Early Light: Remembering Hopalong and Mr. Homer

Today is Thursday, June 5. It is the 157th day of 2008 with 209 days remaining in the year.

On this day my friends and I will celebrate the life of Mr. Homer Catledge, father of our classmate, Olivia. He slipped away yesterday at the age of 94. The former hospital administrator and college football gridiron standout lived an exemplary life which served as a model for several generations of youngsters growing up in Clay County Mississippi. As Olivia said at his passing, “Heaven has a new angel.” Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at First Presbyterian Church in West Point.

This is the anniversary of the birth of William Boyd, born in Cambridge, Ohio in 1895. Better known to movie-goers and TV audiences throughout the world as Hopalong Cassidy, he first played the role of the cowboy hero in the 1935 movie, Hop-a-long Cassidy.

What most of us don’t know is that Clarence E. Mulford, the author and creator of the original Hopalong, described him as a rather unsavory character rather than the straight-thinking, straight-shooting cowboy that William Boyd portrayed.

Boyd was Hopalong Cassidy in 66 films through 1948 (he bought the rights to the character in 1945), and then he starred as Hopalong in the successful TV series in the 1950s. For over twenty years, children and adults, alike, thrilled to the adventures of Hopalong Cassidy, his horse Topper, and his sidekick played by George ‘Gabby’ Hayes, and later, by Andy Clyde.

Although William Boyd starred in Cecil B. DeMille’s Volga Boatman; and in many silent movies and a slew of westerns other than the Hopalong Cassidy series; he will always be remembered as ‘Hoppy’.

Also on this day in 1956Elvis Presley made his second appearance on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theatre. Presley sang Heartbreak Hotel, his number one hit. The TV critics were not kind to Elvis’ appearance on the show. They panned him, saying his performance looked “like the mating dance of an aborigine.”

On this day in l968 while celebrating his victory in the California Democratic presidential primary in Los Angeles, Senator Robert F. Kennedy (brother of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy) was shot in the head He died the following day. The gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, was later convicted of the murder.

And last but not least, on this day my friends and I will celebrate the life of Mr. Homer Catledge, father of our “sustah,” Olivia. He slipped away yesterday at the age of 94. The former hospital administrator and college football gridiron standout lived an exemplary life which served as a model for several generations of youngsters growing up in Clay County Mississippi. As Olivia said at his passing, “Heaven has a new angel.” Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at First Presbyterian Church in West Point.

Quote of the Day: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

3 thoughts on “Early Light: Remembering Hopalong and Mr. Homer

  1. I thought you were correcting an error I made….looked all over for it. Yes, it was very early. I do appreciate it when someone alerts me about a typo – I’m really bad about typing pubic when I mean public.

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