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A Real Family Love: The Roy Rogers Story

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
August 26, 2022 3:05 am

A Real Family Love: The Roy Rogers Story

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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August 26, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, we hear how the only natural born son of Roy Rogers, Roy "Dusty" Rogers, Jr., was raised by Roy and his wife Dale Evans along with their 8 other children. Roy and Dale were known to millions of Americans through TV, radio, and dozens of beloved Western movies, but most don't know about the couples strong faith and many adoptions. 

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This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people.

And to search for the Our American Stories podcast, go to the iHeartRadio app or Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Up next, the story of a name you all know, Roy Rogers, told by Roy Dusty Rogers Jr. Dusty has been acting and performing almost since birth. The only natural born son of Roy, he was raised by Roy and his wife, Dale Evans, along with their eight children. Roy and Dale were known to millions of Americans through TV, radio, and dozens of beloved Western movies. As a small child, Dusty appeared in his parents' TV show, The Roy Rogers Show.

Here's Dusty to share the behind-the-scenes story of what it was like growing up in the home of the King of the Cowboys and the Queen of the West. People say, well, when did you know your dad was famous? I said, well, I really didn't know he was famous at all until I was probably five. I mean, I went to the movie set with him when I was two. I spent every birthday I can think of from two to five on the movie set with dad. Then all of a sudden, the reality came in that this man does something other than just movies.

He's very popular with the populace, with the people. And of course, when we would go out on the road with him, all of a sudden, we're surrounded by thousands of people and especially young kids who loved them. And it was a little bit difficult to swallow sometimes. You know, you want your mom and dad yourself.

You don't want to share them with anybody. You know, when you're young like that. I mean, wait a minute. That's my mom and dad.

What are you doing? You know, so it was difficult in that way. And I think all of us grew up under that veil of constantly being photographed, constantly being on the road, constantly being Roy and Dale's son and daughter. You know, it didn't matter if you were adopted or not. You were Roy and Dale's son or Roy and Dale's daughter. Dale is my mother. I mean, my biological mother passed away when I was just a few days old.

I never got to know my natural mother. She got an, I was born by cesarean section, and she got an embolism in her system, which at the time in the 40s, this was 1946, and they didn't have any way of detecting blood clots. And this blood clot had formed during the cesarean operation. And it just kind of set dormant there in her system because there was no way of detecting them. And they didn't get the ladies up and walk around like they do today after childbirth to help dissolve these clots away. So this one just set dormant in mom's system for about four days, five days. And when she became more active, so did the clot that began to move through her system, unbeknownst to anybody. And actually, I was on the bed ready to come home. Dad was on his way to get us, and mom just, this embolism hit her heart, and just, she just, her eyes rolled back in her head, and she just fell back on the bed and was gone that quick.

No indication at all that there was a problem. So, you know, of course for my dad, it was devastating. He has three kids, and king of the cowboys, and 1946 was the height of the man's career, and then all of a sudden overnight, he finds himself a widower with three young ones and absolutely nobody in his life at that point to take care of us kids. So he had to really jump on a, at a bad time of his life, and try to get somebody in to take care of us, and he hired nannies to watch out over us. So I never got to know my real mom, and then when I was about a year and a half old, he married Dale, and she just kind of stepped in and really took over with us kids, and we just loved her to death.

I mean, all of us did. I think Cheryl had a little bit of a problem with her early on, because Cheryl was kind of, she was the first one in the family. Dad adopted her first, and because they didn't think that my mom and Roy could have children, so they adopted Cheryl, and she was kind of the queen bee. She was the one that, the oldest one, and she wanted to be the mom. I mean, she did. She wanted to take care of me and Linda Lou, and she just thought she'd step into that role after Mom, what she called her mommy, passed away.

And of course, it didn't happen. Dad needed some adults to do it, so, but when she married, when Dad married Dale, because it was kind of funny because Cheryl would always get between Dale and Roy at events and stuff to try to keep them separated, but you know, it was just the good Lord. It was meant to be, and it didn't work out, but Dale was my mother. I mean, she came in, and when I was a year and a half old, and all of us kids just loved her to death, and I never knew any other mothers, so she was, you know, mother means a lot of things to different people. There's your birth mother, and then of course, you don't know much about your mother until you get older. Well, that's where I would, and Dale was my mom by that time, so I couldn't ask for a better one.

Couldn't ask for a better one. Dad was an old country boy, and things didn't really matter to him, and he just loved to hunt and fish and do what he wanted to do. Dale and the Westerns, he, Dad fit into the Westerns just like a pair, you know, like a pair of good boots. Mom didn't, she could care less about the Westerns. She was an ingenue. She wanted to be, she wanted to be the big band singer.

She came out to California to work in Buzzy Berkeley's musicals, and that's what she wanted to do, big band singer, you know, and they sent her out to audition with Dad, and on a, they were looking for, Fox was, actually Republic was looking for a new leading lady for Dad, someone who could sing, do everything, and so they called over to Fox, and they said, do you, do you have anybody that might, we need a young leading lady for Roy Rogers, and they said, well sure we do. Her name is Dale Evans, and they said, well, the thing is, she has to be beautiful. She has to sing like a bird, and she has to be able to set a horse. She needs to learn to, she needs to be able to ride.

Oh yeah, Dale will fit, she's from Texas, she'll fit the point. Mom had not been on a horse since she was three, four years old on her mom's farm, Ramadan farm, so, but they, and again, the good Lord stepped in, and her mom went out to location, you know, dressed to the nines, thinking she was going to try out for this music thing, and she showed up in a long dress, and thinking she was going to play, and the next thing I know, the director said, Dale, we want you to get up on this horse, we want you to ride to the end of the street, and sit there with Roy, and Gabby, and big boy Williams, and when I throw my hat down, I want you all to ride to the camera, and when you get close, just pull up on your horse, and we'll see how you look on a horseback. So she did, she got on a horse, I mean, mom was, mom was a trooper, I mean, like Dad said, she can tell a Texan, but not much, you cannot tell Dale she can't do something, because she'll just prove you wrong every time. And you're listening to Dusty Rogers tell the story of his mother and father, Roy and Dale Evans, and my goodness, this happens so often in American life, where women would die of complications from childbirth, and so many children die. When we return, more of the story of Roy Rogers, as told by Roy Dusty Rogers Jr., here on Our American Stories. Here at Our American Stories, we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith, and love, stories from a great and beautiful country that need to be told, but we can't do it without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love our stories and America like we do, please go to and click the donate button, give a little, give a lot, help us keep the great American stories coming.

That's And we continue with Our American Stories and with Dusty Rogers telling the story of his mother and father, Roy and Dale Evans. Wannabe big band singer Dale first met Roy Rogers in 1944 on the set of a Western movie where she was screen tested riding a horse.

Let's pick up here with Roy Rogers Jr., again, also known as Dusty. She got on a horse and they took off running and they came to the camera and the guy dropped his hat and they pulled up. And when they did, the horse just jammed mom into the saddle, just pounded her because she didn't know how to set it right. And it broke, it knocked the caps off of her teeth and big boy Williams horse set on her teeth and they were all jagged and she had to have them redone. But the producer said, Dale, that wasn't too bad.

Roy, what do you think? And Dale said, I think it was Billy Whitney at the time, and he said, Billy, I swear I have never seen so much sky between a woman's rear end and a saddle in my life. But she learned to ride and I think she did something totally against what she really wanted to do because at that time you did what you needed to do to make money to survive. But she fit in so well and did it so well. Dad, he just had to be himself, but mom was totally opposite, but she learned to adapt and go along with what the thing was, which was Western and cowboy songs.

And that's way away from big band and big orchestra music. But mom was a trooper and just always, whatever the situation was, she stepped in and said, I'm going to do it and did. Well, after the birth of Tom, I'm sure, and then, of course, her husband left her when she was just young. And of course, then she was, like I said, starving and trying to make a career. So I think she always longed for a child. And so when she married Roy and they had a chance to have a child of their own, they jumped right on it. And then, of course, when Robin was born and found out that she had Down's syndrome, again, that was a shock originally, I mean, you're never ready for that.

But then it settled in that this is a lovely young human being that's from both of us. There must be a reason why. They didn't know.

Nobody knew at that time what caused Down's. And they recommended that they put her in an institution. The doctor said you need to put her in an institution and dad said, are you kidding me? We're not putting her in an institution. This is our child.

We're going to take her home and love her. And so against the doctor's orders, they did. They took her home and made us, dad built a special area for her to protect her from us kids, you know, because she was very fragile. But even during the time that Robin was there and very ill, both of them just loved that little girl to death. I mean, it was just, it was part of them. And they wanted her, of course, we all wanted her to survive. The doctor said that probably she wouldn't, but you don't know that, you know, had we had the medications they have today for Down syndrome children, Robin probably could have lived into her 40s or 50s.

We don't know. But it was a gift from God. And dad always says, if you never give a gift up, you never throw it away.

A gift is a gift, no matter who gives it to you, you keep it. And she was not only a gift to Roy and Dale, but a gift to all of us kids who got a chance to know her. I was four and five, you know, at the time, and I couldn't physically, you know, wrestle with her like I really wanted to. But she and I communicated. She couldn't speak, of course, but we communicated. She had certain giggles and laughs she'd do. And she would, we would play hide and seek. I'd get under the crib, you know, and I'd reach up and touch her arm and she'd giggle and roll and try to see where I was, and that's the kind of play we had, but she was just a sweetheart.

I still see her eyes and her looking through the bars of that crib today. I mean, she just was, and that's why those kids are so special to me today. My son Dustin and I, we work with a group out of Texas called DRI, which is Development Resources Inc., and they have group homes for kids that are, that have Down's.

And we work with help raising money because a lot of them now, a lot of those, I tell people that they're, you have, people bring them to the show, the Down's Syndrome of Kids, and I'll say, you know how lucky you are that you have one of these special children? I said, God don't give them to everybody. You know, he picks and chooses who he wants to have them. And they're his angels.

It doesn't matter what color they are, they all have the same look, and they all love music and they love people. They have their ups and downs like everybody does. You know, they're moments of angry and little fits and stuff, but they love you unconditionally. And the only other person I know that does that is either a dog or God that loves you unconditionally.

I mean, no matter what happened. And that's what's special about them. And so they've always been special to me and always will be.

I mean, they're just wonderful, wonderful gifts from God. And of course, Mom and Dad knew that from the beginning, that it was a gift. And that's why Mom wanted to write about it. She was puzzled for the longest time on how, I need to tell Robin's story, but I don't know how.

Where do I, where do I go? So she sat on a park bench in New York and said, God, I don't, you know, give me some direction on how to write this book, this Angel Unaware book I want to write. And she said it was just an amazing thing that the good Lord put on her heart.

Well, don't you tell the story. Let Robin tell the story. Angel Unaware, the book that Mom finished after Robin passed away, had a huge impact on a lot of different people. And I think the biggest impact it really had were on the families that were fortunate enough to have Down syndrome children, because it was always looked on as a stigma. And I think people looked at Down syndrome children as something that they did wrong. It was their fault. Not realizing that God made it possible for them to have one and that it was going to change their life in the future.

And like I say, he only gives them to a few. But I think having Robin's story told by Robin herself, that she was okay, that yes, that she had passed on and she'd moved, but God sent her for a short time to be a blessing to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. That was her job.

God sent her there to do that. And I think the reality for a lot of folks who have Down syndrome children, they never thought of it that way, because the public wouldn't let them. The public looked on Down syndrome children as less than perfect. They're not, you know. And instead of coming up and saying, what a beautiful child, they would come up and say, well, I'm so sorry.

Why? They didn't know. They didn't know.

They don't. And so the book allowed families to bring out those children with them in public. And when the public could actually see the beautiful smiles and the love of music and the excitement in their eyes, and even though a lot of them couldn't talk, there was something there that you had not seen before. And mom and dad, and us too, I mean, when I was young, when I was only five, I didn't see any Down syndrome children at Out at all. Up until after the book, probably a year or so after the book was released, mom started looking and seeing them in the audience, wherever they were, because they felt that, well, if Roy and Dale can be blessed with one of these children and take them home and love them, why shouldn't we? And why should not? This child is special. And they're a blessing. So why shouldn't I take something that I'm proud of out and let them experience the world, which is cruel sometimes. But they're no different than anybody else.

They need to have a chance at life like you and I have. And you've been listening to Roy Rogers Jr., who goes by the name Dusty, telling the story of his mother and father and also his sister Robin. And my goodness, what a story he told about just his mother's just can-do spirit.

And actors and actresses of the time, they just always took the work. And my goodness, the storytelling on Robin, a Down syndrome child of Roy and Dale. I wanted to tell Robin's story, Dale prayed to God in a New York park bench, but I don't know how. And a bit later, we learned that God had sent her to the earth for a short time to be a blessing to Roy and Dale. When we come back, more of the story of Roy and Dale Rogers is told by their son, Dusty Rogers, here on Our American Stories. And we continue with Our American Stories and with Dusty Rogers telling the story of his parents, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Let's pick up where Dusty last left off. I remember when Robin, I mean, many times I could see mom and dad holding each other and crying because she had good days and had really bad days. And I think for them, it was a challenge to do their every day, be in front of a camera, be smiling, be in doing this when they know part of them is at home, slowly dying. I think in the back of their mind, they were hoping that she would come through it all, but she was so frail and had, and us kids, sometimes we couldn't play with her because we had a cold or whatever, you know, so it was a challenge that way. And they had a nurse that took care of her all the time. There was somebody with her all the time. So I think there was some questioning of God, you know, what purpose is, you know, we know that you've given this child to us, but why?

What is it that you want us to do? What is it that, and that's what mom, she said for the longest time, I couldn't put the book together because I didn't know, I didn't know what the purpose was. And after she had passed on, and I remember mom and dad the day she died, mom and dad, I think they spent at least 11, 10 to 11 hours out in the carport, just holding each other and crying. You know, and we'd look out the window and they'd just be sobbing, holding each other. And I got to thinking, you know, wow, I mean, you know, again, five years old, you know, couldn't understand why we couldn't see Rob and, you know, we didn't know what happened. They didn't know quite how to tell us, I guess, and it was a rough, it was a rough go. And that, and how mom and dad did what they did and still say, Roy and Dale, and still do the obligations that they had in life, and still raise us kids and take care of us and let us know that, you know, Robin was special and, you know, this isn't going to happen to all of you.

You're not going to all pass away now. You don't, you know, she had, and to try to explain that to your kids and make it sound not so bad, but yet it was devastating to them. It's a phenomenal thing. And I think they questioned the grace of God, but yet it was the grace of God who got them through it. Somebody asked him one time, they said, Roy, when's the first time you really realized that the kids of America really looked up to you? And he said, in 1941, playing Madison Square Garden, he said, I was walking back by the cattle shoots and around the corner come this little guy about four years old, dressed exactly like me. He said, that's when I knew that I had to keep my life in line and that I owed these kids something because they're looking up to me.

I can't say one thing and do another. And so he made a pact then with himself and good Lord, I'm sure that he would do everything he could to keep his image so that kids could look up to him and mean something. And of course, then that's, and he was hitting hospitals even then, and then when the polio thing was so bad in the 40s and 50s, he would go to the hospital. He was fighting all the time in his mind because I know he believed in God, but he was angry at God somewhat, I think, because he couldn't understand why if we have such a trusting and just and merciful God, why he would allow children of all things, his youngest creations to come into this life and be attacked by some terrible disease or born with deformities or born, and I'm sure he saw Down's kids at that time too. And so it was hard for him for a long time.

He couldn't understand why, he couldn't reconcile why. And so he was almost driven to the fact that he wanted to go and see those kids and entertain them and many, many stories I could tell you. The one that hits the most is, you know, and a lot of the kids who had polio in the 40s were put into iron lungs. Their lungs were undeveloped and they needed help. And so these machines, iron lungs, would help them breathe a little bit. Of course, they were in this big iron tube with their head sticking out and laying flat, of course, and looking up through a mirror that goes that direction so they could at least see. And Dad would go there and he would go up to the ward and he'd bring the pioneers with them and they'd sing a couple songs.

And then he would, Dad would actually go to each iron lung and get around beside the child instead of looking at him through a mirror so he could get eye contact with them. And he'd lean down and talk to them, every one of them a little bit, and he'd say, you know, Billy, I know you're having trouble, you know. But, you know, all good cowboys are tested, you know. You got to buck up a little bit.

You got to, you know, the cowboy way is not to lay here and worry fret about it. It's to fight and get out of here. And he said, I'm going to help you. And he would, he would bring these gun belts with him, kids gun belts with him in boxes. And he would, he would hang the gun belt up on the mirror. And of course, people thought, well, that's cruel. This poor little kid, he's, can't, he got his, his head is all he's got out and Roy's giving him a gun belt.

What is that? But then dad would say, when you get out of this iron lung, if you fight hard enough and you pray hard enough, you'll get out. You'll eventually get out. And what I want you to do is I want you to wear this gun belt and I want you to, you know, play cowboy like all the rest of the boys and girls would do in the country.

And then someday I want you to come to Hollywood and see me. And Dustin will tell you, we've had a lot of, over the last, you know, I've had a band for 40 years. And I have seen so many people that have come that were in iron lungs in the 40s, that dad came to the hospital, put up that gun belt and they got out. And of course some didn't, but most of them got out and they still have a gun belt. So in his, in his somewhat little childish way, and I think that's why kids loved him so much. He was as big a kid at heart that they were.

He thought if he gave them just a little of encouragement on the level that they would understand, and if Roy tells you to do it, especially in the 40s, you did it and it worked really well. Yeah, many of the kids come to the show, even today, in the last, this last couple of years I've had, I've had three in the last couple of years, I try to keep track. They still have the gun belt and, and it is their most prized possession. They say, if it wasn't for this gun belt, and it's most of the time it's in shatters. I mean, it's just tatters, the leather's worn off, all the spots have come off and stuff and say, I wore it everywhere. I wore it to bed.

My mom used to get so mad at me because I didn't even want to wear it in a bathtub and they'd stop me from doing it. But it was their most prized possession and still is today. Mom knew that they didn't want to have another child. They didn't want, because at that time they didn't know what caused downs. They thought it might be an RH blood factor problem, one negative and one positive in their blood type, but they weren't sure. So when they lost Robin, just before her second birthday, it had to be, I mean, I know it was very difficult because I saw it, but they got back up on their feet and they, the good Lord granted them grace and, and, and they were able to get back up and go, but there still was a void.

And they just decided, well, if we can't have any more of our own children, because we don't know if we'll have another Down syndrome child or not, then we'll adapt. And you're listening to the son of Roy and Dale Evans, Dusty Rogers, that's Roy Rogers Jr. telling the story of his parents, particularly after the loss of his sister, Robin at the age of two, he was five at the time. And he remembers looking outside his home and seeing his parents often just hugging and crying. And what a thing to watch as a five-year-old watching your own parents cope with grief and then having to come right back in the house and raise those kids and hit the line as professionals, as actors, as superstars, and just sort of put that grief behind and move on. And the stories of him visiting these kids with iron lung machines and parking by their sides, making eye contact and saying, all good cowboys are tested, finding words of encouragement for these kids, this big international superstar, having this heart for kids and questioning God.

As Dusty said, my parents questioned the grace of God, but the grace of God also got them through the ordeal. And when we come back, more of Roy Rogers' story and his bride, Dale, as told by their son, Dusty Rogers, here on Our American Stories. And we continue with Our American Stories and the story of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as told by their son, Roy Rogers Jr., aka Dusty.

Let's pick up where he last left off. Dad felt bad for me because I hadn't any sisters and I had no brother. Unbeknownst to me, they went on a trip to Ohio and then went down from Ohio down to Kentucky, down to Louisville, and they had heard of an orphanage. Dad would always invite orphanages to bring their kids over for the show, and they had a chance to visit one of them in Covington, Kentucky, and they ran across this little boy, and Dad was going around shaking hands to all the little boys. And Sandy just stuck out his hand and said, how old are you, partner? And Dad just kind of fell in love with him, you know, he was just a little, he was stunted in his growth and he had all kinds of problems.

He slept in a chair since he was born practically and didn't know what a bed was, and they treated him pretty badly. So they, you know, they said, this is the guy we got to get for Dusty. And then they stopped by Hope Cottage on the way back home and they adopted a little American Indian girl, Choctaw Indian, Mary Littledole, call her Dodie. So I'm coming to the airport thinking I'm going to meet Mom and Dad, and down off the airplane comes Dad, he's carrying this little kid, and Mom's carrying a little girl, a little baby girl. I got to thinking, hey, what's going on, you know? And I got pictures of our first meeting, Sandy and I first meeting, and I did not like him.

I thought, oh, wait a minute, just a minute, I was the prince here, now all of a sudden I got somebody horning in on my spot. And Mom explained, now this is your new brother, you know, his name is John David Harry Hardy, but we're going to call him Sandy, and this is Dodie, Mary Littledole, she's going to be your sister. Well, Dodie I fell in love with right away, but I had a hard time with Sandy for a while. And we grew to be really good buds, and I protected him a lot, because he was smaller than me, and he was, you know, guys were picking on him all the time, and he had a lot of physical problems. But there was a, and then of course, that wasn't enough, you know, a little later on they adopted, well they got a little Marion from, in 1954 they went to England and Scotland and Ireland, and fell in love with a little girl named Marion, or her name was Marion Fleming, and wanted to adopt her and couldn't, because she, international adoptions weren't allowed, so they became her foster parent. And then they adopted a little girl, they wanted to adopt a little girl, there was a, when the ban on international adoptions was lifted in the 60s, they adopted a little girl from Seoul, Korea, her name was Inae Lee, called her Debbie Lee, and so it just kept going on and on until they ended up with nine children total, and boy it was a bunch, I'll tell you, it was a bunch, and you know, six months old, six and a half months old at 19, you know, Tom was 19, 20 years old at that time, and I'll tell you, we were, it was wild and crazy, it really was, but Dad pulled us all together and said, hey, you're all the same in God's eyes, you're the same in your mother's and my eyes, and you'll all be our kids, and you're gonna all be treated equal, doesn't matter if you're male, female, black, brown, or blue, you know, you're in the Rogers family now, and you didn't ask to be, but here you are, and so deal with it, and we did. We moved to Apple Valley in about 1965, I think it was the year that we moved up there, and the reason we moved was that little Debbie, the Korean orphan, the year before, 64, was on her way back from Mexico, the church had done a goodwill mission down there, kind of kind of at a sister church, and the bus blew a left front tire, and it came across the highway down near Oceanside, and was hit head on by a station wagon, and of course Debbie and her friend were sitting right in the front seat on the right side, and that's exactly where it hit, and of course Debbie was killed. Again, my dad was in the hospital at the time, he had his neck fused, third vertebrae, fourth vertebrae fused together, he had staph infection, was in bad shape in the hospital, and Debbie was killed while he was there, and mom, poor mom was just, I mean, she was a basket case, and they tried to keep all the news away from dad, Art went to the hospital and tried to keep him from seeing anything or reading anything until everybody could be told. And so, long story short, the Chatsworth place for my dad, I loved it there, but for my dad became a sad place, it was where Debbie was, and you know, he passed her bedroom every day, and Debbie was kind of his favorite, Debbie was very outgoing, and would sit and comb his hair, you know, for hours, and just, you know, put curlers in it and stuff, and she just, she was kind of his favorite, and she just, and he just, she just played it to the hilt with him, and had a very close bond, so it was very difficult, you know, to come home at night and see her room and see her things, and so dad just decided, we've got to move, we've got to get out of here, this isn't the same place that I remember. And so we moved to Apple Valley in 1965, I was already there, I had moved up early, I was there two or three weeks, well actually a little longer than that before mom came up, she came up around Christmas time, and I started there in September, I think in school.

Senior year in high school, mom and dad moved, which was not a whole lot of fun for me, but I again learned to adapt, okay, but then mom and dad came up, and they got a little house on the highway, there was beautiful, and Apple Valley was very quiet, and about 8,000 people, and everybody knew Roy and Dale, they kind of left them alone, which was nice, and everything was going really great, and then on October 31st, my mom's birthday, 1965, got a call from the Defense Department that my brother Sandy had choked to death while serving with the Army in Germany. Well here we go again, you know, and dad especially took it really bad, I think both of them, well mom did too, but dad was especially upset over it, and again questioning, you know, how much more, God, do you have to lay on us before, you know, well God doesn't give you choices, he doesn't tell you why, you know, and you may not know the reason for years, but out of those deaths came beautiful books that mom had written. The Cowboys had a code, every cowboy had their own ten codes, dad's was different than Hoppy's, Hoppy's was different than Gene, dad's was based on the Bible, and it was based on the Ten Commandments, but it was in child words that they could understand, you need to go to Sunday school every Sunday, and you need to weigh your parents, and you need to eat all your food and don't waste any, and there were, you know, just basic things that kids could, they wanted to aspire to because they loved the men that told them that they needed to, and it was the same when I was a kid, everybody wanted to be a cowboy, even the little girls wanted to be a cowboy, they would buy Roy Rogers stuff, they wouldn't buy the Dale Evans outfits, they wanted Roy, we don't have that today, there's nobody out there today to tell our children that, that's wrong.

What you're doing is wrong, you need to put that up, and you need to, this is where you need to go, and make them believe it, there's no reality anymore. So I just wish that the producers and directors and people in the media today would take an account that they're still young, they may be, you know, they may have a spendable income when they're 13, maybe, I don't know, but the target audience for most, almost everything today is 17 to 27, 30, maybe 40 if you're lucky, most of it's younger than that, because we've gotten away, we've gotten away from what's important, and that's the family unit. My mom used to say, Dusty, when the family unit fails in this country, we are in big trouble, and you can see it every day.

That isn't the way this country was founded, it wasn't the thing that our forefathers fought for, it isn't what the Constitution was written for, but yet we've gotten so far away from it, and so far out away from it, I don't know if we can come back, we can if, if as Americans we say, our children are not junk, God doesn't make junk, they deserve better, what can we show them, what can we give them that's better? And a terrific job on the storytelling and editing by Greg Hengler, and a special thanks to Roy Rogers Jr., aka Dusty, for sharing the story of his mother, father, and sibling. And my goodness, what he said about his father, Dad felt bad for me because I didn't have sisters or brothers. And of course, the response by Roy and Dale to that grief, the loss of his Down syndrome sister, was adoption. The response to grief was love, the response to loss was addition, the response to loss was adoption. And not one, not two, but many more would join the Roy Rogers family. And of course, then came those two losses, and more questioning of God, how much more are you going to lay on us, Dale and Roy said, and how many of us have been there? And then of course, the final lament by Roy Rogers Jr., which was that family is all we have, family will save the country, family and love is what saves everything and makes life worth living. The story of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, their family, as told by Dusty Rogers here on our American Story.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-17 13:49:55 / 2023-02-17 14:05:33 / 16

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