Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Autry

Sunday's column was about the the Autry Museum which is opposite the LA Zoo.  It also happens to be one of my favorite places in the Southland.  Although named after the "Singing Cowboy," there is little of the man himself once you pass the life-size statue in the courtyard in front of the museum's theater.

Unlike his rival, Roy Rogers, this place is a museum on the development of the West, and it's a very full representatiuon of that part of history.  The Rogers' museum used to be in Victorville and was devoted entirely to the life and career of the Texas Cowboy.  I visited that place a year before it uprooted and relocated to Branson.  Sadly, the population was aging and fewer and fewer people were interested in him (both stars died in 1998 - Autry at aged 91, Rogers at 87) Today, even Branson could not attract sufficient customers and the collection has mostly been sold - some on e-Bay.  What of poor Trigger?

The Autry on the other hand is popular and likely to remain so for a long time.  There is only one small case showing Gene Autry's life in radio, TV, films and music.  It's an interesting place, and even has a life-size tableau of the gunfight at the OK corral.  I can never resist pushing the button to activate the commentary.

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