Monday, January 14, 2013

Rex Trailer, 1928-2013, R.I.P.


Bit by bit, pieces of my childhood are dying. I guess it's only natural, as my childhood was so blasted long ago, but still...! 

On January 9th, a man named Rex Trailer died. That name may not mean much -- if anything -- to you unless you're roughly my age and grew up in New England, but Rex was, among many other things, a cowboy TV star who hosted a Boston kiddie show called Boomtown. (Boomtown ran on weekends from 1956-1974.)


I actually got to meet Rex Trailer -- born Rexford Traylor -- in 2006, at the comic store I used to work at, That's Entertainment.


While there, I got Rex to sign one of my favorite eBay finds, a coloring book featuring Rex and another kiddie show host of my childhood, "Big Brother" Bob Emery.

Rex was a "real" cowboy, born in  Texas, no less. He'd worked the rodeo circuit while still a teen, and was an expert rider who was skilled with a bullwhip, a pistol, or lasso. He was a television pioneer who ended up running his own show in Philadelphia before landing in Massachusetts in 1956... the same year I "landed" here, actually.


Yes, that's Jayne Mansfield. Lucky Rex!




Here's a photo of Boston kiddie show hosts from the three main channels, WBZ-TV (channel four, Rex's channel), WHDH-TV (channel five) and WNAC-TV (channel seven).


And here's a relatively recent phot of Rex. The gent on the far left is Frank Avruch, who was our local Bozo when I was a boy.



I'm just going to throw a few more photos at you before wrapping this up. There's not much more I can add without giving a full biography of the man! And if you want that, click here!





The following shot is of my sister Kathy on Rex's horse, Gold Rush. I, too, had a photo taken that day, but it's long gone!



Adios, Rex...
And thanks for your time.



18 comments:

  1. Your sister didn't look all that happy about being atop Gold Rush. Every time I managed to get a ride on a horse I was thrilled. Interesting post about Rex. We of a certain age are all watching our childhoods disappear.

    Love,
    Janie

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  2. It's odd that my sister looked so uncomfortable. She was an accomplished rider, who won ribbons and trophies in various horse shows!

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  3. Lovely pictures David and this sounds like a really sweet man (and handsome) !

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    1. Yeah, he was really... well, not sure I'd use the word "sweet," haha... But he did a lot for handicapped children, as the Wikipedia article I linked to tells.

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  4. I was waiting for this post from you...I'm so glad we were able to tell Rex how much he meant to us!

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  5. Yeah, he was one of the last of the kiddie show hosts I remember. It was great to meet him. He was just as personable as I hoped he'd be!

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  6. Okay... in that group shot, let's see how many I can remember. Top row L-R: Rex Trailer, Major Mudd
    Second row L-R: Bozo, Pablo, Miss Jean, Willie Whistle
    Front Row L-R: Big Brother Bob Emery, Captain Bob
    Do I win a year's supply of "Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat?"

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  7. Very impressive! Even I wasn't sure of whether or not those two in the middle row were Willie Whistle and Romper Room's Miss Jean!

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  8. pretty cool flash back in this...pretty sad to see our heroes of days gone by move on....it was a tough year this last year as well...seemed like so many passed on....

    good to see you today fox...

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  9. Silver, I think it's about time you started writing again. I'm challenging you to post within a week. Are you game? That's one post between now and June 5th.

    And I love that gazebo on your sidebar. Just sayin'. :)

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  10. Hm. A challenge for me to come out of my early retirement? Oh my! And I have a week to answer? Oh gosh...

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    1. early retirement? Is that what this was?? ha. :)

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    2. I can just see you sitting there, giggling at the thought of that...

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    3. Actually, I thought maybe you died, since there wasn't a mushroom soup can posted. :)

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    4. Actually, I have such a writer's block lately, I haven't even had the motivation to post a can of soup!

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    5. I see. Well, it was worth a try anyway....no pressure.

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    6. I didn't say "no," did I, doll?

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  11. Is it okay if I start out "small?"

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