November 28, 2014

Who Was That Masked Man? Really.

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAWN MOORE

Who Was That Masked Man? Really.

The Lone Ranger and Silver.

With the opening of The Lone Ranger on July 3, a serendipitous occurrence slipped over the Messenger’s electronic transom from Topanga resident Dawn Moore, the daughter of Clayton Moore, who created the television persona of “that masked man. ”When her new neighbor, Paul Roberts, learned about Moore’s parentage and that she had designed his new house, he wrote to her about what his childhood idol meant to him in the larger context of life. —Editor

I was a childhood fan of the 1960s TV shows, “Batman” and “The Lone Ranger.” My Bigwheel was my "Batmobile," and my Marvel The Mustang play horse was my "Silver."

Adam West and Clayton Moore both tried to emulate a character larger than life. Adam West's character was campy and humorous but, as a child, I saw the virtues and morals as real and special.

Once I was older, viewing old episodes of both “Batman” and “The Lone Ranger,” I came to the conclusion that Adam West modeled some of his Batman/Bruce Wayne character traits after those of the Lone Ranger.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAWN MOORE

Who Was That Masked Man? Really.

Sally and Clayton Moore at their Tarzana ranch after the Lone Ranger first aired September 15, 1949

For me, this made Clayton Moore the true embodiment of the original article. He worked hard to exemplify all the character traits of one of the most moral and true-hearted heroes of all time. I’ve read that he took his role very seriously and worked on his voice to make the Lone Ranger deeper and more noble, as if a greater sense of purpose was contained within and could only be spoken with that voice. Dawn told me that in real life her father tried to emulate the values of his character as well.

I believe that he performed the role so well that he became a symbol that others would also try to emulate. Civil workers, policemen, firemen, teachers and the like have all found inspiration in the symbol and values that Clayton Moore strived to bring onto the screen.

In the world today where misguided masses can be found looking up to supposed heroes in the sports, music and film industries who often turn out to be something other than what they seem, or who embody negative personas, it is so important to look for the types of rock solid virtues that men like Clayton Moore emulated.

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Who Was That Masked Man? Really.

The Lone Ranger's mask at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. For more information go to http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1188464

Half a century ago, Clayton Moore and those like him, through their heart's inspiration and artistry, created a two-dimensional screen image from a television script and transformed ideals for future generations that live on. We are now the ones to guide and inspire others and continue the legacy of the forces of good.

Thank you, Clayton Moore, for your dedication to the role you played on the screen and in your life.