Friday, July 16, 2010

Sometimes you hear the Bullet

Once again, courtesy of Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine and Gator Emporium (and the Associated Press), news on the items that were auctioned off from now-defunct the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum continues to trickle in—including a tearful reunion of Roy’s beloved horse and beloved dog:

NEW YORK — After sitting stuffed and mounted for more than 40 years in a museum, Roy Rogers' horse Trigger and dog Bullet will be TV stars once more.

Rural cable network RFD-TV bought Bullet for $35,000 on Thursday and Trigger for $266,000 a day earlier at an auction in New York City.

RFD-TV owner Patrick Gottsch said the Omaha, Neb.-based network will begin airing old Roy Rogers movies on Saturdays starting November 6. The movie cowboy's son, Roy Jr., will introduce each film, as Trigger and Bullet stand in the background.

Well, what the hell can they do? They’re stuffed, ferchrissake…

Trigger's new owner said he's heard from thousands of relieved Rogers fans.

"Over the last 24 hours, I've received so many e-mails of thank you, just wonderful letters, saying `Thank you for saving Trigger,'" Gottsch said.

With a Western icon on the line, Gottsch said the auction was heart-pounding. RFD-TV CFO Steve Campione sat at Christie's auction hall Wednesday night while Gottsch yelled into Campione's headset from Omaha.

"We almost lost Trigger at $200,000," Gottsch said. "Steve couldn't hear me, and I was yelling on the phone, `Hit him! Hit him! Hit him!' and he was saying `What?'"

But they snagged the golden palomino after all.

Gottsch said children will be able to come to RFD-TV's new headquarters in Omaha to visit the famous horse.

The other two preserved horses up for sale, Rogers' wife Dale Evans' steed, Buttermilk, and Trigger's body double, Trigger Jr., both went to private U.S. buyers for $25,000 and $18,750.

Elkies, the auctioneer, said it was the "most colorful, emotional and sentimental" sale she had experienced in her 20 years at Christie's.

According to Christie’s, the total price tag on all the auctioned items—more than 1,000—realized $2.98 million. No items went unsold, because…well, they lost their lease. Selling to the bare walls. No reasonable offer refused. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

Auctioneer Cathy Elkies said Rogers' silver Jeep Nellybelle was the most anticipated item up for auction, with an estimated sale price of between $20,000 and $30,000.

Pam Weidel, a horse trainer from New Jersey, went home with Nellybelle for $116,500. She said she always felt a special attachment to Nellybelle when she watched Roy Rogers Westerns as a child.

"I called all my cars that over the years. I'd say, `C'mon Nellybelle,'" she said.

Now that she has the real Nellybelle, Weidel says she's planning to keep it in the private museum of businessman John B. Haines IV, who is in the construction industry, in Pennsburg, Pa.

I’m sort of bummed about that—I kind of had my eye on that jeep. According to Associated Press article: “At the end of the auction, the audience broke out spontaneously in a rendition of the Roy Rogers theme song ‘Happy Trails.’” (Sounds like from the take “We’re in the Money” would have been more appropriate.)

Anyway, I just thought I’d post this one because I can…

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Amanda said...

It's kind of sad. I feel bad about the items being broken up.

Jeff Overturf said...

Don't think about the clouds and stormy weather...