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Home on the Range
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Dear Editor,
I read news articles telling about former actor Buck Taylor, who played blacksmith-turned-deputy marshall Newly O’Brien in 174 episodes of the long-running TV show “Gunsmoke” for helping raise money on June 18, at a fundraiser in Smith Center, as well as starring himself in a documentary about a landmark “The Home on the Range Cabin,” where the famous song of the same name was written. Dr. Brewster Higley wrote the famous song in 1872, and the song’s popularity grew to the moment in 1947 when it became “The State Song of Kansas.”
It should be noted that Mr. Taylor belongs to the same fraternal order as myself: the Masonic Lodge. Mr. Taylor and others generously “give back” to communities all over the nation. It should be noted that Buck Taylor’s father, Walter Clarence “Dub” Taylor II. Many people will instantly recall Dub Taylor, as a famous character in his own right in westerns and other films. “Dub” often portrayed a portly, ill-tempered cook/chef whose whiny voice was most memorable.
Buck, who is actually named Walter Clarence Taylor, III, but nicknamed “Buck”, started out as a wholly different type of actor, lean, fit, mild-mannered yet striving for Justice and “westerns” were in his blood, too. Buck grew up knowing his father’s friend’s Roy Rogers, Chill Wills, and Tex Ritter, all who were members of the Masonic Lodge, too. I wish “The Home on the Range” Documentary much success. It will help preserve not just “Kansas History”, but also a piece of Americana.
James A. Marples