not cut and paste all the info into this week's edition, but here is a link to the same info.)