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MR. ROY ROGERS



I will never forget how we orphans all lined up outside our dormitory one Saturday morning. A special bus was going to take us to see Hoss and Liíl Joe from the television show Bonanza.

Finally, the bus arrived and they loaded about 40 very excited little children onto it. I do not remember exactly where they took us kids. I believe it was to the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. I do remember it being a very large building, So big, in fact, that it had a stage in the main dining room. Sure enough when the event started, there was Liíl Joe and the whole bunch right up there on the stage.

"I wanna see Roy Rogers and Trigger," said little Emmett Gillman.

"Roy Rogers and Trigger ain't on the Bonanza show. They ain't here at all," said one of the boys.

All at once, Emmett jumped up from his chair and started running toward the stage. All the while, he was screaming at the top of his lungs, "I love you Mr. Roy Rogers and Trigger. I love you."

Several men grabbed little Emmett and pinned him to the floor. He just lied there screaming and crying. The room full of hundreds of people came to a dead silence.

I sat there watching as Lorne Green walked down from the stage, took Little Emmett by the hand and led him back up onto the stage. Liíl Joe pulled out his gun and spun it round in his hand. Then he turned it around and handed it to Emmett to hold.

"Boys and girls," said Mr. Green. "Mr. Roy Rogers and Trigger could not make it here today, but he told me to tell all of you that he loves you all very much."

A smile slowly appeared on Emmett Gillman's face.

Emmett Gillman died of cancer several months ago. I do not know if he ever got to meet Roy before he died, but I do know this for a fact: if there was ever a man on the face of this earth who was loved by a small boy, it was Mr. Roy Rogers.



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