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Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2000 /25 Teves, 5760

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
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Who Was That Masked Man? My Hero! -- THE LAST OF THE CHILDHOOD HEROES of my generation is gone.

With the passing of Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger has now joined William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in “good guy” heaven. They were cowboy heroes one and all, but definitely with the emphasis on “hero.”

These were the good guys. They understood right from wrong.

They fought for truth and goodness. They had honor and integrity. And these guys not only talked the talk, they walked the walk. These men truly believed in and lived the high moral and ethical principles that their characters portrayed. Roy, Gene, Hoppy, and the Lone Ranger were role models for us baby boomer boys who grew up in the fifties.

In his 1998 autobiography, “Who Was That Masked Man?”, Clayton Moore reiterated the Lone Ranger’s code of ethics that he himself lived by:

The Lone Ranger Creed

I believe:

  • That to have a friend, a man must be one.

  • That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

  • That G-d put the firewood there but that every man must gather and light it himself.

  • In being prepared physically, mentally and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.

  • That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

  • That ‘This government, of the people, by the people and for the people’ shall live always.

  • That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

  • That sooner or later ... somewhere ... somehow ... we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

  • That all things change but truth, and that truth alone lives on forever.

  • In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

“That creed pretty much summed up my own convictions, too,” Moore said. “I believed in the show and in the character and in all the things they stood for.
No caption necessary
I was awfully proud to be the Lone Ranger.” Interesting to note that the news of Clayton Moore’s death came on the same day it was reported that rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs, a hero to many of today’s youngsters, was arrested for possession of a gun following a shooting in a New York club where three people were injured. This was only the latest in a long series of arrests and violent incidents involving this loser, who continues to bum around with girl friend Jennifer Lopez while his wife and two young children are put on the back burner. Nice role model, eh?

Two heroes --- fifty years apart. Two very different messages --- worlds apart.

How many of today’s so called heroes in sports, music and television would abide by the Lone Ranger’s creed do you suppose? Name one. More likely they would laugh at it.

Sure, the heroes of my generation were better -- but how can you ever convince the new generation of that? I only wish I could somehow wave a magic wand over today’s kids and have them ... “return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi Yo Silver!’ The Lone Ranger rides again!”

The Lone Ranger -- definitely one of the good guys.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


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©1999, Greg Crosby