ROY ROGERS AND ANDY DEVINE
When I was a young boy growing up I loved Leonardo Da Vinci, Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, especially Tarzan and the Huntress, Warner Brothers cartoons, astronomy, the cosmos, rockets to the Moon and Mars, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, along with a myrid of comic books and cowboy western movie stars such as the Durango Kid, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers, their horses Champion and Trigger, and their sidekicks Smiley Burnette, Gabby Hayes, and Andy Devine --- to wit, the following:
For my 11th birthday myStepmother, who I loved dearly, had arranged for me to meet one of my then favorite childhood heros, the cowboy-western movie star, Roy Rogers. Prior to the death of my grandfather, my grandmother and grandfather lived in the small California mountain community of Big Bear Lake. The two knew Andy Devine, legendary movie sidekick, who owned a sort of locals travern on the road from Big Bear Village to Big Bear City. Through that connection my stepmother put together the plan for me to meet Rogers. (source)
ONCE ANDY DEVINE'S OLD SPORTSMAN'S TAVERN IN
BIG BEAR LAKE. TODAY THE CAPTAINS ANCHORAGE.
HOMAGE TO ANDY AND OTHERS INSIDE THE TAVERN
The "sort of locals travern" on the road from Big Bear Village to Big Bear City was built in 1946, opening a year later by Andy Devine as the Sportsmen's Tavern. With no offense intended toward the on-screen persona or personal integrity of the actor, but more or less taking a cue by harkening back to the old days of the wild and wooly western saloon, the place gained a well earned reputation as Big Bear's den of inequity. It had 35 slot machines upstairs, not to mention a bevy of always-willing call girls. When word came down that the county sheriff and his deputies had crossed over the dam or on their way up up the back grade, word spread quickly. The taveren, located on the main road about halfway between the only two valley entrances available in those days, which were miles apart, always seemed to have time to shove the machines into a hidden backroom while the prostitutes quickly disappeared down the back stairs into the woods.
Construction of the Sportsman's Tavern began in the late 40s by two men with ties to the aerospace industry. The restaurant-tavern, built in two stories, sported kitchens on both floors with a dumbwaiter between them, a bar, a dance floor, large stone fireplaces and cabins out back for --- well, lets just say extra curricular activities. The slot machines were upstairs on rails and wheels that allowed them to conveniently and quickly disappear by sliding them backwards into compartments hidden by secret panels in the walls. So elaborate were their plans that the two men ran out money before they were able to complete it, and that is when it is thought Andy Devine stepped in.
Presently in operation under the name Captainís Anchorage, the establishment had been closed for awhile in the 1960s. From 1946-1952 it was known as the Sportsmanís Tavern with the ownership title listed under the name Sportsmanís Village, Inc. Title was transferred into Devine's name in May of 1952 when a deed was prepared albeit left unrecorded until 1959. Devine held title until August of 1966. Most people pretty much agree that although listed under Sportsmanís Village, Inc. from the beginning, Devine was a "silent partner" in all of the goings on of the tavern up until 1959, with an initial financial interest in it from 1947. Devine died in 1977.
As for my meeting with Roy Rogers, which was actually the first of three, occurred on the occasion of he and his horse Trigger having their footprints set into cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Three years later I had graduated to meeting Albert Einstein.
AND NOW, FROM ROY TO BUCK:
1946 BUCK ROGERS U-235 ATOMIC PISTOL. ONE OF THE FEW THINGS FROM
MY CHILDHOOD. TEN YEARS LATER IT WAS D. T. SUZUKI'S ZEN BUDDHISM.
(for ray gun info click image)
SHIP IN THE DESERT FROM MY FAVORITE GENE AUTRY COMIC, #52, JUNE 1951
THE ONLY OTHER THING FROM MY CHILDHOOD
A- 1942- CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT DECODER- BADGE
THE ROSWELL RAY GUN
THE WANDERLING, CONTINUED
UFO OVER L.A.
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
...Allans Greatest Websites on The Internet
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Both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry made a number of movies using the mountain property where my two first cousins lived for background scenes and atmosphere. My girl cousin even had a bit part or two in a couple of their films. As the young boy that I was at the time, and as an avowed cowboy-western movie fan, meeting Rogers was something way up there on my list. Since both of my cousins had, when we crossed paths I never heard the end of it. Even though my grandmother detested my stepmother, who I was living with at the time --- albeit under the auspices of my Uncle --- she still loved me, so she arranged, through Devine, for me to meet Rogers --- then informed my stepmother who followed through on the arrangements.
The funny part of it all was that my stepmother already knew Devine and even had a business dealings with him, or at least his proxy. When she caught wind of my desire to meet Rogers she could have set it up, and especially so through Devine, but she never thought of it. She did make sure my grandmother got credit for putting it all into place, however.
As it was, publicity wise, Rogers would never have allowed any meeting between he and I IF it was known my stepmother was behind it or if she was involved. Going through Devine as set up by my grandmother was the perfect way to go. I realize I am being a little cryptic here, but if you go to the stepmother link below you will get where I am coming from --- I will tell you that it had more to do with the 35 slot machines and bevy of always-willing call girls at Devine's Sportsman's Tavern that nearly anything else.