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Heroes in TV History: The Lone Ranger (Jerome A. Holst © 2001)

The Lone Ranger, aka John ReidJohn Reid (a.k.a. "The Lone Ranger") - The lone survivor of six Texas rangers ambushed at Bryant's Gap by the notorious Butch Cavendish and his Hole-in-the-Wall gang in the 19th century. Vowing to avenge this atrocity, the young ranger donned a mask and called himself "The Lone Ranger" eventually capturing the men responsible for his fellow ranger's deaths. And from that point on with his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West.

The Lone Ranger was a friend to decent people everywhere. To protect them and himself, he wore two six-shooters specially made for him. He never shot to kill but wounded if necessary. Silver bullets were his ammunition of choice; he used the bullets as a means of identifying himself to local law enforcement.

The Lone Ranger wore a black mask to disguise his true identity. After six Texas Rangers were ambushed by the Butch Cavendish Gang, John Reid was nursed back to health by an Indian named Tonto When asked what happened to the other Texas Rangers, Tonto said "Other Texas Rangers all dead. You only Ranger left. You lone Ranger now." To conceal his identity from the outlaws, the Ranger decides to cover his face with a mask and then seek out Cavendish Gang. The Ranger fashioned his mask from the black vest of his dead brother Captain Daniel Reid.

As the surviving Ranger transformed into this new identity, the voices of history could be heard saying "There, is a light that must have burned in the eyes of the knights in armor. A light that through the ages lifted the souls of strong men who fought for justice, for God." Just then Reid proclaims "I'll be the Lone Ranger" and pledges "For every one of those men (his fallen Ranger colleagues) I'm going to bring a hundred lawbreakers to justice. I'll make that Cavendish Gang, and every criminal that I can find for that matter, regret the day those Rangers were killed. Tonto from this moment on I'm going to devote my life to establishing law and order in this new frontier -- to make the West a decent place to live."

The Lone Ranger always wore his mask and only removed it when he assumed a disguise. However, the Lone Ranger once did take off his mask for a dying woman named Grandma Frisby who had adopted and raised the Lone Ranger's nephew, Dan Reid. "Would you take off that mask and show me your face," asked Grandma Frisby. As the Lone Ranger does so, the old woman said "It's a good face, yes, a good face."

Silver BulletThe Lone Ranger's trademark silver bullets were made from the silver ore taken from a mine once owned by his brother Captain Daniel Reid, who was killed by the Cavendish Gang. An old retired Ranger named Jim Blane worked the silver mine (located under an old cabin) and fashioned the silver ore into the Ranger's bullets, which he used sparingly. He chose silver as his medium to emphasize that silver, like life, was precious and should not be wasted. Tonto advised the Lone Ranger to use silver bullets because Tribal chiefs used silver tips on their arrows to make them fly straighter and longer and because "Silver is has been a symbol of justice since the year of the sun." The silver bullets became a symbol of justice to all honest men and a cause of fear to the lawbreakers. The Ranger’s silver mine would be the basis of the fortune that built the Reid publishing empire run by Britt Reid, the crusading editor and publisher of The Daily Sentinel who donned a similar mask to battle crime as "The Green Hornet" in the Twentieth Century.

When the Lone Ranger finished helping those in need he rode off into the sunset never asking for thanks or reward. As he galloped away he could be heard shouting "Hi Yo Silver Away! to his trusty white horse Silver. Inevitably, some onlooker would pose the question "Who was that masked man?" and someone on the scene was glad to tell them "Why that was...The Lone Ranger."

TV Acres is proud to acknowledge the courage and the selflessness of the Lone Ranger and hopes that children in generations to come will take up his cause for justice to make the world a better place. TV Acres ranks The Lone Ranger as one of the finest "Heroes in TV History"

The Lone Ranger's 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 God 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 country...and my fellow man."

TRIVIA NOTE: The Lone Ranger character was created by Fran Striker and George W. Trendle and debuted on WXYZ Detroit radio on January 30, 1933 and ran until episode No.2596 entitled "Cold Spring Showdown" that aired on September 3, 1954. The television adaptation ran on ABC-TV from September 15, 1949 through September 12, 1957. During the 1952-54 season, John Hart played the role of the Lone Ranger. Clayton Moore played the Lone Ranger for the majority of the TV series run. Jay Silverheels played the part of Tonto, The Lone Ranger's faithful Indian sidekick.


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