Friday, January 22, 2010

Philatelic Friday: Cowboys of the Silver Screen

It's been AGES since I've had a Philatelic Friday post. I've moved away from my thematic posts by day because they became a bit tiresome for me. Well that plus I was so busy with work I scarcely had time to sleep never mind maintain the blog at that level. I was inspired however by some fresh news from the US Post Office that they would be issuing a new series of four collectible stamps called Cowboys of the Silver Screen. This was right up my alley because former Palm Springs residents Gene Autry and Roy Rogers will be part of a four- stamp set honoring these legendary cowboys of the silver screen. The other two are William S. Hart, and Tom Mix. (The stamps go on sale April 17th).

You may recall from prior posts that Gene Autry rose to fame after being discovered by Will Rogers, who was already a strong force in Palm Springs.
Gene Autry first came to Palm Springs to take breaks from filming movies, then in 1940 purchased his first Palm Springs home. In 1961, Gene Autry bought a Holiday Inn hotel that went on (years later) to become the trendy Parker Meridian today. Gene Autry also owned what is now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Major League Baseball team- at the time they were called the California Angels. For over 30 years the Angels held their Spring training in Palm Springs and were a local favorite. Doubtless you recall, back on November 19th I wrote a post about the new bronze statue of Gene Autry that was dedicated here in his honor in Palm Springs, in fact on a road called Gene Autry Trail.
Autry became a very wealthy man, and later the nonprofit Gene Autry Foundation was established and is now run by his widow, Jackie Autry. To date it has donated more than $280 million to various charities in the Palm Springs area. So the legend of Gene Autry continues. I always loved Gene Autry, so I'm thrilled he will have his own postage stamp! Yippee ki yay!


nnnnnn said...

great to see the Philatelic Friday back.. well done. I enjoy everything you write of course but have a soft spot for the stamps :-)

best wishes and belated Happy New Year


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I once stayed at that Gene Autrey Hotel---around 1964 or 1985...I cannot remember what it was called then---It was still very much a Holiday Inn style Hotel back then. It was the only time I stayed there......Palm Springs was much much smaller back then....!
Nice post Rick....!

WAT said...

We have the Gene Autry Museum here, but I've never been, although I am dying to go sometime soon.

KathyA said...

Gene Autry was a favorite of mine when I was a child. Nice to know he'll be honored in such a fashion.

I taught with Tom Mix's grand daughter! She's just written a play or a book about him.


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