I recently had the opportunity to spend time with an elderly relative. I listened to stories about his childhood as the son of a dirt-poor farmer. I caught his infectious laugh as he gasped for air while telling about his childhood hijinks. I marveled that he and his mischievous cousins ever lived to adulthood! I listened to his regrets and his delights. I was struck by how much he still misses his parents and how much he values the lessons they taught him. And it made me think about how much we can learn from the people who have gone before us. It made me want to spend more time soaking in some wisdom. Few people had more down-home wisdom to offer than Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. That’s why I would like to dedicate this post to the legacy of wisdom they left us.
“The only things you can take with you are the things you give away.” ~ Roy Rogers
Sometimes we get so caught up in the race to collect the most stuff that we forget about the important things. Roy Rogers understood that he couldn’t put a price tag on things like friendship, good deeds, kindness and love.
In fact, Roy Rogers had such a giving spirit that, early in his career, he was spending more than his studio salary just to respond to each fan letter! When he approached a studio executive and asked if the studio would pay for a secretary and postage to help with his mountains of fan mail, he was told to do what other celebrities did—throw the letters in the trash. Roy flatly refused and continued to respond to each fan that contacted him. In the end, Roy Rogers developed a fiercely loyal fan base, and he carried their affection with him for the rest of his life.
Don’t Make Excuses
“Cowgirl is an attitude, really; a pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend the things they hold dear. A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull rider, or an actress. But she’s just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother, a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut.” ~ Dale Evans
By golly, I love the above quote! It pretty much sums up how I want to live my life and it makes me proud to be a cowgirl!
Don’t Stop Learning
“Every day we live is a priceless gift of God, loaded with possibilities to learn something new, to gain fresh insights into His great truths.” ~ Dale Evans
If you have found yourself in a rut, maybe it’s time to climb out of it! When you see the possibilities in each day, your life will change. Oh, it won’t be perfect, but it will be an adventure!
The Good Ol’ Days Really Were Good
“The world changed. Hollywood changed. I think we’ve lost something, and we don’t know how to get it back.” ~ Roy Rogers
When I look around at some of our modern day “celebrities,” I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief. I miss the days when it took more than a reality show and a Twitter account to be famous. Like Roy Rogers, I wish we knew how to get back what we’ve lost.
I was never fortunate enough to meet Roy Rogers or Dale Evans, but from what I’ve read about them, they were people who said, “Please,” and “Thank you.” They were people who took the time to treat other people with respect. Maybe we can’t change Hollywood, but we can change ourselves!
Count Your Blessings
“I lay in the bed at the hospital and said, ‘Let’s see what I have left.’ And I could see, I could speak, I could think. I could read. I simply tabulated my blessings, and that gave me a start.” ~ Dale Evans
“Pity, party of one, your table is ready.” I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty of hosting an occasional, private pity party. I pride myself on being a good hostess, but no one ever wants to receive an invitation to a pity party (even when I promise to make my famous Cowboy Caviar)! Dale Evans understood that people don’t want to attend pity parties, so she made a conscious decision to not host them!
Life is a Journey of Hills and Valleys
“If there were no valleys of sadness and death, we could never really appreciate the sunshine of happiness on the mountain top.” ~ Roy Rogers
Bad times will happen, but so will joyous ones. Perhaps the saddest thing in the world is when we miss the good times because we’re too busy dwelling on the bad. Sometimes we need a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder to snap out of it!
Roy and Dale most certainly had more than their fair share of tragedies, but they still managed to be positive influences. They weren’t afraid to use their valleys to help other people who were facing their own struggles.
Get Your Priorities Straight
“As I stood there looking out the window, it occurred to me that any financial provisions I might be able to leave my kids would someday be gone. The fame of being a movie star wouldn’t last forever. I wanted my kids to remember me for something special, something that matters. I wanted them to remember me as a daddy who took them to church on Sundays and helped them learn to live a good Christian life.” ~ Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers was one man who had his priorities straight. He and Dale knew it was much more important to live a life of value than to value their possessions. Perhaps, because they started with nothing, they knew what was truly important.
In all of my digging, I have not come across one person who had a negative thing to say about Roy or Dale. Nor have I come across quotes where they rake other people over the coals. I would like to thank them for their humility and wisdom. And, more than anything, I wish they were alive to have their own reality show. That one would be worth watching!
Enjoy this great documentary about Roy and Dale, with home videos, and insights from their children, Dusty, Cheryl, Linda, Tom and Dodie.
Happy Trails, y’all!