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May 2012 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Will van Overbeek

Who Is That Masked Man?

I enjoyed reading about the Lone Ranger (yes, I have many silver strands) and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco [“The Lone Ranger,” March 2012]. We will go there someday. As for the Lone Ranger, they’re planning a Western movie in 2013? Sounds great. Writer Martha Deeringer mentioned that Johnny Depp will play the role of Tonto. But if this is about the Lone Ranger, who is playing the masked man?

Helen Fraser, Mid-South Synergy

Editor’s Note: Armie Hammer, as the masked Lone Ranger, and Johnny Depp, as Tonto, fill the top two roles in a movie scheduled for release in 2013.

The Lone Ranger article [March 2012] was interesting but left out some pertinent information regarding the radio programs. I remember Brace Beemer being the voice of the Lone Ranger. That voice was deep and authoritative and always reminded me of a powerful person. When the program changed to TV, I was not impressed with Clayton Moore’s voice, which was higher pitched.

Joe Hellmueller, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative

I enjoyed Martha Deeringer’s article about the Lone Ranger radio shows of days gone by. I am one of those with more than a few “silver strands” in my hair. I wish that she had at least mentioned the voice that so many of us who had the radio as a companion during our Sunday evening dinners heard. The rich baritone voice belonged to Brace Beemer and was so identified with the radio performances that many of us could never accept the TV version. Nonetheless, thank you for the look back to those wonderful years.

Scott Cameron, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

We really enjoyed the story on the Lone Ranger. It brought back many fond memories of days gone by. Martha Deeringer captured much of the nostalgia very well, and we thank her for that. We were somewhat concerned, however, about the comments on historical accuracy. As with many TV shows of the times, there was no pretense of being historically correct. And the comments about Tonto’s character being “indicative of the insensitivity of the times to Native Americans” and speaking “in an embarrassingly inaccurate dialect” were poor rhetoric at best. These were glass-half-empty observations. In our observation, Tonto was portrayed as a positive sidekick, showing that the relationship between a white man and an Indian was possible. To apply today’s “politically correct” standards to something that took place over 60 years ago diminished the overall positive aspect of the article.

Frank and Louise Mahnich, Cooke County Electric Cooperative

Nice article on the Lone Ranger, and I would like to add that on TV, he was also played by John Hart for 52 episodes in 1952–54. Hart later starred as Hawkeye in “The Last of the Mohicans” TV program, co-starring Lon Chaney Jr., and many other TV programs.

Fred Foy was the narrator for both the TV and radio “Lone Ranger” programs.

Clayton Moore appeared in publicity stints with the Texas Rangers baseball team.

I met both Moore and Hart in the mid-1990s, and they were friendly, nice people. Thanks for a great magazine.

Michelle Sundin, Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative

Great article about the Lone Ranger. I returned to those thrilling days of yesteryear. However, if memory serves, the Lone Ranger, on occasion, removed his mask, in camp of course, and disguised himself as a miner or prospector in order to slip into town to obtain information on evildoers. Great reading.

Gib Harper, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative

Regarding the excellent article about the Lone Ranger, may I point out one thing? The Lone Ranger (a Texas Ranger named John Reid) was responsible for the death of Butch Cavendish, who, with his Hole in the Wall Gang, had killed Reid’s brother and four other Rangers who were tracking the outlaws.

The Ranger and his nephew, Dan, returned to the canyon on the anniversary of the massacre. While there, they were ambushed by Cavendish, who had broken out of prison. While Dan maintained spaced gunfire to keep the criminal’s attention, the Ranger scaled the canyon wall. Reaching the place from where the outlaw was firing, the Ranger realized he had dropped his other revolver.

He confronted Cavendish, and the two struggled in hand-to-hand fighting. Weakened by the outlaw’s foul tricks, the Ranger collapsed with his head at the edge of the cliff. Cavendish came at him, and the Ranger lifted his legs and propelled the criminal into the air and over the cliff. Landing on the canyon floor, Cavendish died but not before the Ranger took off his mask to reveal to the dying man the identity of the person who had smashed his gang—the man Cavendish thought to have been killed in the ambush.

Sorry for the long explanation, but I have heard the episode so many times I can almost rehearse the dialogue word for word. It’s a great article and very enjoyable. Thanks for making it available.

Bob Paine, Richland, Washington

Solar Power: What’s the Cost?

Reading the article about Catherine Ozer [“Meet the Solar Lady: GVEC Member Catherine Ozer,” March 2012 Co-op People], I couldn’t help wondering: The purchase price of the 5.25-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, including installation, was $29,292, less $8,000 for a Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative rebate and a $7,000 federal renewable energy tax credit. That would leave owing $14,292 and would probably cost about $500 a month for more than two years to pay off. I think we need to be a little more realistic about solar power for the average customer.

Lynda O’Neill, Central Texas Electric Cooperative

Lighting Discussion

I learned a great deal from reading the article about lighting [“Illuminated Thinking,” January 2012]. Thanks for publishing that information. In fact, every issue contains helpful insights that I use to make my life in the country better.

Gregory Eddings, Hamilton County Electric Cooperative

Re: Johnny Taylor’s letter to the editor, “Dim View of Lighting,” in the March 2012 issue: There will still be economical heat-producing lightbulbs available for such purposes as preventing well-pump and water-pipe freezing—heat lamp bulbs as well as chick-brooder lightbulbs, for example.

As for Mr. Taylor’s comment that any heat-source alternative to his 60-watt lightbulb is going to cost a lot more, and he’s going to send the bill to “you”: I suppose he means his power co-op. The power co-ops and companies have nothing to do with this change, so how does he think the bill should go to them?

Jenell Brinson, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative

Concerning the “Illuminated Thinking” article, we have gone back completely to the old type of lightbulb after going through the expense of replacing them with CFLs back when they were recommended as being more efficient, better lighting, on and on. We were getting ready to spend more money to replace all our lighting fixtures in December because of the dimness of those we had. (Sometimes it takes awhile before you realize you did not do yourself a favor by taking some advice.) After spending two hours in the store lighting department trying to figure out what would be best, we finally said, “Let’s go home, change back to the old bulbs and see what happens.”

Well, we can now see fine when we just turn on the ceiling lights. Now, what do we do with the CFLs on the shelf?

Cecil Johnson Jr., Sam Houston Electric Cooperative

The Wheel Deal

I couldn’t agree more about the joys that RVers experience in volunteering in state and other parks [“Campground Comrades,” February 2012]. How wonderful for all involved—RVers, park management and the general public—a win-win-win situation.

Folks who would like more information, and who may wish to find parks looking for camp hosts and other volunteer workers, are invited to visit our website. The entire site is dedicated to helping RVers who want to work while RVing. We even have pages of help-wanted ads for them to peruse. There is no charge for the information we provide.

Coleen Sykora, Workers On Wheels editor,

Keyhole Gardening

I loved the article on keyhole gardening [February 2012]. I have two damaged aluminum boats that I wanted to make into raised beds, but I worried about the lack of rain to support them. The best part is that it was free. No expense was incurred except for the plants, which may have a chance of survival with this type of garden.

Beverly Nord, Navasota Valley Electric Cooperative