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1914-1999
The Clayton Moore
Memorial Sevice
 

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  THE CRIMSON CORRAL: Western Memories
 
CLAYTON MOORE

Jack Carton Moore, aka: Clayton Moore
Born: Sept. 14, 1914 - Died: Dec. 28, 1999


By Tom Mason

I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting Mr. Moore twice. The most memorable time was at one of the openings of the short-lived Lone Ranger Restaurants. Outside the Restaurant in the parking lot was Mr. Moore in his full Lone Ranger regalia and Silver was with him. I had my three young sons with me and I must admit I was as much a kid about to meet my hero as they were. Moore looked wonderful, he was in great shape and talked freely about the famed western hero he had become. He was anxious to do another LR movie and said that he only hoped they would do it before he was too old to mount a horse. He spoke of how he was told (when he got the part of the LR for the TV series,) to lower the register of his voice to more approximate that of Brace Beemer, the famed radio voice of the LR. He was only allowed to speak in perfect sentences and more slowly than his normal cadence. He told us that as he became established and accepted in the part, they allowed those rules to drop and he became more natural using his own speaking voice. 

What a thrill for the Mason boys to be right there next to the Lone Ranger. The restaurant was a fun place with silver dollar sized hamburgers and lots of Lone Ranger memorabilia to purchase. We bought LP records of the old radio shows and just had a wonderful time that day. 

In later years, when I worked for ABC-TV in Hollywood, I once again met him when he appeared at the giant telecast to celebrate ABC's 25th Anniversary. He was in costume, as always, and was congenial and eager to talk to the crew and I reminded him of his appearance at the now defunct LR restaurants. He was sad that they had not remained open and seemed genuinely touched that I remembered the experience of meeting him out in that parking lot. 

I can think of no finer personage to have assumed the mantle of the Lone Ranger than Clayton Moore.... he WAS the Lone Ranger. When he died, my oldest Son (Chris) and I attended the memorial service for him at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. (click here for more on the Clayton Moore Memorial)  Everyone was there, even old Silver. Many attended in western garb. Former co-stars spoke of their days working with him. Many of them had tears in their eyes as they spoke of him. His guns and hat were on display to all and it was a great tribute to a one-of-a-kind man. Mr. Moore was quoted as saying that when he was a boy, he had always wanted to be either a policeman or a cowboy. How fitting that he became both rolled into one, and how fortunate for us that he touched and influenced so many lives. Clayton Moore lives on through the magic of film and video and most of all: our memories.

Tom Mason
aka: The Crimson Collector

Click HERE for more info and a Filmography on Clayton Moore
  
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