By Ruben A. Pro: Guest columnist
I believe I have part of the problem facing this country now.
What we need now is what has been missing for almost two generations or more — we need national heroes, whether real or fictional.
The past two or three generations have missed what my 1930s and ’40s generation had and still holds dear. We had World War II heroes in Colin Kelly, Roger Young and Audie Murphy (Army). We also had fictional heroes that included Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet and, my favorite, The Lone Ranger.
These real and fictional people made us proud to be Americans. They instilled in many of us pride of country and respect for law and order.
Please allow me a moment of your time to pass on to you my feelings of The Lone Ranger.
Clayton Moore has passed on, but he will be forever remembered by my generation as the voice of the Lone Ranger on the radio and Republic cowboy movies.
Moore’s voice not only commanded authority, but demanded action — that is to be a better citizen and to have respect for law and order.
As you read this, remember I am now 73 years old and still love this country as if I were a young whipper-snapper.
I used to go home from PS 101 located in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., back in the early ’40s. The moment I left the doors of PS 101 pretending I was riding the Lone Ranger’s horse, I would yell “Hi-Ho-Silver Away.”
Arriving home safely, but puffing, I would leave Silver on the back porch to reclaim him in about 20 minutes for the ride back to school.
I knew then as I know now that my actions were silly, but The Lone Ranger was my idol. I wanted so badly to do something to pattern my life after him. I wanted to give my country a gift of me. It mattered not if nobody knew. I knew and that was enough for me.
So, on my 18th birthday I enlisted in the United States Army. I was proud beyond words. I was serving my country.
I was honorably retired from service in March 1980. Many thanks, Lone Ranger. It was a very rewarding career.
Many years later, my wife and I were on vacation driving down a major highway when a tape of the William Tell Overture began to play. Of course we both knew this was the theme music to the Lone Ranger.
We also knew there is a part of this overture that builds to a crescendo. At that point I looked over at my wife, because she too loved my hero, and said, “Oh what the heck” and I yelled “Hi-Ho-Silver” and we both had a good laugh.
So today, if by chance someone were to ask me, who was that Clayton Moore who wanted to wear a mask, who believed in law and order and love of country, I simply would reply, “My friend that was the Lone Ranger.”
Now please go out and find a hero or a mentor and give back to a country that has given all of us such blessings.
Ruben A. Pro is a resident of Clovis and frequent contributor to the Opinion page. He may be contacted at 769-0044.