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The Strange Case of RAYMOND MEURER
Article by Tim Lasiuta
 
The trail of the Lone Ranger is still alive!

If you look around, every now and then, a hoof-print from Silver shows up. A silver bullet is mysteriously left behind. In the distance, on occasion, you can hear "Away Silver", and if you are really lucky, you find something real, something that makes you go "Wow."

Recently, this happened.

The Mendelssohn Mansion was the site of WXYZ history. Used as the headquarters for WXYZ from 1944, the mansion was located at the corner of Iroquois and Jefferson. The house was built in 1894, and was a large 3 story stately home. Filled with upper crust touches like a two story ceiling in the foyer, numerous staircases, carved mantle pieces above the many fireplaces, the house was modified to accommodate the broadcast studio and its’ many requirements. The third story ballroom was renamed studio A (attic), the library Studio B (books), the Hammond organ was placed in a bedroom above the carport (with rotating car pads-sound familiar?), and the Lone Ranger was done in the living room (studio D). Now, the building was being renovated, and in the back alley by a dumpster lay the refuse. This mansion was a turn of the century building (1894), and would have had slat walls beneath the plaster, the insulation would have been sawdust, and all around the building, the construction  methods would be vintage. As any modern renovator operates, it’s all garbage, so out all the material went. Closets, shelves, books, gone. The workers probably never knew what history was made in those rooms, they never took the time to stop and listen to the radio waves, nor imagine a time when....

WXYZ Radio Staff 1940

WXYZ Staff-circa mid 1940's


George W Trendle, Fran Striker, Charles B Livingstone watched as Brace Beemer, and John Todd stood around the microphones. Charles Livingstone nodded, and the actors began to speak.

"Hello boys and girls, I am the Lone Ranger..."

"And I am Tonto."

However, the time is 59 years later (March 2002), and a pile of ‘garbage’ is growing in the back alley. Wood, metal, suitcases?

Whoa a minute there pilgrim.

Enter Robert. He had stepped out from the building behind the mansion, and had watched with interest the growing pile of stuff coming out of the house. Like most people of the area, he did not know the history of the building. So, at the insistence of a co-worker, he sauntered over to the garbage. There were three suitcases, all with leather cases, so he looked closer. The leather was rotted, but probably useable.

He picked them up. They were heavy. He opened them up, and inside were folders. "Do I really want to lug these over to my van?" He decided. Taking the time to load his van up with the cases, he went back to work, and planning his vacation.

Two weeks later, he opened the cases up and looked more closely. What he discovered shocked him.

Raymond Meurer suitcase
A Raymond J. Meurer suit case.

The cases were marked Raymond J Meurer, 1800 Mutual Bldg, MI 26. Other markings included a Cunard line Queen Mary cruise sticker, and the room he stayed in. Inside the real treasure lay, Robert found a script marked "The Lone Ranger and the Lost Mine" (marked Decca-maybe the record series script). 

Meurer - Script pages

Further searching revealed a Sergeant Preston script, reel to reel tapes labeled "10 Minute Interview With the Lone Ranger", and "American Bakeries. The third case was filled with music cues for the Lone Ranger (40 folders), Yukon (40) , and a large Green Hornet folder!
 
Raymond Meurer was a close associate of George Trendle's, and a third part owner of WXYZ, and the Lone Ranger as well. Among his business materials would have been contracts, promotional materials, schedules, and much more we will never see again.

HE had discovered the original music cues for the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon! The writing on the cues is probably Fred Flowerday's. Scripts, interviews, and much more! This was history, and belonged in a museum somewhere!

Meurer - music cue sheets
Original Lone Ranger music cue sheets.

To the Ranger fan, he had in his possession, a possibly unused Brace Beemer interview, and who knows what else on the reel to reel tapes. The scripts are priceless, the cues part of history, and all of it was destined for the dump.

The question I ask as a Ranger fan-what else got thrown away?

NOTE:
Today, Robert still has the material. He can be contacted via email at
Littlebigbob@aol.com
 

Tim Lasiuta
 

Interview/Article is (C)copyright Tim Lasiuta 2003 - And is printed here with the author's permission.
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