Along with hundreds of North Dakota youngsters, and more oldsters than will admit, I am counting the days until Gene Autry arrives in Madan where he will be the featured attraction at the rodeo July 1 through July 4. I like the guy, he’s an all around good fellow. In my book he wears the Grade A brand.
His reception at Mandan, when he first appeared there two years ago, must have pleased him. Mandan is one of four rodeos he will visit this summer. The others are Des Moines, Miles City and Springfield, Ill. The summer months will find him making the majority of his personal appearances in Canada.
How the man finds the time to go on the road is more than I can understand. He has a live weekly television show which is filmed at Pioneertown, forty miles out of the resort town of Palm Springs, Calif. Between times he makes six full length movies each year and records from fifteen to twenty western songs for the disc boys. And, of course, there is the Flying A company to which he must give some of his time. It is the company which supervises the distribution and manufacture of the hundred and one items bearing his name to be sold to the small-fry of America.
Since he hit the road, many years ago, Aurty has played 7860 benefit performances and has visited twelve or thirteen children’s hospitals to bring the youngsters a bit of good cheer. If he has a hobby, his cheer-up visits it it. In a recent letter to Mandan rodeo officials he mentioned that one thing he wants to do when he comes to Mandan was to go to Camp Grassick on Lake Isabel to see the boys and girls as he did on his first trip to North Dakota.